NEWBORN VISIT: We recommend your first newborn visit in our office within 24 hours after hospital discharge. Make sure you add your baby to your insurance plan, and check to verify that we are participating in your plan before your visit.
Remember, we have specially trained nurses who are trained in newborn issues. Feel free to call our office at any time to speak with a nurse. If it is something they do not know they will check with a physician and call you back. Certainly if there is any emergency, they will interrupt the doctor immediately.
SUGGESTIONS FOR NEWBORN CARE
FEEDING: We highly recommend breast milk for your baby. It is the best nutritional choice. Breastfeeding can be quite a challenge for some mothers and babies. Do not hesitate to call us if you are having difficulties with nursing. Be sure to drink plenty of fluids and continue your prenatal vitamin while nursing. If you choose to use formula, we recommend a cow’s milk formula with iron.
- Most newborn babies feed every 90min - 3hours. Nursing for 10-20min per side or giving 1-2oz per feed should be sufficient.
- You may be advised to supplement breastfeeding with pumped breast milk or formula per the suggestion of your doctor if your baby has lost a lot of weight, is significantly jaundiced, or looks dehydrated.
- It is not recommended to give your baby water ideally until closer to 6-months of life as it can cause problems with their salt balance.
- Solids are not recommended until at least 4-months old and ideally as close to 6-months old. Feeding solids too soon can lead to obesity, diabetes, allergic sensitivity, constipation, and bloating.
- Spit up is normal for all babies. However if your baby seems uncomfortable and in pain with spit ups, has more violent vomiting episodes, or turns blue with spit up, call us right away.
- All breastfed babies should be given daily supplement of vitamin D (dose 400IU) from birth until consistently taking solid food at 6-months old. This is to avoid weak bones and rickets.
STOOLING: Stool patterns vary considerably in infants.
- Breast fed babies may stool anywhere from 10 to 12 times per day to every few days. The stools are usually yellow, loose, and seedy.
- Formula fed babies usually stool less and the stool is thicker, pasty, and brown or green.
- Straining or grunting to pass a stool is normal. However, if the stools are hard or look like pebbles or one is not passed in 72-hours, you should notify us.
SWADDLING: During the first few weeks, your baby will spend most of her time wrapped in a receiving blanket. Not only does this keep her warm, but also the slight pressure around the body seems to give most newborns a sense of security. To swaddle, spread the blanket out flat, with one corner folded over. Lay the baby face-up on the blanket, with her head at the folded corner. Wrap the left corner over her body and tuck it beneath her. Bring the bottom corner up over her feet, and then wrap the right corner around her, leaving only her head and neck exposed.
SLEEP TIPS: The safest place for your baby to sleep is in the room where you sleep, but not in your bed. Place the baby’s crib or bassinet near your bed (within arm’s reach). This makes it easier to feed and to bond with your baby.
- Always place babies to sleep on their backs during naps and at nighttime. Because babies sleeping on their sides are more likely to accidentally roll onto their stomach, the side position is just as dangerous as the stomach position.
- Avoid letting the baby get too hot. The baby could be too hot if you notice sweating, damp hair, flushed cheeks, heat rash, and rapid breathing. Dress the baby lightly for sleep. Set the room temperature in a range that is comfortable for a lightly clothed adult.
- Place your baby on a firm mattress, covered by a fitted sheet that meets current safety standards.
- Place the crib in an area that is always smoke-free.
- Toys and other soft bedding should not be placed in the crib with the baby. Loose bedding, such as sheets and blankets, should not be used. Sleep clothing, such as sleepers, sleep sacks, and wearable blankets are better alternatives to blankets.
INFECTION RISK: Babies are at increased risk for severe infection, especially in the 1st month of life. Follow these guidelines and call our office if you have any concerns for infection in your baby.
- Normal temperature range is 97 F – 100.4 F.
- Signs of infection in infants can include the following: poor feeding, breathing difficulty, listlessness or difficulty to wake for feeds, decreased or elevated temperature, unusual skin rash or change in skin color (especially blueness in the lips or chest), persistent crying, or unusual irritability.
- Temperature should be checked rectally (in the baby’s bottom) with a rectal thermometer.
- Remember if the temperature is higher than 100.4F or less than 97F or if you are concerned about infection in your baby, call us right away.
CORD CARE: The umbilical cord requires no cleaning or alcohol. It should fall off on its own between 1 to 4 weeks of age. It is normal to see a few drops of blood when it detaches.
- Baby should not be immersed in water until the cord falls off and the navel is dry. Sponge or towel baths are adequate until then.
- If the skin on the abdomen around the cord becomes red and warm and the baby is very irritable, call our office immediately.
CARE OF GENITALS:
- If your baby boy was circumcised, clean the penis with warm water and mild soap. Apply a large dab of Vaseline or A&D ointment to prevent the skin from sticking to the diaper.
- If your baby boy is not circumcised, gently pull back the foreskin till you see the urethral opening and clean with warm water and mild soap.
- Baby girls will often have a mucous vaginal discharge and/or vaginal bleeding. This usually disappears by 2 weeks of age. You may wash the area between the labia with warm water only; soap may cause irritation. Remember to clean the area between the labia after every bowel movement.
CAR SEATS: Always use a properly installed car seat for your baby. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that all infants should ride in a rear-facing car safety seat starting with their first ride home from the hospital. The car seat should always be installed securely in the back seat of the car.