The early weeks of pregnancy are fragile—and confusing. Here, the answers to your questions.
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Baby challenge #2
(the 24-hour diner
The key here is to go with the flow. “Babies are designed to not go long without eating,” says Parks. “You need to accommodate that.” A newborn’s eight to 12 feedings (six to eight if you’re bottle feeding) aren’t evenly spaced, so a four-hour break in the action now may result in a feeding frenzy later. Some other pointers:
Baby challenge #3
Bathing doesn’t have to be a dirty job. Babies are basically inoffensive creatures, so how dirty can they get? All you’re doing is spot maintenance.
Postpone that first bath until the umbilicus drops off, usually in a week or two. In the interim, “top and tail” every day by wiping your baby’s face, head, neck, hands and diaper area (in that order, please) with a warm, wet washcloth. Also, clean your baby’s eyes with water-soaked sterile cotton balls, and swab the umbilicus with an alcohol-soaked Q-tip several times a day. If finger- and toenails are long, trim one or two at a sitting with baby nail clippers while your little one is sleeping. Don’t use commercial wipes until your baby is about 3 months old. Use a wet paper towel or washcloth instead.
When bath time finally arrives, keep the production to a minimum. These steps can help smooth the way:
Baby challenge #4
(structuring your day
“Babies are very Zen,” Parks observes. “They take you to this place where time doesn’t have any meaning.” True enough, but at some point you’re going to want to take a shower. Or visit the grocery store. Or pop over to a friend’s house. And simple as these things once seemed, you will spend hours, maybe even days, trying to figure out how to accomplish them. Here’s how to get started: