After delivery, the desired arrival of the baby finally becomes a reality. The newborn, also called neonate, requires continuous attention from the parents, since he or she is still completely dependent human being.
After nine months in the mother’s womb, childbirth means the entrance to a brand new world for him or her. Keep in mind that the outside world is a completely unknown environment for the baby, who still does not know how to behave there.
The baby reacts according to her or his instincts and reflexes, which were acquired during the pregnancy period. Even though the baby needs to learn how to do everything, up to the 4th year of their lives, babies have a learning capacity greater than that of adults. They are in a massively receptive stage in which every gesture, sound, color, or movement means he will learn something new about the situation and environment surrounding him.
Taking care of a baby during the first year of his life might be a tough task, mostly for first-time parents. However, you will learn how to do it day after day with the advice of your pediatrician and your family, but mainly with your baby’s behavior, which will help you learn from your own baby.
Several aspects must be taken into account throughout the baby’s first months of life, among them we highlight the following:
- Sleep issues
- Overall health status
It is necessary to be attentive and check the diapers. If a baby is crying, it can be because he or she is feeling that the diaper is dirty. Newborns are incontinent, as they haven not learnt how to control their sphincters yet and their urine is not held in their bladder. When the baby is between 18 and 24 months old, he has to learn how to use the bathroom by himself, that is, without a diaper.
Moreover, attending every postnatal check-up, following the vaccination schedule, and not giving your baby medications without a detailed medical prescription is essential.
Feeding and sleep issues
As regards the sleeping time, parents should take into account that a newborn basically wakes up just to eat. The baby has not developed the circadian rhythm yet, that is, how to differentiate between day and night. Thus, babies only wake up when they feel hungry, even if it is in the middle of the night.
Their feeding should be catered for regularly. During their first days of life, they eat every two or three hours. However, as time goes by, the gap between feedings will become longer. It is highly recommended to breastfeed your baby if you can and feel comfortable with it, because the mother’s milk provides the baby with antibodies and defenses that boost their defenses.
If you have made the decision to breastfeed your baby, monitoring your newborn’s weight gain is strongly recommended in order to check that he is indeed taking the right amount of milk. Contrary to what happens with formula-fed babies, when breastfeeding a baby we cannot make sure whether he is nursing enough milk or the precise amount he has taken.
Why do babies cry?
Babies cry for a wide range of causes. You will find out the cause behind sobbing spams at any given moment over time. The most common reasons why babies cry are: hunger, sleepiness, dirty diaper, flatulences, desire to stay in your arms, or mild discomforts.
Monitoring your baby health status is crucial for his full development to take place as expected. Following medical instructions as well as paying special attention to unusual signs that may be an indicator of some disease is crucial. Abnormal signs include: uncommon sobbing, abnormal baby poops, high temperature, strange behavior or attitude, etc.