Your baby is finally here! However, if you’re a first-time parent you may have a ton of questions about caring for your newborn. We know that dressing, changing, and even handling your little newborn may make you feel more than a little nervous, but trust us when we say, “You got this!” From providing your child with wellness checkups to offering parents recommendations and support, the pediatric team at Health Care for Children is here to help your family the moment you bring your newborn home.
We know how tiny your newborn is but there are some basic ways to handle and support them safely. Make sure to:
- Always wash your hands before holding or handling your baby
- Always provide ample support for their head and neck
- Always be gentle with your newborn
- Never shake your baby, even to wake them
You will sponge bathe your newborn until the umbilical cord falls off and the area heals (if your baby has been circumcised you will want to wait for the area to heal completely, as well). Once you can start bathing your baby, you will only need to bathe them about 2-3 times a week (any more than that, and you risk drying out their skin). Use mild, fragrance-free shampoos and soaps designed for babies, as well as soft washcloths and towels. Once your child upgrades from sponge baths you’ll want to purchase an infant tub.
If you’re planning to breastfeed, you must start immediately in the hospital after your baby is born. Don’t worry, if it takes a little while to get the hang of it. That’s completely natural. Of course, if you do find yourself dealing with breastfeeding problems, we can recommend a lactation consultant to help make breastfeeding easier.
It’s important to create a feeding schedule. Newborns will need to nurse about every three hours. Create a comfortable space for you and the baby when you nurse, as it may take quite a bit of time in the very beginning and you both want to be comfortable. Most women need to maintain anywhere from 2,200-2,400 calories a day to keep up with the demands of nursing.
Diaper rashes can occur with increased or prolonged moisture in the diaper area. General care includes keeping the area clean, dry, and aerated (sometimes going diaper free) and using a zinc-based diaper cream. You do not need to remove the entire amount of product with each diaper change, only the soiled areas. Some rashes may require further care or treatment. If you are questioning whether your child may need some of these treatments, have the rash evaluated by a provider in our office and we can determine if further treatment is necessary.
Know When to See Your Provider
Along with wellness checkups, our pediatric team is here for you and your baby whenever you need it. There will certainly come a time when your newborn may be sick or displaying symptoms that have you nervous. Give us a call anytime your newborn,
- Is under 2 months and has a fever over 100.4 degrees F
- Won’t eat or refuses to eat
- Has watery stools
- Is unresponsive or extremely sleepy
- Won’t stop crying and can’t be consoled
- Has a red rash all over the body
- Has any signs of infection around the umbilical cord (redness; swelling)
- Has a swollen stomach
If you have questions about caring for the new addition to your family, or you’re currently looking for a pediatrician before your child arrives, call Health Care for Children in Kansas City, MO at (816) 792-1170 to schedule your little one’s first visit with us.