Baby Is Home, What
Your baby is a week old today! Since you brought your baby home, you may notice that most of what you’re doing is feeding, burping, settling him down to sleep and changing his full diapers. But don’t forget to rest while you can, too, for pregnancy and giving birth can take its toll on your body – physically and emotionally.
You may feel as if you are not getting much interaction with your baby, but he is communicating with you when he cries. His cries may mean he is hungry, sleepy or uncomfortable because of a full diaper. As the weeks go on, you will be able to distinguish his cries to what he wants and needs. Though babies sleep a lot during this time, they are not on any routine and their naps tend to vary widely. And if your baby is waking himself up because his arms are flailing and making jerky movements, don’t be alarmed, this is called the Moro reflex or startle reflex. The startle reflex is a natural reaction your baby has to a loud noise or the feeling of falling. To prevent your baby from waking himself up, try swaddling him with a swaddling blanket. Author Dr. Harvey Karp who wrote the book The Happiest Baby on the Block, shows parents and caregivers how to swaddle safely and correctly.
When your baby is awake, it’s never too early to start with some tummy time! He may fuss a bit and tire quickly, but a little tummy time (which may only last a minute) is better than nothing as it will help strengthen your baby’s neck and trunk muscles. However, tummy time is an activity that is done only when your baby is awake. Your baby should always be placed on his back when sleeping in prevention of SIDs.
Tummy time will definitely work up your baby’s appetite so along with sleeping most of the day, your baby is eating at least every two to three hours. Whether you are breast feeding him or feeding him formula, feeding time is a good time to cuddle and bond with your baby – hold him close and let him snuggle into you. While feeding him, you can also talk or sing to him in a gentle and soothing voice. Remember, your baby heard your voice when he was still in your belly, so he recognizes your voice and it comforts him. After you feed your baby, be sure to burp him. Some babies burp right away and others take a while to burp. Either way, it’s important for babies to release the air, otherwise the gas gets stuck in their tummy and it becomes very uncomfortable for them. Although you are not having much playtime with your baby right now, not to worry, in the weeks to come he will be more alert and interactive!