It’s exactly a month from the time my baby was born. From a first-time mum who is so stress up and lost in everything, I would say, other than the extremely lack of sleep (still), I’ve gotten relatively used to the life of a newborn.
So how’s it like? Simple. Basically it’s just a combination and repetition of sleeping, crying, eating, puking and pooping (SCEPP). That’s right. It’s just these 5 main actions, I would say. And as long as you (and whoever that’s helping you) can handle these, there’s nothing much to worry about, really… except that you’ll be especially tired especially if you are breastfeeding.
Let me explain in a little more detail.
Newborns sleep a lot. I really mean a lot. It’s like almost 16 hours out of a day. A baby will typically sleeps for around 2-3 hours, and then wakes up for a feed as their little stomach ain’t big enough to hold enough breast milk to last them through the hours.
Babies can’t talk. And the only way for them to communicate to us when something is wrong, is by crying. They cry when they are hungry. They cry when they are scare. They cry when they are angry. They cry when they couldn’t sleep. They cry when their stomach ain’t feeling well. They cry when they are about to puke. So, never ever totally ignore a baby’s cry for it might be something serious other than throwing a tantrum.
This typically happens at least once every 2-3 hours. That’s equivalent to almost everytime right after the baby wakes up. No idea when to feed the newborn? Well, it’s either you wait for the baby to cry for milk OR you note down the time of the last feed, and then after a maximum of 4 hours, wake the baby up for a drink if there’s still no sign of hunger.
It’s very common for a newborn to puke because their stomach hasn’t function fully and thus cannot digest the food totally. Burp the baby. This is a very important step after feeding. And burp the baby until he/she burps. There’s no time set for this as each baby is different, and each feeding is different. The purpose of the burping is to get rid of air bubbles that might had entered into their stomach while drinking, and these air bubbles will in turn, cause discomfort to the babies if still inside their stomach. It’s also to prevent puking. Do note that babies might also puke some milk out while burping (milk coming out with the air bubbles), so it might be a good idea to have some burping hanky or cloth around.
When there’s input, there’s output. So if there’s no output, it simply just means something is wrong, a.k.a. is the baby even drinking? Poop, is used as a gauge to see if the baby is drinking enough, and if the health is alright. The texture, colour and amount of poop tells everything. So if you intend to visit a doctor, please take note of these information.
Easy? Hell no! It’s easier to say than do. But it can be done, especially if you’ve got some good helpers, and when the sight of your baby simply brightens up your day.