Baby’s first week

A primeira semana do bebê

The first week with the baby is the most desired, most planned and also the one that brings more doubts. Even with all the preparation during the gestation period, the first 7 days are a time of discovery for mom and baby.

The baby gets used to the noises and movements of the house, adapting to the news outside the womb and will focus on the main activities that he will do, probably until the age of 3 months, that is, crying, breastfeeding, changing the diaper and sleep, not necessarily in that order.



Babies sleep a lot. In fact, a total of 16 to 20 hours of sleep per day for babies up to 1 month is recommended by the Brazilian Society of Pediatrics.

These hours will be divided into periods of 2 to 3 hours, varying between daytime naps and nighttime sleep.

Always remember to place the baby on his back, the safest position to prevent Sudden Death Syndrome, reducing the risk by up to 70%.

It may seem early, but it is already interesting to start a bedtime routine, with a relaxing bath, quiet music, dim lights and placing it in the crib. Even if it seems difficult, keep that pace every time and you will be surprised how fast he will learn.

At that moment, keep the light as off as possible, this is how the baby will produce melatonin, the sleep hormone, and go on regulating the biological clock.



In the early days, breastfeeding properly is a learning experience for both you and your baby. Be patient and calm, because you will both spend a lot of time together and understand how everything works.

At first, the milk produced is colostrum, slightly transparent and mistakenly seen as weak, but it has the necessary nutrients for the baby. The consistency should change between the 4th or 6th day, taking about 15 days until the final milk, which should be the baby’s exclusive food until 6 months.

The baby will even know how to suck, which is a natural reflex of survival, but it can get in the way to get the right grip and end up not getting enough or swallowing air, which can cause colic, get hungry much faster or not gain weight.

The correct grip occurs when the baby snaps the entire areola and not just the nipple. Face facing the breast and chin resting. If you are making noise or your cheeks are dimpled, it is best to start over. A tip is to place the little finger between the baby’s mouth and the breast to take and make tweezers with the thumb and forefinger to place.

Another situation in which you will begin to understand each other is about the best position to breastfeed. Whichever is chosen, the important thing is that mother and baby are comfortable.


Changing diapers

Babies need to change diapers a lot. It is recommended to do it before each feeding, which should happen every two or three hours, resulting in 8 to 10 diapers a day. At dawn, there is no need to change the baby, unless he has diaper rash or other special condition.

To clean, it is best to use cotton and warm water. Although they are more practical, baby wipes can irritate baby’s sensitive skin, so use them only in cases where you need to go out to places where there is no other resource.

As the baby’s first walk should probably only happen on the 7th day, during the consultation with the pediatrician, leave the tissues stored for now.


Umbilical stump

It should be cleaned at every diaper change and after bathing. Asepsis is very important to avoid inflammation or contamination.

Try to leave the diaper below the stump to avoid smothering, causing irritation, humidity or the proliferation of microorganisms.

If there is a bad smell, discharge, redness or moisture, see your doctor.



In general, newborns only need one bath a day. Perhaps that relaxing, as part of the sleep routine.

Some will cry weird about the space, the different sensation of the water, even the change in temperature. Do it in a warm environment, leave everything you need close, that is, soap, towel, clothes, in short and take a quick shower.



The form of communication of babies is crying and they will use it a lot in the first days. However, there are some, it can be said, procedures that will help to calm you temporarily:

– Try to breastfeed on demand or by following the instructions printed on the cans of the baby formula to eliminate the possibility of starvation.

– Put on enough clothes so that it does not get too cold or too hot. The rolling technique like a cigar is very useful in this phase.

– Watch for signs of sleepiness and tiredness, such as rubbing your eyes, and let it have the recommended total hours.

– Hold it. An affection, the mother’s scent and a moment of cuddling after all other possibilities are discarded, brings comfort to the baby.

If none of the previous alternatives are effective, the next step is to check during the consultation with the pediatrician that there is nothing wrong.


Visit to the pediatrician

It should happen between the 5th and 7th day of the baby. The doctor will evaluate the birth conditions, such as Apgar score, weight and height, and the tests carried out at the maternity hospital such as the baby’s foot, ear test, among others.

It will also weigh the baby to check the weight gain on those days, measure the head circumference, examine the eyes, ears, abdomen, genitals, mouth …

You will ask about vaccines and breastfeeding.


Karla Mendonça

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