Newborns & Infants
Things To Have At Home
Some things that you should have at home when you arrive from the hospital after delivery are: a thermometer, tub basin, petroleum jelly, diapers, bottles with nipples, bulb syringe, rubbing alcohol, Q-tips, hypoallergenic body bath, and an infant car seat.
Umbilical Cord Care
The umbilical cord usually falls off at around 7-10 days. Prior to this time you should clean around the stump with alcohol three to four times a day or with every diaper change. Please report any redness, foul odor, or purulent drainage from around the site. The umbilicus does not contain any nerve endings so your child will not have any discomfort. Refrain from any tub baths until the cord has completely fallen off. Keep your baby's diaper folded down below the navel to keep urine off and to let air in.
Whether or not you circumcise your child is a personal decision. We will not be performing the circumcision. Your obstetrician can perform the circumcision in the hospital before your baby is discharged, or a mohel can perform the circumcision. To care for the circumcision, apply petroleum jelly to the tip of the penis with each diaper change and cover with a gauze pad. Please report any bleeding, unusual swelling, purulent drainage, or inability to urinate.
If Your Newborn Has A Fever
Call our office for any infant under three months of age with a rectal temperature of 100.3 degrees or under 97.5 degrees. Regardless of age, call if any fever has persisted longer than three days, if your child cannot be comforted, is irritable and cries inconsolably, has difficulty breathing, is lethargic, not feeding well, or has a convulsion.
Normal Childhood Sleep Patterns
Newborns up to eight weeks will sleep a total of 16-18 hours per day and require about 1-3 nightly feedings. From eight weeks to six months, they sleep a total of 14-16 hours per day, of which 6-8 hours will be at night. From six months to twelve months of age, they also sleep 14-16 hours per day, but about 10-12 hours of this is at night.
Tips for a good sleep environment:
Keep a dark, quiet, and comfortably cool environment
Have a regular waking time, consistent nap length, and a regular bedtime
No frightening TV or stories before bedtime
No vigorous physical activities an hour before bedtime
Keep a consistent bedtime routine (e.g. bath, brush teeth, toilet, story)
Keep consistent soothing techniques (e.g. transitional objects such as a favorite blanket or stuffed animal)
Safe Sleep Guidelines
We recommend that all infants should be placed on their backs when put down to sleep until at least twelve months of age. Use a crib that meets federal safety standards. Make sure the mattress fits snugly against the crib. There should be no more than a two finger space. Don't use crib bumpers; an infant's head can become wedged between the bumper and the mattress. Don't fill the crib with stuffed animals. Don't let the baby sleep on soft yielding bedding such as comforters, pillows, beanbag cushions, or sheepskins. Choose a firm mattress so that the child doesn't sink. Don't let your infant sleep on an adult waterbed.