- Newborn babies instinctively ‘root’ for the nipple in order to feed
- They grasp strongly onto your finger or your clothes
- They have a ‘startle’ reflex, throwing out arms and legs
- Held under the arms, with feet touching a surface, a newborn baby will make stepping movements
- Newborn babies pass dark, sticky motions at first, this is the ‘meconium’ in their bowels built up in the womb
- They quickly learn to recognise you
Look after yourself
Your new baby is here at last - congratulations! Try to rest and make the most of this time when your baby is so tiny. Get to know and marvel at this little being who curls up and nestles into you with such trust.
It takes a little while for your body to recover, so don’t be surprised if you feel extra tired and emotional after the birth. You’ll get some pains in your tummy in the first few days as your uterus contracts. The bloody discharge (‘lochia’) that you have after giving birth can last for up to six weeks (use sanitary towels and not tampons at this time).
Remember to keep doing your pelvic floor exercises. You may not feel like doing these straight away but they are important to help you recover from the birth.
Your baby will ideally be sleeping in the same bedroom as you and it is important to make sure the temperature in the bedroom is right, the ideal temperature for babies is between 16-20 degrees.
Heel prick test
You’ll find other useful information in the A-Z of Health
including details of the newborn bloodspot (‘heelprick’) test usually carried out in the first week of life and also jaundice in newborns.
Make a note!
It’s a good idea to record your birth experiences. It’s something you think you will always remember, but actually it’s surprising how quickly you forget, if you don’t write it down.
Breastmilk gives babies nutrition that’s exactly right, plus valuable antibodies and other protective factors. It contains all the important ingredients your baby needs for healthy development: proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins and minerals. Omega 3 & 6 LCPs and prebiotic oligosaccharides are special ingredients also found in breastmilk. LCPs are important for your baby’s development and prebiotics play an important role in maintaining healthy digestion.
Although breastfeeding is a natural process, it isn’t always easy to begin with. Ask for help if you are in hospital having your baby and don’t worry if the baby is not very interested or takes only a few sucks at first. You produce colostrum in the first few days (before your milk ‘comes in’ at around 2-3 days) and the baby needs only very tiny amounts of this rich, nourishing food.
Babies can lose up to 10 per cent of their bodyweight at first and then start to regain it (getting back to their birthweight by about 10 days old).
Breastfeeding is a learning experience, but help is always at hand from midwives, health visitors and breastfeeding counsellors.
Find out more information on breastfeeding.
The choice of infant formula milk is very important for your baby and it is recommended to choose the one which contains Omega 3 & 6 LCPs and prebiotics (oligosaccharides). Both are found in breastmilk and are important for your baby’s development and in maintaining healthy digestion.
New baby, new questions?
The HiPP Baby Club is full of advice for new mums on breastfeeding, bottle feeding, sleeping
and your baby's development.