Stapleton Pediatrics Blog

Your Newborn - Surviving the First 48 Hours

by Noah Makovsky, MD

Anyone who has children knows that the first days and weeks with a newborn can often feel like “survival mode.” To help make new parenthood easier for both you and your family, I’ve put together a few guidelines on surviving the first 48 hours.

Welcome Home!
It’s completely normal to feel anxious about taking care of your new bundle of joy once you get home from the hospital, so keep the unknowns to a minimum. Before your baby arrives, make sure your house is ready. Know where your baby will sleep, and make sure your car seat is properly installed. Many hospitals offer car seat installers, so it may be worth checking with the hospital before delivery to see if they can help post-delivery. When people offer to bring meals or watch your older children, say yes! Create a strong support system so that you can focus on your newborn and yourself.
Let’s face it: you and your baby will not sleep much at first. Let me amend that -- your baby will sleep, just not when you want to sleep. So the first rule is to sleep when your baby sleeps. Whether it is two in the afternoon or two in the morning, catch those z’s whenever you can (here’s where that support system comes in!). Keep in mind that it’s normal for your baby to sleep approximately 18-20 hours each day.   

We are constantly asked how often and how much a newborn should be eating, so you are not alone if you are concerned about feeding! If your baby is breastfed, he/she should eat for about 15 minutes per side every 1.5 to 3 hours in the first 48 hours. Babies who are bottle-fed will need about .5 to 1 ounce of formula every 1.5 to 3 hours during those first two days. We’ll spend a lot of time talking about feeding at your first visit, and we’ll let you know how those numbers change as baby gets older. In the first month or so, your baby should not go more than 3 hours in the day and 4 hours at night without eating, so it is ok to wake to feed. Remember, you and your newborn are just getting to know each other. Feeding may not be perfect at first, so give yourself time to get into a rhythm.

The most common question next to eating is about peeing and pooping! Again, parents always want to know how often and how much. You should expect to change at least 1 dirty and 3 wet diapers a day, but you may need to change a diaper every 2 to 3 hours or as often as your baby is eating. If your baby has fewer diapers than the minimum, call us.

This is a lot of information to absorb, but I hope it’s helpful as you plan for your new arrival. You can also visit the newborn section of our website for additional information. And remember, your first visit to the pediatrician is when your baby is between two and five days old. So hang in there, we’ll see you soon!
Posted: 4/22/2015 12:45:53 PM by | with 0 comments
Filed under: babies, breastfeeding, feeding, newborns, sleeping

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