Last week, I went to my very first “Bump Club” event, which was a mommy-to-be filled dinner in which a panel of doctors was there to answer all our growing-belly questions. The theme? All things medical related. No topic was off limits, and the floor was ours to throw questions their way.
I felt like I was back in school, frantically taking notes as if the panel was rattling off A+ answers to the midterm. As I’m sure other first time moms can relate to, this whole baby thing is pretty foreign to me, and lately I’ve been like a sponge soaking in every drop of information that I can.
I came out of that dinner a wiser woman, full of fruitful knowledge like what to worry about, what not to, and yes, what color my newborn’s poop should be. I figured I’d share some of the more interesting of my notes with you, because after all, even if you’re not a mom-to-be, babys are fascinating little creatures. [WARNING: If you’re eating or grossed out easily, don’t keep reading.]
- Tummy time is a must. Half of a newborn’s awake time should be spent doing it because it helps to even out their head, since they’re supposed to sleep only on their backs until about 4 – 6 months. Do it until they get fussy or fall asleep, at which point you should hold them or switch them to their backs.
- Time for a bath? Naaaah. The doctors recommended bath time only once a week. Since they bathe your baby at birth, that buys you a week right there. Easy enough!
- When it comes to newborn poop, texture matters more than color. Yellow, green, brown…it’s all good. The texture is more of what matters, and what’s key there is that it’s not solid.
- Vaccinations are a good thing. This is strongly debated, and honestly I’ve been freaked out by some of the things I’ve read such as vaccinations possibly causing autism and illness, but all the doctors on the panel strongly recommended vaccinating. They noted that a great documentary to watch is PBS’s Calling The Shots, and a great online resource is CHOP. This is a great transition to the next learning…
- Everyone who contacts your baby should have a whooping cough vaccine. Especially you, your significant other, and any caregivers of your child. Whooping cough is an airborne illness that is detrimental to a baby’s health, so it’s very important to help guard them against getting it.
- Most hospitals won’t let you leave after delivery without a pediatrician on file. It’s best to start doing the research before so you’re not stuck picking a random name when it’s time to choose!
- Don’t worry about:
- Red bumps. This is normal and usually goes away in 1 – 2 weeks. Worry if there’s fluid or pus.
- Hiccups, sneezes, gas, nasal congestion, etc. Their little bodies are getting used to, well, living. Don’t worry about the small (normal) things.
- Sleeping all day & awake all night. They have no schedule yet. And, it was mentioned that it’s basically pointless to try and get them on one the first few months. Just roll with what their natural tendencies are, and worry about sleep training later, which may lead to a very sleepy you but a very happy baby.
- Fussiness. It happens and is very common. The doctors mentioned that usually this will go away within 6 months.
- Worry about:
- Fevers. Anything above 104 degrees is considered “worry-worthy.” [Rectal temperature is the best and most accurate to take]
- Yellow coloring that gets worse. A little yellow is normal in the first few weeks, but if it gets worse than call your doctor.
- Not waking up. Duh.
- Very fast breathing. This scares me because I’m not sure what’s considered “fast”, but I think it’s something that you’ll know when you start to know your baby.
- Manicure scissors have a dual purpose. Cutting a baby’s nails is scary, but it’s important so that your little one doesn’t scratch themselves. Manicure scissors were recommended!
- A baby carrier will be your best friend. Especially if you’ll be in an environment where you don’t want everyone and their best friend holding your newborn, simply put them in a carrier/wrap and it’s a done deal, if for no other reason than them being comfortable.
Of course, the above is not meant to replace your doctor’s advice, but it’s great to have little notes like this on hand for preparation! One of the best things that was said that night was, “Babys are weird and unpredictable. As long as they’re feeding, pooping and sleeping, your baby is probably fine. Have fun and try to enjoy the ride.” Noted!