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Infant - Week #2

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Newborn Week Two

By Angela Sawinski, edHelperBaby

           You have been home from the hospital for at least a week now (depending on the method of delivery and the health of the baby) and things should begin to fall into some sort of routine at this point. You have survived the big and scary adjustment from getting help from the hospital staff to being alone at home!


Your Baby's Umbilical Cord
           During the first two weeks, one of your jobs while changing your baby's diaper will be taking care of the umbilical cord. Some doctors suggest patting it dry while others suggest using alcohol swabs on it to keep it dry and germ free. As you keep it clean, you will notice the umbilical cord starting to dry up, shrink, and fall off. While it looks bad and may smell awful, it is a natural process. Once it falls off, there may be a tiny spot of bloody puss, which will probably heal on its own within a couple of days.


Responding To Your Baby's Cries
           Crying serves several useful purposes for your baby. It gives him a way to call for help when he is hungry or uncomfortable. It helps him shut out sights, sounds, and sensations that are too intense to suit him. And it helps him release tension.       

       You may notice that your baby has fussy periods throughout the day even when he is not hungry, uncomfortable, or tired. This type of fussy crying seems to help babies get rid of excess energy so that they can return to a more content state of being.       

       Pay close attention to your baby's cries. It won't take long before you have a pretty good idea of what your baby's cries are trying to tell you. You'll soon be able to tell when he needs to be fed, changed, held, consoled, and when he is better off left alone.       

       Be sure to respond promptly to your infant whenever he cries in the first few months. You cannot spoil a young baby by giving him too much attention.


Q - How Can I Soothe A Crying Baby?
           When responding to your child's cries, try to meet the most common needs first. Check to see if his diaper needs changing, he's hungry, or it's too hot or cold. If all of these needs are met but he is still crying, try one of the following techniques to console him:
  • Rocking, either in a rocking chair or in your arms, as you sway from side to side
  • Singing or talking
  • Playing soft, calming music
  • Swaddling (wrapping him snugly in a blanket)
  • Walking him around in your arms or a stroller
  • Stroking his head gently
  • Taking him for a ride in the car
  • Patting his back or chest gently
  • Having another care provider (such as your spouse) try to comfort him

       In time you will find which soothing technique will work for your child. You may notice that he will prefer different methods of comfort at different times. Just keep them all in your bag of tricks!


Take Your Baby Outside
           Don't be afraid to take your new baby outside. After all, you already took your baby outside when you left the hospital and will do so again when you take him to his two-week check up.       

       Dress the baby in as many layers as an adult would wear for the outdoor temperature. A common mistake is overdressing the baby in the summer. In the winter, a baby should wear a hat to protect him from heat loss. Try to limit sun exposure to 10 to 15 minutes for newborn babies.


Try This!
           Find a variety of objects to use during this bonding game with your baby. A blanket, feather, cotton ball, or silk are some examples that I used. Begin the bonding time activity by gently stroking your baby as you hum or sing a lullaby softly. Rub each one of the baby's fingers and toes. Next, gently rub each one of the baby's fingers and toes with the objects that you have gathered. Continue to hum or sing softly as you do this. Look into your baby's eyes throughout this activity. This is a wonderful bonding activity that encourages a loving interaction between you and your child.


My Experience With Dayvian
           Dayvian seemed to really enjoy this activity. At first he was startled by my touch, which is normal for babies of this age. As I continued the activity, he became more and more alert. I was able to keep him awake and alert for nearly 20 minutes with this activity. This was by far the most that I had seen of his eyes at one time since he was born. I really enjoyed the activity and the connection that I felt between the two of us.


Big Sister's Adjustment
           Dayvian's big sister, Daysia, continues to adjust to a new person in the house to share the spotlight with. Overall, I have to say that she is handling this surprisingly well. This is not to say that she hasn't had a few bad moments. One thing that we noticed is that she wants to be involved and "help" out with her little brother. At her age (18 months) this was surprising to us. We found that she wasn't quite tall enough to see what was going on.

       In order to encourage her "helpfulness" and involvement during activities with her brother, we bought her a step stool. She uses it to see when we are changing a diaper or when he is sleeping in the bassinet.


Notes On Dayvian
           Dayvian has been experiencing difficulty properly latching on during breast feeding. At his two-week appointment he weighed 8lbs 6 ounces, which is down 5 ounces from his birth weight. At two weeks, doctors really like for the infant to at least be back to birth weight. We really don't see much of his eyes at any time during the day. He is a really good baby and just eats and sleeps. It was discovered this week that he has a condition called hydronephrosis in his kidneys. He will need to have a procedure done at Children's Hospital in Milwaukee in the next few weeks.


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