I can’t tell you how many new parents ring me in desperation in the first few days at home with their newborn. Their baby has been feeding at the breast for what feels like ages, and then the instant they try to put the sleepy baby down in its moses basket it wakes up and looks around for more food and cries until it is put back at the breast – and so the cycle continues. The sleep-deprived parents are at their wit’s end and think that everything must be going wrong. Except it is all perfectly normal.
Think about it from your baby’s point of view. Your little one has been carried around in a warm place, snuggled up, listening to your heart beat and breathing, for their entire lives. As far as they are concerned, being born is pretty rubbish! They long to be on you, ideally super close and snuggled up skin to skin, where they are the perfect temperature and soothed by your voice and the sound of your body. Nature has set this up perfectly. Parents and babies are designed to be together! Close contact will boost your bonding hormones and your milk production and keep your baby calm. Baby will be able to feed little and often and build your milk supply. It will not always be like this, but for the first few weeks you will do well to go with the flow, cuddle and love your baby, and offer the breast every time they show feeding cues like opening their mouth, trying to suck their fingers and root around for the breast. I promise that you absolutely cannot spoil a newborn baby. They are incapable of manipulating you. Research shows us that responding to your baby and getting in sync with them builds the foundations for a wonderful healthy relationship and a happy little one. Your family and friends can help by looking after you, feeding you, taking on other responsibilities, and giving you space to get to know your baby.
Of course, it is important to know that your baby is feeding well and not fussing to be picked up because they are actually very hungry. You will need to keep an eye on how your baby is feeding, and what is coming out in their nappies. If you are worried about how much your baby is drinking, you might like to look at these posts and videos and get in touch with your midwife or healthcare provider. If your baby is well fed, but just wants to be with you, then try to relax and enjoy these cozy moments. Most new parents say that the newborn stage was really hard but somehow passed in the blink of an eye.