The next 23 hours with your newborn
By Kidspot Team |
The next 23 hours with your newborn

The next 23 hours with your newborn



Parenting over the next 23 hours will usually consist of feeding and changing your baby, as well as staring at them, cuddling them and hopefully getting some sleep!

Babies will pass their first bowel motion (meconium) usually within the first 24 hours. Some will pass this at birth. The motions may be frequent (being there each time the baby wakes) or passed just once in this time. The sticky, dark green to blackish meconium can take you by surprise. It is usually quite difficult to clean off your baby's bottom. Using cotton balls (or a small face washer) soaked with warmed plain water is best, and least irritating to your baby's new skin.

Their motions will be meconium until the milk comes in over the next 2 to 5 days (or the baby has had a few formula feeds). They will then change to brown and then bright yellow. The colostrum produced in the first few days of breast feeding is high in protein and acts as a laxative. This helps new babies pass the thick meconium. Babies should also pass urine once in the first 24 hours. This may not happen for quite a few hours as the baby normally urinates at birth, but it is rarely noticed.

If you need help to change your baby's nappy ask your caregiver for guidance. You have now commenced the first of many nappy changes as your baby's bodily functions begin!

After the baby has had their first feed and all the 'procedures' have been completed, they will often tend to fall into a well-deserved sleep, sometimes lasting for up to 2 to 8 hours. It is usually at this time that the mother (and partner) will also catch up on some sleep. This may be in your place of birth, or on the postnatal ward if you have been transferred.

Many parents are so exhausted that they fall into a deep sleep with their baby.

Others will still be 'buzzing' on an emotional high, possibly looking disbelieving at this little person in front of them or relieved that the labour and birth are now completed and everything is O.K. A few women will feel groggy after having a narcotic in labour (or in rare cases, a general anaesthetic after a Caesarean), drifting in and out of sleep for a while.

When babies wake from their first sleep they will often cry or be a little unsettled and fidgety, some will have another period of wakefulness. They will usually want to feed again and will probably fall back to sleep soon after this has happened.

After sleeping, most women will wake to feeling possibly sore and bruised - depending on the circumstances of their labour and birth. It can be that you wake a little disoriented, or even surprised, looking down in wonder, thinking, "Is that baby mine?" Congratulations! Yes this little wonder is yours and from here on in your journey as a mother (and father) begins.
 

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