Dear Mum and Dad,

I’m finally here! You waited many, many months for my arrival and now I’m just a few days old. I probably weigh between 5lbs and 9lbs,. My tiny body is between 18 and 20.5 inches long, and my head measures between 12.5 and 14.2 inches in circumference. I can tell that you love me so much because of the way you snuggle me, kiss me, and take gentle care of me.

You’ve probably noticed that I like to eat every 2-4 hours for a total of 8-12 daily. I know that’s a lot, but my tummy is growing bigger every day! I like to nurse frequently, or will eat 2 ounces from my bottle ever few hours. Make sure my bottles are clean and sterilized. It’s okay if I fall asleep while nursing, simply feed me when I wake up next.

I can drink my milk cold or warm, but of course I prefer it warm from my Mum’s breast. Remember, milk cannot go in the microwave (it will break down the essential nutrients that my body needs). Instead, heat up my bottle in a bowl of hot water. Once I start eating, the bottle is good for one hour, then the rest needs to be discarded. All of that milk should keep me hydrated so that I wet my diaper at least 6 times a day. Don’t worry about the stinky brown stuff yet, there is no “normal” amount of bowel movements while I’m so young.

If I take too long to eat (more that 20 minutes), if I eat too often (more than every 2 hours), or if never seem satisfied with milk, please call  my pediatrician and ask if this is normal.

All of that milk helps my little body to grow, and so does sleeping. I probably sleep a total of 16 hours per day. I like to sleep on my back (not my tummy) in my comfortable crib or bassinet. But I don’t want any toys or pillows or blankets in my bed; they could get stuck over my nose and make it hard to breathe. It’s best to have my room dark and quiet when I sleep at night. Doctors think that I will sleep better if I’m swaddled, too. When I wake up with to the moon in the sky, keep me in my room so that I can distinguish the difference between daytime and nighttime. If  I sleep longer than 4 or 5 hours, please wake me up and feed me (remember, my belly is still very tiny)!

I don’t have words or expressions yet, so I simply cry to tell you that I need something. Soon you will be able to decipher among my cry for food, to change my diaper, or because I am bored. Try one of these things when I’m fussy: swaddle me in a soft blanket; tilt me on to my tummy; sing “shhhh” to me; gently rock me back and forth; or give me a pacifier to suck on. If I have gas in my belly, gently massage my stomach to help it pass through. Sometimes I will cry when I hear a loud noise, like the blender or the vacuum. Calm me down by rubbing my back and talking to me. If I don’t respond to loud sudden noises, ask my doctor to check me ears with an otoscope in case I have a fluid or wax buildup or difficulty hearing.

However, if I cry for longer than three consecutive hours every day, I may have colic. I don’t mean to be so fussy but I just can’t help it since I don’t feel good. I know it’s difficult to hear me cry for so long. If I make you feel a little crazy, please don’t shake me or hurt me. Just put me in my crib so you can have a break from my crying. I will be fine by myself for 5 minutes in my bed. I don’t like to see you upset, Mum and Dad, so maybe you could ask someone else to help take care of my when I’m fussy. Once I get a little bigger, I won’t cry as much. But right now, it really helps when you hold me, sing to me, and talk sweetly to me.

That reminds me of all of the time we spend playing together! I’m learning how to look at things with my eyes. I love when I can see your face, especially when you make silly expressions at me. I can’t see clearly yet, but I can distinguish between bold, contrasting colors. Keep showing me the pictures in baby books. Can you draw me a simple picture, too? I would like to see thick black and white stripes, big red polka dots, or a dark blue and yellow bulls eye. I enjoy watching you shake a rattle at me. It’s fun to play with the toys you hang on my car seat, in my stroller, and the mobile over my crib. (Just don’t let me eat the paper; be aware of any strings or ribbons that I could get wrapped up in; and keep away any tiny or sharp objects that could harm me!).

Did you know that I can hold that rattle you shake at me? If you gently touch it to my palm, my reflexes will respond by grabbing it! But be careful, I don’t have good control of my arms yet, so I may hit myself (or you!) with the toy. Let me hold your hand when I’m eating or cuddling, too. I just love being with you, Mum and Dad.

I know you like to hold me all day long, but I need to practice building up my muscles. Laying me on my tummy helps strengthen my neck, shoulders, and arms. But for now, I’m working hard to turn my head from side to side while on my belly. As you can tell, sometimes I do not like want to lay on my stomach. Teach me how to enjoy this position by laying me down for one minute, then gradually increase until I can lay on my belly for five minutes straight every day. Or, you can lay down on your back and let me lay on my stomach on top of you (I really like this!). I may even enjoy it more if I have a toy to look at. I really want to grow big and strong, so keep encouraging me to spend time on my belly every single day.

Mum, I heard your heartbeat for so long, and Dad, I heard your voice all of the time. Now I love being in your arms, seeing your face, and holding your finger. Thank you for loving me so well! I promise to work very hard to learn, grow, and play with you. I know I take a lot of time right now, and you are very sleepy, but just keep reminding yourself that I am getting older every single day. I’m already almost one month old!

I love you, Mum and Dad!

Love,

Your Newborn Baby

Jana

Jana is the odd one out. Not a parent herself, she writes from the perspective of a young baby sitter. Experienced in making bedtime fun, she brings a unique perspective to parenting. She hopes that all she learns now will make the magic of being a parent just that extra bit special. She has no fixed address and is vagabonding around the globe, widening her world view.