The 7 Things You Should Know About Your Newborn
1) Babies don’t come with a manual.
Wouldn’t it be so much easier if you could just open up a baby manual to figure out why your baby is crying, isn’t sleeping, or can’t poop? If only life were that simple. Unfortunately, you have to figure it out on your own. What your baby needs is love and attention. Treat them how you would want to be treated if you were them. Yes, you are probably going to make some mistakes but don’t worry.
EVERYTHING IS GOING TO BE OKAY.
Be easy on yourself and your partner because they are trying to figure out how to do things in their own way too. Each of us have a different way of doing things and there is nothing wrong with that. It’s good for both you and your partner to have your own unique ways of bonding with your baby. Just do what feels right to you.
2) Make sure your car seat is installed properly.
You can get the car seat checked at the fire station, police station, hospital, or by your postpartum doula. Make sure that it is well secured in the car. It shouldn’t be moving front to back or side to side. The straps used to hold your baby in place should fit snugly against your baby. They should never have any slack. If your baby has a sweater or jacket on, make sure to take this off before putting them into the car seat. This will make sure those straps are nice and tight against your baby. You also want to make sure the chest clip is across the chest from armpit to armpit.
Please use www.carseat.org or www.safercar.gov as resources when installing the car seat and with any other questions you may have about the use and function of them.
The first ride with your newborn is SUPER stressful. Get it checked by a professional so you don’t have to have any extra worry.
3) You CANNOT spoil or schedule a baby
Your baby is not like other mammals. A baby horse is up and running around and nursing just a few hours after being born. Your baby is more like a marsupial (kangaroo). They are not fully developed at birth because they would be too big to give birth to. Because of this, they need to be held! This helps them feel safe and secure. A baby wearing device is a great investment if you want to use your hands at all in the next few months. You can look on your mom Facebook groups or google ‘babywearing groups’ in your area to find information on the different types of wraps you can wear and how to use them. Youtube also has great videos for this!
One consideration for baby wearing devices is to get one that acts as a hammock for the butt. Carriers that go between babies legs put a substantial amount of pressure on the pelvic structures and can causes issues with the hips.
Now to scheduling. Babies don’t know how to tell time. They eat when they are hungry (which is usually every 2-3 hours) and they sleep when they are tired. When they are born they have no idea between day and night. It is unreasonable to expect a baby to sleep more than 3-4 hours at a time until they are about 4-6 months. This is because they need to eat during the night! Therefore it can be extremely difficult to sleep train them until they are eating solids (6 months or after). One way to create more peaceful nights is to feed your baby as soon as they start showing signs of hunger cues. If your baby is hungry for too long and starts screaming it can be harder to get them back to sleep.
4) Breast Feeding
Just because it is “natural” does NOT mean it is easy! It may be extremely uncomfortable to learn but don’t let that hold you back. You can do it! Babies have tiny tummies which means they need to eat often. Breast milk is made on a supply and demand basis. Because babies need to eat often at the beginning, your supply will increase to ensure enough milk is available for your baby. Sometimes your baby will go through “spurts” or “cluster” feedings. This is when they nurse an entire day then sleep almost the entire next day. These cluster feedings typically occur around:
6 and 9 months.
Set yourself up for success by limiting the amount of visitors who want to come over and hold your baby, not expecting your baby to sleep through the night, and surrounding yourself with people who want to support your breastfeeding journey.
If breastfeeding becomes painful or causes cracking or bleeding, please call a lactation consultant. They will assess the situation and help you with the baby’s latch. Another thing to look out for is if your baby likes both breasts equally. If they prefer one side to the other it might be a good idea to take them to see your chiropractor. When a baby is uncomfortable turning their head to one side it typically is a result of a misalignment in the first vertebra of their spine. A gentle, pediatric chiropractic adjustment can restore the proper alignment of that tiny bone and allow your baby to feed from both breasts with ease. This is also true for bottle fed babies.
In many cases breastfeeding may not be an option for you. THAT IS OKAY. If you need to bottle feed your baby feed them as though you were breast feeding them. Hold them at your breast, switch from side to side and look into their eyes. This is a time for you to bond with your baby however it needs to look for you. Make sure your baby can feed from both directions and turn her head easily.
5)How to get your baby to STOP CRYING
This can be a make it or break it moment for you parents out there. Just follow this simple method to help calm your baby’s nervous system. It’s called the 5 S’s.
Swaddling – this provides continuous touching and support for your baby, allowing them to feel safe and secure.
Side lying position of stomach – Put them in a football hold. *don’t use this position to put them to sleep.
Shushing – make sure your “shush” is as loud as the baby’s cries. Or use an app that plays ocean waves.
Swinging – or jiggle. Rest your baby on your arm, head in hands, and shake your hands like you are rolling a dice. This should be a soft, gentle movement.
Sucking – you can use your finger in their mouth or put them on your breast.
6) Care for YOURSELF
It is going to get better! You are sleep deprived and your life revolves around someone else. It will get easier! Here are some ideas of how you can practice self-care at this time:
Take a bath
Chat with a girlfriend while partner has baby
Take time for your relationship with your partner
Take 10 minutes after baby is sleeping to talk about something OTHER than your baby
Sleep when baby is sleeping
7) Baby blues are really normal
25-50% of mothers experience this. The baby blues may consist of some sadness and weeping that lasts a few weeks. This is NOT postpartum depression. Postpartum depression occurs in 10-15% of women and can consist of baby blues that last for a longer period of time or are more intense. This is usually caused by a hormonal imbalance and is less common than the baby blues. If you are experiencing ANY of these symptoms please visit postpartum.org and ask for help!
Newborn Wrap Up
The birth of a baby can be the happiest and hardest experience of your life. Chiropractic adjustments for moms during pregnancy and for moms and babies shortly after birth can help both of you feel your best, sleep well, fight off infections, and adjust to this new life!
Call today for an appointment or consultation. (517) 781-4884
Dr. Allyson has focused her career and training on working with pregnant women and children. Becoming Webster Technique certified (a chiropractic technique to balance the pelvis of pregnant women) in 2014, Doula trained in 2015, receiving advanced education training in the Spinning Babies Approach, has allowed her to excel in personalizing care specifically to the pregnant mama. She offers extensive knowledge about the incredible journey your body experiences throughout pregnancy, how to best adapt during each trimester as well as provides you with additional at home care recommendations to support your changing body. She also offers home visits.