6 Things You Might Not Know About Your Newborn
As a first time parent, so many things come completely naturally. You're a pro, and you know what's best for your newborn, but there's nothing wrong with asking for some baby pointers! Here are some expert-backed tips and facts about your newborn's first few weeks and months.
Your Baby Recognizes Your Voice
Did you know your baby is listening? In fact, they've been listening to your voice and sounds since being inside the womb. Once they are born, they will be very alert, so it is a good time to try talking to them. Hearing their parents' voices will be a familiar sound that they recognize, which can help soothe and relax them.
Your Baby Likes It When You Sleep Nearby
According to James McKenna, Ph.D., director of the Mother-Baby Behavioral Sleep Laboratory at University of Notre Dame in Indiana, sleeping near your newborn baby is good for them. It reduces your newborn baby's stress levels, keeps their heart beat even, and supports their immune system. With that being said, co-sleeping with your baby in your bed isn't recommended as it can increase their risk of SIDS. Rather than sleeping with your newborn, you can safely place your baby in a bassinet near to the bed.
Don't Expect Their Skin to Stay Blemish-Free
We see a lot of pictures of perfect cheeks and foreheads, but the reality is that many babies experience dryness and even neonatal acne in their first few weeks. They've just made a huge transition between environments and their skin is likely to react. To help them out, try a hypoallergenic baby lotion that will clear the pink bumps and soothe your newborn's dry skin. Of course, investing in a good diaper cream can also do a world of good.
Just Because Your Baby Isn't Smiling, It Doesn't Mean They Aren't Content
Babies don't smile or make deliberate faces until they are between 6 and 8 weeks old. Even though they aren't expressive yet, they are still aware, so your efforts to make them happy aren't going unnoticed! In fact, studies show that displaying lots of affection towards your newborn can actually help them smile sooner as their social skills develop faster. This apparently is a lasting trend, as a study at Duke University Medical Center found that babies who received more affection from their mothers grew up to be happier adults.
Babies Love Being Outside
It can be very tempting to spend all day inside your comfort bubble to protect your newborn, but getting outside for a daily walk is a very good idea for both parent and baby. Being outside helps establish healthy sleeping patterns for your newborn and exposes them to more sensory stimulation which is good for development. Plus, it's a great way to de-stress. On your walks, make sure you use a covered carrier so that they don't get too much sun!
Savor This Period, As it Doesn't Last Forever
While there is an endless amount of advice for new parents and parents to be when it comes to caring for their newborns, the truth is that you'll learn a lot of it as you go. Only you know what's best for your baby. Just remember that the newborn stage is shorter than you think, so savor all the sweet moments!