1st Week

Knowing what to expect is so important for both your peace of mind and properly caring for your new baby.

Kangaroo care & feeding

Know that during the first week, your baby isn’t going to want to be put down.

That expensive and fancy bassinet? You won’t need it for a while. Your baby wants to stay close to you, they want to smell you, feel your warmth and the rhythm of your breathing. Your heartbeat is comforting to them.

Babies act on instinct. They don’t know that it’s 2021 and there isn’t a wild animal wanting to take them away. This nearness comforts them but also regulates their body temperature and respirations and helps to keep their blood sugar steady.

Kangaroo care, or skin-to-skin holding, is a real thing that is done in NICUs around the world and it is one of the most effective things to help premature babies thrive. Your baby is no different!

Not only is skin-to-skin regulating to babies, it also helps your milk supply. Your body naturally reacts to contact with your baby by triggering the prolactin hormone receptors in teh breast.

So kangaroo care helps your supply increase. It also sets the foundation for a robust milk supply even months down the road.

Watching the clock and trying to schedule and time feeds can interfere with the biological norm of frequent feeds. If your baby is hungry, feed them. Don’t try to feed them just because you want to keep to a schedule.

If your baby isn’t latching well and/or the latch is causing pain, you want to make sure that you are hand expressing, pumping often and scheduling a consultation with an IBCLC. This will help to keep your supply in check and steady and will keep the milk coming.

First week check-ups

That first week you will be visiting the pediatrician for the first well baby check.

They will compare the birth weight to the current weight and diaper output.
In the first 4-5 days your baby may be losing weight. Remember, colostrum is breastmilk. Over the first 5 days your breast milk increases and “comes in”. This is when you should start to see your baby’s (or babies’) weight start to increase and your baby should be back to their birth weight by 10-14 days of life.

A baby’s stomach starts out very small.

This is perfect as the small amount of colostrum transitions to mature milk.

Day 1

Size of a marble

Day 3

Size of a ping pong ball

Day 10

Size of a large chicken egg

How to know if your baby is getting enough:

Listen for swallowing
feel for your breasts to soften
your baby eats 8-12+ times in 24 hours
diaper counts

Diaper count

Day 1

wet diapers

dirty diapers

Black, tarry and sticky

Day 2

wet diapers

dirty diapers

Black, tarry and sticky

Day 3

wet diapers

dirty diapers

Greenish and softer

Day 4

wet diapers

dirty diapers

Greenish and softer

Day 5

wet diapers

dirty diapers

Yellow and seedy
After day 5

There should be 6-8 wet diapers and several full dirty diapers