Starting a new family can be a wonderful yet stressful experience. Newborns, and even older babies, can seem mysterious and taking care of them may be a little scary. Fortunately, babies are born with the skills and desire to tell parents what they need. In this blog, experienced moms (who happen to be experts) will help parents understand why babies behave the way they do and share tips to help parents cope with the ups and downs of this new and exciting time of life.
Friday, February 11, 2011
Life with a Newborn: Day 1
In December, we posted a special announcement! Charlotte is now almost 10 weeks old and we are getting used to being back to work. That’s right, I said we. Charlotte comes with me to the office a few days a week (watch for a post about bringing baby to the office in the near future)!
Charlotte Isabel Citlali Banuelos
7 hours old
Before I left, we introduced a new series that would chronicle Charlotte's behavior as it was happening. The plan was to take notes about her behavior (sleeping, crying, cues, etc) and how my family interacted with her and, in my spare time, post what we observed. Well, as many of you may have predicted (and as we mentioned in a previous post), I haven't had much spare time! We did take notes though, so now that I am back in the office, I am going to share our experiences.It is important to note that, unlike many of our research-based posts, this post is just an account of my family's personal experiences.
The first thing both my husband and I noticed was how much more calm this day was compared to the day our first daughter was born. This time, I was 39 weeks along and had no complications that affected the delivery. It was such a relief to have a "typical" experience this time!
Charlotte spent most of her first 24 hours sleeping. Even though she wasn't awake often, we noticed her moving through the states that we've described on this blog many times. As I watched her move in and out of Quiet Alert, the state when babies are awake and ready to learn and interact, I noticed that she had about a 3 minute limit before she would either begin to fall asleep or start to fuss. It was so amazing to see her focusing on our faces so soon after she was born!
Even though Charlotte was sleeping so much, I found it hard to sleep in the first 24 hours. I noticed that I could sleep only about 20 minutes before waking up.
When we weren't sleeping (or in my case trying to sleep), we were trying to breastfeed. From the beginning, Charlotte had a strong suck and was anxious to eat, but she had trouble latching. When she would latch onto the breast, she'd quickly fall asleep, so we spent A LOT of time practicing! JenG's Tips for Successful Breastfeeding after a C-section really came in handy.
The nurse gave Charlotte her first bath several hours after she was born. While getting her hair and face washed, she was happy and calm, but when the nurse washed her body in the little basin, we got our first chance to hear how loud she could scream. As terrible as it was to hear her scream, we learned something that was very useful. She was calmed by us touching her face and made more alert when we touched her body. Over the next few days, when she was really upset, we would use a washcloth on her head and face to help her calm down and when we needed her to wake up, we would use it on her body!
We had very few visitors on the first day and the visitors we did have only stayed for a few minutes. I think this was very helpful in keeping everyone as calm and rested as possible. Although everyone was very anxious to spend time with Charlotte, we needed that time alone to recover and get to know our baby. I would definitely recommend limiting the number of visitors on the first day.