The first month
Congratulations! After nine months of waiting you've finally met the new little person in your life. You and your newborn are probably still recovering from what's been an exhilarating, yet exhausting, time - your body is tired but your brain is working overtime. You've got a million questions and unfortunately babies don't come with a how-to guide.
These early weeks will be filled with sleeping, crying, pooping and feeding ... not necessarily in that order. Your baby doesn't understand that she’s separate to you and will take comfort from being close to you. She can move her arms and legs but she doesn't know how she's doing it or even that all those bits belong to her.
Your baby can see but not very clearly - he will be able to focus best on objects that are about 20-30cm away - and when he is about two weeks old he will be able to recognise his parents' faces.
In the first few weeks babies sleep much of the day and night – interrupted by feeds every 2-4 hours. Babies have a shorter sleep cycle than adults and usually stir every 40 mins. Make sure you are familiar with the SIDS Safe Sleeping Guidelines.
Your newborn doesn’t really need toys – he will be happy to watch the curtain, the trees or your face. High-contrast and black-and-white objects/toys will catch his attention. Don’t be scared to put your baby down for some tummy time this month.
What about mum?
In these early weeks you'll be bombarded with advice from well-meaning people - everyone from your mum to some random woman at the supermarket will have something to say about you and your baby. Filter their advice and trust your instincts.
And REMEMBER - sleep when your baby sleeps and let the housework slide. These early weeks will go by in a sleep-deprived haze. Make the most of your cuddly newborn because he won’t be this little for long.
More useful links:
Get organised with our newborn to-do list
Pack the perfect nappy bag with our checklist
Get a new baby ticker
Read our article on bringing home twins
Learn about the importance of breastfeeding
Get breastfeeding advice from our forum members
Read our tips on bathing your newborn
Please note: All babies are different, these are generic guides and aren’t a substitute for professional medical advice. If you have any concerns, don’t hesitate to contact your health care provider.
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