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Practical information about your baby
Newborn babies want to be fed every two to three hours. Your gynecologist or midwife or nurse in the hospital have explained you how often you need to give her a bottle. The usual frequency is 6 to 8 feedings per 24 hours. It is not necessary to do this at fixed intervals. You increase the amount of feeding with 10 ml per day per feeding.
So on day 6 most babies drink 60 ml per feeding.
When your baby is small and/or less hungry she might drink 50 ml per feeding and when your baby is large and/or more hungry she might drink 70 ml per feeding. That is all okay.
If your baby stops drinking at the end of the quantity offered, then she shows you she is finished for now.
Taking out the hot-water bottle during night time
You can start with taking out the hot-water bottle during night time.
In summer you obviously do not need a hot-water bottle at all when your baby keeps her temperature between 36.5 ‘C (97.7 ‘F) and 37.5 ‘C (100.5 ‘F) day and night.
If you start not using the hot-water bottle anymore during night time, you check your babies temperature when you take her out of her bed before you start the feeding.
If the temperature is between 36.5 ‘C (97.7 ‘F) and 37.5 ‘C (100.5 ‘F) then your baby is okay without a hot-water bottle.
Here is what you can do if her temperature is lower than 36.5 ‘C (97.7 ‘F):
Note: In general your baby will be able to hold her temperature without a hot-water bottle by now. Best is to not use it and instead put an extra blanket on her bed and put her hat on for a few more days, especially in winter.
Train the neck muscles of your baby everyday
Put your baby on her stomach at least three times a day, when she is awake, and somebody is watching over her. Start in the first weeks, for instance when you are changing her diaper, by doing it three to five times for 1 to 5 minutes. Increase this to five times 15 minutes or three times 30 minutes per day at the age of three months.
Besides training the neck muscles it is also good to have another position of the head. It is good not always to lay on the back of the head or on the left or right cheek, but be able to move the head freely. The best way to move the head freely is in a playpen or on a soft carpet on the ground when she is a bit older.
Note: Bouncers are nice, but not to long, because the baby can not move the head freely.
How to put your baby on her belly
Getting a new skin
You will notice that your baby is getting a new skin by day 6 and 7. It starts on the handpalms and underneath the feet and later you will also see loose pieces of skin on the whole belly. Although your baby is not even a week old cells are already being renewed!
Safe transport by car
By car a baby should for safety reasons always be transported in a approved car seat, not on your lap or in a carrycot. That could be extremely dangerous in the event of the car making an unexpected maneuver or braking suddenly.
Until 6 weeks old it is best to not have her in the approved car seat for longer than one hour, then an interval of minimum of 1 hour out of the car seat, and one hour back. There is a curvature in the approved car seat and that is not so good for the back of the newborn for to long.
Note: Follow the rules of your own country on transport by car.
The baby's position in the cradle or cot
The recommended position for the baby is on her back in a cradle or cot halfway, with her head turned on one cheek. The baby should not sleep on her stomach. It is better not to let your baby sleep in the playpen if the floor of the playpen is too hard, which most of the time is the case, although nowadays it is also possible to buy thick matrasses with the exact size of the playpen. Having your baby sleep on the couch or on the dressing table is dangerous because there is the danger of rolling off.
Skin to skin contact
In general a good time to have skin to skin contact is in the morning hours after you have been taking care of the first morning feeding and of yourself! You are probably tired again of taking a shower, having breakfast etc. and it is to early to go to sleep again. But resting and have this quality time with your baby is wonderful. Just leave the outside world outside and enjoy and recover at the same time!
The sixth night will most probably be a good night again. The milk is flowing abundantly by now in most cases and therefore your baby will also sleep longer periods in between two feedings. That gives you some more time to recover as well!
When you give your baby formula the advice is to increase the amount already during the last feeding of the day (usually between 22.00-23.00 hours). So around the mentioned time of the evening you offer your baby 70 ml and you will keep on doing that during the whole night and next day.
By now the breast will be soft again and adding warmth and palpate the breast before latching your baby on will not be necessary anymore. You might still feel some hard spots in your breasts (especially underneath the armpits). These hard spots will also dissapear in one or two more days.
Whenever you feel them again later on in the lactation period you just palpate those spots again before you start to feed your baby, untill they have dissapeared.
Engorgement while giving formula
When you have noticed that there is no form of leaking a bit of milk, whitch you can see on your dry bra, you can take a shower without your bra from now on. Don’t put the water jet directly on the breasts, because that way you might still stimulate milkproduction. Check for any red spots that might indicate a breast infection after the shower. The chance for a breast infection is not big, but if you see a red spot on one of your breasts which feels warm and painful if you touch it, contact your midwife or home doctor (GP).
Perineum and stitches
The stitches have lost there function by now. You may notice that some stitches fall out already.
If you started to take Arnica D-6 drops 3 times a day, 10 drops with some water, keep on doing so for a few more days.
It is important to keep the traumatized and stitched tissue clean by flushing with water after you have urinated. Most practical is to use a sports-bottle with a pull cap to squeese the luke warm water in the right direction. Cleaning this area using the shower head twice a day is also recommended. Further it helps the recovery of this area to lie down without your underwear on a cellulose pad ones or twice daily for about 1 to 2 hours to allow the stitches to heal in the air.
Eat and drink well
By now you maybe got used to a new rhythm a bit, with your baby asking a lot of your time and attention. You maybe organise your own breakfast and lunch by now and drinking enough has become natural again.
My advice to sleep every afternoon as long as you give night-feedings comes back on every day! Just because you really need it and the temptation is great to think: 'I don't feel that tired, I want to do something else.' That can be a pitfall.
You cannot force sleep, but you can rest; at least 1 1/2 hour low-stimulus time to recover and to be able to emotional processing everything you experience.