Real Care Baby Guide

How to Make
Your New Baby Thrive

mom and newborn baby looking at each other, real care baby

Begin Your Life
as a New Mom
by Using:

“The Proven Swedish Real Care Baby Guide” for how to manage your newborn’s need that ensures optimal brain development.

This is a guide I dreamed of, back when I had my first newborn baby far away in USA.

A handy guide that is based on my newborn work experience, master education in baby health care, studies by researchers and not least having four more babies, later on back in Sweden.

  • The guide details what you can expect and what’s best to do when you come home with your newborn baby.
  • What makes your new baby feel happy, content and safe.
  • How you will understand, what it is, your baby really needs.
  • How to recognize and interpret your newborn baby’s body language and sounds.
  • What parents need to continuously monitor and observe in newborns.
  • Which 12 essential newborn baby care needs that parents should manage for optimal brain development, health and growth.

Only then are you able to offer the proper care that makes your baby feel safe and happy.

Caring for newborn babies between 1-3 months is foremost about loving care, tender touch and “know how” that’s conducive to brain growth. These special qualities benefit children at all ages!

Newborns’ real care need is dependent on excellent parent education before birth.

This is a step by step essential total newborn care guide that’s easy to comprehend.

Print this page and post it above your baby’s change table!

1st Real Care Baby Needs:
Bonding Between You and Baby

Mothers bonding with their newborn babies is an essential part of developmental baby care in Sweden.

The bond between mother and baby is vital for the baby’s feeling of security and comfort.

Newborn bonding creates confidence in self as an individual now.

It shapes and builds social skills with the ability to connect with others and teen confidence.

It’s my experience with babies and studies confirm it.

newborn baby carrier for bonding

The first four 4 months in a baby’s life, mothers shouldn’t break the baby bond process.

Use a “Kangaroo Carrier”, that’s doctor recommended, so baby and you can face each other.

Studies show that skin to skin contact and the mother’s heartbeat keeps the baby calm.

With your hands free you can quickly see what your baby needs and give proper care but also tend to other needed things in the home.

However don’t do any sudden movement or strenuous activity!

2nd Real Care Baby Needs:
Parents’ Heartfelt Feelings

Sense your Baby’s Signals – Answer the Baby’s Cues

  • In a world filled with emotions the newborn child’s senses are wide open.
  • From birth the baby’s brain is prepared to receive and register all emotions around them.
  • The important thing is, that they convey a pleasant safe emotional experience.
  • For a baby to develop optimally, it requires parents who can interpret their baby’s signals and respond to their needs.

Parent’s Emotional Presence
Consists of 5 Aspects:

  • 1. Perceiving the baby signals = Sensing that the baby wants help.
  • 2. Interpreting the baby signals = Understanding what the baby needs.
  • 3. Providing adequate response = Giving the baby what he/she needs.
  • 4. Responding in time quickly = Give the baby what the baby needs right away.
  • 5. Continueing this contingency = Always being ready to act on the baby’s need.

How to Sense – your Baby’s Help Signals

  • Be close to your newborn baby at all times, so you can observe and learn how your baby sounds, looks and acts is the key to quickly recognize different signals, cues for hunger, to suck, closeness, for play and discomfort.
  • Instinctive care for your baby, is to use your motherly instinct to sense that your baby signals something.
  • A mom should never disregard those feelings, no matter what others say, even the doctor. Get a different doctor’s opinion in that case.
  • Your focus should be: Tending to your baby without hesitation day and night.
  • Looking out for your little one will make your baby feel safe and happy.

How to Understand – your Baby’s Needs

  • Newborn baby communication and movements consist mainly of innate reflexes, triggered when the baby feels, needs, sees or hears something.
  • It’s believed that these reflexes were created to help the newborn baby survive.
  • When newborn babies have a need to suck, are hungry or thirsty, they may begin with a sucking, smacking sound.

newborn baby hungry sign

  • A hungry baby will open the mouth and may also turn the head to the side, move the hand toward the mouth and start sucking on the hand.
  • The baby may also drool.
  • Babies also signal when they feel uncomfortable or have pain and when they are content and when they are excited.
  • If uncomfortable, they usually start with a grunting sound since their tongues are not developed yet for other sounds than those coming from the throat.
  • If the baby hasn’t been picked up by making those sounds, very soon survival newborn crying sets in, which then requires calming before feeding etc.
  • If babies have pain they will signal by crying and end up screaming for help.

How to Provide your Baby’s Need – Without Delay

  • Pick up your baby as soon as he makes a sound and try to discern what he/she wants.
  • If the baby is hungry, thirsty, or need to suck for comfort, he will open the mouth, offer the breast.
  • If that doesn’t make your baby happy, check the diaper.
  • If it’s dry, place your hand on his stomach to feel if he is too warm or too cold.
  • Do what is needed, breast feed, change the diaper, take off a blanket or add one more.
  • Your baby may need closeness to you or a different body position for more comfort.
  • If the baby starts to cry in a high pitch voice and is inconsolable, he might suffer from colic, which some babies get, when they are 2 weeks old, but doesn’t usually last beyond 3-4 months of age.
  • The first time this happens it’s vital to see the baby’s doctor for a proper diagnose!
  • However colic isn’t dangerous.
  • Click on the link to colic care, for baby colic help and tips.

Happy Baby Signals

baby looking content and happy

When babies are feeling good they display a happy content look, that makes you smile and also feel good.

Excited babies may jolt suddenly like when they see mom, dad or a fun dangling toy.

They often kicks their legs, look intensely at you and stretch their arms forward.

Respond to the happy signals, by saying how you feel, when he is excited, and pick up your baby when he stretches his arms out to you.

How to Monitor – Observe your Baby

arm's reach mini sleeper on wheels

By observing your baby a lot and having him by your side the first few weeks at all times, you will soon learn what kind of need your baby signals.

It’s convenient to use a baby carrier in conjunction with an arm’s reach bed on wheels during the day.

Because you will need to put the baby down for some reason close to you daytime.

My newborns always slept through household chores washing dishes etc. during the day.

Then you can observe and hear the baby constantly, which is a real care a baby absolutely needs.

At night your newborn baby should sleep next to you in a Bedside Crib, with one crib side open to your own bed.

It facilitates night time breast feeding and helps you to easy comfort your little one without leaving the bed.

It helps both baby and you to sleep better.

3rd Real Care Baby Needs:

Newborn Breast Feeding

Real Care Baby

If you can’t breastfeed your baby, Bottle Feeding your newborn baby becomes a necessity.

The good news is, there’s organic baby formula made to replicate breast milk.

Whether you are breast feeding or giving your baby formula,Feeding Newborn Babies often during the day and also during the night is necessary.

You should breastfeed your baby on demand, as often and as long as demanded and it feels good.

Most newborns wake up and show that they are hungry, but some newborns may be so sleepy, that you have to wake them to breastfeed.

The first month it shouldn’t go more than 3 hours between each daytime feeding and 4 hours at night.

If it does you need to gently wake your baby up for a feeding.

Tips for How to
Wake a Sleeping Newborn
for Feeding

Sometimes it may be necessary to wake your newborn baby to breastfeed.

It can be tricky to wake a sleepy newborn child but a diaper change, usually does it.

wake a newborn baby

However sometimes the baby may still not be enough awake to be able to suck.

Here are tricks I used to wake my babies and then have them stay awake breast feeding, the first month, when they slept a lot.

If your baby still feels sleepy try the Babkin reflex:

Gently massage or push against the palm of your baby’s hand, this makes him open the mouth by reflex, and then bring the baby quickly to the breast, or bottle.

You can also tickle the sole of his feet a little, during the feeding if baby tends to get sleepy again.

If the baby stops sucking, proceed with burping him in an upright position, against your shoulder or in your knee, patting his lower back.

It benefits bothe the baby’s ability to get rid of air and his continued feeding.

How much your baby is feeding, his nutritional intake is key to a baby’s optimal growth.

Breast Feeding Time

  • A newborn baby sucks milk effectively about five to ten minutes, of the approximately thirty minutes breast feeding usually takes.
  • New born feeding is most intense during the first breast feeding moments.
  • newborn baby breastfeeding

  • Make sure and keep notice, that your baby is getting milk and swallowing often.
  • Make a pause after a while and burp your baby to prevent air bubbles to escape down the bowels and create gas pain(colic).
  • Most babies drop the breast spontaneously when they have finished eating.
  • If the baby doesn’t, be alert for when your baby no longer swallows as often.
  • If baby stopped swallowing, he is either satisfied and then needs to get burped at the end or need to gets burped to be able to eat more.
  • Your baby will signal when he is full by looking satisfied and content, sometimes babies become awake and alert for stimulating activities or fall asleep.
  • Make note of which breast the baby just nursed.
  • It helps you keep track to begin with the other breast at next breast feeding.

  • Does Baby Get Enough Breast Milk?

    • 1. Look and listen to your baby sucking.
    • 2. Check the movements of the baby’s throat.
    • 3. You should both see and hear your baby swallow milk.
    • 4. The baby should have at least 6 preferably 8 -10 wet diapers per day if your baby is feeding enough.
    • 5. Keep track of how many diapers and how wet they are.
    • 6. Most of your time during the day, evening and 2-3 times or more at night will be spent breastfeeding your newborn or bottle feeding and tending to your baby.
    • 7. Food is vital for the baby’s rapid brain development to function well.

    Do your Breasts
    Feel Tense and Sore?

    This is common and natural. Moms often experience tense breasts and breast soreness and may get a little increased body temperature.

    The normal tenseness and soreness of the breasts is caused by increased blood volume and tissue fluid, which passes within a few days.

    Even though your breasts feel tense, your baby needs to nurse to stimulate the coming breast milk production, and it will also help the tenseness go away.

    Some of these symptoms are similar to a clogged milk duct.

    It is very important to know how to prevent this often occurring problem, so read about how to avoid clogged milk ducts.

    Breast feeding and milk production may take a while before it’s fully established up to three months is not unusual.

    It’s important to let the baby feed on demand and often.

    It comforts the baby, promotes bonding and stimulates the production of breast milk.

    In the beginning most new mothers may feel a little soreness in their nipples but this soreness should go away within a few days.

    Has your Baby Latched on – Properly?

    If not, your baby hasn’t latched and attached properly to your breast and you need
    help with baby’s latch!

    When Breast Milk – Begins to Flow

    When the milk starts flowing, moms often get a tingling sensation in their breasts and then the nipples may start to leak milk.

    This is also common and natural.

    It’s a good sign because it means your breast milk production is getting off to a good start.

    Pick up your baby and start breast feeding, unless he was breast fed recently or is sound asleep.

    As soon as the milk production is established this sensation and leaking will stop, and your breasts will only feel full.

    How to Deal
    with Breast Milk Leakage

    If your breasts have a tendency to leak and wet your bra, you can use disposable organic breast pads with no plastic, so you don’t’ need to constantly change bra. But you do need to change those pads often!

    At night you will need soft towels over your breasts to catch the milk at night and to protect your mattress from stains.

    However after 3 months, when the breast feeding production has settled, the leaking usually ends.
    At least it did with my 5 babies breast feeding and in most other mothers.

    Breast Feeding Bra

    seamless comfy breast feeding bra

    Bravado Body Silk Seamless Nursing Bra XL

    Wear a roomy breastfeeding bra that supports the breasts.

    The bra needs to be soft and comfortable to wear during the day.

    At night it’s not recommended to wear a breastfeeding bra.

    During the night, a bra may compress the breasts too much, causing clogged milk ducts.

    Proper Breast Feeding – Bottle Feeding

    A newborn’s brain develops rapidly after birth, and this process needs food distributed at regular intervals.

    It’s vital that the baby gets fed properly for his brain development.

    Brain development in early childhood explains it in detail.

    It is something you should be focused on, is the real care baby needs for healthy growth.

    4th Real Care Baby Needs:
    Your Newborn’s Need for Sleep

    During the first week or more after birth, your baby is busy adjusting to life outside the warm and cozy womb.

    On average newborn babies sleep about 16-17 hours per day.

    The sleep is regulated by hunger, the baby’s need for food, comfort and its strong need to suck.

    A new baby is dozing a lot and then awakens hungry to nurse to gather energy and strength to grow.

    However during the awake periods, the baby willingly seeks that what is good for its development.

    Stimulate Language Development

    mother talking to her baby

    When you feed, change and dress your little one, those are golden opportunities for talk.

    Tell your baby what you are doing each moment during diaper changes, bathing and cleaning and dressing.

    Keep talking when tending to your baby, keep eye contact, smile, caress and kiss the baby’s skin when undressed.

    Communicate using a tender voice, eye to eye contact, caresses and kisses are the best ingredients for building synapses(connections) between the baby’s brain cells.

    All of this will boost your baby’s language development.

    Taking advantage of every moment, to help the brain building process, is real baby care.

    5th Real Care Baby Needs:
    Observe Newborn Jaundice

    • Almost half of all newborns get a little yellow in the face and head sometime between 2-5 days after birth
    • The yellow color can spread to the body, a condition called jaundice or icterus.
    • If you came home from the hospital before day five after giving birth, and you notice that your baby has this condition, or you are not sure, you need to contact your baby doctor.
    • You can very easily test your baby For Jaundice At Home before calling the doctor.
    • The result may be, that the doctor says, the baby doesn’t need a medical examination for now.
    • The doctor will advice you.

    6th Real Care Baby Needs:
    Knowledge about your Baby’s
    Growth Spurt Periods

    Fussy Newborn

    • Realize that your baby will experience his first growth spurt between 7-10 days after birth.
    • Babies entering a spurt of development usually become fussy.
    • They want cluster feedings and need more sleep (or sleep less) for a few days.
    • To recognize the signs of infant growth spurts and when they occur is very helpful and may save you a lot of anxiety.
    • These spurts are very important for the baby’s overall development!

    7th Real Care Baby Needs:
    Diaper Changes

    You will be doing many diaper changes every day and a couple at night.

    It is important keep your baby dry, because newborns skin is very sensitive and vulnerable to diaper rash.

    newborn diaper change

    Using chlorine free and organic diapers will protect your little ones bottom.

    However, you still have to check your baby’s diaper often!

    First do a diaper smell test – if fine, then test the dryness of the diaper with your finger inside the diaper.

    Test the diaper a couple of inches below the navel with a baby boy and further down the diaper if you have a baby girl.

    This will tell you if your baby needs a change of diaper.

    If your baby’s bottom is getting affected by the many lose bowel movements, apply an ointment such as Mustela Pediatrics Diaper Rash Cream which is ph balanced, prevents and helps to cure diaper rash.

    The first couple of months diaper changes are mostly done prior to feedings but many times after the feedings as well.

    baby loves diaper change

    Diapering is an important part of baby’s development and a real care baby needs.

    The diaper changes, multiple times every day, are golden moments for touch and communication, that leads to brain development.>

    Newborn Babies’ First Bowel Movement

    All babies very first bowel movement, called meconium, consists of substances that gathered in their digestive tracts while growing and developing in the womb.

    Meconium is greenish-black or looks like black tar, and the baby must get rid of it within 48 hours after birth, before normal digestion can take place.

    If it doesn’t, it could be some kind of intestinal obstruction and you wouldn’t have released you and baby from the hospital until it had been diagnosed and fixed.

    Newborn Poop – Breast Feeding

    Babies who breastfeed: Their stools are loose in consistence with cottage cheese like curds, a yellow mustard color and a slight acidic odor.

    How often a breastfed baby has bowel movements varies.

    Before the the baby’s digestive tract has matured, newborn babies may have bowel movements after each breast feeding session.

    When the digestive tract is mature, which may take a couple of months, breast fed babies usually get a stool routine.

    Babies that are breastfed who get formula as supplement to breast milk, tend to have more green curd stools.

    Some infants who are only breastfed, have bowel movements a few times a week, but have no problems.

    It means that all the breast milk was digested in the intestines and nourished the baby.

    Some babies have a bowel movement a few times to a couple of times per day to once a week.

    All is normal for babies who are breastfeeding exclusively.

    Newborn Poop – Formula Feeding

    Babies who are exclusively fed newborn formula have thicker, larger curd like stools, beige,light brown in color.

    The smell may vary depending on their formula, but it’s smells more like “pooh”.

    Formula fed newborn babies tend to have more bowel movements in the beginning.

    When their digestive tract has matured, in a month or two, they usually poop once or twice a day.

    Babies on formula can be prone to constipation which you have to be vigilant of.

    8th Real Care Baby Needs:
    Umbilical Cord Care

    newborn baby's umbilical cord

    • It’s best to fasten your baby’s diaper below the the navel area as in the picture above.
    • It provides air circulation that keeps it dry which helps the umbilical cord heal and fall off faster.
    • The umbilicus, the navel area and the folds around it, should be wiped off with dry cotton swabs each morning until the cord falls off.
    • Most importantly: Keep the navel dry! That’s the most proper umbilical care.
    • If the umbilical cord area becomes dirty, use a mild soap and water to cleanse the area gently, letting it air dry works best.
    • Don’t use rubbing alcohol for cleaning the navel area.
    • Studies show it may delay the cord from falling off.
    • Some pediatricians, in US and other countries outside Sweden, still recommend rubbing alcohol, probably because they aren’t aware of these studies.
    • The umbilical cord usually falls off in 10-20 days.
    • Don’t pull the cord even if it is just a thread left.

    Signs of Naval Irritation and Navel Infection

    • Sometimes the the navel bleeds a little after the umbilical cord has fallen off. Then it needs to be treated and washed with Chlorhexidine 0.5% at the doctors office!
    • Be vigilant – navel infection can lead to sepsis with emergency care.
    • If the belly button area seems at all irritated, fold down the baby’s diaper so it doesn’t rub against the cord or stops the air flow.
    • If the umbilical cord smells or oozes pus or leaves blood on your baby’s diaper, call the doctor!
    • If the navel skin is red at the base of the cord or if the baby acts as if it’s painful to touch, call your doctor!

    9th Real Care Baby Needs:
    Cleaning a Newborn Baby

    newborn getting a bath

    Your newborn baby shouldn’t be washed and cleaned with soap or shampoo during the first couple of weeks because newborns skin is sensitive and prone to dryness.

    Clean your baby with just warm water, maybe add a couple of baby oil drops, if the baby’s skin looks dry, is sufficient.

    You can give your baby a warm soothing tub water bath, if baby’s navel looks fine and he enjoys it.

    How to bathe a baby has important details how to use developmental touch, when cleaning your baby, which is real care baby needs.

    How to clean baby girls and baby boy genitals and the best bathing technique your baby will love.

    10th Real Care Baby Needs:
    Trimming Baby’s Fingernails

    Baby’s fingernails, when they are newborn, are soft and can be long.

    The first few months it can be difficult to see how much of the nail that has grown together with the skin underneath the nail.

    You should therefore avoid cutting the nails the first month or so, until the skin underneath the nails has separated itself from the nails.

    They grow quickly, both on their fingers and toes.

    By filing the baby’s nails gently, you are preventing that the child tears himself in the face.

    As long as the child’s nails are soft, carefully tear off the loose flaps of them.

    Once the nails begins to get cut, it is a good time to do it while the baby sleeps or just after the baby has bathed, because the nails are then soft.

    Clipping Baby’s Nails:

    Cut straight across the nail and be careful with the edges. You can use a blunt baby scissor or baby nail clipper and then use a soft paper file to smooth the baby’s nails.

    11th Real Care Baby Needs:
    Baby Well Check Ups

    When you get home with your baby from the hospital, call your pediatrician to schedule your baby’s first well check up visit.

    If you reside in Sweden, the baby will get his first physical exam by a Pediatrician 6-8 hours after birth.

    Then after you get home, a pediatric nurse will visit you within 3-4 days, to see how you and the baby are doing, how the breast feeding is going, check the baby and the umbilical cord plus set up the baby’s first doctor appointment for you.

    At the doctor’s office, your baby will be weighed and measured in length and head circumference, plotted on a special

    infant growth chart, and examined thoroughly from top to toe.

    It is very important to visit a doctor between the 3rd and the 5th day, since the condition newborn jaundice shows up between 3-5 days, and needs to be diagnosed.

    Most newborn babies and mothers have been discharged from the hospital are home by then.

    Also any problems with breast feeding needs now to be corrected since food is vital for your baby’s growth..

    If you live in Sweden the doctor will prescribe D vitamin drops, with five 5 drops per day, starting at one week of age, that needs to continue for at least 2 years of age or longer.

    Dark-skinned children get less vitamin D in the skin than light-skinned children do and need to get D-drops even after two years of age.

    The same is true for children with clothes covering the body, even in summer.

    You should ask your doctor or Child Health Care Center, about vitamin D for your baby.

    12th Real Care Baby Needs:
    Baby Immunizations

    Your baby must be vaccinated against serious illnesses through the mandatory immunization schedule of the country where you reside.

    Baby immunizations, throughout childhood protects your child from serious diseases and is a real care baby requirement.

    They also protects other children in your child’s environment from getting sick.

    If you have any questions or concerns about the real care baby needs always contact your baby’s doctor.

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