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Caring for your newborn

Oh congratulations on the birth of your baby this is a very exciting time but we know you may have some questions about caring for your baby after you leave the hospital many of those questions may be answered.

feeding

 baby should be eight to 12 times in a 24-hour period you may find it helpful to keep track of how often your baby is feeding with a feeding block you can do this on paper or by downloading an app on your phone babies need no other food than breast milk for the first six months this includes water or juice if introducing a bottle of express milk at age one month it’s important that you never prop the bottle on a pillow or blanket this can cause ear infections and lead to your baby choking .

ask another family member to help if you need assistance or hold off on feeding for a few minutes until you can attend to your baby many new mothers who breastfeed are concerned about not producing enough milk in the beginning all women initially make a substance called colostrum which is yellow because of all the good healthy fat colostrum is low in volume but high in calories and nutrition your baby stomach is only the size of a marble to start the colostrum is all he needs to feel full it’s normal for your baby to be hungry often in the beginning even every hour putting your baby to rest often will help your baby transition your milk from colostrum to mature milk.

signs of illness

there are a number of signs to look out for in the newborn that could indicate an underlying infection or illness if you notice a cost increase total crying difficulty breathing decreased responsiveness or a significant change in feeding pattern please call your doctor remember the baby’s appetite should be steady or increasing with time and she should be feeding 8 to 12 times in a 24-hour period make sure you talk to your doctor before giving any medications she should be urinating at least once every eight hours but this will increase to six to eight times a day when feeding is established in newborn babies a high low temperature can be a sign of serious infection you don’t need to check your baby’s temperature unless you’ve acting sick please call your doctor if you measure a rectal temperature of greater than 100 point four or less than ninety-seven point two degrees Fahrenheit if you don’t have a thermometer at home try to purchase one as soon as possible.

 babies can’t breathe through their mouths like adults can so they will have to breathe through their noses during times of congestion applied two to three drops of nasal saline to your baby’s

nose followed by a bulb suction syringe if your baby sneezes no need to use the bulb syringe

 the umbilical cord

will usually fall off on its own when your baby is between seven and fourteen days old near the time of cord separation you may notice a small amount of oozing blood this is normal you don’t need to put alcohol or anything else on your baby’s umbilical cord if you have any questions about how to care for the cord please ask your doctor if there is bleeding apply light pressure if the base of the cord becomes red or swollen call your doctor as this is a sign of infection John is refers to your baby’s skin looking yellow and is seen in many newborns this is a result of something called bilirubin that’s found in the blood it is very common in the first weeks of life usually peeking around days three and four and then generally improving in most infants .

jaundice

 is harmless but very rarely the level can get high enough to cause brain damage we monitor the bilirubin levels in the newborn nursery but the levels can increase after going home this is one of the reasons we want your baby to be seen by a health care provider one to three days after leaving the nursery please call your doctor if your baby skin or eyes turn yellow or if you notice that he sleepier than usual

skin care

bathe your baby every couple of days with warm water and a washcloth do not submerge the baby in water until the umbilical cord has fallen off until then you can use a sponge bath to clean him trim his finger and toenails with a file or infant nail clipper as needed dry skin is common in newborns and will shed and be replaced within the first two weeks of life avoid moisturizers or lotions that contain perfume as they can cause a rash for boys who have been circumcised apply Vaseline and gauze over the circumcision for the first 24 hours and then simply apply Vaseline until the area is well filled baby girls commonly have a white vaginal discharge that can be wiped off with a sponge bath there are sometimes even a few drops of blood from the vagina which is completely normal due to baby being separated from moms hormones this will go away on its own and is not bothering your baby

safety

it’s against the law to transport a baby without a car seat for the first two years of life all car seats should be placed beer facing in the back seat preferably in the middle of the car there are local agencies that can check your car seat for proper installation and fit baby should be placed on their backs to sleep to decrease the risk of sudden infant death syndrome or SIDS your baby should be in her own crib or bassinet for sleeping but ideally in the same room as you for the first 6 to 12 months your baby should have no extra pillows or blankets in the crib and avoid the use of crib bumpers to make sure she’s warm she should wear a 1 sleeper or swaddle sack and a hat while your baby is awake it’s okay to place your baby on her tummy for brief periods of time to increase strength but this should be supervised avoid using strong cleaners or chemicals near your baby set.

the water heater to a maximum of 120 degrees Fahrenheit to avoid burning your baby it’s really important to keep babies away from smoke family members and guests would go outside to smoke and then wash their hands and change their clothes before handling your baby.

Crying

babies can cry a lot especially in the first few months it tends to peak around four

weeks of age and slowly gets better by about three months when your baby is crying check to see if you’ve hungry cold or needing a fresh diaper if not there are ways to soothe your baby such as swaddling him in a blanket offering a pacifier to suck making shushing sounds.

to remind your baby of being inside you and gently swaying back and forth hold off on introducing a pacifier until your baby is two weeks to one month of age when your milk supply is established some babies will still cry and it can be very stressful it’s perfectly okay to leave your baby and a safe location for a short period of time around five minutes while you take a timeout and calm yourself if you can hear your baby crying you know his lungs and heart are working and that everything is okay it is important to never shake your baby as you can cause permanent brain damage or death encourage family members to take time out to if needed most importantly take good care of yourself so that you can care for your baby.

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