Newborn Babies are cute and cuddly but sometimes, they can be a bit odd. After all they arn’t a child, they arn’t an adult they truly are an entity of their own. If you have been involved with my PostBirth series you will know they truly are unique in their needs, in their wants and in their own unique perception of life even.
So what are some of the stranger things about Newborn babies that are handy to know?
Newborn Baby heads are usually quite oddly shaped for the first few days!
Newborn babies heads go through quite a lot prior to their birth to get them prepared for their journey through the pelvis. Whether your birth was vaginal or via the sunroof it is likely your babies head underwent some change in the weeks leading up to their birth. Unless bub was prem in which case they usually have a little more room to adapt to the changes.
A newborn babies skull is different to adults skulls in that where our skull is all one piece, theirs is not. It is divided into fontanelle’s, four separate skull pieces, that can manoeuvre over and around each other to allow for moulding through the pelvis during birth. This is one of the reasons your baby is unlikely to have a head circumference at birth of the same amount the following week. This is also the reason babies have a soft spot on their head, where all 4 pieces come together but don’t touch leaving a gap.
So if you remember your newborn baby. Or your newborn baby looks a little like ET or a conehead, there is no need to worry. Give it a few days the bones will even back out to where they are meant to sit and you will have a cutie pie with a normal head.
newborn DON’t eat much in the first 24 hours, they DO however, sleep lots!
We often forget that birth is a huge event for newborn babies as well as for mothers, perhaps even more so. Not only do they have to be maneuvered through an abdomen and pelvis, but the lead up involves lots of being squished and turned.
When they are out they are no longer in a cushioned water bubble but a big dry world, Everything is loud, lots of people want to touch and hold you, lots of things are done to you. Including immunisations, weights, measurements, dressing, wrapping and finally being placed in a plastic cot.
It is a huge adjustment and newborn babies need time to get used to this and often in the first day they just want to rest after all. Get their energy up in preparation for their next big job, getting mums milk in. It is completely normal for babies to wake at 24hours and feed, feed, feed, it is part of the normal physiological process. So don’t be surprised when your baby sleeps and “behaves extremely well” in the first 24 hours. Prepare instead for the following 24 hours by resting, recouping, building your nutrients, spending time with other kids and staring at your little one.
newborn Babies are VERY easily hyperstimulated!
Following on from the previous point you can see that it is very easily to hyperstimulate a newborn baby. So before you invite all 24 of your relatives to come and see, hold and cuddle the baby on their first or second day. Consider who is going to be helping you care for your overtired, overstimulated newborn that night when it all catchs up to them. Stagger visitors, do they all REALLY need to hold the baby? Or is the baby happy where the baby is? In the cot? With you? Their home for the last 9 months? Take the first few days gently, enjoy this bubble of love.
Newborn Baby wees correlate to how many days old they are…usually.
So if you don’t know already your milk does not come in straight away. It takes a few days, babies are designed with this in mind so you should not expect your bright newborn baby to do a litre of wee in their first day. Generally your baby is going to do the same amount of wees in a 24hour period as the day of age that 24hours correlates with. (ie 48-72hours is day 3 so expecting at least 3 wees).
Seems an odd system, but it does seem to work. This being said if your baby/s do more than their age don’t worry! And obviously when your baby gets to a week old they have reached their “peak” which will continue 7-8wet nappies each day.
Newborn Babies have really weird Poo!
If you type newborn baby poo into google you will get a great visual chart. The wierd and wacky changes baby poo goes through in the first week after birth. From tar like meconium to mustard seed poo and everything in between. Just remember it is normal as long as it continues to progress over the first week. Any blood, mucous or abnormal looking poo should be assessed by your healthcare professional whether still in hospital or at home by then.
Remember that any abnormal output should be assessed by a qualified health professional. Never feel you cannot ask or that you should know. Babies are a bit weird and each child is different and unique in their own way. Always trust your gut and get familiar with your local health services.
For more information on newborn babies in the first couple of weeks check out our PostBirth classes or videos on the website. Read about what else PostBirth classes can help with here.