Postpartum: First 6 Weeks After Childbirth - Newborn Basics
During your baby's first few weeks, you will spend most of your
time feeding, diapering, and comforting your baby. You may feel overwhelmed at
times. It is normal to wonder if you know what you're doing, especially if you
are first-time parents. Newborn care gets easier with every day. You may get to know what each cry means and be able to figure out what your baby needs and
Breast-feeding is a
learned skill—you will get better at it with practice. You may have times when
breast-feeding is hard. The first two weeks are the hardest for many women. But don't give up. You can work through most problems. Doctors, nurses, and
lactation specialists can all help. So can friends,
family, and breast-feeding support groups.
Some women choose to feed their babies using formula. While breast milk is the
ideal food for babies, your baby can get good nutrition from formula.
For more information, see the topics Breast-Feeding and Bottle-Feeding.
Most babies sleep for a total of 18 hours each day. They
wake for a short time at least every 2 to 3 hours. Always put your baby to sleep on his or her
back, not the stomach. This lowers the risk of sudden infant death syndrome
For more information on sleeping, diapering, and other areas of newborn care, see the topic Growth and Development, Newborn.