Newborns get overwhelming for new parents. Newborns are fragile yet strong enough to make through the mom’s land to this world. Babies need a lot of care and attention during their newborn stage.
However, these baby care tips make it easy for new moms who are feeling overwhelmed with this new baby phase.
These simple, and easy to follow baby care tips are going to be a bible for new moms that need help with basic tips for baby’s first year.
If you are expecting a baby anytime soon, save this for later since it has everything you need to know about the struggles of a mom during baby’s first year.
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Newborn care tips for new moms and dads
Before I forget, I need to start with diapering tips.
Baby Diapering Tips
Diapering is an unavoidable part of parenthood. You cannot go diaper-less with kids until they are 2 to 3 years old. On average parents change 3000 diapers during their first year alone. 8 to 12 diapers a day.
You can always try to change an over-soaked wet diaper only while your baby is asleep without waking her up.
2. Do not change a dirty diaper while your baby is asleep unless the baby wakes up by herself.
3. While changing a wet diaper only, do not use cold or warm wipes in case of wet diaper only while the baby is still asleep. the touch of the wet wipe is most likely going to wake your baby up.
4. Use cell phone light or use a night light while changing a diaper.
Note: Diaper change in the middle of the night can only be possible if the baby is sleeping in her bassinet, toddler bed or co-sleeping. With high rails crib, it may not be convenient for moms or dads to change a diaper.
5. For babies who tend to toss and turn a lot while sleeping may end up having diaper leaks without getting fully soaked. You can use mattress pads or disposable changing pads on baby’s crib to deal with such kind of situations.
6. Make sure if your baby is a heavy wetter due to water or liquids intake, I highly recommend to have your baby(toddler) wear PJs or night trouser that are somewhat loose around the diaper area.
7. Tight clothes around the diaper area do not allow the diaper to reach its full potential of absorbing liquids. For heavy wetters, make sure you change diaper more frequently because, once it is oversoaked, there is a high chance of leaking
8. When your Well-fed baby cries at night it could be due to following reasons mainly
9. Keep all diapering essentials in your arm’s reach, decide where you want to change the diaper. It should preferably be a changing station with a changing pad.
10. This one is for dads: When diapering, make sure you have a picture side on the front and tabs side on the back.
11. The diaper should not be on top of the umbilical cord – use pampers for newborns which are curved for the umbilical cord.
12. Expect more diaper blowouts, while your newborn is more in a laying down position or in a sitting position. The best tips to prevent diaper blowouts are to size up, change frequently and do not delay diaper change for babies. However, for infants, you may want to wait for another 10 minutes to get everything clear out from inside.
13. If your baby is not sleeping well even after nursing good, she may need top feed in order to feel full.
14. I get a lot of criticism for giving out breastfeeding advice. To be honest, I can assure you one thing, if you want to exclusively breastfeed you can once you have enough supply. However, the starting weeks are rough And I would never advise you to starve your newborn baby when she is hungry and you are struggling With a milk supply.
15. Dehydration in newborn babies is a serious thing. Never starve your newborn baby.
16. There could be a number of reasons for delayed supply or just hormones are playing big time and you do not feel the energy to nurse, take your time and supplement if you feel the need to do it.
17. Nurse every two hours to establish a good milk supply.
18. If your baby seems to have a reflux issue and tend to throw up what she eats, that means she needs gradual feeding, after every feed, she needs to be in an upright position.
19. Wear the baby as it is the best way to keep baby upright while staying handsfree to get done with other chores. Reflux issues get better as baby grows.
23. Breastfeeding babies and formula-fed babies may show signs of an allergy too on something you are eating. It could be in the form of lactose intolerance, or bumps on the body may appear due to allergic reaction to something mom is eating. They may grow out of these allergies later in life.
24. Postpartum hair fall is normal when you notice the hair fall has started playing its game, maybe its time to increase baby’s feed or start introducing solids.
25. No matter when you start semi-solids with your baby, the best thing is when the baby gets the hang of eating solids, ENCOURAGE SELF FEED. no earlier than 7 to 8 months depends on how your baby reaching her milestones.
27. For newborns, wake up a sleeping baby to feed every 2 hours during the day and stretch night sleep to 3 to 4 hours depending on how well-fed baby is during the day.
28. Always try to swaddle for the first couple of months and see if that option works for you to get you and baby some sleep at night.
29. Do not wake up your sleeping baby to feed once they are well fed and sleeping for longer stretches at night. This will eventually help the baby get the hang of nighttime sleep.
30. Do not just have your baby laying down all the time. Adjust the baby’s head and keep an eye on head shape especially in the first three to 4 months after birth.
31. Babies who are laying down most times of the day, tend to develop flat spots. Keep flipping sides when putting baby to sleep.
32. Babies are born with a soft head and normally delivered babies may get elongated head due to pressures passing through the birth canal. In order to have a normal round-shaped head, babies have to be on their backs and remember, moderation is the key.
33. Do not create day and night confusion from day 1. Keep nights quiet and dark and days louder and brighter. This will help babies get on a night schedule faster.
34. If your newborn baby wakes up in the middle of the night hungry and wide awake, try not to talk or light up your room. Feed on demand and put baby down. Eventually baby is asleep. If you have to hold your baby for a burp, keep it quiet and dark. In order to set a sleep schedule for your baby, you need to avoid mistakes from day one.
35. Using a sound machine is a must for new moms. Either you are co-sleeping or room sharing or you have a separate room for kids, keeping a sound machine is a must. Besides other newborn needs like hunger, wet diaper or being cold at night, your baby will be able to sleep better without waking up to unnecessary sounds.
Things get better as long as you and your baby can sleep well through the night. I highly recommend using a sound machine.
If you are curious, I have been using this one for about 2 years. The rain sound is the best out of all and effective. It is affordable, portable and goes everywhere with us even work in different countries too.
38. No too many newborn shoes for at least 3 to 4 months. Once the baby starts sitting up or crawling, I would prefer having shoes.
Newborn baby clothes and shoes are so tempting that you hardly resist. Trust me, babies grow up super fast and if you are a savvy mom, do not fall for it. You can use that money on bigger shoes.
39. Onesies shoulder flaps are meant to prevent baby’s hair from blowouts.
40. Avoid using tight trousers or pants for baby as it may cause gas or prevent it from releasing out of the body.
41. While going out, dressing up your baby weather appropriate. Your baby may need just one extra layer than you are wearing. Either use a light blanket in summers or a car seat cover. During winters you need a warm car seat cover if you are staying outdoor for a while. Otherwise, a baby blanket would do just fine.
42. Always use the hat for the first couple of months irrespective of the weather. Newborns tend to lose body heat from their heads faster as the head is the largest part of the newborn body. Keeping body temperature normal is necessary.
43. Keeping newborn protected while you go out should be your top priority. Using canopy strollers or blankets to cover babies outside is essential from UAV and UAB rays of the sun.
44. Sunscreen is a must even for babies if you are staying longer outside.
45. Baby acne is a common skin condition in newborns, the best thing is to leave that alone. It is going to go away in a few days. Keep skin clean, and do not rub. However, you can still apply breastmilk as a lot of moms have been using it as a home remedy.
46. White bumps called “milia” appear on the baby’s nose and generally leave soon.
47. Erythema Toxicum is a splotchy, bumpy rash that appears shortly after birth and can be expected to leave in a week or so.
48. Heat rash is due to sweating which may result in small pink pimples on baby skin. Keep your baby cool and clean and make sure you clean baby’s neck fold and dry them thoroughly
49. Eczema is a skin condition usually triggers with fragrant products like detergents, body wash, etc. In case you see patches near the fold, elbows, arms, etc, talk to your doctor to get it evaluated.
50. Babies are vulnerable to get jaundice. Although mild jaundice goes away on its own in a few days still the best thing is to have your baby sit or lay down beside the window where you and baby can enjoy indirect sunlight.
Indirect sunlight is a quick remedy for treating jaundice. However, if you notice the persistent condition of skin getting more yellow, eyes, tongue, etc. you need to call the doctor right away.
51. Thrush is a mouth condition when a yeast infection travels to the baby’s mouth. This yeast will form white skin patches inside the baby’s mouth. You need to call your doctor when you notice any signs of thrush.
52. Diaper rash is the skin irritation and the best remedy for severe diaper rash if using mustard oil mixed with water. Also, A+D ointment works best for diaper rash.
53. Baby’s skin is soaked in water for good 9 months and once they are out, it most likely gets dry, cracked and peeling. Massage oil to prevent skin from getting over-dry.
Head handling Tips
54. Soft Spot handling: Parents need to be gentle when touching the fontanelles on everyday handling. A sunken soft spot is an indication of dehydration. Newborn Baby sleeping for longer stretches during the day or may seem lazy is also an indication of dehydration.
55. Cradle cap is the thick layer of skin developed on the baby’s scalp. The solution to dealing with cradle cap is massage baby’s scalp with oil and then scrape off gently with soft bristles comb.
56. Your newborn may be born with a head full of hair or no hair, however, there is a possibility of hair thinning out significantly in the next few weeks and then the real hair coming back.
57. Baby’s vision develops with a time of 3 to 5 years. Newborns can see fairly hazy to 8 to 12 inches and then within 3 months, they can not only see you also they are able to follow objects.
58. Newborn or natal teeth: In rare cases, newborns are born with too early teeth. If you notice something like this, you may have to get them removed.
59. A baby’s nasal passage doesn’t develop and open up the way It is supposed to be. However, they are obligated to breathe through their narrow little nose for about 3 to 6 months. This makes newborn breathing noisy due to dryness and stuffiness.
60. Sucking blisters: Babies may develop blisters inside their mouth due to frequent sucking. Sucking blisters will eventually go on their own.
61. Tongue-tied: Tongues are connected with a little tissue frenulum with the floor of our mouth. We are all born with frenulum but for newborns, this is extended to the tip of the newborn’s tongue.
This condition is harmless and generally requires no treatment. However, for some, it makes latching on breasts difficult that may lead to a small procedure to fix it.
62. Newborns do not shed a tear while they cry for the first couple of months. However, premature babies reportedly produce enough tears to coat and lubricate their eyes. Tears newborns make are not enough to roll down for the first few months.
63. Baby’s umbilical cord needs to stay dry to come off as early as 2 weeks and as late as 5 weeks (my experience too). Do not wet the cord while bathing. Sponge bath should work for the first few weeks as babies do not need frequent baths
64. Do not ever shake a baby even out of sheer joy as it could be fatal.
65. When you hold a newborn, always adjust the baby’s head with support of your hand as the newborn baby head is not stable enough until the baby is a few months old.
Baby soothing tips
66. For the first several months of a baby’s life, you should omit the possibility of spoiling. Newborns cry as that’s the only way they know how to communicate and once you hear your baby crying, it is highly advisable to promptly respond to their needs so that would send her a message that you are there to tend to her needs.
67. Moms get stressed out when babies are crying. You have to keep calm, take a deep breath and if needed take a break. If you are not ready mentally, emotionally or physically, take help from anyone available during that time, husband, or friend.
68. Put baby down for a little while safe and secure and compose yourself, as long as you are around, it doesn’t hurt the baby to cry for some time.
69. There are times when your head is spinning due to sleep deprivation or you may face other health concerns, Hold your newborn baby when you know you are in the best of your mental and physical state.
Cradle cap is a flaky crusty scalp condition that tends to develop on the baby’s head that may look like dandruff during the first few months after birth. The main cause of developing cradle cap is not known. however, it might be due to the overproduction of oil due to oil glands in hair follicles.
In most cases, the cradle cap is not itchy.
Babies tend to develop cradle cap on their heads, typically seem like a thick dandruff layer that is scaly with yellow or while thick skin flakes.
Although it is harmless still itching can take its toll leaving parents worried.
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How to treat cradle cap
The good news is, in many cases cradle cap is gone within a few months even If you leave it on its own.
Although the cradle cap is harmless it may seem uncomfortable for the baby. It may get itchy.
The solution to dealing with cradle cap is gently massage baby’s scalp with oil and then scrape off gently with soft bristles comb.
For my son, I have tried coconut oil, and other scrubbers to take that off but nothing seemed to work.
The only method that worked to help get rid of the cradle cap is advised by my child’s pediatrician.
The best remedy to get rid of cradle cap
Take a baby comb and gently scrape off the cradle cap while it is wet, after a baby bath. Also, you can soften it with the help of oil by gently massaging and try scraping it off with the help of a comb.
New moms may notice dry flakes developing during the first few weeks after the baby’s birth. if the baby seems to develop a cradle cap or not, use soft baby comb after every bath and gently comb it through the baby’s hair right.
Just keep in mind, baby’s head has a soft spot and it should not be touched aggressively for the first few months as the skull bones develop over the course of a few months. Try to be gentle as much as you can.
Motherhood is a challenging phase of life. before giving birth women are all excited about holding a baby in their arms, looking at the joyful side of a journey. The journey from labor pains to childbirth is a life-changing event.
Counting babies kicks and most of all watching your baby moving in your third-trimester belly is one of the fondest memories of being pregnant.
Rest assured the joys of holding a baby are beautiful and you are going to have the most cherishable memories of all times.
Now you are ready to give birth and excited too, I highly recommend you should visit your hospital pre-birth and get yourself registered. This will save you a lot of time when you will be actually in labor and need immediate assistance.
Moreover, I also recommend you to give your hospital a visit to get yourself aware where is the labor and delivery area plus sign up
For the hospital labor and delivery department a tour to be well aware of the rooms and other formalities, you might have to take care of.
This is a very common question for first-time moms when you know it’s time to bring baby home.
Having all those excitement and butterflies in your belly; one fine day your time would come with real pains and probably with a gush of water.
When you know these are not Braxton hicks (false contractions) and you could actually time your pains at equal intervals. If your contractions are exactly at 20 minutes interval, maybe less or more, you need to pack up your hospital bag.
Well, as a matter of fact, these contractions interval may take days to shrink down to maybe 5 minutes or 3 minutes. Whenever you are able to time them for like 2 to 3 hours at the same interval, you need to call your doctor, nurse or a midwife at your hospital you are planning on to deliver.
If your water breaks, you need to call right away, even you do not feel any sort of contraction or pains.
Once you are at the hospital, you need to check in with all those bands with barcodes. These bands are going to stay on your wrist until you are staying at the hospital.
What happens in the labor room?
Nurses would take care of everything when you get there. If you have more frequent contractions, they would find out and provide immediate assistance. Your doctor or midwife is going to find out how much dilated you are by that time.
If your labor pains are not very frequent and you don’t seem to be dilated more than 2 cm, you might be sent back home.
If your baby is full-term at 39 weeks, you might want to discuss the option of Pitocin, a medicine to speed up the labor pains.
You can opt for epidural. Before that, you need to eat or drink whatever you want because once you get epidural you won’t be able to drink water even.
What happens in the surgery room in case you have scheduled a cesarean or emergency C-section?
If you have a scheduled C-section due to many reasons like baby’s position, multiple fetuses, health concerns, etc., chances are you have to get it in the morning. Thus, you have to make sure you should not have eaten at least 12 hours on the day of C-section. You have to be an empty stomach.
Eat well the night before and sleep better as you are already signing up for sleep deprivation motherhood brings. 🙂
Epidural or General Anesthesia
By any chance you end up having C-section, you most likely be given epidural (spinal) If not general anesthesia.
Nurses would make sure your area for the incision is shaved.
After that, they are going to apply medicine and all the surgical procedure you can expect.
Although doctors, surgeons, anesthesia staff, nurses, every concerned person would be in the surgery room. However, if you want your partner or husband to be in the surgery room, you can surely ask nurses.
They are going to provide the medicated clothes for him so that he can be with you inside the surgery room and you both could enjoy the birth of your baby.
What to expect right after Childbirth
You might be an expert by now for what happens in pregnancy and how to deal with those nauseous mornings, but getting to know what happens in the hospital right after birth is not too far now.
Curious to know or not – here the things you must need to know what happens after birth.
1. Apgar Evaluation
This is a necessary evaluation procedure done after birth. The purpose is to see if there are any medical concerns or not. Doctors measure five signs of the baby’s condition
Activity and muscles tone
Apgar evaluation score varies from 0 to 10. Babies who score 7 or more are considered healthy. Low Apgar score does not mean any necessary medical concerns.
Researchers say that in more than 98% of babies, quite often the Apgar score reaches 7 within 5 minutes of baby’s life as it is checked twice in the first 5 minutes of baby’s life after birth.
2. Vitamin K injection
Babies are born with vitamin K deficiency as it does not reach the placenta during pregnancy. Thus, doctors make sure that babies get vitamin K injection right after birth to make sure no bleeding in the brain or intestines could occur. Right after the birth baby is given vitamin K injection to help with blood to clot.
3. Antibiotic eye ointment
Your baby will be applied Erythromycin an eye antibiotic ointment to her eyes so that it does not cause an infection that could occur during delivery. Infections could occur due to sexually transmitted diseases, gonorrhea, and chlamydia.
If you are concerned, babies can see through the ointment and it is not irritating for babies.
4. Oxygen saturation testing
This procedure is done to check for lower levels of oxygen in the baby’s bloodstream that might identify any significant yet rare heart defects. This is a needleless procedure involves placing a band-aid-like sensor on the baby’s right hand and right foot.
4. Baby Foot is printed
Your baby’s foot will be printed.
5. Identification Bands on wrists and legs
Your baby will also be wearing an identification band on with your name as a mother.
6. Skin to skin
Research has shown that an hour after birth is when your baby is very awake and alert and during that time and it is highly recommended when mother and baby has to be more on skin to skin.
7. Regulating the baby’s body temperature
Baby’s lose body heat fairly quickly, thus it is highly advisable to practice more and more skin to skin to regulate baby’s body temperature after birth.
8. Latching or Breastfeeding right after birth
As soon as your baby is done with all those requirements after birth, mothers are advised to start breastfeeding their babies right away, as this will help with the flow of milk supply for moms.
Breastfeeding has numerous benefits along with it helps the uterus to come back to its original size within 6 weeks.
9. Bonding with your baby
Right after birth, It is very normal to feel overjoyed to see your little bundle of happiness. Some mothers cannot feel that way which is normal too. Do not stress about bonding if you are not in that state of mind, because most of the time it is the effect of medicines as well.
However, dads would be happy to perform skin to skin if mom is having a surgical delivery.
In my both C section deliveries, at the time my first one was born I was in labor pains for three days, tired and exhausted, yet I just was super excited about bonding with my little guy. On the other hand, while with my second delivery, which was within 19 months, it took a while for me to feel normal again I was having extreme shoulder pain and my blood pressure dropped significantly. I just could not talk. And I could not hold her for a long time.
It is not advisable to hold your baby when you are not feeling normal about yourself. Bonding can weight but you as a healthy mother is more important.
Start skin to skin the moment you start feeling better and want to connect.
Nursing, latching, and feeding after childbirth
If you are a first-time mom, and you THINK that you KNOW how to breastfeed, do not stay in this misconception.
There is a big difference between knowing something and actually doing it.
Some babies do not know how to latch. They will learn slowly and gradually.
However, some babies are great at latching. They know suckle very well.
I would highly recommend first-time moms to consult a lactation specialist. Many hospitals in the US offer lactation classes which are super helpful.
Doctors would not allow you to go home if your baby is not having enough wet and dirty diapers. This means your baby is not having enough to eat.
The lactation consultants will visit you every day during your hospital stay and are there to help. Seek help, consult if you are struggling with breastfeeding.
Some facts about breastfeeding after childbirth
Moms expect delayed milk supply as it takes time to settle in. However, babies are not going to eat too much in the beginning.
Colostrum is the thick form of milk that comes in before the milk supply. Colostrum is the most beneficial first baby food and sufficient for the early days of a baby’s life.
If you are not mentally or physically ready to take care of your baby, talk to your nurse about it. They are there to help. You can ask them to take your baby for the night and have her in the nursery room so you can sleep or rest for that night.
You can also tell them to bring the baby in for her feed or they could give formula if you have talked to your doctor about it.
Whatever you decide to feed your baby, remember FED IS THE BEST.
While you stay a the hospital nurses give you a chart to record about your baby eats, wee and poo schedule.
You have to feed every 2 hours or as per demand. The more you nurse the earlier and quick would be the milk supply.
Care providers want you to time baby’s eating, pee, and poo schedule to ensure baby is performing great after birth.
Baby’s First Poop
Baby’s first poo is called Meconium which is made of mucus, amniotic fluid and everything which baby has ingested while in the womb. Meconium is a black almost tar-like consistency.
Rarely, during normal delivery, babies tend to poo during the delivery process (while passing through the birth canal) which has to be monitored closely. It should not be swallowed as it could pose high risks.
Some babies poo within the first couple of days after birth. This first poo meconium is a good sign that means your baby’s digestive system is working just fine.
Colostrum, your first milk, will help meconium to excrete out of the baby’s body. It protects against infections and also acts as a laxative.
Well during your hospital stay doctors and nurses are going to closely monitor your baby’s health after birth.
Vital Signs test
Vital signs test is a baby’s hearing screening test.
This test is done before you leave the hospital. During this hearing screening, babies are monitored to respond to any sounds by using tiny earphones.
Some babies do not pass their test on their first attempt due to fluids in ears. There are very likely to pass the next day or so. In order to keep baby calm, the examiner might have to give sweet water (don’t worry, it’s just a drop) to have baby calm during the test.
Hearing problems are not very uncommon. If newborns by any chance do not pass the test, it would be helpful to treat any hearing defects earlier.
Physical weight check
Baby’s weight is monitored right at birth and then within the first few days after birth. It is very normal for babies to reduce weight during the first few days of their life.
It is normal for a baby to lose 7 to 10 percent of birth weight in the first couple of days after birth. If your baby keeps losing weight more than 10% of birth weight then you might want to consider supplementing.
Waiting for breastmilk supply is a great way to ensure healthy nutrition for your baby, BUT, if your baby is losing weight and you are struggling with milk supply, you should discuss your concerns about it with your doctor.
They measure the baby’s weight, height, and head circumference.
They are going to check how is your baby breathing.
Number of wet and dirty
To ensure how well your baby is eating, the number of wet diapers could depict. If your baby does not wee or have a wet diaper within 24 hours then your baby needs more nutrition.
Despite, your baby is losing weight after birth within limits even then the number of wet diapers confirms your baby is eating just fine.
If there are no wet diapers for more than 24 hours then you should be concerned.
Shots / vaccinations
If your baby has got a shot/vaccination, the hospital will provide you with a card and name of the vaccination with dates and everything that you need to know for a record.
Hep B vaccination
All Babies get the hepatitis B vaccine before leaving the hospital. HBV is a series of three different shots. All three of them will be received over the course of two years i.e. three times in 24 months.
Newborn Metabolic screening
This test is done by pricking your baby’s heel to take blood samples to rule out any signs of illness or diseases. This is done to make sure the baby does not have any disabilities, organ damage, etc.
The nurse is going to give the baby a bath. Wash baby’s hair and rest she sponge bath baby without having umbilical cord wet.
Additional tests for baby
Measuring bilirubin levels
Some, but not all, newborns require a bilirubin level check – a substance in the bloodstream responsible for causing jaundice.
Baby’s blood type test
Those babies who are born to women having Rh negative or O blood type must be tested. Other babies may get tested depending on the requirements and circumstances.
Other blood tests
Other tests are done to check blood sugar, blood counts, and blood cultures as per the circumstances.
Circumcision is the surgical procedure of removing foreskin on a baby boy’s penis.
Most but not all, boys get their penis circumcised before hospital discharge. Choosing this procedure could be personal or religious preference and could be scheduled even after discharge from the hospital.
In case you want to get it done for your baby boy, circumcision is widely practiced all over the world with many health benefits.
Always discuss its pros and cons with your doctor before you even decide to get it done for your baby boy.
Given the risks and concerns, this needs a lot of aftercare. Watch any signs of an infection. Keep the area dry and keep it covered with cotton gauze and a substantial amount of petroleum jelly on the wee-wee area.
This does not mean to get the process done right away. If you want your boy to get this done, you may want to do it in a couple of days after birth. The earlier the better as it heals pretty quickly within just a few days.
Nurses are going to guide you with care instructions.
Although it may take several weeks for breastfeeding moms to have everything go smooth and you may have to give your baby some time to establish a good latch that will eventually lead to a picture-perfect breastfeeding experience. Remember every mom’s experience is different and so as their body.
For exclusively breastfeeding, new moms have to stay put and see how well you experience yourself as a nursing mom.
For moms who choose a combination feed of their babies does not make them bad in any way. in addition to that, there are a few moms who may not have enough supply even after several weeks of trying. No matter what way you choose to feed your baby, remember, “fed is best”. You should not starve your child just for the sake of giving breast only.
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Struggles for breastmilk supply
The irony is what’s natural doesn’t always come naturally. Breastmilk is natural but it takes time to have enough supply. Unfortunately, this becomes a struggle for new moms to have that idealistic picture of breastfeeding.
Babies take time to latch. Some are quick learners. They have good suckle naturally, while some have to learn and they take their sweet time.
You may have tons and tons of advice or pressure from other moms in the family, friends, nurses, doctors, lactation consultants, listen to what they say. Some of the advice may prove to be helpful.
Also, be aware you may end up having unsolicited suggestions, contradictory, confusing or just plain wrong advice.
When breastfeeding becomes painful and how to deal with breast irritations
For good nursing experience, you have to make sure your baby is latching on properly called an asymmetrical latch.
1. Use Nipple Shield
Not every breast or nipple is created equal. There are different sizes and shapes. Sometimes nipple size may become a problem for breastfeeding. In order to solve that, moms may use a nipple shield for a better breastfeeding experience.
Breastfeeding becomes painful
with sore nipples, cracked and dry nipples that hurt. Once you have the flow
and your baby gets a proper latch then the pain surely fades away. Mild
irritation or discomfort that occurs only at the start of each feeding is generally
associated with newness of breastfeeding.
You have to make sure, the pain will go away in a couple of weeks after you establish a good milk supply.
2. Use Nipple Cream
Use a lanolin cream to help with sore nipples. Apply generously before and after the feed and let it air dry. Or using your own breastmilk on the breast is an effective remedy to help cracked nipples.
If one breast is hurting, choose the other one.
However, if the pain does not go away for a few weeks, seek professional help.
Sometimes it is about yeast infection that is not letting the discomfort go away. For any breast-related issue that is making you uncomfortable and it is not getting better, do not hesitate to seek doctor’s advice.
Cramping in your abdomen
When you have milk flow coming in, you may notice cramping in your uterus. This is the reason if you breastfeed, your uterus shrinks back to its original size in a few weeks. These contractions are considered responsible for triggering the milk let-down reflex.
When will milk come
As we have discussed it takes
about 2 to 5 days for milk to settle in from colostrum to transitional milk,
and then mature milk.
Although for some moms it is a few hours of colostrum and then good enough milk to have a sufficient flow of transitional milk. Mom and baby both get hang of breastfeeding smoothly.
However, for a few new moms, it is not as easy as it may sound. The noticeable change in milk takes place over the course of a few days. If you are concerned about your milk flow, or if your newborn baby is getting enough, or there are signs when you are not sure what is going on, for instance, you may notice a perfect latch but no supply or your baby is crying unusually too much possible due to hunger or, not having enough wet diapers, then you should never delay a visit to a pediatrician.
Not every case is the same. You should never delay if you feel your baby is not getting enough.
Why there is a delay in milk supply
There could be a number of factors in delayed milk production, however, the most common in C-section moms are due to;
The effect of IVs for
The side effect of a medicine.
Going with a flow
Once your baby gets hold of a
good latch, the next thing that comes to mind, is your baby getting enough
Newborns get colostrum in the first few days of life, rich in what they need in the first few days of life. Colostrum is rich in proteins, but it lacks fats and sugars. It is the perfect food that your newborn needs.
When you see colostrum a yellowish thick milky secretion from your breasts, that’s a sign you are going to have transitional milk, white thin milk.
Mother’s milk takes about 2 to 5 days to settle in. the latter case is for C-section moms.
Breastfeeding is about Demand and supply
Colostrum is a complete food your newborn baby needs at this time, that would make them hungry and wants them to feed more. This process of demand and supply would help milk supply settle in about a week to meet your baby’s nutritional demands. Once the follow settles in your supply keeps on increasing with your baby’s demand. The more your baby breastfeeds, the more your body will sense his increased demand and respond by stepping up milk production accordingly.
Breast size would increase
while you are pregnant and when your milk flow settles in, that is going to
make a massive difference.
The letdown tingle during production progress
When milk production
progress, you would know when yellowish milk becomes white, appears thinner and
The baby would be making more obvious and gulping noises, and they may seem more calm and busy.
Every mom would have that tingling sensation, although not the same for everyone when milk production increases and breasts become more fuller.
Alleviating the discomfort
When milk production starts,
fullness from breastmilk often called engorgement. It means full to the
capacity of being painful.
The discomfort is something new for first-time breastfeeding moms. As the days progress, things will get better.
Ways you can deal with
Frequently nursing your baby may help with breast engorgement.
1. Manual Pumping or electric pumping
Pumping is the best solution if the let-down is pretty quick. Some women happen to overproduce breastmilk. If the letdown is too quick you may notice baby’s gagging a lot.
It is the breast infection
when one of the milk ducts get infected that stores milk. This will cause
swollen, red, painful breasts. In a couple of days, you start feeling sick,
feverish, very achy in your breast.
You need to start antibiotics
once it is evaluated by the professional health provider.
In the meantime, you can still breastfeed as frequent as every two hours to keep the breasts becoming overly sore.
Make sure your baby is latched on well every time you breastfeed and try to change the positions.
Every breastfeeding mom must have experienced leaking breasts and for that, you should know: leakage will subside with time. You may experience more leakage with your first child doesn’t mean it is going to be the same as the second one too. This process will take its own time of recovery. Do not stress over it.
Another way you can stop leaking is by putting inward pressure on your breasts by a finger poke. It works like a charm.
Also, pushing back your breasts with closed arms if you are in public, may work most of the time.
Choosing Breast pads
Using breast pads and keep a few in your baby bag if you have leaky breasts most of the time, would help with public exposure of wet shirts.
A good supportive bra, the sports bra is going to be super helpful for your whole breastfeeding experience. It is not only going to protect your breast from sagging but also keep them in a good shape.
You need a good fitting bra, not too tight and try to wear it 24/7.
Prefer a comfort and convenience when choosing a bra that you are going to wear 24 hours a day.
It should be easy to use and has flaps to fasten and unfasten.
There is a room of expansion as when the breasts are fuller, it should not be bulging out.
invest in a good nursing bra for a better experience.
Using Haaka – a manual pump
Haakaa is a silicon manual pump, a game-changer for leaking breasts. While nursing from one side, you may notice full milk let down on the other side that is being wasted, and ironically, you cannot nurse baby from both sides at the same time. Therefore, it is very essential to have Haaka manual pump to save your “gold milk” for the next feeding. You can use the one with a lid.
You can save breastmilk for 4 to 6 hours at room temperature and 24 to 48 hours in the refrigerator.
Breastfeeding in public
In the US, moms have all the legal rights to breastfeed in public. You may want to use a nursing cover to be more comfortable while breastfeeding in public.
Breastfeeding problems and solutions in a nutshell.
If the breastfeeding battle goes on you may try these solutions.
4. Breast shells for sore and cracked nipples. This will help saving milk from leaking breasts.
5. Tongue-tie is a condition in babies when they are unable to develop a perfect latch because when the tissue under the tongue does not allow the baby’s tongue to form a latch. This may need a doctor’s evaluation so that a minor procedure can be done to solve the issue.
Breastfeeding Position and posture
Once you choose to breastfeed, you should know that a perfect posture plays a vital role in your overall breastfeeding experience, regardless of your birth procedure (vaginal or cesarean).
Elevate baby to your breasts rather than leaning on to your baby. Use pillows for the right amount of support to elevate the baby closer to you. This will help your back and your shoulders stay more relaxed and you would not get tired immediately.
Although these breastfeeding struggles worth so much, still that does not mean you cannot supplement because you will be judged as a bad mom. No, if breastfeeding is taking a toll over your mental health, and giving you more anxiety and stressing you out, you should talk to your doctor about other options like formula or donated breastmilk.
Is your baby spitting up way too much? Sometimes it may seem like the baby has nothing left in her stomach after an enormous throw-up and that makes moms super worried. Spitting up is common in babies. Therefore, most babies keep throwing up for about 5 to 6 months and that is considered normal.
Spitting up may concern first-time parents, and feel that the baby is not being able to digest milk. Read on and find out the reasons why do babies spit up, and how you can help babies to keep food inside, instead of throwing up.
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Why do newborn babies spit-up
Breastfeeding babies do throw up sometimes, although breastmilk is known to be gentle and easy on digestion for newborn babies.
The most common reason for babies to spit-up what they ate is intolerance. It could be intolerance to formula, or in very rare cases, breastmilk. You need to rule out the reason, regardless.
1. Formula intolerance
It could be formula intolerance, and your baby is not digesting it well and this may take some time. However, if you are concerned due to frequent spit-ups after every feed and pretty big ones, then you might want to discuss it with your pediatrician, and consider changing the formula.
You may start formula for sensitive stomach, once your baby starts turns a few months old, you may switch to another formula, and see how it works.
2. Signs of allergies
For breastfeeding babies, you
have to rule out any signs of intolerance or allergic reactions to something
you are eating or feeding your baby and your baby is not being able to stomach
Although, this concept is not backed by science, however, some mothers, if not all, do believe sometimes spit-up is about intolerance to specific food transmitting through their milk.
For example; eggs, dairy,
peanuts, pine nuts, and walnuts, etc.
Watch for any signs; like bumps on the body, rashes frequent spit up like fresh milk.
3. Lying down on her back right after feeding.
Right after a feed if you lay down your baby straight, this would result in a spit-up most likely, unless your baby is few months old, and she could move on her own.
Use a bouncer to have your baby slightly elevated or wear your baby.
What are the Remedies on how to avoid spit-up?
These simple and easy to follow steps may help your baby to not spit-up.
Position head higher than the rest of the body when your baby is eating.
What is the difference between Vomit and a spit-up
There are two things to keep
Vomiting is different than spitting up.
A simple easy to understand the definition of spitting up: an easy flow of stomach content through the mouth that may or may not accompany a burp.
A typical definition of vomiting: the forceful flow of stomach contents through the mouth.
For most babies, spitting up is simply the result of not a fully developed muscle on top of the stomach to be a good gatekeeper. In simple words, allowing food and drink enter into the stomach and keep it there. This muscle is called the lower esophageal sphincter.
How should a spit-up look like
Well, one thing is for sure, curdled spit up means your baby’s stomach has started processing food and it will get better with time.
On the flip side, there is a possibility to experience a spit-up like fresh milk even after an hour of feeding.
Just a gentle reminder: By food, it means milk; that’s all your newborn could eat for this newborn stage.
Word of assurance
Besides how a huge spit up looks, just be sure, your baby has not lost everything in a spit-up, which she just ate.
Gerd – Gastroesophageal reflux disease
This disease is as equivalent as heartburn. Stomach contents make their way back up into the esophagus, sometimes causing discomfort. If that is the case, your baby needs the right evaluation and potential medical treatment.
Your baby may vomit if she has a particularly sensitive gag reflex, or you have particularly forceful milk let down while breastfeeding
Also when she happens to overfeed.
If vomiting persists and makes you worried for some reason, do not hesitate to get it evaluated with your pediatrician.
Watch out for any signs on
infection, fever, blood in the poop, diarrhea, or excessive fussiness and
Watch out for any signs of dehydration or lethargy due to vomiting, such as below and call your pediatrician right away.
eyes and Fontenelle
If an infant vomits most or all of feeding for 2 or more consecutive feedings in a row, this could be a sign of potentially more serious. Contact your doctor to get a timely medical evaluation.
Gagging and sputtering
Gagging is the baby’s natural way of preventing food to go in the wrong way. The gag reflex is good as it keeps the food go the right way. If your baby is having gagging, have her sit upright, pat her back and face down a little to keep all that saliva runs out of her mouth.
Rest assured babies tend to settle down on their own after these episodes of gagging reflux.
Remember, every baby is developing at her own pace and it might take a month or so to settle, do not beat yourself up for something that is considered normal as per your doctor’s advice.
The gas issue in newborns is quite a common problem. The newborn’s digestive system is still in a maturity phase that is why it gets hard for a baby to release gas on her own.
Newborns tend to swallow a
lot of air while crying or feeding. This would have a lot of gas accumulated in
their tiny tummy and it has to come out two ways. Up or down.
Burping is relatively easy
whereas passing gas down there is one kind of a journey from all stomach to
intestines and finally the way out.
That’s why burping is very important after every feed.
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Effective ways on how to relieve gas issues in babies
1. Feed early and often
If your baby is colic, or has more than normal gas issues, feeding her early, let’s say not after 2 hours instead feed her after 1.5 hours. An empty stomach can trigger gas issues.
2. Keep baby upright
Once the baby gets her meal, keep her upright and elevated for at least 20 to 30 minutes. This will help keep everything down.
3. Bottle up to fill in the entire nipple to avoid air going inside
You have to make sure, while bottle feed, no matter breastmilk or formula, you need to keep nipple inside the baby’s mouth by moving bottle up a to fill the entire nipple to avoid too much air going inside.
Using anti-colic bottles would keep the baby from swallowing unnecessary air while feeding.
4. Let the bubbles in milk settle
Shaking a milk bottle will
form bubbles in the bottle, wait for a few minutes until most of the air
bubbles settle down. This will also help with gas.
5. Burping the right way
When you are burping your newborn, you have to keep these steps in mind.
What is the right way to burp a baby?
Burping can be tricky at times. If you are a first-time mom, you need to know the right way to burp so that you and your baby can have a peaceful time after nursing. Burping is essential after every feed regardless of how big or small feed it is.
These are some effective ways you can help burp your baby.
You have to position your baby upright and elevated on your shoulders or in a sitting position once your baby is a few weeks old. Early sitting can be harmful to the baby’s back. Do not sit them for too long.
A gently patting from upwards
to downwards and downwards to upwards would work well for burping. You have to
be gentle while rubbing your baby back.
3. Postpone it for a while and try later
If it’s been more than 10 minutes and your baby is not in a mood to burp, you can try it later or wait for your baby cues when she wants to burp.
Have baby lay down slightly elevated or in a bouncer if the baby does not seem interested in burping or falls asleep. However, if the baby wakes up crying, most likely it is a need to burp.
patience. Burps could take a while to
come out. Don’t stress and do not rush burping your baby. This is a calm
process. Sometimes it might happen within a second and sometimes it could take hours.
How to pump gas out of babies
There are ways that can help you pump out gas effectively when it is hard to pass.
1. Cycling baby’s legs
Moving baby’s legs in a circular motion will help to get all those gases locked in pass quick.
2. Massage baby’s tummy
Take a few drops of olive oil or coconut oil and massage gently on the baby’s tummy and navel area. In a circular motion. This will help the baby’s muscles to relax and pump-out gas.
Another advantage of massage, your baby will feel so much relaxed and sleep for another couple of hours.
For massage, any of these options are safe to use.
For good sleepers, you need gas drops by little remedies and for tough sleepers, I highly recommend mommy bliss night time gripe water.
6. Avoid pacifier for the first few weeks
I offered my daughter a pacifier when she was about 2 weeks old. Unfortunately, I didn’t know that I shouldn’t have offered her a pacifier. She was starving, and I was struggling with milk supply. She got so much gas accumulated in her stomach due to unnecessary sucking. I never dared to offer her a pacifier again.
If you want to start pacifier, chances of success are higher if you start after 4 to 6 weeks post-birth.
7. Baby and hiccups – How to relive baby’s hiccups
Yes, babies do have hiccups
and you cannot have them hold their breath to treat it right away.
Although hiccups are
unavoidable and bother parents more than babies. How you can help with hiccups.
Let it be
It will stop eventually. Just
let it be and let not stress over something you cannot control.
Crying may help
However, let the baby cry for some time may help.
Feeding milk slowly and gradually sips by sip may help.
8. How to help Colic babies
Although colic babies tend to get over with unstoppable crying in about 4 to 6 months after birth. However, using probiotics drops for them may help significantly.
Hi -I am Madiha, mom to two beautiful kids. If you are a new mom or on your family journey, you can find helpful tips about pregnancy, postpartum, newborn care, toddlers and product reviews. Join the tribe and let’s grow together as moms. Enjoy having kids in our lives while they are little and more fun.
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