Congratulations on your new baby!
We are happy to be able to offer our help and support in the care of your newborn. We will try to see you daily in the hospital to answer any questions you might have. This section explains many of the concerns of the new parent. Please look it over prior to your hospital stay
Most babies will be satisfied with breast milk or formula alone, and not require any solids for the first few months. Breastfed babies will generally nurse every 2 to 4 hours. While bottle-fed infants usually every 3 to 4 hours, the schedule will vary – be flexible.
As the baby grows and finishes 4 oz every feeding, gradually add more, up to 8 oz. four times a day. If your baby seems to require more than this, call our office for further instructions. Breastfeeding should be a rewarding experience for mother and baby – patience and time will resolve most minor frustrations. Call if you are having problems with any feeding method.
Most bottle-fed infants do not require additional vitamins. Vitamins for breast-fed Infants will be discussed on the first office visit.
Sponge-bathe the baby until the cord has fallen off and the umbilicus is dry. The baby may then have a tub bath 1 to 2 times per week, using any mild non-perfumed soap. Shampoo the scalp no more than once a week. Do not use baby oil on the skin or scalp. A little Vaseline on the healing circumcision will prevent irritation. Rashes on the face are very common – they usually resolve spontaneously. Rashes in the diaper area usually respond to frequent diaper changes, leaving the diaper off, and Desitin or A&D ointment. Call if the rash is not better in two days.
Many babies develop a yellow discoloration to their skin – this is called jaundice. It is generally not serious, but if you should notice it after you take your baby home, please call our office. It is generally noticed on the 3rd or 4th day of life but may occur later. There are pamphlets at the office which explain this in more detail.
A room temperature of 68 to 71 degrees and light, loose-fitting clothes are best. Do not keep the baby too warm. A useful rule is that if you are comfortable, the baby is comfortable. A heated home in the winter is extremely dry, and a vaporizer (cool mist) or humidifier in the baby’s room adds needed moisture to the air when the baby is congested. The baby may go outside as weather permits, but please avoid crowds until the baby is at least six weeks old.
A properly installed car seat for the baby is an absolute necessity. Illinois State Law requires the use of an approved infant car seat. For proper use, the seat must be strapped into the seat. Please see “Useful Links” on this website for more information regarding car seats.
If there are older children at home, please remember that the arrival of a new baby is a very stressful time for them. It is very hard for a child to share the time and attention that they are used to receiving from their parents. They may feel jealous of the new baby and angry with you. To help ease the strain, try to involve the older child as much as possible in the care of the baby. Remember that if you can include the older child they will not have to fight for your attention by misbehaving. When visitors come, ask them to spend some time initially with the older kids. It can hurt the older child’s feelings to be passed by, and at this point the baby won’t care. Remember that all children are special and develop differently and have different personalities.
Try to avoid comparisons throughout your child‘s growing years: they tend to hurt one of the children’s feelings. Expect your older child to regress when the new baby comes home. There is no harm in indulging them, while at the same time, giving them praise and attention for more mature behavior. Remember, your child will tend to repeat behavior that gets the most attention. So don’t make too big of a fuss over his “baby ways”.
The following is the American Academy of Pediatrics recommendation regarding sleep position:
Parents are caregivers should now place healthy infants on their backs when putting them down to sleep. This is because recent studies have shown an increased incidence of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) in infants who sleep on their stomachs. There is no evidence that sleeping on the back is harmful to normal infants. Side sleeping is not as safe as back sleeping and is not advised.
There are certain infants that who may need to be placed on their stomachs, including:
- Premature Infants with respiratory distress (severe breathing problems)
- Infants with certain upper airway abnormalities
There may be other valid reasons for infants to be placed on their stomachs for sleep. Parents should discuss their individual circumstances with their pediatrician. While the risk of SIDS for infants who sleep on their stomachs may be higher than those who sleep on their backs, the actual risk of SIDS when placing infants on their stomachs is still extremely low.