Antenatal classes help you prepare for labour, the biggest day of them all. But the curveball is what comes after baby arrives. Someone needs to prepare us for that.
This one is self-explanatory, even for those soon-to-be parents who haven’t had much to do with babies yet.
A newborns first poo is black and sticky like tar. This is called meconium and might last for around 24 hours, or for a couple of poos. If baby is feeding well it should soon resemble that mustard explosion we all know so well.
WaterWipes are gentle, yet also nice and thick and that's why they are the perfect hospital bag addition to help ease the black poo off of that brand-new bum.
Newborns are noisy
If there’s one piece of advice everyone seems to forget, it’s that newborns are incredibly noisy sleepers. You’ll feed and snuggle your baby until you can’t anymore and reluctantly place them in their bassinet to sleep. The adrenaline from birth is slowly wearing off and you decide you might just close your eyes after all…except for the little piglet beside you.
They snuffle and snort and choke and spew, all normal apparently.
After a few days they’ll settle down and won’t have as much mucous to bring up. However, some babies are what you might call “windy” and will be extra noisy in the early hours of the morning as they grunt and wriggle around with wind. Most of the time they’re fine but you might like to try burping them if they’re not settling.
Dry skin and long fingernails
This isn’t the Gruffalo, but it might be your newborn baby. A real-life newborn doesn’t usually look like the perfect 3 month old “newborn” you see on TV – although of course, they are perfect!
Your baby might have really long fingernails but don’t worry, they’re very soft and will peel off easily. Or you might be brave enough to cut them with baby fingernail clippers.
Some babies, especially those born after their due date, might have dry, flaky skin. This is normal and you don’t need to put anything on your baby’s skin. It should brush off easily over the first few days and weeks.
They don’t need a lot
It’s hard to fight the nesting urge but babies don’t need a lot.
Nappies and wipes are essential, as well as somewhere safe to sleep and some warm clothes. People will give you more blankets, swaddles and muslin cloths than you need, but you’ll always find a use for them.
You might be pleasantly surprised that all your baby really wants – and needs – is you.