When I had my first child, I had lots of questions that I felt silly asking my doctor, friends or even family. Still, there are a lot of things new moms wonder about. And between the lack of sleep, adjusting to a new baby and not having a free minute to use the bathroom, it’s normal to feel overwhelmed by the new mom demands.
Don’t worry; I’ve been there. And now that I’ve had my third child, there is nothing I won’t ask! Looking back here are 10 funny things that I wondered—often. I’ve put together a list of those “silly new mom questions” with all the answers you need in one spot!
1. When will the umbilical cord fall off? The umbilical cord can fall off anywhere from 10-20 days after birth. Until that time, make sure you keep it dry and clean. To clean it, moisten a cotton pad with rubbing alcohol and let skin dry. No tub baths yet.
2. How often do I apply diaper cream? Any time you see redness starting it’s a good time to apply diaper rash cream. It’s also smart to apply it before bedtime at night, simply because this is when baby will (hopefully) sleep for the longest stretch of time and it will help to block wetness from the skin. If you cloth diaper, you might not have to use it at all.
3. Is it normal for my milk-makers to hurt? Yes, it is completely normal in the few first weeks to experience pain for the first few seconds of a feeding, while the baby is trying to latch. The skin is getting used to being used as a milk factory nearly around the clock! Give it time and use lanolin cream as a skin protectant. If you experience severe pain call your lactation nurse or doctor.
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4. How do I know if it’s colic or there is something else wrong with my baby? Colic is a fancy word for the tummy ache that happens to babies because they have gas pains. Laying them on their backs and doing leg stretches can help; while some people swear by gripe water. They will grow out of it and it will get better. I promise.
5. How do I know if my baby is hungry and getting enough to eat? Breastfed babies will feed 10-12 times per day and formula fed babies 8-10. Don’t wait until they’re crying to feed them—that will actually lead to a frustrated baby (and in turn a frustrated Mommy too). During the first few days, it’s important to feed them every 2-4 hours—even if that means waking them up to do so.
6. How many poopy diapers are normal in a day? Breastfed babies can have three or more poopy diapers in a 24 hour period. Formula fed babies will have at least one poopy diaper in a 24 hour period. And no, there isn’t such thing as too many poopy diapers during the first few weeks.
7. What color should his poop be? Those cute little babies poo a wide variety of colors! During the first few days, it will be brownish-black in color. After that, breastfed babies lighten in color from black to brown to green to yellow. Formula fed babies tend to be light brown in color.
8. Does my baby recognize me? A newborn baby is born knowing its mothers voice. It actually takes the baby 15-20 days to recognize dad’s voice outside the womb. Babies also have a heightened sense of smell and will recognize their mom in the dark. Don’t worry; the baby will know exactly who you are.
9. When can I cut my baby’s nails? Baby nails seem to grow at a faster speed than we can find our baby clippers. You do have to wait at least two weeks to cut them for the first time because they are actually paper thin and very sensitive. To avoid scratching, I’ve dressed my babies with onesies where the sleeves fold out into mittens.
10. My baby passes gas a lot. Is that normal? Should I change my diet? Sometimes, changing our diet to easier foods to digest can help if you are nursing. If your baby is on formula, a temporary switch to a “gas-friendly” blend might be helpful. But this isn’t anything to worry about. Their digestive system is not fully developed and air that escapes is totally normal.
While there are many books written out there none can actually give you the parenting knowledge until you have a baby yourself. As my mom used to tell me: don’t stress, and you’ll figure out the rest.
What are some of your baby questions that you might be afraid to ask?