Having a baby is one of the most enriching experiences in a woman’s life. But for a new mom, the joy of becoming a mother is usually accompanied by many doubts, fears, and worries, especially in the first months of a baby’s life.
Babies are vulnerable. Besides crying, they have few ways of expressing their needs.
As a mother, you want to be sure that your baby is well-feed, safe, and healthy, so it’s only natural to worry about whether there’s something you’re missing.
Read on to discover six essential pieces of advice for new mothers.
1. Complete Nutrition is a Fundamental Need
A baby has simple nutritional needs. For the first six months of life, your baby doesn’t need anything besides breast milk or formula.
Because breastfeeding can be challenging at times, formula is a safe alternative that many mothers rely on. Formula can provide your baby with all the necessary nutrients in every stage of development.
For example, the s26 newborn formula contains minerals such as calcium, magnesium, iron, and zinc, as well as vitamins C, E, A, B1, B2, B6, D, K, and B12. Like most formula, it’s specifically adapted to meet the needs of a newborn baby.
2. Sleep Patterns Are Naturally Irregular
Newborns typically sleep from 12 to 16 hours a day. They have irregular sleep patterns because it takes them a few months to develop their circadian rhythm.
Also, babies generally cannot maintain a regular sleep schedule because they need to eat often. During the first month, most babies don’t sleep for more than one or two hours at a time.
As they grow, they begin to sleep for longer periods and require less feeding at night. However, don’t expect your baby to sleep the whole night. At six months, the maximum you can expect is a five or six-hour stretch.
One of the most frequent pieces of advice for new mothers is that putting your baby on a sleep schedule will require a lot of patience.
It usually happens after the third month when your baby’s body starts producing melatonin, the hormone responsible for the regular sleep-wake cycle.
3. Babies Send Signals
Babies have their ways of expressing if they’re hungry or tired. In time, you will learn to read these signals and develop a good intuition about your baby’s needs and preferences.
Each baby is different, so pay close attention to behavioral cues. In time, your intuition will tell when your baby wants a nap or is hungry.
For example, a baby who’s pursing his lips, arching his back, or sucking his fingers often wants food. Facial expressions such as grimaces or frowns can mean that your baby is overstimulated and tired.
4. Water Can Be Toxic
With water being such an essential element in our lives, it seems strange that babies don’t need water.
Not only do babies get all the hydration they need from nutrient-rich breast milk or formula, but water can be harmful to them in the first six months of life.
Giving babies water before six months of age can even cause water intoxication, due to their underdeveloped kidneys and tiny stomach.
However, between six months and one year of age, babies can start drinking little sips of water occasionally.
5. Physical Closeness Is Crucial
Besides sleeping and eating, another one of your baby’s vital needs is physical closeness.
Babies need love and affection to thrive, just as much as they need proper nutrition. Bonding through physical closeness promotes a strong emotional connection between mother and infant.
Your baby is inclined to seek emotional attachment. By being physically present and initiating skin contact, you encourage your baby to develop trust and confidence.
Besides touches, babies also love to be engaged through sounds. Talking, babbling, or singing to your baby is an important part of the bonding process.
6. Babies Cry A Lot
Babies don’t have a lot of options when it comes to communicating their needs. Whenever something’s wrong, your baby will probably start crying.
Most babies start crying when they’re hungry, tired, or bothered by a wet diaper. However, sometimes feeding, changing the diaper, and removing stimuli from the environment is not enough to soothe a baby.
Because some babies miss the soothing environment of the womb, you may be able to calm your baby by swaddling him in a blanket or rocking him softly.
Taking care of a baby that’s fully dependent on you for all his physical and emotional needs can be overwhelming, but it’s also one of the most rewarding feelings in the world.
Remember that most important advice for new mothers is that despite any doubts you may have, it’s important to trust yourself, your instinct, and your intuition.