Each and every baby is different. You baby should be kept comfortable, given the food that is right for them, and protected them from harm. All babies need to be loved, to be played with and talked to, to be given quiet time to rest and steep. The baby’s sleeping, feeding pattern and behaviour is quite his own, and while you must know what babies usually do and how they behave, you must not get perturbed if your baby doesn’t sleep after a feed.
The baby has been rather squashed during his birth through a canal and so his face may look puffy, not much and the head a bit elongated. The baby will be normal in a day or two. Indian babies have a good deal of black hair, which may be matted down with a sticky material called vernix. This will dry and fall off in a day or two. The skin looks rather blotchy and red, and may be covered with vernix, particularly in the groins, armpits and around the neck. The baby weighs normally between 2.5 Kgs and 3.5 Kgs. Both bigger or smaller babies need special attention.
As soon as the baby born, it gives a lusty cry, announcing his arrival. This will help his lungs to expand. Because the baby’s lungs are inactive, as in the womb, the placenta is supplying the oxygen to the baby through the umbilical cord. The lungs expands and provides all oxygen needed after the birth. The umbilical cord is cut and the baby is separated from the mother. The baby can suck and swallow, sneeze and cough, and cry when he is hungry or uncomfortable. He can hear and he may smile, but this is an unknowing smile. He looks tiny and frail, but for his age he is quite strong, and you must hold gently.
When you are holding the baby, one hand or elbow should support the head, and the other should be around his back. By the age of 3 to 4 months, the baby learns to hold his head up, and he can be held up, and he can be held against the shoulder.
The baby previously has been at a constant body temperature in the womb, so does not like sudden changes in temperatures. Therefore, the room temperature should not be too cold or hot.
After birth, both the mother and the baby need rest, both usually go off to sleep. When the baby wakes up, he is ready for his feed. This is the time the baby offered his first food, breast milk. The transitional milk is called colostrum. This is yellowish, creamy, very rich in proteins, and it helps in the protection of certain infections. The baby will usually wake up for a feed of 3 to 4 times during the day as well as at night, and will go back to sleep soon after being fed. By the 3rd or the 4th day the breast milk is ample for the baby, and he begins to gain in weight. All babies lose some weight during the first 3 to 4 days. Soon the baby develops a rhythm of sleep and food, demands food as soon as he is awake, gradually learns to be awake without crying, and starts watching his hands or some coloured beads on his cot, or he is just content to look into the distance.