Jessica and I put together a brief list of things that we either didn’t know or didn’t realize about having a newborn baby. It’s not exhaustive (though we are exhausted) and it’s probably not even 100% correct, but hopefully it could be of some use to those with a little one on the way.
1. Newborns eat anywhere from 1-3 ounces every two to three hours.
2. Sometimes newborns have their days and their nights mixed up.
3. You don’t get to see your baby very much the day he’s born (they keep him in the nursery for several hours for cleanup, measuring, and warmup).
4. Newborn babies usually fall asleep when eating, so you have to keep them awake by changing their diaper, shifting positions, etc.
5. Poop suddenly becomes a cause for celebration.
6. You can get eight hours of sleep and still be miserable because it’s broken up into tiny segments.
7. Sometimes you don’t just get up in the night, sometimes you actually stay up all night for several days at a time.
8. Figure the car seat out before it’s time to leave the hospital. Also, neck stabilizers are good for newborns and car seats.
9. Edible arrangements make great gifts in the hospital. (You can share it with visitors.)
10. Breast milk can take three or four days to come in. Until that, it’s just a little bit of a clear liquid called colostrum.
11. When all else fails, get them moving.
12. Quick cure for gas: lay him down across your legs and pat his back, wrap a warm towel around his belly and gently flex his legs.
13. The only housework that will get done in the first week is the stuff your visiting family does.
14. Babies aren’t supposed to sleep on their stomach but you can get foam wedges that let them sleep on their side.
15. Keep them awake as often as you can during the day so they’ll sleep at night.
Oh and the most important thing I’ve learned about parenting: you know nothing.