10 Things to Know About Newborns

December 14, 2022 Infant

Your newborn is like a friend you’ve been talking to on the phone for months, but are meeting in person for the first time! Here are some tips to help you get to know each other and strengthen your bond.

Tip #1

Your baby will probably not sleep through the night. It takes babies 4-6 weeks before they start sleeping for 4 to 5 hours at a time. Don’t get discouraged if your baby is still not sleeping through the night after a couple of months. Just remember…

Tip #2

Babies change very quickly. Your newborn will go through many stages of development in their first 12 months of life. While they may not be sleeping through the night right now, they will soon be sleeping longer. Keep this in mind after a few sleepless nights — this stage will not last forever! 

Tip #3

Chest/Breastfeeding takes time to learn. While chest/breastfeeding is a natural process, it takes time for both mom and baby to learn how. Again, be patient with yourself and your baby. Get help from a lactation consultant, WIC peer counselor or friends and family members with experience.

Tip #4

Chest/Breastfeeding may be different for every baby. If this isn’t your first baby, you may find that you are having new challenges with nursing. Realize that every baby is different, and while you are more experienced, your new baby still needs time to learn how to feed. Having new challenges does not mean you should give up!

Tip #5

It takes time to get to know your baby. Crying is the only way your newborn has to tell you if they are hungry, tired or needs a diaper change. Soon you will learn your baby’s cues and that different cries mean different things.

Tip #6

An outing with your baby is a good idea. Getting out of the house and into fresh air for a walk around the block will lift your mood. Babies love to nap in their strollers, and you may soon find that your walks are one of the best parts of your day. Just be sure that your baby is dressed warmly, including a hat, for cold days, or is well-covered from the sun on warm days.

Tip #7

Your baby will let you know when they are full and done eating. When you are feeding your baby, you may worry if they are eating enough…or too much. A baby won’t overeat unless they are encouraged to and will turn their head away from the nipple when they are full. Look for this cue when feeding your baby, and you won’t have to worry about overfeeding.

Tip #8

Your baby may not have “baby smooth” skin. When babies are first born, they tend to have dry, flaky skin. This is normal and there’s no need to worry. If you choose to use lotion, make sure it is fragrance-free. The dry skin should be gone within a few weeks.

Tip #9

They may not smile back at you for several weeks. Remember, it takes time for babies to develop and mature. Your baby will start to smile back at you around 8 weeks. In the meantime, know that your baby does love you!

Tip #10

Life will return to a new “normal”! When you have a baby, your body changes, your schedule changes and you have to adjust your life in many ways. At first, these changes can be overwhelming. Be patient with yourself, and your new baby. You’ll soon fall into a new “normal”, where you feel more settled in your new lifestyle with your new baby!

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Side Lying Hold

Side-Lying Hold

  1. For the right breast, lie on your right side with your baby facing you.
  2. Pull your baby close. Your baby’s mouth should be level with your nipple.
  3. In this position, you can cradle your baby’s back with your left arm and support yourself with your right arm and/or pillows.
  4. Keep loose clothing and bedding away from your baby.
  5. Reverse for the left breast.

This hold is useful when:

Cross Cradle Hold

Cross-Cradle Hold

  1. For the right breast, use your left arm to hold your baby’s head at your right breast and baby’s body toward your left side. A pillow across your lap can help support your left arm.
  2. Gently place your left hand behind your baby’s ears and neck, with your thumb and index finger behind each ear and your palm between baby’s shoulder blades. Turn your baby’s body toward yours so your tummies are touching.
  3. Hold your breast as if you are squeezing a sandwich. To protect your back, avoid leaning down to your baby. Instead, bring your baby to you.
  4. As your baby’s mouth opens, push gently with your left palm on baby’s head to help them latch on. Make sure you keep your fingers out of the way.
  5. Reverse for the left breast.

This hold is useful when:

Football Hold

Clutch or “Football” Hold

  1. For the right breast, hold your baby level, facing up, at your right side.
  2. Put your baby’s head near your right nipple and support their back and legs under your right arm.
  3. Hold the base of your baby’s head with your right palm. A pillow underneath your right arm can help support your baby’s weight.
  4. To protect your back, avoid leaning down to your baby. Bring baby to you instead.
  5. Reverse for the left breast.

This hold is useful when:

Breastfeeding Holds

Cradle Hold

  1. For the right breast, cradle your baby with your right arm. Your baby will be on their left side across your lap, facing you at nipple level.
  2. Your baby’s head will rest on your right forearm with your baby’s back along your inner arm and palm.
  3. Turn your baby’s tummy toward your tummy. Your left hand is free to support your breast, if needed. Pillows can help support your arm and elbow.
  4. To protect your back, avoid leaning down to your baby. Instead, bring your baby to you.
  5. Reverse for the left breast.

This hold is useful when:

Breastfeeding Holds

Laid-Back Hold

  1. Lean back on a pillow with your baby’s tummy touching yours and their head at breast level. Some moms find that sitting up nearly straight works well. Others prefer to lean back and lie almost flat.
  2. You can place your baby’s cheek near your breast, or you may want to use one hand to hold your breast near your baby. It’s up to you and what you think feels best.
  3. Your baby will naturally find your nipple, latch, and begin to suckle.

This hold is useful when: