Kate Tuttle, BS, IBCLC

Being a new parent can be exhausting and trying. But being a newborn baby is really hard, too! Think about it; everything is new.  Lights are new, sounds are new, hot and cold is new, even feeling hungry is a new sensation for babies! This is also the first time in their existence that they have been separated from their mother or their mother’s  body. They are experiencing every single feeling and sensation for the first time. That can be totally overwhelming!

What Can I expect in the First Few weeks? 


Babies are born with their own superpower – crying! This is how your baby will communicate with you before they even know how to talk. Crying alerts parents to the baby’s state of distress and prompts them to comfort them. This is your baby’s only way to communicate with you.

*Please note that excessive crying or crying that continues after baby’s needs have been addressed will need the attention of a Pediatrician*

You can find more information on why babies cry here: https://www.seattlechildrens.org/conditions/a-z/crying-baby-before-3-months-old/

Frequent Feeds

Newborn babies do a lot of eating. I’m sure you have had an older relative tell you at some point that babies “only sleep, eat and cry” usually accompanied by a dirty diaper. 

 It is also important to remember baby belly size. Like everything else on your baby, their belly size is small, meaning the baby will be feeding frequently and in small amounts.  On day one of life, the newborn’s stomach is approximately the size of a marble. By day 3, baby’s belly has grown to about the size of a ping pong ball. You can find a visual representation of baby’s belly size here: https://wicbreastfeeding.fns.usda.gov/how-much-milk-your-baby-needs#:~:text=At%20birth%2C%20your%20baby’s%20tummy,much%20milk%20your%20baby%20needs.

I feel like all I am doing is holding my baby!

As mentioned above, your baby is adjusting to this new environment and their new surroundings. You may notice baby wanting to be held much of the time. Your baby knows they are safe when they are close to their mom or dad’s chest. They can hear the soothing sounds of your breathing and heartbeat just like they did in utero. This reminds the baby of their first “home” and where they felt secure. They know you are their safe space and their protector. We as adults like to be close to others who make us feel safe and secure and our babies are no different. 

My grandma told me I am spoiling my baby

Good news! Your baby is designed to be held and comforted. Newborn babies are not intellectually capable of manipulation. They are, however, dependent. They need you to help nurture them, make them feel safe and help them grow. After all, that is likely the reason you became a mom; to care for another human life. 

Parenting can be a tough adjustment, but you are doing great! Remember to give yourself some grace and take one day at a time. 

You’ve got this. And we’ve got you! 

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