Whether you’re about to have your first baby or are still experiencing the shock of this life change after your little one has recently arrived, you likely have a few questions about life with a newborn that you may not have thought about before. Because everything will be so new both to you and your new baby, it can be hard to know what’s normal and what isn’t.
So to help you with some of the most common questions and concerns new parents have with their brand new babies, here are three things about your newborn that you might not realize.
Their Breathing Can Be Erratic
While you might think that your little newborn will automatically be breathing easy once he or she is out in the world, you may be surprised to find that it sometimes seems like your baby may be breathing too fast or too slow.
According to Dr. Renee A. Alli, a contributor to WebMD.com, it’s not uncommon for babies to wait five to ten seconds before breathing while they sleep. And although this might freak you out, it’s typically totally normal. Keep in mind, however, that if your baby starts to turn blue or you’ve monitored that breaths are coming slower than this, you’ll want to seek medical attention.
On the other hand, sometimes your baby will take a lot of little tiny breaths if they’ve been crying or excited. As they calm down, their breath should get back to normal after being erratic like this.
They Should Be Sleeping A Lot
The thing your newborn should be doing the most is sleeping. It’s when they sleep that their body is doing the most work for them as far as growing and developing, so you need to make sure that you’re encouraging sleep as much as possible.
Tricia O’Brien, a contributor to Parents.com, shares that babies should be waking up to eat every two to three hours in the first few weeks or months after birth. But when they’re not eating, they should really only be awake for 45 minutes to an hour before going back to sleep. Otherwise, they could be overtired and overstimulated, which makes for a very cranky baby.
Jerky Movements Are The Norm
One thing that many new parents don’t expect is just how jerky of movements their baby will be making in the weeks following birth.
According to the Cleveland Clinic, your baby will stay in essentially the fetal position for the first few weeks outside of the womb, as this is what they’re used to and most comfortable with. But when they do move out of this position, their natural reflexes and immature nervous system can cause them to jerk around with their arms, legs, and head rather than moving in fluid motions.
If you’ve got questions about your baby during the newborn phase, use the information presented above to help you find the answers you need.