Having a baby is one of the most special times in a mom's life. Whether the baby came as a surprise or mom has been trying to get pregnant (or adopt) for years, the end-game is always worth it. And although babies are adorably soft and sweet, they come with a ton of question marks. Unlike toddlers, infants and newborns can't speak — parents have to literally figure out what their child wants based off pure body language and the sound of their cries. If that's not intimidating enough, I don't know what is. Aside from their baby's comfort, there are a plethora of questions that rushes through a new mom's head; questions that she may be too embarrassed to ask a doctor. But we're here to say it's completely normal and these 10 questions are more common than parents think.
10 DO THEY KNOW WHO I AM?
While your sweet newborn may not recognize your face, they certainly recognize your voice and scent. According to Romper, by the time mom is around seven months pregnant, the baby knows their mother's voice.
This is why skin-to-skin is so important after a baby is born. It allows them to feel connected to both mom and dad; to hear their voice, their heartbeat, and smell their skin. About after a week of being alive on the outside world, baby will begin recognizing who their parent is.
9 WHAT DO I DO WITH THEIR UMBILICAL CORD WHEN IT FALLS OFF?
Once the baby is born and someone does the ceremonial umbilical cord cutting, the baby will have a small stump on top of their belly button. What's left of the umbilical cord is supposed to stay put for about five to 15 days until it dries up and simply falls off. A parent should never try to rush this process, but they should make sure that the area is clean.
Once the umbilical cord falls off, mom or dad can save it for a scrapbook or they can simply toss it.
8 HOW CLEAN IS TOO CLEAN?
Once a baby is born, mom will notice they are covered in different liquid and substances from the womb, and while she may want to give her baby a bath ASAP, it's best not to.
Most hospital staff will give baby a gentle sponge bath to get them cleaned up, but it's best not to give them an actual bath until after their umbilical stump comes off. And when that umbilical stump does come off, mom or dad can bathe their baby anywhere from two to three times a week; anything more than that can be too harsh for baby's fragile skin.
7 DO I REALLY NEED TO STERILIZE PACIFIERS AFTER EVERY USE?
Whether you're #TeamPacifier or not, babies are born with a natural need to suck, so when a mom gives their child a "soothie," it does just that: soothes them. But as we know, a person's mouth is filled with bacteria, so shouldn't we be cleaning our child's bottle tops and pacifiers after every use? Yes! All mom needs to do is boil the soothie in hot water for five minutes to rid the bacteria (this is also why most parents have more than one around the house). Before giving it back to your baby, make sure the nipple has cooled off first.
6 AM I HOLDING THEM TOO MUCH?
There are a ton of people who want to hold their baby all day, every day. Most moms waited their entire life to have a baby and now that they do, they never want to put them down.
However, this has gotten moms thinking: am I holding my baby too much? Furthering that point, will holding my baby this much make them reliant on me? Well, WebMD explains it's impossible to hold your newborn too much. Infants need attention and by holding them and giving them the attention they need only grows trust between the two.
5 WHEN WILL THEIR BONES HARDEN?
If you've ever held or been around newborns before, you'll quickly notice that they have soft bones. People are always asking where the "soft spot" on the babies skull is. The process of Ossification is when the soft tissue turns into bone while in the womb, so by the time baby is born, Parent 24 explains it takes anywhere from nine to 18 months to fully harden.
4 IS MY BABY CRYING TOO MUCH?
Some parents are freaked out that their baby never cries, while others are freaked out that their baby is crying too much. Is there a happy medium? For starters, a baby is crying because that's their only source of communicating — they can't use their words. Crying is totally normal and can usually mean a few things: they want attention, they need their diaper changed, they're hungry, they're uncomfortable, or they're tired. If all those things are checked off mom's list, their baby could be entering colic, persistent crying, or a period called PURPLE crying.
3 HOW DO I KNOW IF THEY'RE OVERFED?
Babies will stop eating or drinking if they're full right? Not all the time. If breastfeeding, sometimes a mom has an overflow of breastmilk and the baby is getting more than they can handle.
Some things to notice if baby is being overfed is to see if they're gaining more than the average weight for a newborn, they're burping a lot, they're super gassy, perhaps they're not sleeping regularly, or they seem agitated. All these things could mean they're taking more than they can handle.
2 IS THE COLOR OF THEIR POOP NORMAL?
If mom isn't comfortable with the contents of her baby's diaper yet, she needs to rush that process. Taking a peek at what's coming out of your baby is something every parent should get in the habit of doing; this way, mom will know what's normal or abnormal.
Happiest Baby explains that a baby's poop should be thicker if mom is formula-feeding and can be a range of colors. By the time baby is one to two months, their bowel movements should become more normal.
1 IS MY BABY TOO WARM OR TOO COLD?
As a new parent, it's tough to tell if baby is too warm or cold. If they can't tell us, how are we supposed to know! Well, with the small signs from baby, mom can better assist their comfort.
A small thing mom can do is feel the back of their neck and see if their baby is sweating or too cold. They can also see if their baby is flushed in the cheeks.