The first days of the child: how to cope with the baby?

, medical expert
Last reviewed: 01.06.2018

All iLive content is medically reviewed or fact checked to ensure as much factual accuracy as possible.

We have strict sourcing guidelines and only link to reputable media sites, academic research institutions and, whenever possible, medically peer reviewed studies. Note that the numbers in parentheses ([1], [2], etc.) are clickable links to these studies.

If you feel that any of our content is inaccurate, out-of-date, or otherwise questionable, please select it and press Ctrl + Enter.

Here your child was born, and now you do not know how to care for him, how to react to his crying, the difficulty in bathing, the redness of the skin - you know nothing about him at all. The first days of the child are the most difficult for moms and dads. What features of the newborn need to pay attention?

The first days of the child are the most difficult for moms and dads

Connection of the newborn with mom

Your child is not yet able to move or speak, but he keeps very closely with his mother through every touch, kiss and love that you give him. Do not worry if at first you do not feel this connection. This process takes a long time. Just relax and try:

  • Touch his skin
  • Look into his eyes
  • Talk to him
  • Hug him

trusted-source[1], [2]

How to keep your newborn

Always …

  1. Maintain his head with his hand on his neck.
  2. Use this position with the support of the child, in which the newborn calms down more quickly. Some children need a small space when they hold it, while others feel safe only when close to their mother.
  3. Keep your child as close to you as possible when you give it to someone. Let this person put his hands under the baby, before you clean your own. This will not drop the child.

trusted-source[3], [4], [5]

Never ...

  1. Do not grab your child with sharp movements that could shake his brain - still very fragile and growing.
  2. Do not carry the child in a special device while you cook, cut vegetables, make shish kebabs or participate in other potentially hazardous activities.
  3. Do not hold your child in a car without an car seat, which is securely attached to the back seat. Remember that you can not carry a child in the front seat.
  4. Do not shake the child - even in the game. Children under the age of 6 months are predisposed to "infant shaking syndrome" - they can have bruises and bleeding, spinal cord injuries, eye injuries and even death - all because they are shaken too much.

Jaundice of the newborn: signs and treatment

In more than half of all newborns, jaundice develops, this is a medical term describing the yellowish color of the skin. The yellow color is caused by an excess of bilirubin, a biochemical substance that accumulates in the blood. In older children and adults, bilirubin is quickly and automatically excreted from the body. But the immature liver of a child is sometimes unable to process incoming nutrients, and their accumulation causes jaundice.

To check for jaundice, hold the baby in natural light or in a room with fluorescent lamps, as well as:

  • Press your finger gently on the forehead or tip of the baby's nose. The skin should look white (applies to children of all races). If she looks yellow, inform the doctor.
  • Check the whites of your child's eyes. If they look yellow, consult a doctor.

Jaundice is usually harmless and disappears after a few days, but the doctor will prescribe regular blood tests to the child to monitor this condition, which can lead to brain damage. If the child's condition does not improve, the doctor may recommend phototherapy. In general, jaundice should disappear after a day or two.

Help after cutting the umbilical cord

The remnants of your baby's umbilical cord will fall off within the first few weeks. Until:

  • Diapers should be placed below the navel so that they do not irritate the area around the navel.
  • You can lubricate the umbilical cord with some kind of disinfectant. For example, green. It's okay if the navel becomes a little wet - just pat it with a swab.

Call the pediatrician if:

  • From the navel oozes pus or you see a smear of blood on the diaper (small drops of blood on the diaper is normal until the navel heals).
  • The skin at the base of the navel turns red, the child hurts when you touch it, or this skin area has an unpleasant smell. This can mean penetration of the infection, then the child needs immediate medical attention.

trusted-source[6], [7], [8]

In no case ...

Do not use alcohol while processing the navel. Studies show that if you use it to handle your baby's umbilical cord, healing can take two days longer.

Prepare everything you need for a child

In the first week or two - before the umbilical cord disappears - treat the baby's navel with a sponge or swab. In the meantime, prepare everything you need for him: a bathing bath, baby soap, shampoo, cotton balls, a terry towel for the baby (preferably with a hood).

  • Undressing the child, wrap it in a towel and put it on a soft surface. Never take a child's hands and a naked body - he can slip out and fall.
  • Keep the baby's body parts covered with a towel so that they are warm.
  • Clean the child's upper eyelids with a sponge soaked in warm water. Remove the discharge from the eyes with moistened natural tampons.
  • Wipe the outer part of the ears with a sponge.
  • Wash all wrinkles on the neck, pens and legs.
  • In the genital area gently wipe the skin in the front to back direction. If you have a boy, do not stretch his foreskin; careful cleaning will be enough.
  • Wash the baby's head with shampoo, squeezing clean water from the wet wool onto the baby's hair, at this time it needs to be reliably maintained.
  • Wrap up after bathing the baby in diapers and dress.

That the child was safe in a dream

That the child was safe in a dream

  • Always put the child to sleep on your back.
  • Free your house from tobacco smoke, and do not allow anyone to smoke in the house.
  • Air bedding - blankets and pillows - pulling them out of your baby's crib.
  • Keep the temperature in the child's room from 18 degrees Celsius so that the child does not overheat during sleep.
  • Breastfeed the baby for as long as possible, this will strengthen your child's immunity and protect him from infections of the upper respiratory tract.

Watch for defecations of the child

During the first few days after birth, your baby's bowel movements may be sticky, greenish-black in color. This substance, called meconium, and its excretion is perfectly normal. This is the mass that filled your baby's intestines when he was in the womb of the mother. As soon as the body of the child gets rid of it, its feces will look yellowish-orange.

After about a week (and for the next six months), the sequence and frequency of the child's defecations will depend on whether he is breastfed or artificial. Although it is normal for a child to defecate from five or six times a day to once every few days, breastfeeding usually does it less often; breast milk is easily digested.

If your child has any of the following symptoms, consult a pediatrician. They may indicate an infection or food allergy

  • You see mucus or blood in the child's stool.
  • He has diarrhea
  • He did not defecate during his first week after birth.
  • His stool remains black and sticky a week after birth

Caring for yourself in the first days after the birth of a child

No matter how much you crave the birth of your child, feeding, swaddling and sleepless nights can drain you. Do not forget: you need him right now, and always. Therefore, take care that you are healthy and able to take care of your child fully.

  1. Drink plenty of fluids. This is especially important if you are breastfeeding.
  2. Eat vegetables and fruits that the doctor allowed. Let them always be in your house, let them be always available to you.
  3. Get enough sleep. Sleep as much as you can!
  4. Do not take the entire care of the child. Asking for help from relatives and friends - or a nurse - is not a sign of weakness or inability, it is a sign that you are doing everything in your power to provide the best care for your newborn.

The first few weeks at home with the newborn are very happy - but they can be restless. You are worried about a good and quiet sleep, feeding, comfort of the child - everything - and this is much more worries to which you are accustomed. But do not worry if you do not succeed in the first days of the child: very soon you will become a professional mom in the shortest possible time.


It is important to know!

In fact, there are very few contraindications to breastfeeding, but there are many reasons to not breastfeed a baby. 64% of mothers start breastfeeding, but 52% continue it only for 2 weeks and 39% for 6 weeks. Read more..

You are reporting a typo in the following text:
Simply click the "Send typo report" button to complete the report. You can also include a comment.