The baby arrives ... without instruction manual!

Few situations impose as much as arriving with our first child home from the hospital and knowing that, suddenly, we are irrevocably and permanently in charge of this small and fragile being. You look everywhere, but the role of the pediatrician, which at the time seemed very complete, at home is nothing like the instruction manual we need. And very quickly we realize that we need instructions, long, precise and detailed.

A customer service phone and a support chat would not hurt when you're a new mother, but for now there are relatives and friends who have had children before. Sometimes you do not know what is worse: if you have someone to give you advice or not have someone to ask.

Experienced friends come, generally, in two models: that of the pessimists and that of the super experts. The pessimists they love horror stories. It is that same friend who a week before the birth told you how she had 20 hours of pain before they had a cesarean and how they did not put anesthesia, etc. Or that older aunt who tells you that the same happened to so-and-so and then the boy was stupid. No matter what you consult them they will say "That's nothing!" and they will tell a new story of children who seem possessed, psychopathic kangaroos, mysterious and deadly diseases, etc. Your intention is to take iron from what worries you but, neither help nor reassure you, generally the effect is the reverse, you start to worry about things that you had not raised. Better not to count on them.

The super experts are even worse. The super experts look at you with surprise and they release something like "I do not know, Pepito slept all night since he was born!" or "María left the diaper at 8 months, one day she went to the bathroom alone and now". Whether they are hypercompetitive and they lie compulsively or that their children are really that perfect and repellent, they will only make you feel incompetent and will not give you any useful tricks.

First-time mother, what to do with your newborn baby?

Take a deep breath. Humanity has survived through centuries of glaciations and pestilences, wars and famines, times of ignorance, superstition and poor hygiene. You are not going to carry it.

Children are much stronger than they seem. One of the most impressive examples of the newborn's stamina occurred in the earthquake in Mexico City in 1985. From the ruins of the Juárez Hospital and the collapsed gynecology floor of the General Hospital of Mexico, a large part of the newly-arrived residents were rescued. born, many of them in incubators, up to seven days after the earthquake Proportionately more babies survived than adults. They are vulnerable, clearly, and dependent, but that adorable and fragile aspect is a marketing gimmick, a presentation designed to appeal to our protective instincts.

The first thing you have to know is that, yes, you will go back to sleep, and yes, you are able to do this. The second thing is that each child is different and has its own rhythm of development and that the spectrum of the normal age for each thing is quite broad.

Get used to it, babies cry

To start a newborn baby can do very few things: eat, sleep, wet the diaper, soiling, coughing, sneezing, spitting, belching but especially cry. As unpleasant as it may be for parents, crying is the baby's only communication vehicle. A baby cries for the obvious, hunger, cold, heat, thirst, pain, but sometimes even if those needs are met, she continues crying for no apparent reason to the parents' bewilderment.

Children many times they cry because they are sleepy, they are so sleepy that they can not sleep. It also happens to us. If we take them in our arms and console them, instead of helping them we are preventing them from sleeping and, therefore, stop crying. The children, in that case, need to protest and, after crying a little, they fall asleep. If we do not let them do it alone, if we sleep them in their arms, for example, they will not acquire the important ability to self-console, which is part of their emotional development.

Another cause of crying that parents do not suspect is tension. If the day has been very hectic or there is a lot of fuss around you, the baby may need to vent, in the same way that adults need to tell someone what a bad day we have had. Under no circumstances should the baby be allowed to cry more than twenty minutes; If he continues crying with equal intensity, he may need something else.

Active, average and calm babies

The eminent pediatrician T. Barry Brazelton says in his book Infants and Mothers that children are separated into three large groups: active babies, average and quiet.

- Active babies they tend to be precocious in their psychomotor development.They cry a lot more than the other two and sleep much less, eat with a lot of appetite, even when they are not hungry they suck their fists, turn around very soon, sit down, crawl and walk before the average age. They tend to be mischievous and risky, but also sociable, cheerful and cheerful but have some genius and tend to throw tantrums.

- Average children They are the least worrying parents. They follow all the parameters of the books, they do not give major problems of conduct, they are alert and of a balanced character; They sleep and eat well, sit down, walk and crawl when it's their turn. Follow the official script, come on.

- The quiet children They are a delight because they sleep phenomenally from very young, but they worry their parents for other reasons. "He has not woken up to eat, has something happened to him? Let's see if he breathes!" Sometimes they fall asleep in the middle of a shot and there is no way they can finish eating. In fact, they do not eat much, which is another concern for parents "will be feeding?". As long as they gain weight and develop normally, there is no need to worry, it's a matter of temperament. They are quiet children, with good character but little given to explore. Obedient, lovers of routines, may take a little more to reach the milestones of psychomotricity but not because nothing happens to them or are less clever, they just do not care. They tend to be very observant and rather learn to speak before the average.

Active, calm or average, the truth is that everyone will reach a series of stages of development until they reach two years of talking and walking to stop being a baby and to be a small child, each at their own pace.

Manual instructions instructions for first-time parents

- Do you know any perfectly normal person? Exact! Your child is unique, perfect and unrepeatable as it is. It will not take long to differentiate what each crying means and to know your child.

- The comparisons are odious and have no pedagogical value. Compare your child with himself. Measure your progress in relation to the previous month, not in relation to other children. It is an educational habit that every parent must acquire, the sooner the better.

- In case of despair, your mother is always there, Remember that you survived their care and you did not go so badly.

- Look for information on the development of the baby in books and specialized magazines and ask any questions with your pediatrician. The better informed you are, the less confused advice will confuse you and the more confident you will feel.

Marisol Nuevo Espín

It may interest you:

- Baby's crying

- Normal things of newborns that you should not worry about

- Umbilical cord care

- The fears of the first mother

- Nine normal reasons why babies cry

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