Google is this generation’s new parents’ Grandma.
Well, not quite. There are still some questions that are best answered by mum or grandma, but in the wee hours of the night, a new parent can’t help but Google. Thank goodness for technology!
I’m sure you have Googled a lot of funny, sometimes embarrassing questions, in the past, but the questions new parents Google are something else! These questions range from reasonable to little bit weird to downright TMI. Let’s start with…
1. Why is my baby’s poo yellow or green or gritty or watery?
Newborn baby poo is a force to be reckoned with. While it barely has any smell (because all they eat and drink is milk!), the appearance can be quite strange to many new parents. The answer is bile!
Babies first poo is called meconium – and it is black or dark green and has a tar like consistency that looks all sorts of wrong. But it is perfectly normal. Meconium is made up of amniotic fluid, skin cells, a bit of mucus and other floaties ingested by baby in the womb.
Breastfed Baby Poo:
Now exclusively breast fed babies poo is a lot milder than babies who drink formula, and once your little one starts to eat solids, it’s then that their poo goes brown and smells just like ours do. But breastfed babies poo is a mustard yellow colour but can also be grainy in texture. It doesn’t smell offensive, in fact has a bit of a sweet smell.
Green Baby Poo:
Green baby poo can mean there is an issue or sensitivity to the lactose in milk. Get this one checked out by the Doctor just to make sure everything is okay.
2. How can I get my baby to sleep longer?
I feel you sister. Here is a horror story – my baby cried 13 hours per day for for the first four months, and didn’t sleep more than an hour at a time. I survived – and you will too – I promise!
For the first 12 months you just have to go by their schedule – from six months old you can try Dream Feeding. We have a terrific article on Dream Feeding that can help you navigate it step by step. First things first, you have to give your baby no excuse not to sleep – so a full tummy, clean nappy, nice clean clothes, a quiet room.
But even doing all that doesn’t guarantee a baby (even a newborn) will sleep.
Other options include giving baby a nice warm bath, playing some rhythmic soft music in their bedroom, having block-out curtains in the nursery. Once you get to a stage where you are tearing your hair out with the lack of sleep, there is help. Book you and baby into one of the many Sleep Schools, where they teach you how to settle baby and give you fantastic techniques on quality sleep.
3. Can my baby see me?
Technically your newborn baby can’t see you very well because their vision is still blurry but be assured that they know you. She’s felt your heartbeat for 9 months after all and they can smell the breast milk.
4. Why is my baby’s head weirdly shaped?
Because they have to fit their great big heads through your vagina. Baby’s heads are amazing – they kinda fold to get out of your body.
But seriously it is called ‘Plagiocephaly’. Baby’s skulls are very thin and flexible which allows for their fast growing brain. 10 – 50% of newborns will have a misshapen head but it usually fixes itself within six weeks. If it doesn’t – get it checked by your Doctor.
5. When can I start drinking wine again?
You know what? Everything in moderation. Unless you’re exclusively breastfeeding an infant, I’m pretty sure you can go for a glass. And even if you’re breastfeeding, you can enjoy an occasional drink if your doctor gives you the go signal!
6. How can I tell if my baby is going to be a psychopath?
Don’t laugh – I actually Googled this when my first son was young…. You can’t tell at birth.
7. When can I start working out again?
I know many new mothers who started working out almost immediately after giving birth! That depends on you. If you gave birth via c-section, ask your Obstetrician for guidance. I believe the standard is two months. Mum’s who give birth naturally and feel up to it can go for it as long as they are comfortable.
8. What do you do with your baby all day?
You know, hang out, go to the gym, grab a drink or two… Seriously though, you will know. No need to fret! (Also, I’m pretty sure you’ll be sleeping every moment you can anyway.) Babies are exhausting and take up so much time, you won’t have time to think about what you do all day!
9. Why do boys pee right after you take their nappy off?
They always do that and they seem to always know when you just replaced their cot sheets with new ones. For crying out loud. My trick? Put a washcloth straight over their penis as soon as you pull the nappy off them, so if they do pee, it won’t go straight into your eye/mouth/hair.
10. Why do babies smile when they’re asleep?
Not sure either but I’m not bothered. They look so angelic and adorable you’ll totally forget they just pee’d on fresh sheets earlier!
11. What is the fontanelle there for?
Okay, no kidding, the fontanelle thingy is quite freaky. One time, I accidentally (gently) poked into it while giving my son a bath. I was afraid I just poked his brain. See above ‘Why is my baby’s head weirdly shaped’.
12. Can babies see ghosts?
No they can’t. Ghosts aren’t real.
13. Why is her umbilical cord stump smelly?
Oh they smell so bad. When my son came home from the hospital, his stunk so bad the stink remained in the car for a week after! But the reason it smells bad is that it is dead flesh – so it is literally rotting. Don’t worry – just keep it as clean as you can and it will fall off when it is good and ready – usually a week after birth.
Keep an eye out for infection though – any sign of redness or pus – get it checked out immediately!
14. How do I treat sore nipples?
Ugh, sore nipples. The bane of all breastfeeding mothers’ existence. More often than not though, sore nipples are caused by an incorrect latch. Google the correct latch, have a friend teach you, or consult a breastfeeding counsellor. No matter what though – your nipples will be tender. Apply nipple cream regularly.
15. Can I die from not sleeping?
Well, we’re still alive so… the answer is no. You can suffer health problems and of course you might not be able to give life 100% if you’re surviving on two hours of sleep daily so rest as often as you can. Also, eye bags and dark circles are the worst.
But the constant lack of sleep can be a factor in Post Natal Depression. So if you aren’t handling things, please speak out early!
16. How much breast milk should I pump?
It depends on how old your baby is, how long you will be gone – actually you need to consider many factors. There are so many breastfeeding websites you can consult for specific guidelines, or chat to your health care provider.
17. Is my baby’s rash normal?
We’ve been there at one point, and most of the time they are normal, but it’s best to have your doctor look into it in case it’s serious!
18. Can my husband drink my breast milk?
Yeah, well, totally depends on your husband. Technically yes, I mean it’s not unhealthy or anything! But you’d have to ask why he’d want to!
19. Why are my boobs so saggy?
I heard that saggy nursing breasts are a myth – every mum is supposed to have them, not just the breastfeeding ones! It’s actually pregnancy that causes saggy breasts and not breastfeeding (or so I was told). Still, it doesn’t help that some mum’s seem to have hit the boob jackpot!
20. When can I have sex after giving birth?
Check with your doctor! Generally it’s 6 weeks but it depends on lots of things like type of delivery, your health, the baby’s health etc etc.
21. Why is my baby so noisy?
Babies aren’t quiet. They grunt and groan and snort and gurgle and cry. Something to be aware of that first night of room sharing!
22. Why does my baby fart so much?
Are you seeing a pattern? I think one of the biggest things new parents worry about is what comes out of their baby’s bottom! Farting is just a sign of gassiness and can be eased with a gentle tummy massage.
23. Why does my baby vomit all the time?
If you don’t cope well with vomit, don’t have children! Both our boys have sensitive gag reflexes so we have to deal with a lot of vomit in our household. Keep an eye on the amount though. When babies are born, they have tiny stomachs that can’t hold a lot of milk, so you may find they spit up a bit of milk, which is totally normal. However, if there is a lot of milk being brought up, then it could be a sign of illness.
24. Is baby brain real?
It hasn’t been scientifically proven as a real thing, but I definitely got a bit more forgetful (most likely due to sleep deprivation) during pregnancy and the newborn years.
25. Why does my baby cry all the time?
This is the only way a baby can communicate with you, and generally, it’s due to the hunger, pain, tiredness or a dirty nappy. Cuddles, skin-to-skin contact, a bath, walk or massage helped us soothe our babies.
26. My Baby ate cat food, is this dangerous?
Kid’s put everything into their mouths and if you have animals, it’s best to keep all pet food and water out of your child’s reach. But if they do munch on a few dry cat bikkies, it will be fine!
27. Why are my babies eyes crossed?
Up to four months of age, it is normal for babies’ eyes to cross now and again. It’s a new skill, learning to see. However, if you are concerned that your baby’s eyes are crossed often, or seems to have vision troubles, it’s best to see your health-care practitioner.
28. How do I open my pram?
I have to admit that I googled instructions for a new pram. I had it folded and couldn’t for the life of me work out how to unfold it. This is why you have to practice using all the new equipment, before the baby is born!