7 Day New Baby Plan

Don’t say you wish your baby came with a manual, because here it is! Get the first week right and the rest will follow a lot more easily.

The first few moments of life with a baby are magical. All you want to do is gaze at and touch this little being, drink in every detail. Baby will gaze wide-eyed and alert right back at you if the lights are low. Let nothing disturb this time and research shows you have already invested in certain success! Then all you need to do is this:

Day 1

Go with the flow today, taking each moment as it comes and the built-in mothering hormones will set the stage for success.

  • Keep baby close – rooming-in from the first moment helps you to understand your baby far better.
  • Breastfeed as often as baby likes – frequent suckling is the best way to get breastfeeding off to a good start.
  • You might well feel on a hormonal high for the first day or two – great, you deserve it!
  • Babies either sleep a lot or look around in puzzlement at the big wide world on Day 1.
  • Baby will pass sticky green-black stools a few times, called meconium – it is best cleaned using baby oil first and then washing the buttocks with warm water.

Day 2

If baby was born in a maternity clinic, you might even go home today – take things slowly as you, Dad and baby need time to bond for your baby manual plan to come together perfectly.

  • Daunting as going home may be, one often feels more relaxed there and recovery and adjustment are easier.
  • Baby will still be quietly alert today, you will feel tired but deep sleep might continue to evade you.
  • Handling baby will already be a little easier – do not worry if you still feel a little nervous.
  • Clean Baby’s navel at each nappy change to prevent infection – use surgical spirits on cotton wool and clean the clamp, cord stump and around the navel.

Day 3

This is often the day reality hits home, tiredness gets the better of you, your milk comes in and baby finds his voice – here’s what to do:

  • If the third-day blues strike, snuggle down and have a good sleep with baby and take Rescue Emotion for safe relief as this will help stabilise your hormones.
  • Your breasts might be tender but just feed frequently and this will subside – babies are meant to feed 1-2 hourly.
  • Baby may become a little jaundiced today or tomorrow – to help, expose baby’s body to sunlight for five to ten minutes while protecting the eyes – and don’t worry, this type of jaundice is not dangerous!

Day 4

Keep pacing yourself and think about how much you have already learnt! Maybe you need a bit of a pep talk to help keep you positive though, so here goes:

  • Hold onto the old sayings about the silver lining and the light at the end of the tunnel – never truer than in baby-day.
  • Be gentle on yourself and your little one – do only what is essential in the home.
  • Don’t fall into the trap of wanting to have huge numbers of visitors, text, facebook, tweet, call or email everyone – your baby might become agitated.

Day 5

Baby focuses at about 25 to 30 cm, the perfect breastfeeding distance – this in turn means oxytocin, the hormone of love, will flow freely and make everything easier.

  • Baby will have a soiled nappy at most feeds for the next few weeks – soft & yellow just like mustard.
  • Baby will seem quite hungry today – feel which breast feels firmer and simply latch baby on as often as needed because that’s how babies’ brains grow best in the early days.
  • Report any pelvic pain, malodorous vaginal discharge or fever to your doctor or midwife, as this might mean infection.

Day 6

Some babies start experiencing a little digestive discomfort around now and you might have queries about the umbilical cord stump, so take these tips:

  • To burp baby, sit her on your lap with her jawline resting in the angle between your right index finger and thumb, lift her left arm with the remaining fingers of your right hand and rub or pat her back to release air bubbles with your left hand – best position ever!
  • Keep cleaning the stump of the cord and the crevices of the belly button with a cotton bud dipped in surgical spirits; the cord will soon fall off or hang by a thread only, which you can snip.

Day 7

Baby is a whole week old and might well be making his presence felt in the home. Take these perspectives into account today and in the weeks ahead:

  • Babies expect their parents to take the lead and guide them in the dos and don’ts of family life – quite a tall order when you too feel you need a guiding hand but believe in your innate mothering ability.
  • Observe your baby for recurring patterns of behaviour and ways of self-expression as these will give you the clues on how best to handle each unique little individual.
  • Don’t expect your baby to ‘sleep like a baby’ – needs vary greatly and if you keep baby close, your sleep cycles will align and make perfect sense.
  • Most of all, don’t sweat the small stuff – every day will become easier!