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General Instructions for Newborn Care

[vc_column_text]Congratulations on the birth of your baby! The instructions given here will help you meet the needs common to newborn babies and will give you helpful hints on how to keep your baby healthy and happy. Your child is an individual from the day he/she was born; you may adapt these instructions as they apply to your baby. We will be happy to give you guidance and answers to your questions, while you are still in the hospital or later during your office visits.

Check-up Schedules

2-5 days, 1-3 weeks, 2 months, 4 months, 6 months, 9 months, 12 months, 15 months, 18 months, 2 years, 2 ½ years, 3 years, 4 years, 5 years, and annually thereafter. Additional and subsequent check-ups and immunizations may be recommended by the pediatrician or nurse practitioner.


Immunizations are very important and are given at almost every visit during your child’s first 2 years of life. These immunizations are important to help prevent childhood illnesses such as: Whoop- ing Cough, Diphtheria, Tetanus, Polio, Hepatitis B, Pneumococcal Meningitis, H. Influenza Meningitis and many others.


Many emergencies can be avoided in the home by following the advice in this leaflet. For routine questions, call during our regular office hours from 8am-5pm Monday through Friday and 8am- 11am on Saturdays. We can better assist you during these times, with your child’s records on hand. You may also dial the office number for urgent questions or concerns when it is after regular office hours. Whenever I am unavailable, a competent and caring physician or nurse practitioner will be designated to help you. For true emergencies dial 911.

  1. Some of the signs of illnesses that should be reported to me are:
  2. Fever of 100.4°F or higher during the first 2 months of life
  3. Vomiting (not spit up) or refusal of food several times in a row
  4. Excessive crying
  5. Listlessness
  6. Loose, runny stool (mucus with a foul odor)
  7. Difficulty breathing
  8. Decreased urination

Friends and Relatives

These are people who are interested in your baby and want to hold and hug him/her. Unfortunately, you may not know who has a cold, sore throat, sinus trouble, cough or dirty hands. Do your best to keep visitors (especially children) away from your baby as much as possible. The newborn baby is best kept away from too many people, especially during the first 2 months of life. For those immediate family members that do handle the baby, frequent hand washing and up-to-date immunizations (e.g. whooping cough and flu) are advised.[/vc_column_text]

Frequently Asked Questions:

1Babies are Babies

[vc_column_text]All babies sneeze, yawn, burp, have hiccups, pass gas, cough and cry. They may occasionally look cross-eyed, which is normal until 6 months of age. Sneezing is the only way babies can clean their nose of mucus, lint or milk curds, so don’t be alarmed when they do so. Hiccups are small spasms of the stomach muscles, which may be stopped by giving a few swallows of warm water (from a bottle). Coughing is the baby’s way of clearing his/her throat.[/vc_column_text]


[vc_column_text]Crying is a baby’s way of saying: “I’m hungry, I’m wet, I’m thirsty, I want to turn over, I’m too hot, I’m too cold, I have a stomachache or I’m bored.” You will gradually learn to know what the baby means when he/she is crying. Your baby will not get spoiled by you responding to his/her cries, this is how babies know they are loved and cared for. It also tells them you will re- spond and meet their needs.[/vc_column_text]


[vc_column_text]The American Academy of Pediatrics DOES NOT recommend the use of infant walkers. Walkers often cause infants to tumble over and get harmed. Many serious head injuries have occurred be- cause of infant walkers.[/vc_column_text]


[vc_column_text]NEVER leave the baby alone in the tub during bathing, even with a prop-up support. Ignore the phone or door bell while you’re bath- ing the baby. Children have been known to drown in a bucket of water. Do not leave them alone near any amount of water. If you have a pool make sure it is fenced and install a self-latching lock on a gate that opens away from the pool.[/vc_column_text]


[vc_column_text]Poison Control phone #: 1-800-222-1222 or 1-800-876-4766 Medications should be stored in bottles with child proof caps and locked away. Caustic materials, paint, paint thinners, etc., should all be locked in cabinets out of reach of children.[/vc_column_text]


[vc_column_text]Avoid having any round small objects, such as coins, buttons or peanuts, around the baby. No loose curtain cords! Also, young children should not wear necklaces.[/vc_column_text]


[vc_column_text]Guns should definitely be locked and stored away from children at all times. The ammunition should be locked and stored in a separate place.[/vc_column_text]


[vc_column_text]Feeding is one of your baby’s first pleasant experiences. Both of you should be comfortable. Hold your baby in your lap with his/ her head slightly raised and resting in the bend of your elbow. Whether breast or bottle feeding, hold your baby comfortably close.[/vc_column_text]

9Breast Feeding

[vc_column_text]Position your baby at the level of your breast, with baby’s tummy against your skin. You may use pillows to help support your baby. Hold your breast with thumb on top and fingers underneath (like the letter C). Gently stroke the baby’s cheek nearest the breast, when the baby opens his/her mouth; gently bring the baby to the breast. Breastfeeding should not be too painful. Once the baby has latched on, take a deep breath. If you still have pain, gently remove the baby from your breast by slipping your finger in the corner of the baby’s mouth.

Attempt to latch the baby on to the breast again. Nurse your baby approximately 10 minutes on each breast at each feeding. If your baby is still hungry you can let him/her nurse as long as he/she wishes. If babies are getting enough milk to satisfy them, this method will also satisfy their sucking instinct too. In the early weeks, the baby may feed 8-12 times in a 24-hour day. Continue to take your prenatal vitamins while you are breastfeeding. For your comfort and relief, feeding of formula may be necessary occasionally. However, it is recommended that you supplement with the formula right after breastfeeding if the baby still appears hungry. If you feel that the breastfeeding is not satisfying the baby’s appetite, call me.[/vc_column_text]

10Formula/Bottle Feeding

[vc_column_text]Position yourself comfortably and hold the baby, supporting his/ her head. Tilt the bottle, making sure the neck of the bottle and nipple are filled with formula, doing this will help ensure your baby is not sucking in too much air. Too much air in the baby’s stomach may give the baby a false sense of being full or may cause the baby to be very uncomfortable and fussy.Never prop up the bottle for babies to feed themselves. The bottle can easily slip into the wrong position, and may cause the baby to choke on his/her milk. This may also cause the baby to get ear infections. Remember, feeding your baby gives him/her a sense of security and pleasure, holding him/her during feedings allows both of you to relax and enjoy this time together.[/vc_column_text]


[vc_column_text]The American Academy of Pediatrics currently recommends 400IU of vitamin D supplement daily. This is recommended for both breastfed and formula-fed babies. When you give your baby vitamins, place the dropper toward the sides of the baby’s cheeks. Placing the dropper directly toward the back of the throat may cause a baby to choke. I will let you know if your baby needs any other vitamins or supplements.[/vc_column_text]

12Solid Foods

[vc_column_text] The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends holding off on starting solids until your baby is 6 months old. I will talk to you about solid foods when your baby comes in for check-ups. Don’t start solid foods until after I have discussed it with you and tell you the baby is ready. DO NOT give babies any eggs, nuts or honey until they are 1 year of age.[/vc_column_text]

13Schedule Feeding Times

[vc_column_text]It is important to remember that feeding schedules should be flexible. Roughly set the hours, allowing the baby to eat an hour before or an hour later than the scheduled time. Newborns usually eat every 2-3 hours, occasionally eating every 4 hours as they get older and as they eat more.[/vc_column_text]

14Formula Preparation

[vc_column_text]Powdered formula is the most common option available to you. Mix the powder with water as instructed on the can/bottle—this is very important to ensure your baby is getting the proper calories and nutrients. Formula may also come in pre-mixed, ready-to-use containers. These do not require you to add any water. Whatever option you choose, it is important to read the manufacture’s in- structions. Formula does not need to be heated, but your baby may drink/soups around your infant/child. Many 2nd and 3rd degree burns are caused by an infant/child spilling hot liquids on themselves. As your children become more and more mobile, it will be important for you to keep a watchful eye on them, to ensure they don’t burn themselves.[/vc_column_text]

15Water Temperature

[vc_column_text]Please make sure to set your hot water heater temperature gauge to no more than 120°F. Also, it is important to be careful of hot prefer it warm. DO NOT heat the formula in the microwave; instead, place the bottle in warm water.[/vc_column_text]

16How much formula?

[vc_column_text]The amount of formula your baby takes will vary. Don’t force your baby to eat; babies have the right not to be hungry sometimes. Most babies will eat for approximately 15-20 minutes. At times babies may want to take all of their bottle, other times they won’t. As your baby grows and gains weight, he/she will need more for- mula. When your baby consistently takes all of his/her bottle and occasionally cries for more, it may be time to increase the amount of formula he/she takes. You may want to increase the feedings by ½ an ounce to an ounce at a time.[/vc_column_text]

17Keeping Bottles and Nipples Clean

[vc_column_text]Rinse bottles and nipples with cool water after each feeding. You may not have time to wash immediately after feeding, but rinsing with cool water will help remove milk before it forms a film as well as make washing easier later. When ready to wash the bottles/nipples, wash in warm soapy water, squeezing water through the holes of the nipples rinsing well. Place upside down on a rack or clean towel to allow them to dry.[/vc_column_text]


[vc_column_text]Burp your baby with each feeding; you may do so during the feed- ings or wait until the end of the feeding. Even when the baby is fed properly he/she may swallow some air. You can hold the baby over your shoulder with his/her body against yours and gently pat and rub his/her back. You may also find it comfortable to hold the baby in a sitting position, supporting his/her head and chin with one hand, while gently patting and rubbing his/her back with your other hand. With time you will find a comfortable position for both you and your baby.[/vc_column_text]


[vc_column_text]You can sponge bathe your baby until the navel and circumcision have healed. Once they are healed you may use a baby tube. Wash the baby’s face with warm water, a soft cloth and no soap.

You can use a Q-Tip to clean the baby’s outer ears. Do not attempt to go inside of his/her ears, this may cause harm. Use a mild, unscented soap to wash the baby’s body. Wash the creases well, rinsing after. Wash the baby’s head last, lathering gently, keeping soap out of eyes. Be gentle with the soft spot. Your baby does not need a bath every day. Every other day or 3 times a week is suf- ficient. After baths it is okay to use a non-scented lotion or cream to keep the baby’s skin moist. Avoid applying excess lotion in the creases of his/her skin and avoid using powder or talc.[/vc_column_text]

20Sleeping, Comfort, and Clothing

[vc_column_text]Keeping an even temperature is recommended for keeping your baby comfortable. Your baby does not require much more clothing than an adult. Dress your baby according to the temperature; avoid over- and under-dressing them. Babies may require just 1 layer more than you. In the first month it is important to keep the baby’s head covered as babies can lose an excessive amount of heat from the head. Wash all of your baby’s clothes before putting them on.[/vc_column_text]

21Bassinets and Cribs

[vc_column_text]The baby should sleep in his/her own bassinet or crib. The mattress should be firm and flat. Do not use a pillow or excessive bedding. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends only a crib sheet and light blanket. No bumper, toys or stuffed animals should be in the crib with your baby. When you put your baby to sleep, always put him/her to sleep on his/her back. Most babies can sleep through the night without feedings around 3-6 months of age.[/vc_column_text]

22Sleeping Outdoors

[vc_column_text]A fairly good rule to follow is to take your baby out when the weather is pleasant. Sunscreen is recommended when you take your baby out on a sunny day. Babies who are born during winter months should be kept indoors for 3-4 weeks unless the weather is not too cold.[/vc_column_text]

23Babies in the Car

[vc_column_text]The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends keeping a baby in a rear-facing car seat until he/she is 2 years of age or until he/ she has reached the maximum weight and height allowed by the manufacturer of his/her car seat. New car seat laws in the state of California also state that all children should be in a car seat/booster seat until they are 8 years of age or 4’9”.[/vc_column_text]

24Care of Diaper Area

[vc_column_text]Frequent changing of diapers will help prevent diaper rash and keep your baby warm and dry. Different brands of diapers may cause irritation in the diaper area. It is important to find a diaper that works for you and your baby. Some diaper rashes may require a prescription cream. If you have tried over-the-counter creams such as Desitin or A & D ointment and the rash is not improving, contact me.[/vc_column_text]

25Stools and Urine

[vc_column_text]Your baby may have a bowel movement after every feeding or may have one bowel movement a day. If your baby is breastfed he/she may even have one bowel movement a week after the first few weeks of life. This is normal as long as the baby’s stool is soft, not hard and doesn’t look like small hard balls or pellets. In the first 3-5 days you can expect about 3-5 wet diapers. By Days 5-7 the baby should have 5-8 wet diapers. Wet diapers are a good indicator that your baby is getting enough fluid.[/vc_column_text]


[vc_column_text]The umbilical cord usually falls off in 1-3 weeks. It is important to keep the cord clean and dry. There is no need to apply alco- hol. Sometimes when the cord falls off there may be a few drops of blood. There is no need to worry as this is normal. Call your pediatrician or nurse practitioner if the blood continues more than a few days, if there is a foul-smelling odor, or if there is redness around the navel. Do not bathe your baby until 2-3 days after the cord falls off.[/vc_column_text]


[vc_column_text]Watch for swelling or bleeding. Call your pediatrician or nurse practitioner if these occur. The ring should fall off in about a week. Once the ring falls off, you can apply Vaseline with each diaper change.[/vc_column_text]

Questions or Concerns?

    Please call us at (562)698-6266

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