The newborn baby

O bebê recém nascido

The newborn baby, after spending a warm and cozy time inside the mother’s womb, will start the adaptation period with the outside world.

You will try to put into practice everything you have researched, read and learned about caring for a baby. And you will also be adapting to that small part, which will change your life completely.

In the first 48 or 72 hours, the maternity medical team will provide all the support, if you are a first-time mother, take all the doubts and try to observe how the nurses do.

The many stimuli such as sounds, lights, variable temperatures and the discovery of being able to expand the movements in a larger space, bring many sensations to the baby and he will cry whenever he feels uncomfortable. Gradually, you, the mother, will even know how to identify the causes of crying.

To help in this phase, a tip is to learn the right way to wrap your baby, like a cigar, keeping him warm and feeling more protected. At the hospital, nurses can advise on this. Taking care to always place him lying on his stomach, a position recommended by pediatricians to avoid Sudden Death Syndrome.


Are babies really going to cry?

Yes, in the beginning, they will. And it will not always be because they are hungry – of course, this will often be the reason, especially for those who breastfeed, as milk is digested more quickly -, it can also be due to cold, heat, dirty diapers, fright, lack.


Breastfeeding routine

The newborn will breastfeed, on average, 8 to 12 times a day, with an interval of 1 ½ hours and three hours between feedings. However, even following a certain routine, the most suitable is free demand, which brings many benefits to the baby and the mother.

If the baby is breastfeeding, little by little, he will create a routine, increasing the spacing between feedings. So, unless he really needs to be breastfed by formulas, there is no need to exactly control the time.

Initially, colostrum will feed the baby, taking a few days for the milk to start flowing. Breast milk is a complete food, which will supply all the baby’s needs during the first 6 months of life. During this initial period, breastfeeding stimulates milk production and is the time when the baby feels most protected and loved.


Baby senses

The baby’s vision is very limited. He can see facial expressions up to 30 cm away, which is enough for him to perceive the mother during breastfeeding. In addition, the view is blurred.

The baby’s hearing is formed in the 5th month of pregnancy, so he hears the sounds around him well and knows how to recognize the mother’s voice, talking to him is very good and he will understand. Loud noises can scare you. The use of devices to reproduce white noise, a sound that refers to the uterus, should calm it.

The sense of smell is very refined, being the most developed sense, being able to recognize the mother even in a dark room. It is better to wait a few more days, but if visitors insist on showing up, ask not to wear strong perfumes, the strong smell can trigger allergies.

The Moro Reflex, in which the baby reacts by opening his arms, stretching his head and shaking is normal in babies up to 3 months, shows that the nervous system is functioning properly.


First care

The care that will draw the most attention is related to the umbilical stump and the navel. Cleaning with a cotton swab dipped in 70% alcohol is a very simple procedure and it is only uncomfortable for the baby because the alcohol is colder, not causing pain.

It should be cleaned daily, after changing diapers and after bathing, using circular movements. When placing the diaper, fold the upper part below the navel, to prevent it from being stuffy. If the area has a bad smell, discharge or redness, see a doctor.

In case of jaundice, take it easy. Follow the pediatrician’s instructions and breastfeed a lot, soon it will pass.


Care for mom

Although the baby needs attention, mom also needs care. If the delivery was normal or cesarean, the process was very tiring for the mother and the body is now adapting, in addition to pain in the stitches and the production of choice. For this reason, rest when the baby is asleep, even for a shorter time.

Take care of the healing of the cesarean or perineum points, according to medical advice.


Karla Mendonça

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