Newborn Information for Parents

The following information will help you with any minor problems you may have with your Newborn.

Feeding:  During the daytime try to feed the baby every 2-3 hours if the baby is breastfed, and every 3-4 hours if the baby if bottle-fed, so you may need to wake the baby during the day.  At night the baby should be fed according to demand but until weight gain is well-established; awaken after 4 hours at night to feed.

Sleep: Babies tend to awaken every three hours to feed until they are three months of age.  By that time many babies will sleep one long six hour stretch during every 24 hour period.  In order to encourage your baby to sleep for this long period during the dark hours, we encourage the following right from birth:  

1. Do not let your baby sleep more than 3 hours at a time during the day 

2. Avoid overhead bright lights after dark in the baby’s sleeping area; lamps and    night lights are fine 

3. Schedule a dream feed for your baby at 11:00 p.m. right from the beginning 


Crying:  All babies show a developmental pattern of crying. While they are sleepy right after birth, their evening crying increases to a peak at 6 weeks of age typically at 6 in the evening.  For healthy babies, this pattern is know as colic and varies in intensity depending on your baby’s temperament.  Rocking and carrying are very soothing to your baby during this peak crying period.  Walk your baby with a snugli or baby bjorn and this should comfort your baby.  Spoiling should not be a concern at this age.                                                   

Sneezing, Yawning and Hiccups: These are all normal baby behavior and are best ignored.

Cord Care: Keep the diaper down to expose the Cord to the air.  Keep clean and dry.  The Cord will fall off in one to three weeks.  Also you may use rubbing alcohol on the Cord if it is too moist or malodorous.

Fever: In the first three months of life if you’re newborn develops an axillary or rectal temperature of 100.5 or higher, please call us after undressing the baby (and offering water).  Recheck temperature in 3 hours and call us if temperature is still 100.5 or over.  

Nasal Congestion: Use the blue bulb syringe supplied by the hospital to suck out any mouth mucous.  Thick nasal mucous can be removed by putting several drops of normal saline solution in the nostril.  Saline nose drops may be made by adding ½ teaspoon of salt to 8 ounce of boiling water, or may be purchased in spray bottles at your pharmacy. (Ocean, Ayre, Nasal)

Circumcision Care: If your baby was circumcised, apply Vaseline gauze to penis top with every diaper change until penis is healed.  Call if bleeding occurs or if signs and symptoms of infection occur, i.e. fever, increased redness, red streaking, pus or swelling.  

Supplies:  We recommend that you have on hand a rectal or axillary (not ear) thermometer, (mercury or digital).  A cool mist vaporizer/humidifier, acetaminophen drops such as Tempera, Tylenol, Panadol and electrolyte solution such as Pedialyte.

Sleep Position: To reduce the chance of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends the healthy infants are placed to sleep on their back and that no soft bedding (pillows, quilt) is used in an infants crib. 

Car Safety:  The use of a car seat is imperative at least until your child reaches the age of four years or weighs approximately 40 pounds; after that a car seat or booster seat should be used until your child is tall enough for the cars shoulder seat belt to cross his/her shoulder and chest.  Follow the manufacturer’s directions for proper use of your car seat.  The back seat of the car is the Safest Place for your child.  A child should never be in the front seat if the car is equipped with a passenger side air bag.

Common Newborn Questions 

  1. How warm should I keep my baby? Babies vary in how much heat they need.  It is more likely that you will keep your baby too warm than too cold.  Room temperature should not be allowed below 65 F if possible.  Dress the baby so that the chest and abdomen are warm to the touch and the hands and feet are slightly cooler.
  2. How much contact should the baby have with other people? Your small baby should avoid individuals who are ill (have symptoms) and close contact with non-family, small children.  Otherwise, no precautions are necessary.  However, do not overdo by having lots of visitors right after you get home.  This is an exhausting time for you and your baby.  Accept offers of help and visits from close family members and friends, but don’t do lots of socializing.
  3. When can I take my baby outside? As long as you use common sense about clothing and weather, the baby may be taken out at any age.   Long excursions and crowded places tend to tire everyone in the first few weeks. Try walks, parks or backyards, and short visits at first.  
  4. What if the baby becomes jaundiced? All babies become slightly jaundiced by age 3-4 days.  As long as your baby is feeding well and having lots of urine and stools, the jaundice will go away on its own.  Call us if your baby appears intensely yellow down to the knees, if we have told you your baby is at special risk for problems with jaundice, or if your baby is jaundiced and feeding is not well established
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