|I so want my newborn to feel safe and happy, but he is small
and helpless. What can I do to help him?
The most reassuring thing for a newborn is your gentle
and loving presence. Studies have shown that babies are
soothed by the familiar sound of their mother’s heart
beat and that they can distinguish her from other people
in a short space of time after birth. Cuddling and touching
your baby is as important to him as food, as this contact
is very calming for him. The contact with the baby also
has benefits for the mom in making her more confident and
even assisting in the let-down reflex for breastfeeding.
If you can occasionally lie with your undressed baby against
your bare skin, this is wonderfully nurturing – just
make sure to cover both of you with a warm blanket.
Newborns should be handled gently. The newborn startle
reflexes are designed to protect him from danger, but they
are very distressing for him. Avoid sudden movements and
perhaps touch him gently before you pick him up so that
the movement isn’t unexpected. A gentle conversation
as you move him is also helpful.
For the first eight weeks or so you will need to support
his little head, until his muscle tone is adequately developed
for him to hold his own head up. When lifting him, always
support the head with one hand before transferring it into
your elbow or onto your shoulder. Putting him down is also
a two hand job, with one hand under his head and the other
under his bottom. Slide out the bottom hand first and then
use it to lift his head slightly and remove the other hand.
Your newborn will grow so fast that you will be amazed.
That is why it is vital to treasure those early days. Enjoy
the company of your baby and make him the main focus of
your day. The emphasis of our culture on results and tangible
rewards can make it hard for many moms to enjoy their babies
as they have nothing to show at the end of the day. Being
a mom requires a totally different mind set. Enjoy every
moment of these precious days – you will never regret
that you did this!
The father of the baby will also be intimidated by the
tiny newborn. Encourage him to also hold and touch the baby
as much as possible – both of you will quickly grow
in confidence and be rewarded by the calmness of your baby.
Newborn - Appearance
Newborn - Bloodshot eyes
Newborn - Circumcision
Newborn - Colour of eyes
Newborn - Confusing day and night
Newborn - Early outings with baby
Newborn - Going home from hospital
Newborn - Jaundice
Newborn - Cradle Cap
Newborn - Heat Rash
Newborn - Red Rash On Upper Body
Newborn - Spots
Newborn - Reflexes
Newborn - Sticky eyes
Newborn - Swaddling
Newborn - Timing of feeds
Newborn - Vernix