Newborn Care

Congratulations on your newborn! Call the office with any questions or concerns you may have. Here is some general information that you may find helpful.Breast Feeding: Breastfed babies should eat 8-12 times in a 24 hour period. Look for feeding cues and let your baby feed on demand. Please refer to the breastfeeding websites listed in the Resources and Helpful Links tab for more information.Bottle Feeding: An iron fortified cow’s milk based infant formula is recommended for most infants who are not breastfed unless medically contraindicated. Infants typically eat every 3-4 hours. Do not heat formula in a microwave oven. Discard formula left in the bottle after a feeding.

Cord Care: There is no need to clean the cord with alcohol or other substances. Fold or roll the top of the diaper down to keep the cord clean and dry. Avoid submerging your baby in a tub until after the cord falls off. Until then you may give your baby a sponge bath but keep the cord dry. The cord usually falls off by 2-3 weeks of age but this may occur sooner.

Genital Care for Boys: For uncircumcised boys, gently clean the penis with a gentle soap and water or a diaper wipe, there is no need to pull back the foreskin. For circumcised boys gently clean the penis with a gentle soap and water. Apply Vaseline to prevent the penis from sticking to the diaper. Once the circumcision is healed and the yellow crust is no longer present you can stop using the Vaseline.

Genital Care for Girls: Mucous and occasional bloody discharge from the vagina is normal in the first days and is related to maternal hormones that the baby was exposed to in utero. Gently clean the vaginal area with gentle soap a

nd water or a diaper wipe by gently wiping from front to back.Sleep: The typical newborn sleeps 16-20 hours per day and it is not uncommon that there is a day-night reversal with longer periods of wakefulness at night. It is important that babies sleep on their backs on a firm sleep surface. The crib or bassinette should be free of pillows, bumpers and blankets. Infants should sleep in their parents’ room until at least 6 months of age but should not sleep in a bed or couch with their parents. Offer a pacifier at sleep times but if your baby is breastfeeding wait to start this after breastfeeding is well established. These measures have been found to reduce the risk of SIDS.Visitors: The immune system of the newborn is not as effective as that of an infant over two months of age. Avoid public places such as stores, churches and restaurants for the first two months and ask those who may be sick with a cold or other illness to postpone their visit until they are well. It is also a good idea to have visitors wash their hands before holding the baby.