might be baffled by your baby’s behavior. Maybe he or she
is very fussy, or maybe the baby never seems upset and is too happy,
which might worry you just as much. Every baby has different behavior
characteristics, many of which are thought to be linked with the
baby’s first signs of personality, or temperament.
Don’t panic if your baby seems to cry to tell you everything.
In fact, babies cry when they are hungry, wet, tired, too hot,
lonely, or unhappy in any way. If you show your baby a prompt response
when it cries, he or she will gain a sense of confidence and will
feel comforted. That’s why it’s best to answer the
baby’s cries and not to let him or her continue to cry. Usually
this will only make matters worse.
Sometimes a baby will cry excessively, which is generally characterized
as crying for more than 3 hours a day for at least 3 days a week,
and consoling the cries are difficult, if possible. This is often
called colic and will usually peak at about 6 to 8 weeks and gradually
decrease. Colic can be very frightening and tense for a parent.
But colic isn’t something to worry about; it’s a normal
condition for babies to experience. If your baby is excessively
crying, don’t assume it is colic, see your pediatrician for
a full appraisal to make sure the crying isn’t an indicator
of another health condition. Some doctors think that colic is related
to gas or to the baby’s reaction to your milk. Colicky babies
may nurse from a mother who is smoking or may be taking medication.
Your provider will examine the causes of colic and help you to
figure out the best form of treatment. It’s very important
that you discuss your reaction to your baby’s crying behavior
as well. At this stressful and emotional time, with your postpartum
hormones all out of whack, it may be difficult to deal with a colicky
baby. If you feel frustrated or desperate, get support from your
partner, friends and family and talk to your doctor about how to
help you as well as your baby.
You should establish a daily schedule for your newborn for eating
and sleeping. Your newborn needs the right amount of food and rest,
and a dependable schedule is very helpful in keeping your baby
nourished and relaxed. For the first three weeks, feedings will
be more frequent and sleep will be almost every 2 to 3 hours. You
will notice your baby begin to mature, and demand less food and
sleep for longer periods of time. Let your baby’s schedule
dictate how often you feed her and put her to sleep. Talk to your
provider about your individual needs.
You will need to bring your newborn to check-ups with the pediatrician.
Your baby’s first check-up was in the hospital after delivery,
where hearing, vision and vital signs were taken to determine health.
In the first weeks of your newborn’s life, you should take
her to well-child visits once or twice in the first week and then
at the first month, later on a basis determined by you and your
provider. The pediatrician will perform a physical exam, take some
blood (from the baby’s heel) and give immunizations when
necessary to keep your newborn in top health.
If your baby exhibits any of the following behavioral tendencies,
call your doctor.
- excessive crying
- excessive drowsiness
- fever (with a rectal thermometer) and flushed or hot skin
- loss of appetite and refusal to eat/ nurse
- repeated vomiting
- bowel movements with blood or mucus or excessive stools
- inflammation or discharge from the eyes
- twitching or inability to move
- noticeable pain
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Breastfeeding vs. Bottle-feeding