Home Care for Baby
Bringing your baby home for the first time is a joyous event; however, it is also the moment when you realize that you are now responsible for the life of another.
To help ease your worry, here are a few guidelines for you to review.
Feeding your baby
Your baby is getting enough nutrition if they:
- Have steady weight gain
- Have regular, soft stools
- Produce six-eight wet diapers per day
- Seems generally happy and content, especially when feeding.
Burp baby about halfway through a feeding or every few ounces. If baby does not burp after two-three minutes of trying and baby seems comfortable, continue with feeding.
If your baby has less than one stool a day, or if they are dry and hard, your baby may be constipated and you should call the doctor.
Babies less than six weeks old have stools that are yellow-mustard color. It is normal to have eight-10 stools per day. After six weeks, breastfed babies may not have a stool for four-seven days.
Stools are usually greenish-yellow and may be firm, usually one stool a day is normal.
Reasons to call the doctor:
- Temperature - Red, flushed appearance, irritable, listless.
- Diarrhea - Watery stools with mucus, with vomiting, not hungry or reluctant to feed.
- Vomiting - Excessive, persistent or forceful.
- Not feeding well - Noticeable changes in feeding pattern.
- Skin rashes - Red rashes, severe diaper rash, oozing or crusted sores, blisters.
- Yellow skin - Prolonged jaundice after leaving the hospital.
Umbilical cord care
- Avoid covering the cord with the diaper as the area should be kept clean and dry.
- Clean the area with each diaper change with alcohol or a clean, damp cloth.
- The cord should fall off and the cord area should heal in about seven to 10 days.
- Call the doctor if the cord area is soft, has a strong odor, is streaked with red, or is leaking fluid.
Sleep positions for the newborn
Place your baby on his/her back on a firm mattress with no more than a sheet or rubberized mat between mattress and baby. Do not put soft, bulky items, like pillows, cushions or rolls of bedding in the sleeping area.
Crying is baby's primary means of expressing his/her needs. Baby may cry if he/she is hungry, in pain, wants to be held, is tired, wants to suck, needs stimulation or is over stimulated, has a wet or soiled diaper, is too hot or too cold, or needs to be burped.
Colic is intense, inconsolable crying that does not stop when attempting to make baby more comfortable. Colic affects about 20 percent of babies and often occurs at the same time every day, most often in the early evening. Colic usually stops in the third or fourth month on its own.
Bathing a baby
- For baby’s bath, make sure the room is warm. Use warm, not hot water. Wash the eyes, face, and hair first, then the body. Use a mild soap, rinse and dry well, especially in folds and creases.
- NEVER leave baby alone in a bath or on a changing table. It only takes a second for the unthinkable to happen.
Diapering a baby
- Keep baby clean and dry by changing frequently. Use a moist washcloth or unscented alcohol-free baby wipes.
- A very thin layer of petroleum may be used on baby's bottom to protect the skin from wetness and diaper rash.
- Leave umbilical area uncovered until cord falls off.
- Cloth or disposable diapers may be used.
- Bathe two or three times a week, wash hands and face at least twice a day and keep the diaper area clean.
Be sure to call your pediatrician if you have any concerns or questions no matter how insignificant it may seem.
To find a St. Vincent’s physician who can discuss your health concerns or those of a loved one, please click on our FIND A DOCTOR tool and search by specialty, practice, location or keyword. We’re here to help you locate the medical expert you need.
To speak with a St. Vincent's Care Line representative, call (877) 255-7847
To speak with somone at the front desk of the Medical Center, please call (203) 576-6000
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