Giving birth is no easy task, all the preparations beforehand, the physical, mental and emotional struggles before the baby arrives. But there is a bigger task after that, which is raising your child.
But what’s often forgotten, due to the whole shuffle of revelations, is how to practically and responsibly navigate the first 24 hours of a child’s life. Although a lot of moms-to-be spend time researching, nothing can truly prepare them for having to deal with the responsibilities of an actual newborn. Additionally, these new moms tend to be pretty tired after the delivery, which is one of the reasons why most hospitals will make sure they stay in their care during this time.
However, in some cases, new moms are already home with their newborn within the first 24 hours. Between staying in a hospital, shuffling back home, and dealing with the delivery (be it C-section, natural, or with an epidural), a mom’s enervation can lead her to be forgetful of some of the most important things to remember during the first day with a newborn.
This article will delve into some of the most important things. As always, the sources can be found at the bottom, and one should always consult their medical professional. However, we’ve certainly done our best to create what’s kinda ended up like a list of reminders. Without further ado, here are 20 things moms forget to do in the first 24 hours with their baby.
20. COMPLETELY GET RID OF ROUTINES
No matter how much you’ve planned, you have to remember to get rid of any idea of a routine during the first day of your child’s life. After all, everything is pretty unpredictable during this time. If you’re still in a hospital, chances are nothing will be precisely like what home life will become. And if you’re settling in at home, things are so up in the air that it will actually cause you more stress and unhappiness to force some sort of routine on yourself, your partner, and especially your newborn. You sort of just have to go with the flow on this day. Sleep when the baby sleeps, and be awake to deal with them when they are up and at em.
19. KEEPING THAT BABY EXTRA, EXTRA, EXTRA CLOSE
Doctors are very keen on a mother making sure she spends much of the first 24 hours doing kangaroo care, AKA skin-to-skin contact. This is because it’s been proven to offer so many benefits to newborn babies, as well as their connection to their mamas. For babies, it really does help them adapt to their new environment and their new relationship. Most importantly, it makes them understand and easily locate their food source, which is obviously vital for living. Skin-to-skin also reduces their stress and even helps them feel physically at ease. But moms benefit physically as well, as the skin-to-skin helps increase their production of milk, making breastfeeding much easier. This is why it’s so important not to forget.
18. TAKING THAT “ME TIME” AND SHOWERING
If your physically able, you should absolutely take a few minutes and get some “me-time” during the first 24 hours of your baby’s life. This means showering. Not only is this important for your own mental health, but it’s also important for hygienic reasons. After all, your body has just gone through a rigorous workout, especially if you’ve given birth naturally. If you’re still in a hospital during the first 24 hours, you can pop into one of their showers, if they are lucky enough to have one. Or you can request a bath. Regardless of whether you are still in the hospital or if you’re back at home, you want to make sure you remember to take a shower and clean up as well as do so while the baby is sound asleep or being taken care of by a nurse or your partner.
17. KEEP AN EYE OUT FOR THOSE NUMBER ONES AND TWOS
Quite often new mothers aren’t very aware of the importance of watching there baby make their first few movements. Eventually, these mothers will learn that being fixated on their babies bathroom habits are about to become quite important. But especially during the first day or two, it can seem that mothers aren’t really paying attention to the schedule their baby’s body is on. Additionally, it can be quite difficult to truly understand a baby’s schedule because a mother’s milk has to come in and a baby has to master breastfeeding before he or she can regularly pee or poop. This process can take between 3 to 5 days. But within the first 24 hours it is important to start monitoring this schedule just to be prepared for the future.
16. NURSE UNTIL ONE CANNOT NURSE ANY MORE
A lot of new moms are caught off-guard by the way their newborn with be interacting and enjoying their first few breaths of air outside of their mothers. All of this excitement can cause them to forget to nurse. That is, to nurse a lot. They may also get distracted by their baby’s activity and just keep putting it off until they feel like their baby should nurse. However, doctors suggest that nursing be done as soon as the baby is awake and continue for a good while. This is because you want to make sure the baby becomes truly used to where his or her food source is as well as that they are getting the right amount of nutrients now that they are out in the world.
15. LEAVING THAT UNOPENED BINKY IN THE DRAWER
Whatever you do don’t forget to leave the binky in its wrapper during the first 24 hours of a newborn’s life. There is much debate over the positive and negative factors surrounding the use of pacifiers. But most lactation experts say that giving a newborn of binky can lead to problems with breastfeeding. Given that most of the babies comfort level surrounding breastfeeding is established during the first 24 hours, it’s important to make sure that they are focused on that and on nothing else. Later on, if you want to introduce a binky or a pacifier that’s more than OK. But during the first 24 hours, you cannot forget how important it is to keep that thing away from them.
14. CLEANING THE BABY’S GUMS… YES, REALLY!
Believe it or not, it’s actually really important to keep a baby’s gums clean during the first 24 hours of their life. Most parents have no idea about this while others who do tend to forget and focus on more important things such as breastfeeding during the first 24 hours. But it’s actually pretty crucial that parents start paying attention to their child’s gums right away. This is because dental hygiene experts say that keeping a baby’s gums clean will help soothe them and clean off any residue that might still be there after feeding which will make a baby uncomfortable and cause them to cry. It will also help them to develop other dental hygiene issues later on down the line.
13. LEAVE THAT UMBILICAL CORD ALONE!
If you are still in the hospital during the first 24 hours of your newborn’s life chances are a nurse will remind you to leave their umbilical cord alone. However, there are cases where mothers forget that they should just leave any residue of the cut umbilical cord exactly where it is. If it is unnecessarily removed it could become infected which could cause a level of discomfort for the baby. That will lead to crying which will lead to a level of discomfort for the mother. The truth is, any residue of the umbilical cord will fall off within a week and thus is nothing to worry about.
12. GIVE THE BABY SOME TIME FAR AWAY FROM THOSE DIAPERS
Babies and diapers go hand-in-hand just like peanut butter and jelly but during the first 24 hours of their life, it’s important that they get a little time free from the constraints of the diaper. This is mainly because the baby really isn’t used to wearing this and could feel quite uncomfortable period it’s important that they start to feel what a diaper is like. This is one of the reasons why moms keep their newborn in a diaper and forget to let their baby have some time free of having to wear one. But you want a baby to feel unencumbered as much as possible during their first 24 hours because it will cause them to feel more relaxed and allow them to breathe.
11. BURP, BABY, BURP! IT’S BURPIN’ TIME
Every new mom is just exhausted. This causes them to forget so many necessary things in their child’s first 24 hours out in the real world. One of these things is burping. According to the Baby Center, burping actually frees up a lot of room in a child’s belly, causing them to take in more nutrients. Burping that’s done in between smaller and frequent meals is actually beneficial to a child who spits up or one who has symptoms to do with reflux. Burping also releases gas that’s been pent up inside of a child’s stomach and could, if trapped, cause colic. Finally, it can also help a baby go to sleep which will be very beneficial to every new mother who just wants to get some shuteye herself.
10. KEEP THOSE LIPS FAR AWAY FROM A NEWBORN
Every new mother wants to smooch her adorable newborn baby. Even if she knows that experts say that this is a bad idea, she will intuitively kiss her baby or even nozzle her lips against the skin of her child. Although this is totally natural you just can’t forget that kissing babies is a bad idea due to their undeveloped immune system. Thanks too many issues of the medical variety being transferred via lips, as well as from liquid from the eyes, a baby can easily contract things that they just can’t deal with. So, as much as you want to kiss your baby it just gotta remember that you got to put that aside for now. Don’t worry, you’ll eventually be able to smooch the little darling.
9. FILLING THE STOMACH WITH ALL SORTS OF GOODIES
Many of the things that a mother forgets during the first 24 hours of her baby’s life have to do with her baby his or herself. But this entry isn’t just about her baby it’s also about her. Food is fuel and therefore it’s absolutely important to get into a mother’s system after they’ve given birth. It’s essential that all new mothers eat a healthy and balanced meal that consists of fruits, vegetables, grains, a bit of dairy, and some protein. OK, you can throw some carbs in there as well just for fun. The point is you cannot raise a child if you are lacking in energy and health. Also if a mother eats less than 1800 – 2,200 calories per day, the chances are her milk supply will dwindle.
8. WRITING DOWN ALL THE DETAILS OF THAT MEMORABLE DAY
You just never know what details from your delivery could become important later on. This is why mothers shouldn’t forget to write down any notable event or feeling that occurred during the final few hours of their pregnancy and their delivery; whether it was a natural birth, or via an epidural, or via C-section. Writing this stuff down can actually end up being pretty therapeutic and help you work out some rather raw emotions that resulted from the potentially challenging delivery. This could help with managing postpartum depression as well as with general mood down the line. On the opposite side of the spectrum, it can be enjoyable to read years later as you recall this momentous event.
7. GETTING BREASTFEEDING SUPPORT FROM THE EXPERTS
Many moms have no clue just how difficult breastfeeding can be. Sometimes a baby latches on and there are no problems. Other times, it can seem like the baby just doesn’t want to get anywhere near them. This is why it’s important for a mother not to forget to take some advice from a lactation consultant. Usually, these experts are right at hand while the mother is spending her final few hours in the hospital. Depending on your region a nurse is actually required to help you learn some breastfeeding techniques. Don’t brush these moments off as they are going to be the base of your knowledge going forward. Mothers, who think they can do things on their own, may be surprised down the line that it’s far more challenging than it appears.
6. DEAL WITH THE WHOLE VACCINATION THING
Jenny McCarthy absolutely doesn’t know what she’s talking about. Vaccines are a must for every individual in society. Now it’s important to do your research and know which ones are better suited for you and your baby, but for the most part, they’re very necessary. This is something that many mothers forget during the first 24 hours of their newborn’s life. There are just too many other things going on to think about vaccinations and other shots. Most of these injections are relevant in the months to come and not right away. However, things like vitamin K shots can be helpful since newborns are born with low levels of it. Also, Hepatitis B is a vaccination that many newborns require. Always take the time to discuss this with the nurses in the doctors. Don’t brush it aside. It’s a public health issue.
5. PICK A NAME ALREADY!
Okay, folks, it’s time to pick a name. You’ve had a grand total of 9 months to pick a first name, middle name, and settle on what the last name of your newborn child is going to be. That’s more than enough time. Things get a little bit complicated if a baby doesn’t have a name. Not only is this true for logistical reasons but it’s also true for legal reasons. However, a lot of new moms are caught up in all of the other excitement that they forget their baby actually needs a name. Don’t do this. It’s just a little bit ridiculous. And chances are the nurses in the doctors are going to be a little bit irritated that they don’t know what to call your baby.
4. HAND-WASHING LIKE A TOTAL GERMAPHOBE
Once the baby has been brought into this world, it’s time to become a little bit of a germaphobe. Mother’s absolutely cannot forget that they need to stop the spread of unwanted germ. Especially when they’re around their newborn. This is because their newborn’s immune system is so poor. A baby’s really likely to catch a cold during the first 24 hours of their life. This is why it’s crucial that hands are constantly washed and disinfected with the hand sanitizer. There’s nothing wrong with being a little bit of a weirdo during the first 24 hours of your baby’s life. In fact, it could make their life heck of a lot easier going forward.
3. LOOK AT ALL OF THOSE APGAR SCORES
Not only do many new moms forget about Apgar scores, but most also don’t even know what it is. One of the main observations that are made after your baby’s birth is this thing called an Apgar score. Essentially, it asses your baby’s adjustments to life outside of the womb. It’s measured at 1 minute and 5 minutes after birth while the baby is on their mother’s chest. Sometimes it’s measured 10 minutes after that. it includes your baby’s heart rate, breathing, color, muscle tone, and even their reflexes. Anything about a 7 out of 10 is considered “good”. For obvious reasons, moms should be paying attention to this.
2. AVOIDING ALL THOSE LOVING VISITORS
Believe it or not, some new mothers want visitors to come and see them after they’ve given birth. They want to show off their beautiful newborn kid, even though they’re totally tired following the delivery. But these women can’t forget that this isn’t really a good idea. For one, they should be focused on things like breastfeeding and spending one on one time with their kid, and maybe even their partner. More importantly, visitors bring germs. And the baby’s immune system isn’t up for that battle yet. The baby has enough to contend with between the atmosphere of the hospital and their parents. So remember, visitors must be kept to a minimum. Just think of it as a good excuse not to deal with nosey family members.
1. ACTUALLY GET TO KNOW THE KID
The first 24 hours are usually filled with trying to figure out how to breastfeed, how to hold the newborn baby, and seeing whether or not they’re healthy. Therefore, it’s common that mothers forget to actually get to know their kid. A newborn isn’t going to have too much of a personality. However, it can be very helpful to the parenting process to actually observe the newborn and see how they interact with the world around them. Most important of all is this time spent with them is going to develop the connection between them and their mother. So take the time to learn how to soothe, carry, cuddle, comfort, and ultimately love your child during the first 24 hours of their life. It will make all the difference.