New Parents and Baby
Your baby is unique. As parents, the people most closely involved, you will come to know your baby best. Trust yourself. Most new parents are unsure of their parenting skills. These worries will soon disappear with experience. You will see that you can provide the proper nutrition and the love, warmth, and attention your baby needs. My staff and I are here to answer your questions and address your concerns as you build your confidence.
Care of Navel and Circumcision
The umbilical cord remnant usually falls off within a few weeks. To keep the area clean, swab the umbilical cord (navel) each time you change your baby’s diaper. Soak a cotton-tipped swab in rubbing alcohol and gently wipe the tip and base of the cord area. Your baby may squirm because the alcohol is cool, but you are not hurting him. It can take several weeks for the cord stump to fall off. Continue this care for a week after it does.
Your Baby’s Safety
The kinds of injuries a baby may experience change with age, so you need to consider and adjust your safety efforts continuously. No one can protect a baby from all hazards; but there is a lot you can do, starting the day your baby comes home from the hospital.
Always use a government-approved, rear-facing car safety seat in the back seat of your car. In an accident, a baby held in a passenger’s arms can strike parts of the inside of the car or be thrown from it. Make sure that there is NO air bag protecting the seat where your baby is placed. Ask me for information to help you buy, rent, or borrow an approved car safety seat.
Wet diapers and frequent feedings are signs that your baby is getting enough to drink. Sometimes it is difficult to determine if a diaper is wet. A tissue liner inside the diaper can help slow wetness. It is common, during the first 4 to 5 days after birth, to find a pink-colored stain in your baby’s wet diapers. This results from normal crystals in the urine and is not a problem.
Preventing Diaper Rash
Change your baby’s diaper frequently. Let her bottom air-dry as long as possible at each diaper change. You may use a zinc oxide cream or petroleum jelly to protect the skin. Do not use powder.
Changing Your Son’s Diaper
If your son is circumcised, gently rinse the area at each diaper change. It is important to keep the area as clean as possible. The gauze wrap on the penis will usually fall off within 24 hours following circumcision. Until the circumcision is healed, I recommend applying petroleum jelly or an antibiotic ointment to prevent the penis from sticking to the diaper.
Changing Your Daughter’s Diaper
Using a wet cloth, wipe from front to back. Gently clean between all creases of skin. A little blood-tinged mucus from her vagina is normal at first. If this condition continues, becomes more frequent or heavier, call me.
Regular Visits to Our Office
There is a recommended schedule of “well baby” visits to which you should bring your baby. These visits will give me a chance to check on your baby’s growth and development, to talk with you about the care of your baby, and to offer guidance as your baby grows. Immunizations against a wide variety of important childhood illnesses are generally driven at these well-baby visits.
Crib, Bassinet, Carriage, Playpen, Changing Table
The crib for your baby must have slats or bars no more than 2-3/8 inches apart, no unsafe design features, and a snug-fitting mattress. To avoid blocking your baby’s breathing, do not have pillows, large, fluffy toys, blankets, or loose plastic sheeting in the crib, bassinet, carriage or playpen.
As your baby grows, keep small objects such as buttons, pins, and toys with small parts out of the baby’s reach so he cannot pick them up and swallow them. If you offer a pacifier, use only a commercially made one that meets safety standards and doesn’t have a long cord that could wrap around his neck and cause choking.
Bowel movements of newborn babies vary considerably in size, color, consistency and frequency. A baby may have several bowel movements daily, or none for a few days. Frequent bowel movements in a breastfed newborn are a good indication that he is getting enough breast milk.
Your Sleeping Baby
Newborns do not have the same sleep patterns as adults. Regular sleep patterns develop as your baby gets older. Newborns usually sleep 16-18 hours a day. They sleep 2-3 hours, wake up, eat, and go to sleep again. They often seem to have no real pattern and no regard for whether it’s day or night. At about 6 weeks old, their sleep and wake pattern begins to become established. By 16 weeks, many will have settled into a regular schedule.