Day 267, Week 39

Mom at Week 39

Since you are very close to giving birth, its good to know what you feel when the process starts. Your body is starting to prepare for labor. The cervix starts to soften in preparation for birth and the number and intensity of Braxton hicks contractions increases. The level of amniotic fluid reduces.

Closer to the birth the contractions are very intense. This is when most moms will feel a loss of control and will probably ask for some pain relief. But there is no point in taking any pain medications at this time as birth is just about to happen.

Once the body is completely ready the mom will feel a strong urge to push and bear down. This can also be compared to passing a hard motion. The sensation is unmistakable and mom will be fully aware of the fact that the baby is now ready to come. As the baby’s head crowns she will feel a burning sensation in her perineum as it stretches to accomadate the head of the baby.

As the baby comes thru the contractions pause and mom will feel intense relief and a huge sense of achievement. She is very excited and over whelmed. She is keen to meet her baby and get breast feeding started and at the same time wants to shout from the top of the world that she is a mom.

Your baby’s growth

As you approach the last few weeks of your pregnancy, the baby starts taking the position for birth automatically. What is this position? Gravity helps by pulling the baby’s head which is the heavy part towards the pelvis. Also the baby naturally finds it comfortable to find space for his head in the pelvic cavity.The pressure on the cervix increases as the baby’s head descents downward thus making the cervix shorter and thinner

Day 269, Baby’s first Bathing Session

The thought of your bathing your baby can be both exciting and a little confusing cause you are not sure if your doing the right things while bathing her. Ideally a baby bath begins once the umbilical stump has fallen. Till then the baby should be given a sponge bath.

To give the baby a sponge bath – keep all items ready before you undress the baby. soft sponge cloths, soap, shampoo, warm water, dry towel and fresh clothes.

Always clean the baby from cleanest to dirty which means face first and diaper area last.

Take a wet wash cloth and gently wipe the baby’s face. Clean the eyes, ears and nose with gentle strokes. For the rest of the body you can use a little liquid soap and then wipe with a wet cloth. Remember to clean well between all the folds and also the webs of the fingers and the toes.

Pat the baby dry and put on a fresh set of clothes and a diaper.

When giving a tub bath, check the temperature on your elbow. It should be tepid. Again ensure that you keep all items ready as you do not want to leave the baby alone in the bathroom even for a second.

Pour water in small quantity on the baby.

Always bathe the body first and shampoo the hair last. A baby will loose a lot of heat from the top of his head and hence will start feeling cold. Also a baby tends to feel over whelmed when water is flowing down his face and they will cry. The bath then becomes very uncomfortable for both the mother and the child.

Choose how you would like to bathe the baby. Traditionally in India we bathe babies on the legs. However you may not be very comfortable with this method and may prefer a bath chair. Pick a plastic or a mesh one as a sponge chair is very difficult to dry.

Once the bath is done wrap the baby is a towel and pat dry and dress the baby in a fresh set of clothes and a diaper / nappy.

Baby bath is a fun time and should not be stressful.

Babies do not get dirty and it’s ok if they do not take a bath everyday. You can also just sponge on certain days. At times its also ok to give the baby a couple of baths each day. It all depends on your comfort.

Day 271, How to Massage a Baby?

Giving your baby a massage has loads of benefits and you must follow the below process to ensure that it is a pleasant experience for your baby.

Usually a massage can be done at any time of the day but is best done before a baby’s bath and especially in the evening before she settles for the night

Make sure that the room you select for your baby’s massage is warm, app 25 degrees C and quiet. Try putting out on soothing background music. Lay the baby on a soft towel.

How to you determine the amount of pressure needed for the massage? Well, the amount of pressure needed to massage your eyelids is enough.

Small baby areas can be stroked using figer tips, large areas can be stroked using palms.

If you plan to give your baby a massage before her bath you can use oil.

For oil application, coconut oil in the summers and olive oil in the winters is the best choice.

Start with the baby’s face and use your finger tips to massage the face. Do not use oil on the face.

Slowly move to massage the baby’s arms and use your finegr tips to massage the palms.

Now use your hands to massage the legs and gently bring the knees up to the tummy. Use your finger tips to massage the baby’s feet.

At the tummy use gentle circles in a clockwise direction.

Use your palms to sweep slowly and gently along your baby’s back up to her shoulders. Do not massage the baby’s spine.

If your baby appears stressed and does not seem to enjoy the massage, stop and start again or try again another day.

Try this process and your baby would have a great massage experience 🙂

Day 273, Newborn crying & sleeping patterns

Sleeping

Your new bundle of joy has made its way from your uterus into the world and you can now hold your baby in your arms, cuddle it and be amazed at the fact that your baby is finally here in front of your eyes in flesh and blood.

In the first 24 hours your baby will sleep a lot. Will be difficult to rouse and even if the baby awakens and you feed the baby she will fall asleep in a few minutes. This phase is also called a recovery phase. The baby has made the transition from the womb to the outside world and is over whelmed by all she sees. This tires and exhausts her and hence the baby goes through a recovery phase. Most new parents will be pleasantly surprised to find their new born sleeping so well.

In the first few weeks the baby will be used to being awake at night and will sleep during the day as this is the cycle that the baby followed in the womb. It will take a while to change this around and for the baby to adapt to life outside the womb.

After 8 weeks your baby should be able to sleep for 4-5 hours at a stretch in the night. By 6 months this can extend to about 6 hours and maybe more. 2-6 months your infant will need 3 naps during the day as well and post six months this will reduce to about 2 naps. By the time the baby is one year old the baby will be able to sleep for 8-10 hours in the night at a stretch and will be comfortable with one nap during the day.

Crying

Once the baby has completed his recovery sleep after the first 24 hours, he begins noticing a whole new world. He feels over whelmed and anxious and hence can tend to cry much more. The only thing that seems to comfort him is being in his mother’s arms because he can hear her voice and her heart beat.

Slowly the baby settles into a routine. In the first two weeks you can expect that your new born will cry for about 2 hours every day. This is intermittent and spread over the whole day.

Between two to six weeks crying peaks and your baby may cry for almost six hours every day. This is fairly normal. This is also the time that colic peaks and most babies will cry more during the evening hours or in the second half of the day.

Your baby thrives on routines and it is important that you set routines for the baby and follow them. A good sleeping is what you can try and set in the first few months. A baby will generally be happy and playful if well rested and well fed and if the baby is tired, sleepy then will tend to be more cranky and difficult to manage.