Being a parent is no joke. Especially when you’re a new parent, every little thing causes you to worry because you have a baby who entirely depends on you. No matter how much you prepare for your baby’s arrival when the time comes, you are bound to be surprised. More than once. You could read all the books and mommy blogs there are, watch videos of experts talking about their experiences with newborns and take in some pointers from your family and friends, but when the time comes, you will still be clueless about things pertaining to your baby.
Giving birth to a baby is not easy, and most new mothers are terrified about the first few days with their newborns. You are exhausted and need rest, but you have a helpless being at your mercy and you want to do what’s best for them. It worries you when they cry, do not breastfeed, or refuse to fall asleep. But we are here to tell you that it’s normal. This phenomenon is called the “second night syndrome”, and even though most mothers experience it, they would not be familiar with the term.
So what is second night syndrome? Babies spend the first nine months of their lives in a safe haven, i.e., the mother’s womb. They are warm and cozy. The only sound they hear constantly is that of the mother’s heartbeat. But after they are born, they are exposed to the outside world. Tons of cuddles from strangers, a whole lot of noise, and no more cozy warmth. It is bound to make your little infant scared. So they tend to cry a lot until they adjust to the sudden change of environment.
While this is completely normal and natural, mothers are worried and start to blame themselves for their baby’s discomfort. And that is the wrong way to look at it. You are under immense stress and pressure too. After all, you just went through the experience of having a baby. While it is new and overwhelming for you, we are here to give you a few tips on how to deal with second night syndrome:
1. Don’t Get Too Worked Up
It might be hard for you to watch your little munchkin cry and fuss. But you need to know that it’s completely normal. It takes a while for your baby to settle into the new external environment. Do not get too worried and try to relax while your baby adjusts. Your baby might not start to breastfeed immediately. It takes time, and a few tries before they get it right. So fret not.
2. Kangaroo Care
Your baby needs comfort, and the best way to give them that is by skin-to-skin contact. Also called kangaroo care, skin-to-skin contact helps babies feel safe, secure, and builds a bond between mother and baby. It also helps in decreasing crying in infants. Kangaroo care helps the baby medically, like stabilizing its heart rate, increased sleep time, and faster affinity to breastfeeding (1).
3. Spend Time Alone
Yes, you just had a baby, and there are lots of people who are excited to visit you and the new human you brought into this world. But limit the number of visitors the first few days, so you and your baby get enough rest. Different voices, smells, and lots of physical contacts may overwhelm your baby, who is trying to adjust to its new external environment.
4. Go Down Memory Lane
If you have the time, sing the songs you sang to your baby when you were pregnant. You could also play the same music, narrate the same stories, or sing the same lullabies. Your baby developed inside you by hearing these familiar voices and tunes, so it’s good to build up the familiarity and jog their memory.
5. Wipe Your Baby To Comfort
It might take a few days for you to be able to bathe your baby, but you can always use plain water without any soap or other substances to wipe your baby. Hold your baby in your arms and initiate skin-to-skin contact while doing this. Place them near your chest so that they can hear your heartbeat, a sound they are familiar with. It has a soothing effect on babies, and they will start to feel calm.
The first few days of being a new mom can be terrifying, but always remember that it will get better. Do not hesitate to consult your doctor if you have any doubts about baby care. They will guide you and give you the assurance that you need. Did you know about second night syndrome? Share this knowledge with your friends and family so they can learn about it too.