Many people panic during their baby's first days but this guide will help you understand all you need to know for your baby's first period on earth.
Are you about to be a first-time mom? Have you had a lovely nine months of pregnancy, or was it a hell of morning sickness, baby playing football inside of you, and hankerings for midnight dim sum?
Now that baby’s due date is in the horizon, we bet you’re imagining yourself humming lullabies, bonding with your baby and smiling away. Well, there’s definitely going to be some of that, but you should also prepare yourself for lots of poo, pee, and cries (hopefully not yours).
We’ve compiled this handy guide to help you get through your baby’s first days. If it’s your first time having a baby, you should learn that a newborn’s urine and stool patterns naturally differ from adults.
How Often Should My Baby Pee?
- The frequency or consistency depends on the individual baby and on the food he or she is fed.
- For starters, a newborn may urinate only once in his or her first 24 hours. By day six, urinating eight to 10 times a day is common.
- Parents are often surprised (or worried) by the colour of urine they see inside a baby’s diaper.
- Early urine may be orange coloured and resemble blood in the diaper. Orange-coloured urine contains nitrates, a biproduct of bilirubin, which means your baby needs more fluids. Breastfeeding or offering formula more often can provide more fluids.
- If by Day 5 your baby is not urinating every four hours, talk to your child’s paediatrician.
How Often Should My Baby Poop?
- Do note that the baby’s food affects the content of stools.
- Healthy breastfed babies should have a stool after each feeding, or at least three or four runny stools a day once your milk is in.
- Lots of breastfed babies dirty a diaper every time (or most times) they eat for the first few weeks, or even months. This is totally normal and usually just means your baby is getting plenty to eat.
- Normal breastfed babies have a mushy or creamy stools while formula-fed babies have pasty, peanut butter-like stools in the brown colour spectrum – tan- brown, yellow-brown or green-brown.
- Also, formula-fed babies may have fewer stools than breastfed ones, which are usually more pungent than poo from breastfed babies.
What Do the Colours in the Wet Diaper Mean?
What Do the Colours of My Baby’s Poo Mean?
- Normal poop should be yellow or slightly green in colour.
- Green poop is a worry for most mums because they expect the poop to be yellow in colour. There’s no need to worry if the baby is feeding well and is content and gaining weight.
- Black (or extremely dark-green) poop is normal for the first three days. If the baby is still having them four or five days after birth, consult your paediatrician.
What if My Baby Has Diarrhoea?
If your baby has excessive (12 to 16 per day), watery and stinky stools, consult a doctor – this may be diarrhoea.
Diarrhoea is characterised by stools that are mucousy, foul-smelling, more frequent than usual, blood-tinged, or watery. They can be yellow, green, or brown and can seep or explode (yes, explode) out of the nappy.
Diarrhoea can be a sign of an infection or allergy. If it lasts for a while without being treated, it can lead to dehydration.
Consult the doctor if the baby, aged three months old or younger, has more than two or three diarrhoea-filled nappies or continues having diarrhoea for more than a day or two.
Can Babies Get Constipation?
Breastfed babies rarely have constipation (hard, dry stools that are difficult to pass). While some older breastfed babies have only one bowel movement per week, this is usually not indicative of constipation; their more mature digestive systems are efficiently using more of their mother’s milk.
Why Does My Baby Keep Crying?
As they still can’t talk and other forms communication skills have yet to be developed, newborns cry to communicate their needs. Common reasons for crying include:
- A dirty diaper
- Needing sleep
- Wanting to be held
- Tummy troubles (gas, colic and more)
- Needing to burp
- Feeling too cold or too hot
- Any small discomfort
- Wanting less or more stimulation/interaction
- Just not feeling well
When crying occurs, here’s what you can do:
- Calm down!
- Offer hugs and cuddles
- Provide soothing rubs or infant massage
- Hold the baby close to your chest
- Distract your baby with shiny objects (or other distracting items)
- Sing, hum and coo to the baby
Do note that crying can indicate something more serious here are some indicators as to when you should go consult a doctor:
- Baby has been crying continuously for more than three hours
- Displays flu-like symptoms
- Seems to be generally unwell
- The abdomen appears bloated
- Has passed out red-mucoid stools
How Long Should My Baby Sleep?
Despite all the fuss in the first days, you’ll soon get the hang of it and become a Super Parent! Plus, baby’s going to grow up to be a beautiful child all thanks to you. We’re here cheering you on! Make sure you get daddy to read this too and help out!