The fourth trimester: Help your newborn cope

Follow these useful pointers to support your baby as she makes the tough transition from womb to world.

“My baby doesn’t want to stop

“My infant wants me to hold her all the time.”

“My little one will only sleep if she’s lying on me. If I put her in the crib or bed she wakes up instantly.”

Sound familiar? If you’re a parent, you’ve probably made one (or all) of these statements at some point during your baby’s initial months.  

Most parents think that life with a newborn is all about walking on sunshine. And while there are good days for sure, you’ll also experience a number of days when nothing you do seems to make bub happy.

Expect lots of bloodcurdling screams and wailing ― sometimes even from baby, LOL!

What is the fourth trimester?

Bubba’s first three months are commonly referred to as the fourth trimester, because, although baby is out in the real world, she’s incredibly ill-prepared for life outside of the uterus. This is especially true when her brain development and basic needs are concerned.

What many don’t seem to realise is that baby’s first three months out in the world is a time of adjustment for her. After all, she just moved from a snug, dark place that was constantly warm, to a bright, new environment filled with unknown faces, plenty of noise and varying temperatures. And this literally happened overnight.

Bubba’s first three months are commonly referred to as the fourth trimester because…she’s incredibly ill-prepared for life outside of the uterus.

Bub is also getting acquainted with new and unfamiliar sensations. She can see, but her vision is blurry. She can hear, but she doesn’t know what these strange noises are. And since she’s not getting round-the-clock nourishment as she did in the womb, she has to get used to pangs of hunger.

Then, there’s the fluctuating temperature ― sometimes, it’s hot, other times, it’s cold ― unlike in the womb where it was a comfortable 37 deg C all the time.

Imagine what a rude shock it must be to experience all of these changes at once. Explains why your kewpie has been a little hard to handle of late, doesn’t it?

Instead of hoping your peewee will just get with the programme and behave “normally”, your duty as a parent is to help her adjust to her new world. At the same time, you should still offer her some of the comforts she’s missing from her time in utero.

Doing so will make life easier for everyone. Parents won’t feel so frustrated and lost, while their munchkins will be easier to handle. Tackle this challenging stage with our go-to tricks.

Tip #1: Keep moving

Newborns love movement. Why? Because every time you moved during pregnancy, even if it was slightly, your little one wobbled on the inside. This is why junior starts crying whenever you try to put her down. She’s used to motion, but she can’t move on her own yet, so she needs you to move her around.
TRY THIS… Watch that frown turn upside down when you bounce, rock, swing, sway and dance with bubba. She will love it! This is also the reason why newborns love to sleep in moving cars, baby swings and a carrier.