5 Things you should know about a newborn baby before you give birth.

Are you prepared for the arrival of your little bundle of joy? Most new parents plan and prepare for the birth and the equipment needed but few parents think about what happens when you get your tiny little person home.

Here are 5 things to know about your newborn before you get started!

  1. A newborns gut is not only small but more importantly, sensitive and unable to bring up wind/burp by their self for the first 8-12 weeks of life. It’s common for parents to wind/ burp after feeds and at most in the middle of a feed which can result in trapped wind, lower milk intake and disrupted sleep. Winding frequently not only helps with digestive comfort but also allows a newborn to take bigger feeds, which helps them settle and sleep well.
  2. A newborn responds well to being held securely and confidently, newborns also sleep well when swaddled and tucked in securely. See my videos on sleep positions and swaddling here.
  3. Changing a newborns nappy will cause stimulation, change the nappy well before putting down to sleep and not as a way to settle if woken. I’m not saying you shouldn’t change a dirty nappy but it won’t help settling, it will only stimulate. Contrary to popular belief, a newborn will not wakeup and cry because of a wet or dirty nappy.
  4. Newborns are heat, light and motion sensitive. Regardless of if they want to be awake, their surroundings will affect their ability to stay awake. It will be hard for them to stay awake while being rocked, thrust into bright lights, under overhead spotlights or pushed in a pram outside. Your newborn will also fall asleep easily during feeds and will literally pass out at one sniff of the breast or the trapping of a small air bubble while feeding. It’s practically impossible to wind or feed a sleeping baby, so keeping your baby cool and alert during day feeds will keep your baby content and calm.
  5. Newborns are born with the survival instinct, fight or flight. The fight or flight response can be strong in some individuals which can be magnified by many things such as digestive strength and sensitivity, how they were born, any compression or birth complications and simply whether their needs are being met. Mechanically all newborns work the same way, feed until satisfied, eliminate all wind during and after feeds, factor in some awake time and set up positive secure sleep environments.


For more information check out my complete guide to the newborn stage and beyond, 7pm to 7am Sleeping Baby Routine.