6 Common Questions New Parents Ask
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When you're having a new baby, you're going to have some questions. And luckily there are expert answers for you.
Here are the common 6 questions that new parents ask:
1. What if I don't have enough breastmilk?
Hopefully, this following fact about lactation gives you some comfort: your body began breastmilk production halfway through your pregnancy. This means that when the baby is born, you already had all the milk your baby needed that day.
After birth, feeding often is important for milk production. Every time your baby is on the breast, it signals to your brain to produce more milk. So, a sure way of making sure that you have enough breastmilk is to nurse your baby at least 10-12 times a day. Having a good latch and correct position is also important (also read What We Talk About at Every Breastfeeding Group).
Ways to know that your baby is getting enough breastmilk:
- Baby seems reasonably content after feeding.
- Baby is gaining approximately one ounce a day in weight (if unsure of weight gain, schedule to have your baby weighed at the pediatrician office).
- Your breasts feel emptier after feedings.
- Your baby is having sufficient urine and stool counts (expect 3–5 urines and 3–4 stools per day by 3–5 days of age; 4–6 urines and 3–6 stools per day by 5–7 days of age).
If you are having challenges or uncertainty with breastfeeding your baby, contact a Lactation Counselor or Consultant in your area.
2. How do I learn how to raise a baby?
Ok, this one is asked a lot in my childbirth classes. And it's also one of those questions that a lot of new-parents-to-be have and are afraid to ask.
Believe me when I tell you that, you'll know. You'll know how to care for your baby, how to find resources that help you learn new skills and that other parents are also happy to provide suggestions, recommendations, and support.
There's no lack of mommy groups for you when you consider that there are hundreds of groups that meet virtually. You can choose to do motherhood alone, but why would you? The truth is that you do not have to mother alone. There is support (see Innate Motherhood).
Even in pregnancy, you began to develop inner resources that helped you learn your unborn baby more and more each month. And when your baby was born, you were gifted even more innate resources for raising your baby.
Each new day is going to bring new lessons for you. And together with the help of your collective community, you will rise to the mother you aspire to be.
3. What do I do if my baby cries uncontrollably?
It can be really hard when your baby is crying and you're unsure how to comfort your baby. You're rocking, holding, patting, loving and your baby still is crying.
For the most part, babies do not spend their day crying. If your baby seems to be frustrated most of the day, you'll want to call your pediatrician to rule out any medical concerns. But, there are times that your baby will cry. And baby may cry uncontrollably.
Pro tip: to stop a baby's cries almost immediately, be sure to pick up/soothe your baby within 90 seconds of crying.
If a baby has cried for more than 90 seconds, it could take up to 20 minutes (even if you're soothing baby) of additional crying before baby calms, as baby flushes stress hormones.
The Way to Soothe a Crying Baby
- Hold baby close to you in a swaddle or a baby carrier
- Gently sway or rock baby
- Add a calming sound (i.e. waves or rain sounds)
- Do not keep changing soothing techniques, as consistent repetitive motions are how a baby is calmed
- Stay calm, loving and patient
4. How long does the umbilical cord last?
For most babies, the umbilical cord will last 2-3 weeks and then it'll fall off. During that time, the care for an umbilical cord is really quite easy. Keep it dry, do not cover it with a diaper, and be sure to call the pediatrician if at any time the umbilical cord has a strong scent or seems infected.
5. Does baby need to be burped after every feeding?
During the early weeks of feeding baby, I recommend that you burp the baby in the middle of the feeding.
If after a minute or two of burping baby there is no burp, then baby did not have any gas at that time and it's ok to stop burping baby.
Here's my recommended burping method for baby:
6. How do I get my baby to sleep through the night?
This is a very popular question asked by new parents. The short answer is that baby will eventually sleep through the night, but sleeping through the night should not be the expectation during the first few months of life.
Understanding why babies wake up often might be helpful as a new parent.
- Babies are contact seekers (yes, even at night) because touching your baby increases brain neuron connections for your baby
- Because the baby's belly is small, milk is digested quickly, requiring the baby to be fed every 2-3 hours.
- During the night, mothers have a higher level of prolactin (one of the hormones responsible for breastmilk production). Breast milk is of higher quality at night, which is one of the reasons why babies seek this milk at night.
- Babies are not capable of emotional regulation, they require parents to help them regulate their emotions both day and night.
Though your baby is expected to wake up during the night for biological, evidence-based reasons, there are steps parents can take to help set up for healthy sleep habits, such as having a consistent bedtime routine, maintain a consistent bedtime, and placing baby down drowsy (but make sure to pick up baby should baby protest).