If this is your first child, you might feel pretty nervous about bringing your baby home. And if it’s not your first baby, you already know — every pregnancy and every baby is different. Try not to worry. We’re here for you and your baby every step of the way.
Baby’s first few weeks at home
Bonding with your baby
Bonding helps drive your little one’s emotional and physical development. It’s also part of what drives you to get up in the middle of the night, learn to understand your baby’s every cry, and shower your baby with endless love, protection, and care. To start bonding with your tiny bundle of joy:
- Hold your baby as much as you can. Your warmth and familiar smell are natural comforts to your little one.
- Gently massage your baby. Touch lets you speak to your little one without words.
- Talk, sing, and read aloud. Your baby was born loving the sound of your voice.
Soothing your baby
Crying is the only way that your baby can communicate with you right now. When you respond to it, you teach your little one to trust you.
It’s normal for babies to cry for 2 to 3 hours each day. Some babies cry more, others cry less. Your baby might cry because he or she is hungry, tired, or needs a diaper change — or for what seems like no reason at all. Eventually, you and your baby will get into a rhythm, and it will be easier to figure out what your little one is trying to tell you.
Try these mom-tested tips for soothing your crying baby
|Your baby might be
||Feed your baby, even if he or she just ate.|
|Gassy||• Make sure your baby isn’t swallowing too much air while feeding.
• After each feeding, it’s time to burp. Hold your baby against your shoulder, upright in your lap, or face down across your lap, and gently pat or rub your little one’s back.
|Due for a diaper change||Change your baby’s diaper, even if it’s just a little wet. Some babies can’t stand having a wet diaper.|
|Cold||Place your baby skin-to-skin for the quickest warm-up. Or swaddle your little one snugly in a soft blanket.|
||If your baby’s skin feels warm, take off some layers of clothes. Still hot after 10 minutes? Check your baby’s temperature — your little one may have a fever.|
|Tired||Wrap your baby in a blanket. Try rocking him or her to sleep.|
|Lonely||Try picking up and cuddling your baby near your heart.|
|Tense||• Rock or walk around while you hold your baby.
• Take your baby for a ride in the car or stroller.
• Put your baby near sounds, like running water, soft music, or white noise.
• Sing to your little one.
Feeding your new baby
At Kaiser Permanente, we talk a lot about the benefits of breastfeeding — for you, and for your little one. But how you feed your baby is a personal choice — only you know what’s best for both of you. Whether you choose to breastfeed or not, feeding your baby is always an act of love.