Tag Archives: Newborn

Why is my newborn crying?

Crying is the only way a newborn can communicate with you. If your little one is crying, she is trying to tell you something important. My advise is to not ignore her, tend to her needs and let her know that you are there for her. Imagine if the only thing you knew was a safe, warm place and then all of a sudden that secure world has been ripped away. Now there are bright lights, lots of different people, loud noises, bodily functions and hunger pains. Sometimes your little one will be crying because she simply needs reassuring and needs to feel safe. Sometimes what your baby needs is obvious, sometimes it is a bit of a guessing game. Overtime you will get used to your baby’s cry and what it means. For starters, here is a list of the possibilities that you may need to explore:

12 reasons your baby may be crying

  • Hungry
  • Dirty nappy
  • Tired
  • Needs to be burped
  • Needs to be comforted and feel secure
  • Is too hot
  • Is too cold
  • Is having tummy troubles
  • Is bored and needs stimulating/attention
  • Is over stimulated and needs a rest
  • Is teething (generally from around 6 months)
  • Is not feeling very well/ has a temperature
  • Is uncomfortable in her clothing

This list is not exhaustive and never will be, let me know in the comments section how you soothe your little one and how you recognise his/her different cries.

What do new babies need?

What new babies need is much less than you may think, check out my complete guide to what you need for those first few weeks both in your home and when out and about.

In your home

Sleeping
Your baby obviously needs somewhere to sleep both during the day and at night time. For now we will just call it a baby bed as I want you to choose the bed that best suits you (ie Moses basket, crib, cotbed etc). Here is my list of everything you will need, you must make sure your mattress fits your choice of bed:

  • Baby bed
  • Tightly fitted mattress
  • Monitor
  • At least 4 well fitted sheets
  • Age appropriate sleeping bag – check which tog rating here
  • 3 blankets
  • Room thermometer
  • Feeding
    This list obviously depends on how you are going to feed your baby. I liked to have a few bottles at home anyway just in case I had Breastfeeding problems, here is what I recommend you have at home, reduce or ignore the bottle feeding items if you plan on Breastfeeding:

  • Breast pads
  • Nipple cream
  • Maternity/feeding pillow
  • You may also want a breast pump.
  • If you are solely bottle feeding I recommend you have the following, if you are mix feeding you will probably need half of these quantities.

  • 6x bottles
  • 6x new born teats
  • Bottle brush
  • Steriliser
  • Thermal flask
  • 3-5 cartons of ready made formula milk
  • Storage container for transporting small amounts of formula
  • Plenty of bibs
  • Bathing
    You baby only needs to be ‘top and tailed‘ until the umbelical cord has fallen off. In preparation for bathing your little one, I recommend you have the following at home:

  • baby bath tub
  • Bath thermometer
  • 2-3 soft hooded towels
  • You may also want some baby soap or shampoo but this really isn’t necessary, particularly for newborns as they don’t tend to get very dirty.

    Changing
    There is going to be a lot of nappy changing in those first few months, you are probably going to change anything between 8-15 nappies every day. Whether you are using disposable or re-usable you will need a constant supply. Here is what I recommend you have at home to get you started:

  • 100 nappies (if using disposable)
  • Lots of cotton wall balls
  • a changing mat
  • A big tub of Vaseline(to prevent nappy rash)
  • Nappy rash cream (such as metonium) to treat nappy rash
  • Wet wipes (although you should try to avoid using these for the first few weeks)
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Nappy bags
  • Clothing
    Babies look the cutest when they are in sleepsuits and you don’t really need much more than that for the newborn stage, here is what I suggest you start off with and you can buy more if need be. (Which I am sure you will – this obviously also depends on how quickly your newborn grows)

  • 8 sleepsuits
  • 8 babygrows (what’s the difference?)
  • 2 wool or cotton cardigans
  • A sun hat (if likely to be out in the sunshine) see more on sun safety
  • A wool or cotton hat, booties and mittens (if it’s cold or likely to get cold).
  • Safety
    There is no need to baby proof your house until your little one is showing signs of becoming mobile. The only essential I would say you need for the first few weeks is a reliable thermometer.

    Out and about

    Safety and comfort are the two main things your baby needs when out and about,

    In the car

  • Car seat
  • Baby on board sign
  • Sun shade
  • Walking

  • Pram or travel system
  • Baby sling or carrier
  • Sun shade/parasol for your pram/travel system
  • You may also want some additional blankets for use in the car/pram
  • Over time you will discover things you wish you had and buy things you don’t really need but this list should serve you well when preparing for your little ones birth, as far as I’m concerned this is everything you need to ensure your baby is clean, comfortable, fed and safe, which is pretty much what you are responsible for ensuring from the second she is born. As always I welcome your feedback so please let me know what you’re thinking in the comments section below.

    Cradle cap – What you need to know

    If you are worried that your baby may have cradle cap, you do not need to worry. It is not anything you are doing that has caused it, it usually clears up on its own, it isn’t contagious, it doesn’t usually cause your baby any discomfort and has no serious long term affects. Please read on for more details:

    What is cradle cap?

    The medical term for cradle cap is seborrhoeic dermatitis. It is usually found on the scalp of your baby’s head but can also appear on her face, ears, neck and the folds in her skin. It is recognisable by greasy yellow patches on the scalp, red skin on the affected area, scales and flakes and/or yellow crusts on the scalp. It is an extremely common condition and doesn’t usually cause any discomfort.
    Does my baby have cradle cap?
    If large, greasy, yellow or brown scales are visible on her scalp, then it is likely to be cradle cap. The scales will eventually start to flake which may cause the affected skin to appear red, this could result in some hair loss.

    What causes cradle cap?

    It is not known exactly what the causes are; however, it is thought that it may be linked to overactive sebaceous glands. Overactive sebaceous glands are present when babies retain some of their mothers’ hormones for several weeks after birth. Sebaceous glands are glands in the skin that produce an oily substance called sebum. The excess sebum that is produced causes old skin cells to stick to the scalp instead of falling off as they would do normally. Research also suggests that babies who get cradle cap often have family members who suffer from asthma or eczema. It is not caused by lack of care or poor hygiene and does not mean you are doing something wrong or not caring for your baby properly.

    Is it contagious?

    Cradle cap is not contagious and as long as it isn’t causing your baby any discomfort, you can carry on as normal.

    Does it have any long term affects?

    It is most likely to appear when your baby is under 2 months and tends to last only a few months or so. It usually clears up by the age of 2 but in some cases may last a lot longer. There is a small possibility that a baby who has suffered from cradle cap may also suffer from dandruff when they are older as this is also a form of seborrhoic dermatitis.

    How can it be treated?

    There is no specific treatment for cradle cap. It usually clears up in its own time. You may want to massage some baby oil, olive oil or petroleum jelly into her scalp before bed, this will help to loosen the crusts of skin. In the morning you can brush her hair with a soft baby brush or a cloth and gently remove any loose flakes of skin. You will then need to wash your baby’s hair again. It is important not to pick at the scales as this could result in your baby getting an infection. Cradle cap treatment shampoos are available from most pharmacies without a prescription; ideally you should take your baby with you to the pharmacist so they can recommend a treatment shampoo that is suitable for both the seriousness of her condition and her age. It is also helpful to get a professional opinion on whether you need to see a GP or not.

    Do I need to see a GP?

    You should contact your GP about your baby’s cradle cap if any of the following apply:

    • You have been treating your baby’s cradle cap as stated above and there are no signs of improvement.
    • It is causing your baby discomfort such as itching or swelling.
    • It is not limited to your baby’s scalp and is on your baby’s face or body.

     

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    A beginners guide to baby poo

    The look, texture and smell of your baby’s poo will differ depending upon your baby’s age and how he/she is being fed.

    What should my baby’s poo look like?

    A newborns poo is made up of something called meconium. Meconium is a thick, sticky greenish-black substance. It is made up of amniotic fluid, mucus, lanugo (the fine hairs that cover the baby’s body), bile and cells that have been shed from the skin and the intestinal tract.

  • After approximately 4-5 days your baby’s poo will change to a yellow or mustard colour.
  • Breastfed babies poo is runny and doesn’t smell where as formula fed infants poo is firmer, a darker brown and smellier.
  • Some formula milk can turn your baby’s poo more of a dark green. This is completely normal.
  • If you change from breast feeding to bottle feeding, your baby’s poo will change too.
  • How often should my baby poo?

    It is completely normal for a baby to poo at around every feed time just as it is normal to go a few days without any bowel movement. There really is no hard and fast rule. As long as your baby’s poos are soft, there is no need for you to worry about constipation. The same can be said if your little one seems to be struggling, or even in pain when he poos, as long as the poo is soft, this is a good sign that he is not constipated.

    If your baby is under 8 weeks old and hasn’t had any bowel movement for 2-3 days, you should discuss this with your midwife, health visitor or GP. If your baby isn’t following the same weigh centile as logged in your baby’s red book (ie gaining weight too slowly) then you should make contact with one of the above mentioned medical professionals as soon as possible; your baby should be gaining weight and having both wet and dirty nappies.

    What if my baby’s poo changes colour or the texture is different?

    Poo will and can vary from day to day or week to week. You should contact your GP if you notice that your baby’s poo has become very watery or harder, particularly if blood is present, if it is extremely smelly or if it is a pale colour as this may be a sign of jaundice. If you are worried for any reason about your newborns poo or have any other health concerns you should always speak to your health visitor or GP.

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