First-Time Mom: Basic Survival Guide
Hello, future new mom! You used to long to be a mom and now your dream is coming true. This is so exciting! You’re pregnant and you’re having your first child.
It’s normal at this stage to feel nervous and uncertain. However, being a first-time mom will be a blessing.
Yes, there are many things you’ll have to learn. Little by little, you’ll see that it’s not as difficult as it seems and you’ll enjoy every experience during and after pregnancy.
As the weeks go by, your baby is growing, and along with him, your nerves about being a first-time mom. I have good news for you: the maternal instinct is natural. So don’t worry so much and enjoy. Nine months fly by so fast!
Every day, you’ll have more and more questions. Although kids don’t come with an instruction manual, we will help you feel a little more prepared.
Why Is the Baby’s Skin Transparent?
When you see your child for the first time, you’ll notice that their skin (especially their hands and feet) are a purple-red and have a cloudy milky-white substance. This is due to the force it takes to get through the birth canal, but the dark color will disappear over the course of a few days.
This white substance is called vernix and is the layer of fat that protected their body throughout pregnancy. It’s absorbed 2 or 3 days after birth. If their skin has a transparent appearance or is very wrinkles, remember that they’ve been floating in amniotic liquid for9 months and their circulatory system is still developing.
Is it Normal that They’re Cross-Eyed?
Yes, it’s normal that babies cross their eyes in the first four months. This is due to two reasons: the ocular muscles are not mature yet and they don’t see well when they are born. The nervous impulses are inefficient when it comes time for them to move their body. It’s because of this that babies move clumsily since their muscles can’t move well yet.
Therefore, babies aren’t coordinated, they don’t crawl, and they move a lot. The same thing occurs with their eye muscles. Since they’re so young, their eyes move abruptly and keep looking at whatever catches their eyes, causing them to occasionally cross their eyes.
When babies are born, they can’t focus very well, and they can only clearly recognize what’s 20 or 30 centimeters away. Their vision doesn’t allow them to see farther, and when they try, they end up cross-eyed as well.
How Many Times a Day Should I Change Their Diaper?
During their first few weeks of life, the baby will wet their diaper every 3 or 4 hours. This rhythm may vary from one baby to another. It also depends on the baby’s diet. It’s normal to have to change their diaper 8 to 10 times per day.
Every time that you change it, you should wipe their little bottom with warm water and dry it well with a cotton towel. Make sure that their urine is clear, without odor and that there’s only a small amount. If it’s different, this could be an indicator that your baby isn’t drinking enough breastmilk or that their formula is too concentrated.
In the first 24 hours, the newborn will expel meconium (dark, almost black feces). After this, the baby should wet their diaper at least 4 times per day.
How Do I Treat the Umbilical Cord?
As a new mother, it’s important to know that the umbilical cord will naturally fall off after 5 to 15 days. Don’t try to pull it out, even if it’s almost fallen off. The umbilical cord should be kept clean to prevent possible infections.
Avoid covering it with a diaper. This way, there won’t be the chance of it getting dirty with your baby’s urine or feces. The drier you keep it, the faster it will fall off. Don’t bathe your baby in the first few days after birth. Clean them with little sponges or wet towels. You can also wash them with an antiseptic.
Next, we’ll tell you step by step how to clean the umbilical cord correctly:
- Wash your hands well.
- Coat a sterile gauze in the antiseptic solution.
- Gently clean around the umbilical cord.
- Lift the clip that holds up the cord to clean the whole area without leaving any parts dirty.
- Repeat this process twice per day.
We know how important all of this is for you. Therefore, we don’t want you to feel alone in this process. Your maternal instinct will help you do things well. To your child, you’ll always be the best in the world. Believe in yourself!