Normal newborn behaviour

What is normal behaviour for a newborn?

Your newborn will act differently in the first few days compared to an older infant. Your baby may breathe irregularly – sometimes fast and shallow, sometimes deep and slowly. It is normal for your baby to occasionally stop breathing for about 10 seconds. Your baby may be blotchy and red and have bluish hands and feet for the first day or so.

After the baby recovers from the birth, feeding should become fairly regular. Your baby should eat every two to four hours (eight to 12 times per day). Sometimes 20 minutes will be long enough and other times your baby will need more time to get enough milk. Your baby should have one wet diaper on the first day, two on the second day, and three on the third. In the first couple of days, your baby’s poop will be black or dark green; this is called meconium. After a few feeds, the poop will become fluid yellow, green, or brown. Seedy-looking stools are normal. Once your milk is fully in, you can expect six to eight wet diapers a day. Newborns usually sleep about 16 hours a day, although not in any predictable schedule!

How do I take care of my baby’s umbilical cord?

Your baby’s cord will fall off at some point in the first two weeks after they are born. It may smell bad or have a bit of blood or discharge. If the skin on your baby’s stomach becomes red and inflamed, contact your health care provider.