Your post-baby day brain is filled with hundreds of “What if’s.” What if baby’s pooping too much? What if she’s not pooping enough? What if she’s sleeping for too long at a time? What if she won’t sleep at all? And, why is she crying ALL of the time? We’re here to tell you - take a deep breath and relax! We’ve put together this list of totally normal baby behaviors that you don’t need to stress out about at all.
1. Poop Color: You open up your baby’s diaper and find -WHAT? Not anything that you were expecting. Before you speed-dial the pediatrician, keep in mind that some not-so-normal colors are actually okay. Breastfed babies often have mustardy or greenish poop, while formula-fed newborns might come in shades of tan, brown or tannish-green. Obviously, red, black or bloody poop should be totally alarming. Call your doctor, but don’t immediately assume something major is wrong (only a medical expert can evaluate what’s going on with your baby). On occasion, the blood is actually from you (if you have dry, cracked nipples from nursing).
2. Excessive Sleep: You’ve spent the last few months napping in preparation for staying awake 24-7. Now that baby’s here, she’s really not up much of the time. Hmm. That doesn’t seem right. For the most part, you can expect your newborn to sleep for eight to nine hours during the day and another eight at night. Keep in mind, this doesn’t mean your baby won’t wake up during these times. After all, her teeny tiny stomach can’t hold much food right now, so she’ll wake for feedings.
3. Learning: Yeah, we all know that the early years are learning years. But, don’t expect that your newborn will someday go to Harvard simply because you read Shakespeare to her while playing Mozart and showing her highly patterned black and white pictures. You’ve just brought baby home from the hospital. Now is not the time to start scheduling elaborate lesson plans. Focus on what comes naturally — loving your baby! Give her hugs, cuddles and snuggles. The learning part can wait, at least for a few months anyway. 4. Bonding: Repeat these three words over and over again: It will happen. You spent nine months talking to her as she grew inside you. Now that she’s finally here, you kind of feel like she’s an odd little alien. Your maternal instinct isn’t kicking in - yet. Sometimes that lovey dovey feeling doesn’t happen immediately. Even though you love her, it might take some time to truly feel a bond. Give yourself a moment to breath. The more time you spend with your baby, the more you’ll begin to bond. That said, if you’re depressed or can’t ditch those “baby blues,” it could be a sign of post-partum depression, so call your doctor immediately.
5. Germs: There’s no way around it. Germs are everywhere. They’re on doorknobs, the changing table and your kitchen counters. Before you start spending naptime moments bleaching every corner of the house, take a step back. Yes, cleaning and disinfecting are must do’s. But that doesn’t mean you have to drench yourself in hand sanitizer before picking up baby. When it comes down to it, keep yourself, your baby and your house clean. Just not overly so. Someday your kiddo will get a cold, and it won’t be your fault.
6. Acne: No, not yours. Your baby’s. That’s right, babies can have acne. Infant acne typically creeps up sometime around 3-4 weeks, following hormonal changes. While in rare cases the baby pimples signal a true hormonal problem, most of the time it’s just a passing phase. Think of it like being a teenager, taken down a step (or a few). Even though it won’t make for perfect pictures right now, infant acne typically clears up quickly without any treatment. That means, keep the scrubs, toners and drying creams for your face only.
7. Eating: Your baby isn’t eating as much as you think she should be, or she’s eating too much. All the books said she’d eat every two hours. But, she just went two hours and seven minutes in between feedings! What’s going to happen? Oh, probably nothing. Unless your baby isn’t eating at all, is losing weight, is in some sort of gastrointestinal distress or absolutely won’t stop feeding for even a second, chances are she’s okay. The lucky thing for you is that there’s a pediatrician just a phone call away. Before you consult good ol’ doctor Google, ask the actual expert.
(Photos via Getty)