Let me be the first to say, Congratulations!
The baby has arrived, you’ve waited for this for what seems to be a lifetime. So now you are probably asking yourself, Now what?
- This baby depends on me for everything.
- How am I going to live up to that?
- What if I can’t do it?
Believe me, you are not the first new parents to be asking those questions. You’ve taken on a huge responsibility, but it may be simpler than you realize. This baby needs to be fed regularly, changed regularly, and protected from harm. These are all things that you actually are well equipped to do.
First, we recommend breast milk. Breast milk comes at the correct temperature and does not require one to sterilize bottles. We realize that its not for everyone, so formula is quite acceptable. Newborns initially take very little -15-30 mL the first day. They, however, rapidly increase the amount to about 90 mL every 3 hours. Talk to your pediatrician about the proper formula for your baby. Breast feeding isn’t generally measured ounce per ounce as the composition of breast milk changes over time. Breast feeding should start about 10-15 minutes on each side. You should not need to feed more than 30 minutes. Listen to hear that the child is swallowing the milk and not just using the breast as a pacifier. If you find your child needs to take longer, please make an appointment to have your child examined by the pediatrician.
Sometimes it seems that newborns cry if you look at them wrong. Remember, this is their form of communication until they develop further. It is your job to teach them other forms of communication. If you become anxious and frazzled, the baby learns to be anxious and frazzled. If you respond only to cry – the baby learns to use cry as a means of gaining attention. If you aspire to over protectiveness, the child may have poor self-esteem and may interact poorly with peers and authority figures. If your interactions are largely negative, the child will grow to hate and distrust.
So, you see, positive nurturing, encouragement, understanding, enlightenment, and downright luck [;)] are the keys to raising a smart, energetic, inquisitive, well-rounded child. But seriously, talk to your pediatrician, gain insight on expectations and improper behaviors. That’s why your pediatrician is there. Good luck — and, right now, just smile and enjoy.