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What should I expect from the first couple of days with a new baby?

first couple of days with a new baby

The first few days with a new baby can be both exciting and overwhelming as you adjust to your new role as a parent and get to know your new addition. Depending on where you give birth, you may spend the first few days in the hospital recovering from childbirth or at home adjusting to your new family dynamic. While it’s important to take things slow, to recover and give you and your baby time to adjust to your new life, here are a few things to expect in those first heady newborn days.

  • Bonding with your baby is an essential part of developing a strong attachment and fostering their emotional development. Enjoy this time bonding through skin-to-skin contact, feeding, cuddling and taking in that new baby scent.
  • Whether you’re breastfeeding or formula feeding, feeding your baby will be a significant part of your daily routine. Your baby will likely feed frequently in the first few days as they adjust to their new environment and establish feeding patterns.
  • Newborns typically sleep a lot, but their sleep patterns can be unpredictable in the first few weeks. Expect frequent waking for feeding and short periods of sleep throughout the day and night.
  • Get ready for lots of diaper changes! Newborns may go through eight to 12 diapers a day, so be prepared to keep plenty of diapers and wipes on hand.
  • While your baby’s cry may send you into distress, it’s important to remember that crying is simply your baby’s way of communicating their needs. Your baby may cry when they’re hungry, tired, uncomfortable or need to be changed. Responding promptly to your baby’s cries can help comfort and reassure them, and you. 
  • No doubt friends and family will want to see your new bundle of joy, but it’s important to take your time and set your own boundaries. Consider scheduling visits that allow for rest and bonding time, and don’t hesitate to politely communicate your needs and limitations.
  • If you gave birth vaginally, you may experience postpartum discomfort such as vaginal soreness, perineal pain and uterine cramping as your body heals. If you had a Cesarean section, you’ll need to allow time for surgical incision healing and may have additional postoperative care needs.
  • It’s normal to experience a range of emotions in the days following childbirth, including joy, excitement, anxiety and exhaustion. Hormonal changes, sleep deprivation and adjusting to your new role as a parent can all impact your emotional well-being.
  • You’ll likely have a follow-up appointment with your healthcare provider within the first week or two after childbirth to check on your recovery and your baby’s health. Be sure to ask any questions or raise any concerns you may have during this visit.

Remember to take care of yourself as well as your baby during this time. Rest when you can, accept help from others, and don’t hesitate to reach out to your healthcare provider or a lactation consultant if you have any concerns or need support.

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