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Your Newborn Survival Guide

How to Adopt a Baby After you’ve adopted a newborn, a whole new life is about to start. Your daily routine is going to change and maybe you’ll feel stressful and tired. These things are normal and every parent is experiencing them. You need all the help you can get, and that’s what newborn survival guides — like this one! — are for.

Crying

Babies cry. A lot. And sometimes you’ll have no idea why. When this happens, first you’ll need to go step by step to identify the reason. Check your baby’s diaper, make sure he or she’s isn’t too cold or too hot, try feeding him or her, and check everything else you can think of. If this doesn’t work, you can also try swaddling your baby, giving him or her a newborn massage with a scented lotion, placing him or her in a baby swing, or offering a pacifier.

Feeding

Newborns have very small stomachs, so it’s completely normal for them to eat frequently. During the first few weeks, it’s important to listen to feed them on demand. Eventually, you’ll benefit from working up to a daily feeding schedule. Use feeding time as an opportunity to bond with your new baby. If you feel like he or she isn’t eating enough or gaining enough weight, speak to your pediatrician. Keep in mind that it is normal for newborns to lose a little weight during the first few days after birth; they usually regain it within a couple weeks.

Diaper Checks

Newborns may only urinate two to four times a day in the first couple of days, but after this period, you can expect about six to twelve wet diapers daily. When you’re changing your baby’s poopy diapers, you should know your colors. In baby’s first day or two, their stool is usually black. After that, it’ll get lighter brown. No matter how you feed your baby, normal colors are brown, green, or yellow. If you notice something white or red, that can indicate a problem, so you’ll contact your pediatrician.

Bathing

Bathing a newborn can be a challenge. Before a full bath, make sure your baby is not hungry, the water isn’t too hot, and that the room is warm enough. Have all your supplies within arms reach so you don’t leave your baby’s side. Thankfully, a newborn baby needs a full bath only once or twice a week because using soap too frequently can damage your baby’s delicate skin. Between full baths, you can give your baby sponge baths to wash his or her face and body.

Bedtime

Babies respond really well to routines, and a bedtime routine is no exception. It’s never too early to start developing one. Try beginning quiet time at the same time every night. Read your baby a story or sing a song. Swaddle your baby before sleeping and try feeding him or her before bed — a full baby is often a tired baby. For the first couple of weeks or months, you may choose to let your baby to sleep in your room to make the nights easier for all of you.