Expert Advice

Midwife Cath answers the most common newborn questions

After delivering more than 10,000 babies, Midwife Cath knows newborns - here are the questions she's been asked the most.

By Midwife Cath

Having a baby can be daunting and new parents are bound to be overwhelmed with questions they have never thought to ask before.

The first few weeks should be an exciting time for mums and dads, so to relieve some of the stress I've shared for advice for the most common questions that I get asked in the first few weeks.

How much crying is too much? Or not enough?

Understanding a baby's cry can be confusing - figuring out what each sound means takes time. Most of the time a cry can mean two things; either your bub is 'hungry' or simply wants to be held and kept close.

Your newborn won't cry if they are tired – their bodies will do the talking.

Another misconception is parents thinking a cry could mean time for a nappy change. Remember that babies don't cry because of a wet or dirty nappy.

What’s a normal sleeping pattern for a newborn?

The phrase 'sleeping like a baby' isn't always accurate. Babies can spend half of their night making sounds and moving around a lot. This is normal and can mean your little one is in a deep sleep which is vital for development and recovery, so don't be nervous if this is the case. It will calm down around the six-month mark.

Tip: use a safe baby sleeping bag as this will keep baby's temperature at a more constant level while sleeping and promote them sleeping on their back.

Midwife Cath has delivered more than 10,000 babies and  provides specialist information on sleep and feeding issues for newborn to toddlers.
Midwife Cath has delivered more than 10,000 babies and provides specialist information on sleep and feeding issues for newborn to toddlers.

What does each sound mean?

Parents often worry about the unique and random sounds their little one makes.

After a feed, your bub will need to burp once to allow a little wind relief. This helps settle their stomach after filling up their belly with liquid. However, if your baby doesn't burp after a feed, don't worry - this isn't always necessary and won't harm them. Don't feel like you need to do endless laps around the house patting their back.

And yes, hiccups are common in babies. Try feeding your baby in an upright position and giving them smaller but more frequent feeds if it's happening often.

When will my baby start to crawl?

Every baby grows and develops differently, making it hard to know when yours will start moving around.

Amidst the hustle and bustle of day to day life, it's easy to keep them in strollers and swings to keep a watchful eye on them. However, allowing time for your baby to play on a clean floor can be a great way to allow them to explore and grow, giving them the space and freedom to roam around and practice their crawl.

Babies need to crawl first then sit – so they crawl to sit. You don't want babies to sit first as then they won't move. The aim it to keep babies moving.

Mother Nature wants babies to eventually walk by about 12 months – so give the baby freedom on the floor to explore.

How can I protect my baby’s skin?

I get a lot of questions around little one's skin, especially in the cooler months.

Since a baby's skin is new, it's not as susceptible to dry, flaky skin as we are, however, it is quite thin. As your bub ages, he or she will grow into it and its protective barrier.

In winter, babies skin can become more sensitive and dehydrated due to rougher winds and harsher weather. Using quality, natural skin care products when bathing can help keep your newborn's skin full of moisture and protected through the colder months.

Midwife Cath has delivered more than 10,000 babies and provides specialist information on sleep and feeding issues for newborn to toddlers. Most recently she has partnered with Organic Care Baby to become the skincare brand's resident authority on all things baby.

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