Things You'll Learn About Caring Newborns As First-Time Mum

Newborns feel tiny and delicate, and first-time mums and dads often feel nervous about holding them. They don’t come with instruction manuals either, so even simple tasks like bathing and breastfeeding, plus the seemingly endless sleepless nights, can be overwhelming when caring for a newborn.

If you’re going through motherhood for the first time, here are some things that might surprise you about your little one.

They don’t need a lot of milk during the first week of their life.

Your newborn has a tiny stomach, which means he doesn’t need a lot of milk to feel full. However, he will feed more frequently – every 2 to 3 hours, including at night. Most newborns need between 8 to 12 feeds or more every 24 hours in the early weeks.

Frequent feedings signal the body to produce more milk. It also helps establish your milk supply. After one or two weeks, your baby’s stomach size increases. They can take a larger volume of milk, feed even more frequently, and take longer to feel full.

Your baby is easy to startle.

Ever wonder why your baby is prone to crying whenever there’s a sudden movement or a loud sound? That’s because of the Moro or startle reflex, which is your little bub’s attempt to protect himself from harm. It’s marked by throwing back the head, extending their arms and legs, crying loudly, and then pulling their arms and legs back towards their body. 

At around two months, they will start to lose this reflex as they feel more secure with their surroundings. It leads to long stretches of sleep at night, which is a welcome relief to parents.

Breastfeeding can be challenging.

Breastfeeding does not come automatically to all mums and babies, so preparing for the journey is essential. There are workshops and breastfeeding education classes you can take before the birth of your bub, but don’t be too hard on yourself if it does not go smoothly the first few times.

And don’t feel bad if you must choose another route to nourish your little one with your breast milk. Dani, a mother who decided to pump exclusively for her baby and runs the Instagram @to.the.pump.and.back, says, “Some are forced into exclusive pumping, and some choose it. Whatever happened to you, you are doing an incredible job. You are amazing and doing your utmost for your bubba.”

Mum and self-care advocate Sarah Viliamu (@sarahviliamu) says, “Mum life looks different for us all, and that’s because we are all different, we are navigating motherhood differently, and that is totally okay!”

Mum tools and smart baby solutions are your best friends.

Make your breastfeeding journey easier by having all your essentials within reach – including your breast pump, nursing bra, nipple cream, breast pads, etc. – when you need them. In particular, you must take extra care of your breasts.

After giving birth, milk production kicks in, and your breasts will fill up with milk. It will make the breasts heavy and in need of support. A quality nursing bra like the Eonian Care Hands-Free Pumping & Nursing Bra will provide good support and minimise breast sag later. 

Nursing bras can also help maintain your milk supply after birth. More importantly, it allows you to seamlessly switch from breastfeeding to pumping, or you can even do both simultaneously!

Another indispensable tool is a hospital grade breast pump, which can help you manage your milk supply. If you feel like you are overproducing milk, a breast pump like the Eonian Care Smart Double Electric Breast Pump can be a helpful tool in making sure that none of your milk goes to waste. At the same time, it can help boost your supply if you are running low. Paired with the Eonian Care Hands-Free Pumping & Nursing Bra, you can confidently go about your tasks hands-free, leaving you more room to take care of your little one.

All your baby needs is you.

Yes, you can take advantage of baby tools and smart solutions to make caring for your baby more effortless, but don’t forget that what your baby ultimately needs is you. According to Dr Grantly Dick-Read, author of the book Childbirth Without Fear, “a newborn has only three demands: the warmth and the arms of its mother, food from her breast, and security and the knowledge of her presence. Breastfeeding satisfies all three.”

Skin-to-skin contact is crucial for you and your baby. If your little one is upset, placing them against your chest can help calm them while also regulating their heart rate, temperature and blood sugar levels, according to the Australian Breastfeeding Association. It also helps release hormones and trigger instincts in your baby, making feeding easier and more natural. At the same time, it releases hormones for your body that are important for producing milk. It’s also one of the best ways to bond with your bub and make them feel loved.

mum and dad as first-time parents and their newborn baby