Common Concerns for Newborns: Challenges and Solutions
New moms can have many common concerns related to the behaviour of her new-born baby such as feeding, bathing and sleeping problems. With time, you will figure out what is best for your baby and overcome the challenges.
It is normal for new parents to be a little apprehensive about handling their new-born baby, and there are different baby-related chores which can make you anxious and stressed. The best way to deal with the situation is to stop worrying as many new mothers face similar challenges and find solutions over the time. The most common newborn problems include:
Adjusting to New Surroundings
Your baby might face problems adjusting to his new environment in the first few days as he is accustomed to the cosy atmosphere in your womb. It can be a big change for your little one, and your baby may be feeling anxious and uncomfortable in his new surroundings. Swaddling your baby may be a good way to keep him warm and wrapped up so that he does not feel unsupported and alone. Cuddling your new-born frequently can also make him feel safe and secure as your skin-to-skin touch will help the baby connect and bond with you.
Breastfeeding Problems in Newborns
Most moms face difficulties while feeding their babies in the first few months. A common concern most mothers have is whether their baby is getting enough milk. One of the ways to be sure about your baby’s nourishment is that your breasts would feel supple after feeding your baby as breasts filled with milk tend to be more firm. You will also notice over time that the baby appears calm and content when his tummy is full Other signs to know about your baby’s nourishment would be to monitor the baby’s weight gain as per the expected growth chart for breast-fed babies. Another concern related to breastfeeding is that many babies are not able to latch to their mothers in a comfortable position. It is important for you to feel relaxed while feeding, so find a seat that supports your back in a quiet and cosy corner of your home. Try different feeding positions to find the most comfortable one for you and your baby.
A lot of moms who formula-feed their babies are unsure about the kind of food they should buy for optimum nourishment. According to experts, you must check the ingredients and opt for the ones that include a balanced proportion of proteins and carbohydrates required by your child. Consult your baby’s paediatrician for suggestions. You should also keep a check for any allergic reaction to the formula, which usually contains cow’s milk. The symptoms of allergy include a baby rash, dry or flaky skin particularly on the forehead with bouts of vomiting etc. If you witness any of these signs, stop feeding your baby formula immediately, and consult your doctor.
Other Feeding Problems Faced by Mothers
If for some reason you need to add top feed to your baby’s feeding schedule, you need to understand that it will take time for the transition to take place. Once you consult your doctor, familiarise your baby with a bottle by giving him breast milk for the first time in a bottle. Let him get used to the nipple of the bottle. Give the baby a slow-flowing nipple and observe the baby to notice if he is comfortable. Ask someone else to feed the baby as he can smell your breast milk, and might get confused about drinking from the bottle.
A Baby’s Stomach Problems
Spitting milk is quite common up to the age of four months as the baby is still getting used to feeding. One of the reasons for stomach problems in newborn babies is the air which gets trapped in their little tummies. Babies also swallow air during a feed and also while crying. They spit up milk when you burp them as the gas bubble passes out relieving the baby. If the baby spits out a lot of milk, one of your concerns should be to make sure it is not caused due to reflux. Reflux happens when the oesophageal sphincter which connects the oesophagus with the stomach does not function properly. Consult your doctor if you suspect reflux. You should also keep a check on your baby’s weight and seek expert advice if you encounter drastic weight change in the figures.
Sleeping Problems in Your Baby
Your baby will sleep for 16-17 hours at different time intervals during the first few weeks. The napping-time is usually 2-4 hours at a go, though the exact sleeping duration can vary from a child to child. You may also have to be up through the night for feeding and comforting the baby as and when required. With this entire crazy schedule, it will help you to fix a bed-time routine for your little one as he grows a little old. Not only will a fixed bed-time routine help you in inculcating the good value of ‘early to bed and early to rise’ in your baby, it will also help the baby turn into a sound night sleeper. It may take some time but your little one will eventually get used to a bed-time routine filled with a ritual like reading a story-book, bathing or a lullaby. He will gradually enjoy his sleeping time and look forward to his bed-time ritual every day
Behavioural Concerns that Need Medical Attention
1. Lethargy or Listlessness
If your baby appears to have no energy and he looks sluggish despite being fed well, he may need to be evaluated by the doctor. He may be suffering from an infection or low blood sugar which may need immediate attention.
2. Inconsolable Crying
If the newborn can’t be pacified despite all the attempts, and shows this as a behavioural trait, it can be a sign of a brain infection or future developmental problems like Autism, ADHD, or a serious problem.
You will be able to overcome all the common problems in a few months’ time, and set a proper feeding and sleeping schedule for your newborn. If you spot any unusual behaviour in your new-born or have reasons to doubt, keep out a watch and consult a doctor at the right time.