Congratulations on the New Arrival…

We look forward to sharing the years ahead with you! While we recognize that new parents hardly have time to read multiple parenting books, we put together a short list of reminders and suggestions. For further routine questions about your baby, we would be happy to discuss them during regular business hours or at your next visit.

Feeding-Breast: If you have chosen to nurse your baby, you will be providing the most easily digestible food that also helps babies fight infections. We suggest that you try to nurse your baby every 2 to 4 hours. Your baby is getting enough if: you feel that your breasts are smaller after nursing, your baby seems satisfied, and your baby bowel movements (BM) as expected (1 or more (BM) day 1, 2 or more (BM) day 2, 3 or more (BM) day 3 and 4 or more after that. If you prefer, you may also count wet diapers- 5/6 wet diapers per day is another good sign that your baby is getting enough.

Feeding- Formula: All major brands will provide the important nutrients your baby needs to grow. You should definitely buy a formula with iron and DHA & ARA (these substances have been shown to be important for eye and brain development. We recommend you stay with one formula unless we discuss a change with you. You should plan to feed 2/4 ounces every 2-4 hour with one 5-hour stretch at night.

Stools of breast-fed babies typically loose, yellow and seedy. Bottle-fed babies have stools that are a little pastier. If your baby’s stools get hard (like pebbles).

Temperature: You did not need to take our baby’s temperature unless there is something that is worrying you. In example your baby is too sleepy not feeding well. Call us for temperatures over 100.3F or 38C. We recommend digital thermometers under the arm or in the bottom. (Ear thermometers are not accurate enough in newborns.) Never give Tylenol to newborn. In general, babies need to wear the same number of clothes/layers that are keeping you comfortable plus one.

Sleeping: Remember that all babies should be put to sleep on their backs in order to decrease the risk of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome). Babies do not choke on their backs, even if they do spit up because they turn their heads to the side while sleeping. In order to reduce your baby’s risk of potential plagiocephaly (AKA "misshapen head") you should vary the direction your baby faces while sleeping at night (e.g. right or left). Also, to make sure that your baby develops good strength in the neck, back, and shoulders, all several times a day while the baby is awake. Just place your baby on the stomach and enjoy the exercise!

Cord Care: Some suggest using alcohol to clean the cord several times a day, which is fine though not necessary. Keep the area clean and dry and the cord will fall off sometime in the first month of life (usually between 1-3 weeks). You may notice a few drops of blood when the cord falls off and this is normal. If there I pus, drainage, odor or a reddened area around the cord, please call us. You may submerge your baby's belly in water after the umbilical cord falls off and umbilicus is healed.

Circumcision: Keep an ointment over the tip of his penis for the first week or two until skin appears well healed.  If your baby has a plastic ring around his penis, it will fall off on its own.  Call us if it has not fallen off in >1 week.  If your child is not circumcised, do NOT attempt to forcefully retract the foreskin or us cotton swabs to clean under the foreskin.   Normal bathing will keep him clean until the foreskin naturally retracts
(at one or more years of age).

Mom's Hormones: As a result of maternal hormones, newborn girls may have vaginal discharge and even a first period in the first week of life.  Both boys and girls can have breast buds that will resolve over the first weeks of life.  Babies may also have acne towards the end of the 1st month as a result of maternal hormones.

Crying: Even when well-fed, dry, and cuddled, babies will cry. The normal crying trend for a new baby is to cry more and more until about 6-8 weeks of age and then start to cry less and less. Some babies go through a period of crying every day, usually at about the same time and it may last from minutes to hours. Babies cannot be spoiled by too much holding in these first weeks of life so please hold them when they cry as much as you want to.  As long as there is no fever, your baby is eating and making dirty diapers, and your baby has otherwise been acting normally, crying should not cause you to worry. You may try a snuggle-type device, soft music, a walk in the stroller or a car ride.  If all else fails, try to have another trusted adult help to give you a break during these fussy periods.

Trips: It is OK to go places with your newborn if you are feeling up to it.  However, we recommend that you limit exposure of your newborn to large crowds and people who are ill.  If you are planning a trip far away, please call or come in so we can discuss it.




  Our Pediatricians are board certified by American Academy of Pediatrics: Brian F. Groden M.D. & Ruth Prophete M.D.

Horizon Pediatrics, Inc.
81R Hawthorn Street New Bedford, MA 02740
Tel: 508-961-2403 ~ Fax: 508-961-2406

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