for your new baby is a very thrilling time of your life
and you want to make sure you are doing everything that
is best for your child. As most new parents do, you
probably have many questions. The pediatricians at Northwest
Pediatrics want to help during this wonderful experience.
information in this section is designed to help you
in these early exciting and exhausting weeks while you
and your baby are getting acquainted with each other.
While this is general information, each infant and family
is unique, and our goal is to work together with you
to keep your children happy and healthy.
are honored that you chose us to be your child’s
pediatrician. We want to provide the highest quality
pediatric care to you and your child. Following is information
for newborn care:
Feeding is one of your baby’s first pleasant experiences.
At feeding time, your baby receives nourishment both
from the food and the nourishment of your love.
of you should be comfortable. Make sure your baby is
warm and dry. Choose a comfortable chair. Hold your
baby in your lap, with his head slightly raised and
resting in the bend of your elbow. Whether you are breast
or bottle-feeding, hold your baby close to your body
in a comfortable position.
newborns lose weight during the first few days regardless
of how they are fed. This is a loss of excess fluid
and not of body substance. Newborns are saturated with
fluid, like a sponge soaked in water. The bigger they
are, the more they hold, so to speak. Do not be concerned
if your baby loses as much as 10 percent of the birth
weight before starting to gain weight.
babies are congested at birth or shortly thereafter.
Babies are obligate nose breathers, meaning they can
only breathe through their nose and not their mouth.
If your baby is having trouble feeding because of congestion,
place a couple of saline drops in his nostrils and use
the aspirator to suction out the nose before feedings.
Unquestionably, breast milk is the ideal food for a
newborn. It provides the proper nutrients in the right
proportions. It offers definite immune benefits, is
instantly available and is free. Breast fed babies are
less constipated, have less colic and diarrhea, experience
fewer colds, ear infections and skin rashes, and are
less likely to develop allergic problems. There are
very few medical conditions that prohibit breast-feeding.
is recommended that breast fed babies receive supplemental
Vitamin D, which can be found in over-the-counter infant
Get comfortable. Lying on your side leaning forward
slightly or sitting in a well-cushioned chair are
There are two positions to hold your baby for breastfeeding.
You can hold your baby completely on his side –
belly to belly with yours, or you can hold your baby
under your arm like a football.
For the belly-to-belly position, place your thumb
and index finger in a U shape and lift your breast.
For the football position, place your thumb and
index finger in a C shape and lift your breast.
the baby’s lips up and down with the nipple
until your baby opens his mouth. Be patient and wait
until the mouth opens wide. Quickly draw your baby
close in to you. You want your baby to suck behind
the nipple on the brown area. Sucking on the nipple
is painful. If painful nipples persist, be sure you
are following this technique.
Hold back the breast from your baby’s nose with
your fingers so he can breathe easily while nursing.
You can use both breasts for each feeding, alternating
the beginning breast at each feeding; or, you can
use one breast for each feeding, alternating the breasts
every other feeding.
In general, babies empty a breast in 10 minutes. You
may nurse as long as you like on each side, but do
not allow the breast-feeding to be used as a pacifier.
As time goes by, you will become familiar with the
feeling of an empty breast and will change to the
other side for the second half of the feeding. Remember,
if you have sore nipples, you need to recheck the
technique to be sure your baby is not sucking the
When finished, press down gently on the part of the
breast next to the corner of your baby’s mouth
or gently insert your fingertip into the corner of
the mouth, breaking the suction. This allows for gentle
removal of the nipple.
Often to Nurse
Often with the first feeding, the baby is not very
wide-awake, hungry or interested. If your baby keeps
falling asleep during feedings try to find methods
that will wake him up to finish feeding, such as changing
his diaper between breasts, undressing him or tickling
Make every attempt to feed your baby the immune-rich
colostrums whenever he is awake. Usually the milk
comes in on the third day. Sometimes you won’t
even know the milk has come in except for the slurping
you hear while your baby is sucking. Your breasts
will then begin to feel more comfortable as the milk
leaves the breast.
It takes several weeks to establish a stable milk
supply. Most babies will want to nurse very frequently.
This does not mean you do not have enough milk. The
more your baby wants to suck, the more your breasts
will be stimulated to produce milk. However, do not
nurse your baby more frequently than every 2 hours
from the start of one feeding to the start of the
next feeding. As babies are able to last longer between
feedings, your milk supply will adjust itself to the
demand of your baby. Be careful of using frequent
formula supplements, as too many of them will decrease
the times your baby sucks, thereby decreasing the
amount of milk you produce for the next day.
Since the only real stimulus to milk production is
emptying the breast, frequent nursing helps build
up your milk supply. You can, however, get to a point
of diminishing returns if your baby is nursing every
hour. Fatigue, tender nipples and shortened filling
times may reduce the quality of milk. Talk to your
pediatrician if this happens or consult the lactation
consultant at your hospital. He or she can be a great
source of support and information.
Wash hands thoroughly with soap and water before touching
Wipe nipples with clean water before and after nursing.
Leave bra open and nipples exposed to air for five
to 10 minutes after nursing.
Remember, if nipples are sore, the nursing technique
needs to be adjusted.
Back to Work
Mothers who are returning to work or will be spending
time away from their babies can supplement breast-feeding
with bottle-feeding. Expressed breast milk or formula
can be fed to babies in an infant bottle.
though exclusive breast milk feedings have been shown
to be ideal, any amount of breast milk is helpful. The
breast milk provides immune protection through antibodies,
which are not found in formula. Breast milk feedings
as little as once a day can be beneficial. Your body
and milk production will soon adjust to the level of
breast-feeding that you choose.
Some experts believe if you know you will need to supplement
when returning to work, it is helpful to offer one bottle
per day beginning after your baby is 2 weeks old. This
will ensure a good breast-feeding foundation and help
your baby be receptive to the bottle when needed. The
bottle is often best received when given by a support
person other than the baby’s mother. It may also
be helpful to give the bottle during the time of the
day your baby will receive it when mom returns to work.
For those mothers returning to work it is often recommended
to obtain an electric breast pump. These can be rented
from hospitals or purchased at baby stores. After the
immediate newborn period and when you are sure your
baby is gaining weight well, you can begin to express
additional breast milk for storage. Also when you return
to work you can take your pump with you. Many work places
provide mothers time and space to pump at work. Also
breast pumps and infant bags have cooling compartments
to keep milk cool until you get home. There are also
car adapters, which allow for breast pumping in the
car (not while driving please).
After expressing breast milk, it is recommended to store
it in a refrigerator for immediate use or in a freezer
for later use. If necessary, breast milk can stand at
room temperature (66-77° F) for up to 10 hours.
Otherwise, if you plan to use the milk within 24 hours
you can store it in the refrigerator or cooler bag.
If you are storing breast milk for later use you can
freeze it in a zero degree freezer for up to six months.
milk can be defrosted in a refrigerator over night or
by running it under warm water. Refrain from running
the bottle under hot water or heating it in the microwave
as some proteins in the breast milk may be destroyed
at high temperatures. Once breast milk is thawed, feed
it to your baby within 24 hours. Be sure to shake well
prior to use to evenly distribute all milk components.
Discard any unused milk and never refreeze unused or
partially consumed breast milk.
Another option for infant feeding is infant formula.
Formula can be used alone or along with breast-feeding
as a supplement. Infant formula companies continue to
make advancements in an effort to make formula more
close to breast milk. The most recent advance has been
the addition of DHA and ARA to formulas. These are acids
previously found only in breast milk and are felt to
aid in visual development. If you choose to formula
feed you can feel comfortable that these products will
provide adequate nutrition for your baby.
come in three forms:
Powder -- intended to be mixed with water
Concentrate -- liquid formula to be mixed with equal
parts water (1:1 ratio)
Ready to feed -- a fully prepared formula, which can
be opened and fed directly to your baby
is important to be aware of which type of formula you
are using and pay close attention to the mixing instructions.
Adding too much water can lead to improper nutrition,
while adding too little water can lead to illness.
are also available in a variety of milk options. Most
infants begin with a cow’s milk based formula.
There are also soymilk, lactose free and predigested
formulas that may be recommended by your pediatrician
in different situations. All infant formulas have the
same calories, iron and nutrients unless specifically
stated. Do not change your infant’s formula without
first discussing it with your pediatrician.
is recommended that formula or breast milk be used the
entire first year. Whole milk does not provide adequate
iron, vitamins or nutrients and may be irritating to
your baby’s stomach.
amount of formula your baby eats will vary. Newborns
generally take between 1 to 3 ounces every 3 to 4 hours.
Babies may want to eat more than they need to. This
may result in large spit ups. If this occurs feeding
your baby smaller amounts more frequently may be helpful.
Sometimes your baby may not be as hungry at a given
feeding time. He may take less, but will probably make
up for it at the next feeding. However, if the decrease
in feeding is abrupt or persistent, you should contact
us. Your baby’s intake will gradually increase
as he grows. Signs that your baby is ready to increase
his intake include desire for more to drink after a
bottle is complete or a desire to eat again more frequently.
Formula can be mixed with tap water from either the
municipal water supply or a safe well. Bottled water
may also be used. Well water should be checked before
giving it to your baby. If you are unsure of the quality
of your water supply, you should not give it to your
baby or drink it yourself.
most cases, it is not necessary to feed an infant additional
water. In newborns, water is discouraged because it
does not contain any nutrition and can actually fill
up the baby. In older babies and in certain circumstances
(such as constipation), small amounts of water may be
recommended by your pediatrician.
Because of improvements in sanitation and municipal
water supplies, it is no longer necessary, in most cases,
to sterilize your baby’s bottles. Bottles, caps
and nipples should be thoroughly cleaned with hot soapy
water or washed in an automatic dishwasher. Sometimes
the high temperature in the dishwasher will seal the
hole in the nipple. If the milk does not flow easily
when the bottle is inverted, you should re-puncture
the nipple or buy a new one.
Spitting can occur because your baby has overeaten or
swallowed too much air while vigorously eating. A mouthful
or two is not a cause of concern. Some babies who are
spitters need special handling after they eat. Instead
of putting them in an infant seat, which brings the
knees up, putting pressure on the stomach, it sometimes
helps to have them stretch out on their backs or sides
with the head of the crib slightly elevated. If you
do this, put a folded towel or blanket under the mattress,
not under your baby. If you are concerned about the
amount of spitting or if you think your baby is spitting
up most of the feeding every time, then you must bring
him in to the office to be weighed and examined. A baby
who spits up, but continues to have good weight gain
and is not fussing is usually fine.
the spit up is a large amount, discolored (yellow or
green) or projectile (shooting out of the mouth with
force), you should contact us.
Burping is a way of expelling swallowed air. Even though
he was fed properly with the nipple always full of milk,
a baby sometimes needs a little help in expelling swallowed
your baby upright over your shoulder or sitting upright
on your lap and gently rub or pat his back. Laying your
baby over your lap on his stomach while patting the
back is another method.
the first few weeks, burp your baby after about every
five minutes or after every ounce until you learn how
often he needs it. Do not worry if your baby does not
burp, sometimes there is no burp to be had.
Most babies move their bowels by the time they are 48
hours old, but thereafter there is no set schedule.
Some babies seem to have a stool after every feeding
while others “go” only once every few days.
The frequency of stools changes in the first couple
breast fed babies, initially the stool may be green-black
and sticky, but soon becomes the more normal seedy mustard-like
stool. Formula fed babies have more of a soft-formed
stool one to three times a day.
the end of the second week, some babies will forget
to relax the rectal muscles for a bowel movement. They
will cry, grunt, strain and turn red in the face and
appear to be in pain, just like the constipated baby.
However, instead of passing a large firm stool, only
the beginning portion is hard and the rest is perfect
consistency or even loose.
DO NOT give laxatives, enemas or suppositories
without consulting us first. Your baby is not constipated
if two or three days go by between movements. Breast
fed babies in particular can go for 10 - 14 days between bowel movements. Then they may grunt
and strain before producing a soft stool. This is normal.
Diarrhea is defined as excessively watery stools with
little substance remaining on the surface of the diaper,
occurring with frequency. If it lasts more than one
day, or is becoming more frequent, please call our office.
The best approach to the treatment of diaper rash is
Remove the diaper and let your baby air dry as much
Apply an over-the-counter diaper ointment as needed.
This provides a barrier between the skin and urine/feces.
the above suggestions do not seem to clear the rash,
a prescription cream or ointment may be necessary. Please
call the office to schedule an appointment.
Until the cord has fallen off, which usually occurs
between the second and fourth week, you should sponge
your baby with water or a soapy cloth and water, and
rinse well. Once the cord has fallen off, you may bathe
your infant in a small tub or basin. Use a foam or cloth
liner in the tub to make your baby less slippery. Arrange
your supplies nearby so you will not be distracted reaching
for things. NEVER leave infants or small children alone
in a tub.
can wash your infant with a baby body wash and baby
shampoo. Dove® soap is gentle and non-drying. Avoid
strongly scented soaps such as lavender and berry scents
for the first few months.
cleaning the eyes, use a cotton ball and fresh water
and gently wipe from the corner of the nose to the outside.
When cleaning the nose and ears, clean only what you
can see. Do not stick a cotton-tipped applicator in
an area you cannot see.
When cleaning an uncircumcised penis, do not try to
retract the foreskin. If it slides back easily by itself
it can be cleaned, otherwise just clean the outside
as you would the rest of the body.
If your baby boy has been circumcised you will need
to apply a piece of gauze with Vaseline® or A&D
Ointment to keep the diaper from sticking to the healing
area, or follow the directions given to you by the obstetrician.
If a ring has been left in place, then no Vaseline is
needed. When the swelling has gone down, the ring will
naturally slide off.
You may notice a small whitish or yellow area of scab
during the first week after the circumcision. This is
normal and will disappear during the healing process.
Please call us if your baby is bleeding, has a discharge,
severe inflammation or fever.
In utero infants are exposed to maternal hormones. At
times, a scant amount of vaginal bleeding may occur
as these hormones wear off. This is usually very normal
and resolves by itself. This should be mentioned, however,
to our office at the first checkup so we can check for
any other problems.
Remember to clean in-between the labia, or folds at
the sides of the vagina, with every diaper change. If
there is an accumulation of white material inside the
labia, gently wipe some of it off at each bath until
it is gone.
After you get your baby home, dress her as you dress
yourself, adding a hat and covering the feet. If you
are comfortable in one layer of clothing, she will be,
One of the most dangerous pieces of baby furniture is
the crib. To help prevent your child from being injured
in the crib, the National SAFE KIDS Campaign recommends
Purchase a crib that has been certified to meet national
safety standards. Be sure it has a Juvenile Products
Manufacturers Association (JPMA) certification label.
Handing down a crib from one generation to another
may carry sentimental value, but older cribs do not
always meet today’s safety standards.
Choose a crib with no more than 2 3/8 inches of space
between the slats or the spindles. Be sure there are
no missing or loose slats or spindles—your baby’s
head can get caught, presenting a strangulation hazard.
Always keep the side rail locked in its up position
when your baby is in the crib.
Use vinyl or cloth bumper pads to keep your baby from
hitting against the side of the crib. Secure the pads
with snaps or at least six straps tied securely on
the outside of the crib, away from your baby.
Never use a pillow in the crib and make sure no soft
bedding, toys, plastic bags or other plastic materials
are in or around the crib.
Medical research has clearly proven that up to half
the fatalities from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)
may be related to how a baby is placed in the crib.
That is why the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP)
recommends that all babies are put on their backs when
it is time for bed.
also recommend you do not allow your infant to sleep
with you or on a soft surface such as a waterbed, couch
or pillow. These practices can lead to suffocation.
Your new baby will probably wake to be fed every two
to four hours in the beginning and fall back to sleep
by the end of the feeding. Your baby may also have one
or two periods a day when she is awake and crying, even
after she has been fed, changed and rocked. Gradually,
your baby’s own pattern of feeding, sleeping and
being awake will become apparent to you. Eventually,
the time between feedings will become longer as will
the length of time sleeping at night. From the beginning,
whenever you can, try to put your baby to bed awake,
so she can get used to falling asleep on her own without
sucking. In this way, your baby will be more likely
to fall back to sleep without crying until fed.
two to three months, when your baby awakes during the
night, try to avoid going to her so quickly and see
if she is able to fall back to sleep on her own. Childhood
sleep experts believe after 3 months, babies do not
wake up because they are hungry, so try to avoid feeding
during the night if there is a chance your baby will
go back to sleep. Avoid putting on the light, having
eye contact and talking or entertaining if you want
to avoid night feeding and waking after 2 to 3 months
Help Baby Sleep Through The Night
Baby Spits Up Frequently
All babies spit up, some more than others. When it happens
after nearly every feeding, parents often become concerned.
They worry that their infant will not be ingesting enough
food to grow or that the infant has something seriously
wrong with his/her stomach or intestinal tract. If an
infant spits up significantly but gains weight, then
it is only messy and a nuisance. After "normal"
spitting up, there are three common conditions that
the baby is allergic to the formula
the baby has gastroesophageal reflux
the baby has an area of blockage or narrowing in the
intestinal tract (pyloric stenosis)
when an infant feeds, swallowing pushes the milk back
into his/her throat and down into their esophagus. At
the bottom of the esophagus there is a muscle that opens
to let nourishment pass into the stomach. The muscle
then closes when the stomach squeezes to push the food
into the small intestine. In children with gastroesophageal
reflux, this muscle opens as the stomach squeezes, so
food and stomach acid come up their esophagus and out
of their mouth. Other times, the acid and food may only
come part way up, causing the infant to have abdominal
pain or gas similar to when an adult experiences heartburn.
with gastroesophageal reflux are good eaters. Many of
them are "guzzlers" and can not be put off
when hungry, finishing their milk very quickly. Other
symptoms of reflux might include sudden or incolsolable
crying (from the stomach acid), general fussiness, bad
breath and frequent night waking.
of the time, just hearing the parents’ story and
seeing an otherwise thriving child is enough to complete
the diagnosis, but sometimes x-ray evaluations are recommended.
The first test is typically a barium swallow - the baby
is given a small amount of chalky liquid and the radiologist
watches as the material is swallowed and enters the
stomach. In children with reflux, the barium can be
seen returning up the esophagus. Other tests, including
a pH probe, radioactive scans and directly looking into
the esophagus with a special scope, are usually performed
in severe cases by a pediatric gastroenterologist.
In most cases, gastroesophageal reflux is self-limiting,
which means the problem will resolve itself by the time
the infant is able to sit up (around 6 months). Even
if the child does not develop problems from his/her
reflux, the condition can sometimes be difficult to
care for and stressful on the family.
complications of reflux may occur when the problem is
Babies can spit up all their feedings causing them
not to grow or gain weight. Malnutrition or "failure
to thrive" can result from losing too much food
from the frequent vomiting or from lack of appetite
due to pain.
The stomach acid can irritate the lining of the esophagus
causing inflammation and in severe cases, narrowing
of the esophagus.
Babies with reflux can also develop respiratory problems
from stomach contents entering the nose, windpipe
infants are first diagnosed as having reflux while investigating
the cause of recurrent breathing problems such as wheezing
for gastroesophageal reflux includes positioning, dietary
changes, altering feeding schedules and medications.
Positioning. Babies with reflux need to be positioned
so gravity can help keep the food from coming back up
out of the stomach. The best position to put the baby
after feeding is on his/her stomach with the head propped
up about 30 degrees. This position causes the stomach
to fall forward, closing the valve at the bottom of
the esophagus. Remember, the child should not be allowed
to fall asleep in this position and should always be
placed on his/her side or back when sleeping. Avoid
placing the child in an infant seat or swing since this
causes increased pressure on their stomach. The best
approach is to hold the baby quietly for a half hour
Changes. Most infants with gastroesophageal reflux do
better when their feedings are thickened with cereal,
making the feedings heavier and thus less likely to
come back up the esophagus. Make the nipple size larger
so babies do not have to suck harder and fill their
stomach with air. Infants who are breast fed may be
fed some rice cereal by spoon during or after feedings.
In addition, some reflux babies are more successful
on hypoallergenic formulas such as Alimentum®. Always
consult the child’s physician before making a
change in formula.
Schedules. Occasionally, feeding the infant smaller
amounts more frequently will help. Unfortunately, these
infants are usually not satisfied with smaller feedings
and will cry for more. This causes them to swallow air,
which could make the reflux worse.
When the above measures do not work, the infant may
be referred to a pediatric gastroenterologist for additional
treatment, including medication. While many different
medications may be used to treat reflux, most of the
mediations either neutralize stomach acid (Mylanta,
Maalox), reduce acid production in the stomach (Pepcid, Zantac) or improve intestinal coordination (Reglan).
All babies spend a lot of their time crying. Learn your
baby’s cries. Crying is your baby’s way
of communicating with you. Each time he cries, he is
not asking just to be fed. He may want company, his
position changed or he may be tired. Learning what certain
cries mean will help you meet your baby’s needs
more completely. Don’t be afraid to hold your
baby as much as you want. It will not spoil him, but
it will satisfy his need to be close to you.
babies cry, they take in a lot of air. This can cause
gas. Therefore, it is common for crying to cause gas
as opposed to the gas causing your baby to cry.
Colic is a term used to describe an infant who, although
happy and content most of the day, has periods of fussiness
unrelated to hunger or a wet diaper. These periods of
fussiness generally occur in the evening and can last
Fortunately, colic is self-limiting. It usually begins
at about 2 weeks and typically subsides by 2 to 3 months
can be done in the meantime? The treatment of colic
is no more exact than its cause, but there are some
basic things you can try. Some tricks work for some
babies some of the time.
First, make an appointment to see us to make sure
your baby is healthy and has nothing more than colic.
Feeding time should be quiet and unhurried. Your baby
should be fed slowly in an upright position with frequent
burping. Make sure your infant is not hungry and is
getting enough to eat by reviewing the diet with us.
Breast-feeding mothers should eliminate coffee, tea
and all caffeinated soft drinks during this time.
Remove cigarette smoke from your colicky infant’s
environment. Newborns exposed to passive cigarette
smoke are three times more likely to suffer from colic.
Gentle rocking motions are found to be soothing to
some colicky infants, as parents find out when they
take their colicky baby for a ride in the car. Any
motion, from rocking the cradle to walking your baby
in a stroller, is often a magical antidote for a colic
Your crying infant’s mood might change dramatically
when he hears new, repetitious sounds, such as the
noise of a vacuum cleaner or clothes dryer.
Increasing physical contact makes your baby feel warm
and secure. A hot-water bottle, filled with WARM water
and placed on your baby’s stomach might help.
There are several infant holders that allow more contact
and let the parents do chores or take care of other
children. Holding your colicky baby too much will
not spoil him.
Play soft music in your baby's room.
Try wrapping your baby snugly (swaddling) after feeding
and before sleep.
Parents should get all the help they can. Ask a relative
or neighbor to take over for a while to care for your
baby. Lack of sleep will cause a new mother to lose
her strength and confidence, and a tired mother should
not feel guilty about leaving her newborn for a while.
Having a grandmother take the infant out in a stroller
for an hour each day can make a world of difference.
If your baby is fussy after every feeding, especially
if the fussiness is accompanied by arching of the
back, gagging and spitting, your infant may have reflux,
a condition your doctor may need to treat. Call us
if you notice this behavior in your infant.
all, be patient. Colic is not your fault, and it won't
harm your baby. If your frustrations become overwhelming,
to Call Us
A newborn’s immune system is not as mature as
an older baby’s and it is necessary to observe
your baby for signs of illness. For infants younger
than 2 months, lack of interest in feeding, needing
to be awakened for every feeding and a fever higher
than 100.4° (taken rectally) are all signs of possible
illness. Also, persistent irritability or listlessness,
vomiting or diarrhea are reasons to call us. Young babies
should be seen whenever illness is suspected. No medications
or home remedies should be given until you speak with
the early weeks, limit the number of visitors and relatives
who want to hold and kiss your baby’s face and
hands. In the first 2 months of your baby's life, limit
their contact with the outside world and have visitors
wash their hands before touching your infant.
The most accurate way to take an infant’s temperature
is rectally. A digital rectal thermometer (rectal has
a round ball on the end) is recommended. Digital thermometers
are inexpensive, safe and easy to read/use.
take a rectal temperature, place your infant/child down
on a flat surface or your lap. Lubricate the thermometer
with Vaseline®. Carefully insert the bulb into the
rectum for approximately 1/2 inch, but never force it.
Hold your child still and press the buttocks together
to stabilize the thermometer. Wait for the beep and
reporting a temperature to our office, always tell us
what the thermometer reads and how you took the temperature.
is a Fever?
Fever is defined as a body temperature over
100.4 degrees F or 38 degrees C taken rectally
100 degrees F or 37.8 degrees C taken orally (not
recommended for infants)
99 degrees F or 37.2 degrees C taken under the arm.
Note: Temperature taken under the arm is less than
50 percent accurate.
Keep your home, car and family smoke-free. If you do
smoke, before you pick up your baby, rinse your mouth,
wash your hands and change your shirt after smoking.
Install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in your
home, or test existing ones.
possible, try to restrict visitors. While part of the
joy of parenthood is showing off your new baby, even
a 15-minute visit can be very tiring for a new mom.
Sure, close relatives and friends can visit, but they
should make their visits short. Make sure all guests
leave their own children at home and that they always
wash their hands before picking up your baby.
your baby by holding, cuddling, rocking, talking and
singing. Spend time playing with and talking to your
baby when she is awake. It is never too early to read
to your baby.
for New Parents:
Get plenty of rest. Sleep will be at a premium during
the first month, so plan on resting when your baby
does. Since a new baby is a lot of work, being tired
will make mom’s job even harder. There are many
more new chores to be done so parents must establish
an entire set of new priorities. Cuddling and holding
your baby should rank ahead of a clean kitchen floor.
Getting to know the newborn is more important than
doing laundry or cooking, so let some of the housework
Arrange for a helper. Everyone needs extra help during
those first few weeks with a new baby. Despite all
the books and comedian’s jokes, we still believe
the best person to help is a grandmother, either a
mother or mother-in-law! Grandmothers come with a
great resume: they have the experience, are well versed
in shopping, cooking and cleaning, and will welcome
the chance to ‘mother’ both the newborn
and the new mother.
The importance of dads. Fathers must get involved
with their newborns right from the start. When given
the chance, today’s fathers want to help with
feeding, changing diapers and all the other work involved
in caring for a newborn.
Postpartum checkup. Remember to schedule this check-up
for the new mom.
Every baby must be secured in a federally approved car
seat, facing backwards in the back seat. The manufacturer’s
directions for safe installation must be followed before
the baby is allowed into the car. This includes the
ride home from the hospital.
allow your child to ride unrestrained or on the lap
of an adult. As your child gets older, it is a good
idea that she sees her parents always using safety belts