Before birth, your baby’s every likely need is adequately met in the womb. Your baby is well-fed, held in a supportive surrounding, and soothed through your movements during the day. While movements are limited, your baby still sleeps comfortably in a curled-up position in the womb and the environment is warm, shadowy, and watery.
However, after birth, your newborn’s world changes completely. Following several months of warm, cosy darkness, there are now foreign shapes, bright lights, and various movements surrounding them. The physical connection the baby had with you in the womb is suddenly broken and they must learn to signal for food, comfort, and sleep. While a baby may miss the cosy confines of the womb, now is the time for them to transit to the new stimulations-filled life.
As their parent, there are a lot of different ways that you can help them in going through this transition and adjusting to their new environment.
When inside the womb, your baby is often fed continuously, experiencing no starvation or thirst. However, a newborn has to signal whenever they feel hungry, using indications such as crying, sucking, or rooting. Learning these cues and feeding your child help to meet their energy requirements and offer reassurances that you care for them.
If you are a nursing mom, allow your child enough time to breastfeed as they want to and stop when your child indicates they are satisfied. As these experiences often go, breastfeeding is not a smooth journey from start to finish. If you are not able to exclusively breastfeed, you can feed them using a bottle, spoon, and even syringe. The good thing is, you can still bond with your baby no matter how you feed them.
Holding your naked newborn close to your skin after delivery warms the baby and stimulates their sense of touch. Your child will get used to your smell which can help to calm them. Also, skin-to-skin interaction also assists with regulating your child’s breathing and heartbeat while also encouraging the child to get its mouth around the nipple for breastfeeding.
In creating a strong connection with your newborn, baby massage is one of the best activities you can do on a daily basis. Massage not only promotes skin-to-skin contact which allows for bonding but also works to soothe your baby when they cry or experience abdominal discomforts.
Apart from your baby, skin-to-skin contact is also beneficial to you. Ideally, close contact with your newborn triggers the secretion of oxytocin hormone, known for good feelings, and stops the release of the stress hormone cortisol. The same also applies to fathers when they hold the child close to their skin.
Practicing Swaddles & Movements
During pregnancy, your baby was confined in a warm and cosy environment, often soothed by swaying and rocking. After birth, newborn babies have to adjust to the new setting. Some adjust quickly to sleeping while lying on their backs, while others have a hard time adapting. To restore that sense of security and support as experienced in the womb, you can swaddle your baby in cosy wrappings to make them feel safe and secure as it mimics their condition in the womb. Make sure you leave enough space to allow their legs to manoeuvre around.
Baby-wearing, through a baby carrier or sling, helps to replicate the gentle swaying and rocking that calms your child before birth. This tactic can also help to relieve your baby when they are crying. In the absence of a sling, the simple act of walking around while holding your child is more likely to soothe them compared to sitting down and cuddling them.
You May Also Read this : Why Your Family Will Thank You for Hiring a Confinement Nanny
Getting External Help
After delivery, you are likely to be exhausted and emotional. You need plenty of rest and this can be provided by getting the help of a confinement nanny. In order for your baby to be comfortable, maintaining a good amount of shared exposure between yourself, your child, and the nanny is crucial. It helps them to get to know and familiarise themselves with other people and not just rely on you. Not to mention, this will make sending them to daycare centre easier!
As this caregiver becomes a constant presence in the life of your child, your child is bound to feel comfortable with them even when you are not around. The duration needed for this to occur differs from child to child, so the earlier you find a nanny, the better.
There are many centres in Singapore offering confinement services. Visit one and get a nanny for your baby. A confinement nanny is one of the best caregivers to go for immediately after your birth because, on top of your newborn, they will also take care of your confinement needs.
One of the ways to accelerate the shared exposure is by allowing the caregiver to feed your child. The caregiver can start to feed your child using syringe, bottle, or cup while you’re there. Additionally, they can also hold the baby or change their diapers, and you can stay around to see how your child reacts. The nanny can also try to calm your baby before returning the infant to you while you are there offering verbal support.
The next step is to try leaving your child in the care of the nanny for a short time. You will want to slowly build this time up while seeing how your child adapts. This may allow you to catch fresh air outside or take light exercises to refresh your mind without worrying about your newborn.
All in all, you have to keep in mind that you are not the only one who has to adjust to life changes as a new parent. Your newly-born child is also learning and exploring life outside womb for the first time. At this stage, the best you can do is to make the transition as smooth as possible for your newborn. With the guidelines above, we hope you can successfully help your child during the transition period and at the same time still enjoy your parenthood!