Congratulations on your newest addition! This is a very exciting time, but the first month can also be very stressful as you get to know your baby. Here are the top 5 things you need to know to get through the first month.
- Your baby should be fed either breast milk or formula every 3 hours around the clock. Newborns are often sleepy so they must be wakened to feed. You do not need to give any additional water.
- Your baby should have 6-8 wet diapers per day and several bowl movements. Breastfed babies tend to have a bowl movement every time they feed. Formula fed infants tend to go less frequently. The bowl movements will be yellow, green, or brown and should be soft and mushy.
- Until your baby gets their first set of vaccines at the 2 month visit. It is very important to keep them from getting sick! Make sure everyone washes their hands or uses hand sanitizer before touching your baby. Try to avoid crowded areas such as planes, trains, buses and small restaurants to prevent your baby from getting sick. If your newborn is acting different than usual (extremely irritable, not feeding well) take a rectal temperature. Anything less than 100 is normal. A rectal temperature of 100.4 is an EMERGENCY for a newborn. If the temperature is between 100-100.3 the temperature should be monitored closely over the following hours.
- It is no longer necessary to wipe the umbilical cord with alcohol. The umbilical cord will fall off on its own usually within the first 2 weeks of life. You need to wait until the cord falls off and dries completely (usually 48 hours) before submerging the baby in water. You may sponge bathe your baby as needed until the cord has fallen and healed.
- Hiccups and sneezes are normal for newborns! Sometimes newborns will sound like they have nasal congestion. You may use normal saline nose drops (Little Noses, Ayr) as well as a nasal suction/nasal syringe up to three times per day to help alleviate the congestion. If your child is coughing or is so stuffy that they can’t eat, call the office.