Your Baby's First Year of Life

What's Happening with Your Baby

The long-anticipated day has finally arrived! You get to hold your brand-new baby in your arms. Your little one may not look exactly as you expected. Your baby's head may appear too large for her body and may be cone-shaped. Her skin is thin and appears pink. At birth she was very likely covered with the last bits of the vernix caseosa, the cheesy coating that protected her skin. The last remnant of your baby's umbilical cord may be turning black, and it will fall off within the next few weeks. Many newborns, both male and female, have swollen breasts and/or genitals due to an infusion of female hormones from the placenta just before birth. Like most parents, you're probably quite enamored with your little one already. Your baby prefers to look at human faces this first month, so just spend some time gazing at each other in wonderment. Don't be alarmed if your baby drops a bit below birth weight this week. Postdelivery fluid loss is normal. By the end of the week, your baby will stop losing weight and will have regained or surpassed her birth weight by the time she's two weeks old.

NOTE: If your baby is not having regular wet diapers and bowel movements at this time and/or drops more than 10 percent below birth weight, it is important to discuss this immediately with her health care provider.

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