Baby's First Month
Your baby is here!
Following nine months of waiting, you are likely to be living in a whirlwind of emotion, tiredness and bewilderment unlike anything else you have ever experienced before. If you have had your baby in a hospital or birthing centre, taking your baby home for the first time will be very exciting and probably a little daunting. Thanks to a world of television and internet images, you may have expected to have a deliciously squishy, clean, rosy checked little lump in your arms. The reality can be a bit of a shock. Your baby may have a slightly odd shaped head, they may have white flaky skin or be covered in spots. Every baby is different and your baby is no exception.
What you do know is that no matter what your baby looks like at first, you love them unconditionally and your baby is the most amazing, beautiful baby ever born. As the days pass, your baby will adjust to the new environment, they will plump up and change almost daily. As their little faces grow and you begin to see their little features developing, you will be smitten and hardly notice the days flying by.
For the first month or so, your baby will take his or her time to get used to life on the outside. Their skin will change, their little lungs will develop and their cries will become louder. They may sleep for what feels like hours on end but they will also feed regularly and you will appear to be constantly changing nappies or clothing.
You may have an endless stream of visitors, those who do come along may be only too keen to help out and if they offer, try your best to take them up on it. A shower or a hands free meal can be just the ticket to feeling refreshed or somewhat rested. If however, you feel that you are being overwhelmed by visitors, however well meaning, you may need to be firm about the times that they can visit or how often. Remember to ask all guests to wash their hands so that you can avoid exposing your baby to any outside bugs.
Your baby may have a slightly yellow tinge to his or her skin, this may be jaundice which is quite a common condition but be sure to alert your Health Visitor, Community Midwife or GP if you are concerned so that they can advise on treatment if required.
Your baby is changing daily
Your baby’s eyes may be blue, this is the most common colour in Caucasian babies, or brown eyes in babies with darker skin. The colour of your baby’s eyes will possibly change over the first year or more. Squints are quite common and not usually a cause for concern unless your GP or Health Visitor recommends further investigations. A condition called ‘sticky-eye’ which usually resolves with bathing is also quite common, again speak to your GP or Health Visitor if you’re concerned and they may provide an anti-biotic if required.
If your baby was born with a little help, the head may be slightly out of shape if a ventouse or forceps were used. This may look a little strange for a while but with time, the head will resume its natural shape. The bones of your baby’s skull are not fused at birth meaning that their original shape will return.
Some babies are born with enlarged genitals and breasts. This is completely normal and is due to the increased levels of hormones within their systems. This will also settle down in time, if you have any ongoing concerns, speak to your GP or Health Visitor for reassurance.
Your baby may also be born with a lot of hair on his or her head. If this starts to thin out within the first month or so, don’t panic, it will grow back. Your baby may also have a fine layer of hair covering the body, again this is normal and will disappear in the first weeks and early months of life on the outside.
Take advantage of the knowledge around you while you are still having visits from your Community Midwife and Health Visitors. They have a wealth of knowledge that they can offer you, advice on everything from bathing, feeding, sleeping, soothing and general care. No question is silly, you will be better prepared for early parenthood if you feel you are equipped with the answers to your questions early on.
Join local Mum and baby groups for support. You will find a wealth of knowledge from other Mums who have had babies before or comfort in knowing that there are other new parents who are having similar experiences to you. Your baby’s first month of life will pass by in a flash so enjoy it every moment of it.
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