Bringing your little one home is exciting. No matter how well you've prepared, you're bound to be surprised as you learn about your new baby -- and new life.
As you get started on this adventure, get to know some of the basics of what you can expect in your baby's first week.
1. How can I help my baby bond with me?
Bonding with your child is one of the great joys of parenthood, but it doesn't always happen right away. You’re adjusting, and your newborn is getting used to being out in the world. To jumpstart the bonding process:
- Spend time skin to skin. Hold your infant close to your chest while feeding or just cuddling. You can also stroke or gently massage your little one.
- Talk baby talk. Coo, babble, sing, and speak to your newborn -- she loves the sound of your voice.
- Look in your baby's eyes and smile. In time, she'll start to mimic your expressions.
2. How much will my newborn sleep?
A lot, at first -- as much as 16 hours a day. But not all at once. It's only 1 to 2 hours at a time. By 6 months, many babies sleep 6 hours a night.
Use these tips to help your little one snooze:
- When he fusses at night, wait a minute or two to see if he calms himself down and goes back to sleep.
- Be quiet during nighttime feedings or diaper changes. Try not to wake him up too much.
- Be active and play during the day, so he stays awake for longer periods. That can gradually help him sleep more at night.
3. How often will my baby nurse or take a bottle, and how can I be sure she's getting enough?
She should feed every 2 to 3 hours. You can tell that she's getting plenty to eat when:
- She spends 10 to 15 minutes at each breast, or she drinks 2 to 3 ounces of formula at each feeding.
- She has six or more wet diapers and two or more dirty diapers every 24 hours.
- After losing a little weight the first week, she starts to gain it the second week. If you're concerned about her weight, check with your pediatrician.