3 Things I Wish I Had Known When I Brought My Newborn Home

No one ever told me what it was like to have a baby for the first time.

baby feet held in mother's hands newborn

Sure, there were all kinds of information available about the process of birth, what color to paint your nursery, how your life would change, etc. etc.

But…no one ever told me what it was like.

For instance, that last moment of superhuman effort to push him out…how it felt like warmth and slipperiness and determination and desperation all at one time. And that, actually, the afterbirth is hard, too, for several reasons–a post on that coming soon!

And then, after all the bustle and busyness melts away, there you are, lying in bed. The lights are out, your husband is asleep on the couch in the room, and suddenly, after what feels like dozens of people barreling through your life in a few short hours…it’s just you and your baby. And he’s whimpering a little, and listening to your voice as you whisper in his tiny, perfect ear. No one ever told me what that amazing first moment of bonding is like. No one ever could. I guess that’s because it’s not something to be explained, but experienced.

 

And, that’s not all I was never told. I did tons of research, both online and in books, prior to the Jungle Baby’s birth, but there’s Just. So. Much. Information! Here are several pieces of valuable information that either just aren’t out there in plain sight, or that I somehow skipped over (the latter option is quite possible!). Hopefully, new or soon-to-be mamas will find these tips on caring for a newborn useful.

1. You will need to cut their nails. Sooner, rather than later.

Most babies are born with perfect little fingers and toes. However, those sweet little fingernails and toenails grow! FAST. Babies love to keep their hands close to their faces, and will inevitably give themselves some nasty scratches. Also, especially if you’re breastfeeding, you’ll want those nails kept short, otherwise they will give you some scratches too. And the toenails need trimming to avoid getting painfully snagged by socks and leggings.

So if no one gives you a pair of baby nail clippers {I recommend these} at your shower, get some before baby arrives! (Or, send your mom out to get some within the first week or two, like I did.)

 2. Newborns’ hands and feet peel, big-time.

It looks sort of like sunburn, actually. It’s white, and is really bad in between the toes and fingers. But the good news is that it doesn’t bother the baby whatsoever, and will go away quickly. Sort of like baby milia. If you want to put something on it, this is what I used. I prefer using natural products whenever possible and affordable, especially on a brand new baby. I also like merchandise that does double duty. The Natural Nipple Butter is a win both ways!}

3. Burping is important. Very important.

Now, I knew babies needed burp. What I didn’t realize is that newborns need it OFTEN. As in, every 3 to 5 minutes during a feeding. Otherwise, the air will build up in their underdeveloped digestive systems and cause serious pain for them, and serious concern for you. I learned this the hard way, when Jungle Baby struggled with distressing gas for a week or two.

You’ll have to forgive me if this is painfully obvious. But I didn’t spend much time with tiny babies growing up, so I never knew that newborns needed burping so much more often than bigger babies. The good news is this frequent burping will give both of you plenty of practice with latching. 😉

 

So there you go! Hopefully, these tips may save you (or the mama-to-be that you share it with) some worries or difficult moments in the first few weeks with a new baby. There is so much information to digest and take in when preparing for a new baby, and different things will be important for different people. Veteran moms…what did I miss? What are things that would have really helped you be more prepared for life with your newborn?

 

::clears throat:: "This post may contain affiliate links!"  Just so you know, buying through a link on the blog could help me earn some money...at no cost to you. There! All is disclosed. ::ducks out::

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