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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Before dd was born, I'd read somewhere that washing the baby, among other things, could interfere with bonding, and that many women have an urge to smell and kiss their babies right after birth as part of a natural bonding process. When she was born, the doctor held her for a moment to make sure she was okay (I think they might have given her a little suction, but she didn't cry at all), and then they went to put the newborn hat on her. I asked, "Does she have to wear the hat?" to which the doctor and nurse both immediately responded, "Yes!" So she wore the hat, I guess because I didn't feel like arguing that much and in retrospect "I do not consent to the hat" would have sounded a little silly.

However, the reason I asked was that I just had this overwhelming need to hold and cuddle her and kiss, smell, and rub my cheek on her head. I wasn't concerned about "birth goo" or anything else. I remember I really, really wanted to smell her. They did place her on my tummy/chest as soon as she had the hat on, and they didn't cut the cord for a while after that, but recently I found myself wondering about the hat.

When you gave birth, did you have any similar feelings? At your UC, did your newborn immediately get a newborn cap, or did you snuggle for a minute first? I posted this question in a different place and just got a response about the baby getting so cold in 3 minutes of bonding that they would take the baby away. Made me wonder if my instinct would have endangered her.

Thanks for any thoughts. It's a little thing, I guess, but one I'd like to keep in mind for next time.

Julia
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by alegna View Post
I didn't have a UC (I had a homebirth with a midwife) but it was hours and hours later the first time we put a hat on her....

-Angela
Same here. We just wrapped the baby in towels against my chest. Being on your chest is the best way to regulate the baby's temp.
 

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I picked her up and put her on my chest covered in towels or blankets (so that we were skin to skin). I think I may have covered her head with a bit of the towel. I think we also had a space heater to keep the room warm. We snuggled and nursed for quite a while. I'm not sure when dh got me a newborn hat.

From what I understand, on mom's chest is the best place to keep the baby warm.
 

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How silly of that doctor, lol!

First of all, did you know that each breast will keep a differant temperature in order to help regulate the baby's body temp? Spiffy factoid, eh?

My DS (UC turned hospital transfer) had a hat only for the 6 hours he was in the NICU after he was brought to me, the hat came off and stayed off.

My DD (UC at home) never had a hat until day 5 when we went outside to the car and such to get her birth registered. It was quite cold so the hat was needed while she was in the carseat.

And yes I agree that there is a strong bonding that happens when you lick, kiss, nuzzle and love on your newborn ***** baby's head.
I will NEVER forget her smell, EVER. Sadly, I don't know what my son smelled like and he always smells a bit off and strange to me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Yvonne, thank you. I think that was what I needed to hear. I love the smell of my baby's head and wouldn't let anyone near her with "bathing implements" when she was born. She did get a mini-bath from dh on day 3, but by then all the birth goo had melted into her skin. Dd was also a UC hospital transfer. My doctor was supposed to be very NCB friendly and regularly attends homebirths, but he doesn't respect his women patients as intelligent, thinking people and for that reason we ended up not getting along (hence the UC attempt).

Thanks to everyone for the comments. It's good to know it's not necessary, and that my instincts haven't failed me on this one.

Julia
dd 8mos
 

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I couldn't stomach my DD's smell when she was born. Love her to bits, but really I couldn't take it...I wanted to puke....she STUNK like a really heavy AF...

She had no meconium..I just *shudder* Couldn't stand her smell..

Oh yeah BTW I'm bonded intensely with her.
 

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i didn't give birth to my daughter in the US. she was born in italy and the hospital didn't provide her first clothing, i was given a list of what to bring. a hat was not on the list so i asked about it (having seen plenty of TLC baby shows with the little hat and the hospital blanket).

i was told in no uncertain terms that one should not put a hat on a newborn because they needed their head bare in order for their bodies to learn to regulate body temperature. i was told to use a wool blanket because wool kept babies hot/cool as needed.

furthermore i was told that exposing the fontanel to sunlight allowed the baby to understand the difference between night and day.

i'm not saying any of these things are scientific fact, just saying that different places have different rules about what one MUST do.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Pandora114 View Post
I couldn't stomach my DD's smell when she was born. Love her to bits, but really I couldn't take it...I wanted to puke....she STUNK like a really heavy AF...

She had no meconium..I just *shudder* Couldn't stand her smell..

Oh yeah BTW I'm bonded intensely with her.

Maybe your feelings were reflective of a stong instinct to clean the baby so as not to attract predators
 

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I agree with what Yvonne and Marnie said. I think caps on newborns are not a good idea for both those reasons.

Pandora, what about in the days after the birth? If she smelled like AF that sounds to me like it was your smell that you were having trouble with that she just happened to come into contact with.


Julia, why would your instinct be contrary to what was needed? For thousands of years human newborns have survived birth without having hats to cover their heads, and not only that, but many of those births occurred in climates that are far cooler than a mother's uterus. Evolutionarily speaking, what sense would it make that they would be born needing a hat to protect them from heat loss?

As far as bonding, anecdotally I believe leaving the baby uncovered and unwashed (she didn't have blood or meconium on her) was one thing that made a huge difference for me. I don't remember the smell of my other children's heads at all. But with my daughter, the time after the birth was not disturbed by anything -- not even a hat -- and I fell in love. I would literally swoon whenever I smelled her head, it was like a drug. I love my other children emotionally and intensely, of course -- more than anything else in the world -- but the chemical part of it wasn't there, and personally I think the chemical part of it is incredibly important in getting the mother through the difficult parts of tending a newborn without losing her mind. The postpartum wasn't the easiest thing -- it's work, from enduring the afterpains to cleaning up meconium to nursing at all hours of the night -- but I found it enjoyable and lovely nonetheless. I remember thinking to myself over and over, this is the way it's supposed to be. This is what we were missing all those other times.
 

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Days after birth? She had a bath on her second day alive. the Midwives were kind enough to wipe her off with a few towels (Yes I know this is the UC forum lol) so she didn't stink after that. just immediately after, the smell of the vernix and the blood just made me want to puke. It was rubbed off and I was happy and once she had her bath I was in heaven.

I do have problems with "natural" smells. Hands down. I can't stand my own body odour, I can't stand the smell of me during AF, I can't stand the smell of my crotch right now...I really dont like the "natural" smell of humans in general. I'm very sensitive to it and even the lightest body odour can overpower me..

G-d forbid I ever go to Europe....

It's *my* problem, not anyone elses....at least I'm smart enough to realize that lol
 

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We didn't put a hat on ds until a couple of hours after he was born...and it didn't fit (his head was pretty big). He didn't like to be swaddled either. We just held him close...he smelled sooooooooooooo good! It was the best! I still love to smell his head.
:
jiva
 

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Hats are not necessary. None of my babies ever wore a hat ~ I wouldn't have it. Granted they've mostly all been UC's, but even my first midwife birth was a no hatter!


Hats to me are just a barrier......I love my babe's soft newborn heads....I just cannot get over how beautifully soft they are! And the scent.....divine!

So throw those hats out the window & do what you want!
 

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What is with the caps???? Even hb and/or UC's...I thought that was just a hospital thing.

Nope, none of our children wore the caps and Marnie is absolutely correct!!! A babys' circulatory system is not fully developed at birth and the argument is to artificially regulate it by putting on the cap...HOWEVER, this line of thought does not take into account the need for a childs body to learn to aclimate to its environment thereby overheating the baby and delaying the development of its internal metabolic functions.

BTW, the whole "it'll catch a chill" is a load of whooie, babies don't die of being cool..they can however die from being overheated, a major contributor to SIDS.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Quote:

Originally Posted by fourlittlebirds View Post
Julia, why would your instinct be contrary to what was needed? For thousands of years human newborns have survived birth without having hats to cover their heads, and not only that, but many of those births occurred in climates that are far cooler than a mother's uterus. Evolutionarily speaking, what sense would it make that they would be born needing a hat to protect them from heat loss?
This is, of course, my thinking right now (So what did humans do BEFORE newborn hats? Die?), but at that point in labor the most argumentative I was getting was "Does she have to wear the hat?" But NO HAT next time! In the hospital I kept sneaking it off and smelling her head. All the nurses kept offering to give her a bath . . . and one nurse (the nice one, who didn't push the bath) told me that some of the nurses might refuse to touch the baby if she hadn't had a bath (which didn't happen, but I was glad she prepared me for it just in case).

I really hear you on the "euphoria" type feeling when you smell your baby's head. She's eight months old now, and I still kiss and smell her head all the time - it is just a wonderful feeling. Anytime someone "smelly" would hold her - i.e., MIL who wears a lot of perfume, FIL who wears a lot of cologne and smokes, GFIL who has major "old people and cologne" smell - I would be really upset when I got her back and she smelled wrong. I told dh he had to bathe her after FIL held her because for many reasons I have a HUGE aversion to FIL and having my baby smell like him was just repugnant to me. Normally, we just don't let him hold her (sounds mean, but there are good reasons to keep him at a distance).

Thanks for all the comments. I find it especially interesting that the hat might actually be detrimental to the baby's development.

Julia
dd 8mos
 

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I've always wondered about this. I mean, I've watched calves, piglets, kittens, etc. immediately after birth. They are never covered, are soaking wet, and still manage to survive. Our cows often calve in 20 or 30 degree weather; we don't cover the calf, yet somehow they do just fine. They shiver for awhile, the momma licks them off all over, they get up and nurse, and next thing, they are sound asleep. We've never lost a calf due to cold, why are we so worried about losing a baby to cold? Seems like babies can learn to regulate their temp. just like any other mammal.
 

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We didn't put a hat on Jove until we were headed to the midwife much much later that day. I LOVED smelling my little guys bloody head, gosh it smelled so good (still does). I have loved how all my children smelled from the start, they are all so yummy. Jove actually smells very similar to my dh, it's crazy.
 

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im not anti-hat, but i strongly agree with those who have questioned the *need* for one. it is like saying your newborn "needs" his own bed- it may in fact be working out best for a family that way but no human baby "needs" to sleep alone- we arent designed that way. (this isnt directed at anyone, just the first parallel i could come up with)

i also agree with the line of thinking that overheating is common in our society and could be detrimental. how many tiny babies have i seen bundles in polyfleecebabybags with a big cover draped over their bucket car seat, even indoors? it makes me writhe in discomfort for the little guys. i cant even imagine how sweaty and uncomfortable i would be.

mostly our babes are naked but for a diaper. this is my first fall/ winter baby in the midwest and i find he needs a little nightgown at night. and he sleeps 1/2 the time n my chest, 1/2 snuggled in my armpit.

as for the births, tristan was i the hospital, had a cap, but i kept him skin to skin and his smell was intoxicating. i was absolutely unprepared for how magical the smell would be.

kassi was mw homebirth, caps, but i didnt feel it interfered- what interfered was the stupid newborn exam that they 'let' me put off for an hour. one hour was not enough!

anatoly (6 wks ago) was my first UC. we did have hats on hand, it was awhile before we put one on. he was a waterbirth and we all felt very very cold afterwards-- one thing i dislike about waterbirth (this was also my first waterbirth). then, after dh got the woodstove all fiery we snuggled on the couch and the cap came off- everything did really. it was a long time before we were even dressed.

i let anatoly tell me when he is too cold or hot, and he SO can tell me even at 6 weeks,. i just have to listen.
 
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