Newborn to One Month Old Babies
Congratulations on the birth of your new baby!
Your baby will spend the first four weeks after being born (the newborn period) getting used to being outside the mother, in the world around it. To get used to the world, the baby’s body has to adapt.
You probably have lots of worries. But try to be at ease and relax with your baby.
Weight and Height
Babies are normally around 3000g and 50cm at birth. In the first two or three days after birth, there may be what is known as newborn weight loss, where your baby will lose some weight. About seven to ten days after birth, their weight should return to their weight at birth.
There are lots of mothers who worry about the correct weight gain. But, as long as your baby is crying, feeding, has a round face and is going to the toilet well, then there is no need worry.
There is a line graph for the physical development of newborns in the Maternal and Child Health Handbook. Use this to record your baby’s height and weight. If the curve is inside the black lines and makes a similar shape, then this is okay. (For babies born at a lower weight, there is no need to worry as long as the curve is the same shape.)
The first poos a baby does after being born are called taiben in Japanese.
They start out black, but after two or three days they are yellow. They are watery and lumpy. Some babies poo as many as ten times a day, while some only two or three times.
Some poos are green. As long as they are drinking milk and seem well, there is nothing to worry about. If their poo is grey, black or has blood in it, take them to see a doctor.
Throwing up milk
The entrance to a baby’s stomach does not close properly. They often throw up some of their milk.
If they act the same as always after throwing up, then there is nothing to worry about. If they throw up violently every time you feed them and they look pale and exhausted, take them to see a doctor.
The blood running through blood vessels under the baby’s skin looks transparent. It is a reddish pink color.
Blue birthmarks on the buttocks, back or thigh are called Mongolian spots. These are caused by a concentration of melanin cells under the skin. As the baby grows up, these will fade and disappear. Red birthmarks are also common. Birthmarks on eyelids and necks with no swelling will naturally disappear. Birthmarks that are red and swollen like a strawberry will also disappear when the baby grows (strawberry hemangioma).
Jaundice occurs from when the baby is between two and three days old. The skin turns yellowish.
It will disappear after about two weeks. If it continues for over a month or the baby’s poo turns white, take them to see a doctor.
The umbilical cord will fall off cleanly about a week after birth. Take care to keep it clean and let it dry out. Care for it using the method that the hospital told you. If it is watery or bloodstained when it falls off, go to see a doctor.
Keep the newborn in a bright, clean and quiet room. Keep the temperature above 15℃ in winter and between 27 and 28℃in the summer.
When using heating in winter, keep the room ventilated. In summer, either air conditioning or a fan is okay. Don’t put the baby directly under the stream of air.
Breast milk is the best nutrition for a baby. It’s a new experience for both the mother and the baby, so at first, it might not go smoothly. Don’t rush your baby. From about one week after birth, the mother’s milk will increase. Don’t worry too much about the timing, and feed your baby when they seem like they are hungry.
Wash your hands before taking care of your baby. Make sure your nails aren’t too long. After changing your baby’s diaper, wash your hands with soap.
You can change their diaper several times. If their bottom is wet, wipe gently with gauze or an absorbent cotton cloth soaked in lukewarm water. Sometimes the bottom wipes sold in shops may not be suitable for your baby’s skin.
There are all kinds of babies, including those who sleep well and those who won’t stay asleep for a long period of time. They should be sleeping as much as they need. The mother should keep pace with the baby and take naps together.
Premature babies or underweight babies
There are a lot of worries when bringing up a baby who weighs less than 2500g (underweight baby) and physiologically underdeveloped babies (premature babies). Midwives and public health nurses will visit your home. Listen to their advice on nutrition and development, creating a suitable environment, and preventing illness.
For premature babies that are especially weak and often have to visit the doctor or go to hospital, there is financial assistance available for some of the expenses (a public subsidy system). Please ask the hospital or City for further details.
Two Month to Three Month Old Babies
From two or three months old, babies start clearly reacting to the world around them.
They watch things that move and follow them with their eyes.
When they hear their mother’s voice, they will babble in response. They become all the cuter. Talk to them lots!
Weight and Height
There are a lot of differences according to the individual baby. Between three and four months old, the baby’s weight will be double when compared to their weight at birth. If they are within the black lines for the Baby Physical Development line graph and form a similar curve, then it is not a problem.
Your baby will poo less often than when they were a newborn. There are babies who poo once or twice a day, and sometimes babies that only poo once every two or three days.
As long as it comes out smoothly, then there is no worry of constipation – that is just your baby’s natural rhythm.
If your baby has not pooed for 3 days, their stomach is swollen and they seem in a bad mood, give them a cotton bud enema (stimulation). Put some olive oil or baby oil on a cotton bud. Stimulate by putting the cotton bud into the baby’s anus until the cotton part is inserted and put it in and out.
The amount of wee will increase. Choose diapers that are appropriate for the baby’s weight/age.
Their neck, which was unstable, will become more stable. Play with them by laying them on their stomach or holding them upright, being sure to support their neck.
From two to three months old, your baby’s skin will secrete a lot. They may develop spot-like pimples. Wash their face gently with soap.
If eczema should become inflamed, soap will irritate it, so be careful. Wipe your baby’s face with gauze or a towel during the day as well.
Using cream or lotion can prevent dry skin.
Going for walks
When the weather is nice, take your baby for walks.
Cut UV light with hats and parasols. Enjoy your walk together and talk to your baby. If your baby is fretful or isn’t falling asleep, they can sometimes calm down if you take them outside.
Please contact the hospital or clinic in advance to check the days and times that shots are available.
Enquiries about vaccinations
Four month infant health exam
This is an examination at an important period to check the stability of the neck, hip dislocation, the correct development of the eyes and ears, and whether your baby is laughing and using their voice. Make sure to go for the check-up.
You can use the examination voucher from your Maternal and Child Health Handbook. Please don’t forget to take it with you (between three and five months old).
If you have any problems
About mental and physical issues for babies and small children, or about pregnancy or after giving birth
Enquiries from people in Naka, Higashi, Minami, Nishi orTenryu Wards
Enquires from people in Kita or Hamakita Wards