On leaving maternity ward, anxiety can start to slowly build. Many parents worry, what if they never overcome that? Our specialists answer your most frequently asked questions.
On the very first night back at home, how do you prevent anxiety setting in?
If the pediatrician has allowed your baby to leave the maternity ward, this means your baby is in good health, and there is therefore no reason to be worried. If the baby cries, hold them in a way so your skin is touching. If it reassures you, place your baby’s crib next to your bed, but do not be tempted to let your baby sleep in your bed. Neither you nor your baby will sleep well, and they risk becoming too hot beneath the quilt. Finally, be aware that midwives are more concerned about a baby that doesn’t cry, than one that does.
Should I feed them immediately if they cry?
No. There are many reasons why babies cry, and in general, mothers very quickly learn to recognise their baby’s different types of cries. Crying is their way of telling you they need comforting, they may need winding or have a wet nappy; they may have wind, need a cuddle or are too hot. Crying triggered by hunger is usually more ardent, and will only be calmed by feeding. If your baby’s nappy is clean and they have been fed within the last 2 hours, your baby could be in a phase of ‘restless sleep’, a normal phase that is characteristic in these first few months.
How do you cope with crying during the night?
It’s a classic scenario, newborn babies crying at the crack of dawn. It can be exhausting, but remain calm and remember it will stop. Do not leave your baby to cry in its bed, as this will only cause you stress. Place them in a baby carrier or in a wrap, and carry on with what you were doing. Prepare dinner, set the table, give your eldest child a bath. Your baby will be calmed and reassured having had contact with you. Above all, stay active, as this will help to cradle and calm them further.
How do you make the transition on to 4 feeds a day?
Once your baby has finished with 180ml bottles, and weighs around 5 or 6 kilograms, they will move naturally to requiring 4 bottles a day. What matters is the quantity taken in every 24 hours. In general, babies require four feeds around the age of 4 months, which corresponds with near the time to introduce solids.
How do you protect your baby from illness during their first winter?
It is best to avoid public places and refrain from using public transport. Always wash your hands well before holding your baby, and be sure to wear a protective mask if you become ill yourself.
Do I need to burp my baby in the middle of feeding?
If they are drinking their bottle peacefully, without squirming, there’s no point. On the other hand, after feeding, a burp is advisable.