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Welcoming Your Newborn

Updated: Aug 4, 2023

Imagine the world from your newborn’s perspective.

Everything is new. Everything is overwhelming. Everything is too fast. They are entirely dependent on you for their survival, and they know it. The only things that are familiar are the smell of mom and the sounds of mom and dad’s voices. Being close to mom and dad are where newborns feel safest.

In the womb babies never wore diapers, they weren’t wrapped in blankets and didn’t don socks. The womb was dark and quiet, with predictable sounds.

Babies weren’t designed to live in the womb forever, but we could stand to do a better job of gently introducing newborns to the world with calm and consideration.

What does this mean for parents and caregivers?

  • Introduce the world slowly to your newborn. There’s no rush to acclimate them to their new life. Over time they will become more a part of your lifestyle.

  • Remember that newborns get overstimulated very quickly, so try to eliminate unnecessary stimulation and outings. Talk quietly, turn down the lights and the music and spend time just being together.

  • Observe. Spend time getting to know your baby and their cues. They will let you know when they’re feeling comfortable and when they’re feeling overwhelmed if you take the time to learn their body language and cries.

  • Limit visitors in the beginning if possible. Everyone is excited to meet the new baby, and for good reason, but babies aren’t ready to meet lots of people quite yet. Their focus is on getting to know mom, dad and siblings.

  • Advocate for your baby. You’re their safe place. You know them better than anyone else.

  • Explain everything to your baby and tell them what to expect. Examples include:

    • “I’m going to wipe your bottom now. It might feel a little cold on your skin. I’ll touch the wipe to your hand first so you can see what it feels like.”

    • “I’m going to close the garage door now. It will make a loud sound.”

    • “Uncle Marvin is coming over to visit today. If it gets to be too much for you just let me know and we can go in the other room together where it’s quiet.”

    • “This is your cradle. When you’re ready to sleep I will lay you on your back in your cradle so you can rest. I will be right here if you need me.”

The best way to welcome your newborn into the world is to take your baby’s perspective. Put yourself in their shoes often. Your baby will thank you for it.

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