3 things you need to know about your newborn
As the saying goes….
Babies aren’t born with an instruction manual. Unfortunately, this may result in hours googling and a fortune on wonder cures trying to cure problems that don’t exist. These perceived problems are often normal newborn behaviours.
Why does it matter?
As a new parent, it’s worth knowing what needs investigating and what will improve with time without intervention. Because this knowledge saves you time, money and, your sanity.
3 Things it’s good to know about your baby
Babies cry alot
Babies cry a lot. It’s your baby’s way of telling you they need you. Sometimes it’s easy to work out what they want, and sometimes it’s not.
The most common reasons for crying are:
- a dirty or wet nappy
- wanting a cuddle
- being too hot or too cold
Your baby’s crying peaks at about six weeks. And babies cry and fuss on average for almost three hours a day. Some cry for a lot longer than this. Most of this crying and fussing seems to happen in the late afternoon and evening. Although every day will be a bit different.
Babies spit up alot
‘Spitting up’ or reflux happens when the stomach contents come back up into the food pipe or mouth. It’s also called gastro-oesophageal reflux, regurgitation or posseting. Silent reflux (when the stomach contents don’t make it up and out of the mouth but just up and down).
Reflux is a normal process that occurs in healthy babies, children and adults. Because as adults we have the benefit of gravity all that escapes is gas in the form of a burp! But your baby spends most of their day lying down so what escapes tends to be milk.
Babies who spit up a lot but who feed well, gain weight, and are not unusually irritable are known as ‘happy spitters’. “Reflux” is often blamed for irritability. Yet, if your baby has reflux and cries a lot doesn’t mean one is causing the other. As we’ve seen they are both common conditions in babies, independently of each other.
Babies poo in many colours
As a new parent the colour, texture and frequency of your baby’s poo will be fascinating to you!
The black tar poo of the first few days morphs to greenish black/greenish-yellow and finally to a vibrant shade of mustard yellow.
From time to time you might see mucus in the nappy or a green poo making a comeback. If this is now and then and your baby is otherwise healthy, there’s no need to worry. On their own these signs aren’t a diagnosis of cows milk protein allergy. If you suspect allergy it’s best to get a proper assessment. So, talk with a registered dietitian, before making any dietary or feed changes. Green poo can also be a sign that you need to tweak your breastfeeding a little. In this case, speak with a lactation consultant.
Finally, when you think you’ve got the poo thing sorted they start solids, and the fun starts. I’m looking at you, sweetcorn!
If you’re worried about your baby you should see your GP. For feeding issues consult a registered dietitian or lactation consultant.