How your baby’s growing

Your baby spends much of her first week of life outside the womb becoming accustomed to her new surroundings. After nine months inside, so much space, light and noise are very new to her. So she likes being swaddled — wrapped tightly in a blanket — while making the adjustment. For a while, her arms and legs look rather short but they’ll straighten out once she gets used to having so much space to stretch her limbs.

Your newborn’s vision is pretty blurry at this stage. She can only see well up to about 45 cm/18 in, so keep your face close to hers whenever she’s alert — her favourite subject is a loved one’s face. She’ll be watching you and her dad all the time now, memorizing your features and learning to recognize your voices.

Your newborn’s attention span isn’t very long yet, and just getting used to the outside world is probably enough stimulation for the next few weeks. But you might want to think about hanging a simple object with a high-contrast black-and-white pattern over the cradle or bassinet for her to look at.

How your life’s changing:

This week, reality sets in — you have a baby! She’s all yours, she’s home with you, and she’s dependent on you and your partner for love, care, and feeding. We’ve got plenty of advice and info to help you and give you new tips, but it’s best to take it easy at present. Your newborn is more durable than you might think and she’s getting used to you as much as you and your partner are getting used to her. Like all good relationships, this will take time to grow.

Talking of growth, newborns want to feed as often as once every three hours. Do you need to refresh your memory of how to get started on breastfeeding, or, if you’re bottle-feeding, of bottle-feeding basics? Your milk won’t come in for a few days after the birth but there’s no need to worry about making sure your baby gets enough. It takes a while for your body to produce mature milk, and the colostrum and transition milk you produce until then are perfect for your baby’s needs.

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