Thursday, May 27, 2010

Getting Started

Welcome to parenthood! So that new baby is out in the real world. Now what? Here are the very basics. If you can do these 3 things you will be well on your way.

  • Feed the baby. You must choose between breast feeding or formula feeding. Any pediatrician is going to tell you that breast feeding is better for the infant, however, breast feeding is not going to work for every family. Especially, those with a high initial anxiety level. I have found anxiety level to be inversely related to breast feeding success. I will be posting about breast feeding in much more detail in the coming days. As far as formula goes pick a "regular formula." Formula companies have created a huge market for "specialty formulas" (formulas for gas, fussy babies, babies that spit up, etc) based on the issues parents worry about. (Yes, companies will use your anxiety to market products to you.) I will go into greater depth about formulas in the near future. A typical newborn will eat 1-3 ounces every 2-4 hours. However, during the first 24 hours of life it can be hit or miss, some infants just sleep a lot and are a little sluggish with eating.
  • Change dirty diapers. Pretty self-explanatory, right? Infants will pass a dark, tarry stool within the first 24 hours or life. This is normal. Over the next couple of days the stool will become softer, and often take on a seedy quality. Yellow, green, and brown are all normal colors of baby stool. A normal baby stool will appear like diarrhea to most adults. Breast fed babies will often have a decrease in wet and dirty diapers on day 2 and 3 of life, but this will ramp up significantly once mom's milk comes in.
  • Love on the baby. Hold them, rock them, and kiss on them. Let them sleep. A normal newborn can sleep up to 20 hours a day. Don't let sleeping worry you.

That is it. Pretty simple. All you have to do is these 3 things for starters. Don't make things more complicated than they need to be. Keep it simple.


  1. Is there good reason for us to continue buying the name brand formula (normal formula, not the special stuff) at $25 for the big tub of powder or is it really ok to cheap out and get the generic stuff for half the price?

  2. I don't believe it makes a difference. The big boys (Enfamil and Similac) tend to be the companies that put money into research about different nutritional additives (eg, DHA, ARA, prebiotics, probiotics, etc), then other companies tend to follow along once additives have been shown to be beneficial. I am sure each company would claim to be superior to the other, but in reality the FDA has set standards that all baby formulas must meet to be sold in the US. It does not bother me at all when I see a child on one of the more cost effective brands (Parent's Choice, Nestle Good Start, Sam's club, etc).