#1 Newborns look strange
Your baby may look a little squished and puffy; he or she did just pass through your birth canal. He or she just needs a few days to get used to the world. Babies are also covered in hair called lanugo.
#2 Expect nothing for at least 6 weeks
A baby’s early days consist of sleep, eating and dirty diapers. Expect no smiles, coos, thank you’s or anything of the sort basically. Your efforts aren’t lost though, the comfort and attachment you create in these early days is vital for their growth.
#3 Until the umbilical cord falls off, give only sponge baths
It will fall off faster if it stays dry. Newborns don’t get particularly dirty; they are usually in your arms or in a crib. As with any scab, the cord may bleed mildly. Don’t freak out as its normal, however, if the navel smells foul, call the doctor.
#4 Your baby’s soft spot can be handled
The soft spot terrifies most people. This is an opening in the skull which allows your baby to get out of the birth canal. It’s okay to touch the spot and the hair around it.
It pulsates because of the blood vessels over the brain.
#5 Babies will let you know when they are hungry
Its hard to know how much milk your baby is drinking when you’re breastfeeding. Babies eat on average every 3 hours. One or two stools and five to six wet diapers a day can serve as a gauge.
Newborns lose up to 5% of their birth weight in the first week but should gain it back by the second or third week. This weight loss is usually scary for first time parents.
#6 Dry skin is normal
Dry skin will flake and peel, you don’t need to do anything about it. Pink bumps, baby acne and diaper rash are also common with newborns.
If you are particularly concerned, reach for hypoallergenic, fragrance free baby lotion. Baby acne lasts a few months and sets in after the first month.
#7 You don’t have to be locked up at home
You can go out into the world but be sensible. Avoid sick people, keep the sun away from your baby and teach children to touch the baby’s feet rather than face and hands so as to prevent infections. Do not allow people to touch your baby before washing their hands.
#8 Babies cry- A lot
This is the only way babies can communicate so try not to get frustrated. You will soon learn what the piercing scream mean.
#9 Babies grow up quick
Time flies quickly and you’ll soon be missing those days when your baby could fit in your arms. Enjoy your baby and love the time you have together.
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First published at parents.com