Bringing your newborn baby home is an exciting experience, but can be confusing and overwhelming. As a new parent, you may have countless questions, and the following information answers some of the FAQs about feeding, bathing, and the sleeping habits of newborn babies.
Feeding the Newborn Baby
Should I breastfeed my newborn baby?
While breastfeeding is a hugely personal decision, it may offer you and your child several benefits, such as:
- Bolstering postpartum weight loss.
- Giving the child antibodies to fight infection and diseases.
- Providing essential fatty acids and nutrients.
How often should I feed my baby?
Newborn babies should be fed every two to three hours. Simply put, if the baby is hungry let him nurse, even if they ate an hour ago. Pay attention to the following signs to make sure you baby is getting enough to eat:
- Baby should spend 10 to 15 minutes on each breast or drink two to three ounces of formula.
- The child starts gaining weight during the second week.
If you are concerned whether your baby is growing or eating enough, consult with your pediatrician.
Is it normal for my baby to spit up?
It’s completely normal for newborn babies to spit up after being fed. However, if you feel as if something is wrong or if the baby spits up more often, speak to your pediatrician at Stepping Stone Pediatrics immediately.
Bathing Your Newborn Baby
How should I care for my child’s umbilical cord?
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), it’s best to keep the umbilical cord dry and clean. When it starts to fall off or crust off, keep it clean by using a small amount of rubbing alcohol a couple times of day. The cord should fall off between one and two weeks. However, if you notice a foul odor or significant redness, contact the team at Stepping Stone Pediatrics immediately.
Should I bathe my newborn baby each day?
No, you shouldn’t bathe your newborn baby every day. As a matter of fact, many babies suffer from dry skin and get rashes from too many baths. Until the child’s umbilical-cord stump falls off, you should wash your baby with a soft sponge instead of placing the baby in a tub. Even after the umbilical-cord has healed, you should only bathe the baby once or twice a week. After a few months, daily baths are okay, but make sure you moisturize the child’s skin.
If my baby’s skin is yellow, is it serious?
Jaundice is a relatively common problem for newborns, but it’s commonly confused with carotenemia. Carotenemia is harmless and the result of your child eating a lot of food with beta-carotene, such as carrots, sweet potatoes, and even chicken. The easiest way to tell the difference between jaundice and carotenemia is by checking the whites of your child’s eyes. With jaundice, their eyes will also look yellow. If your child’s skin is yellow, they’re not feeding well, they’re losing weight, and not sleeping well, it’s imperative to consult with your pediatrician at Stepping Stone Pediatrics immediately.
Newborn Sleeping Habits
How much should my newborn baby sleep?
During the first three months, newborn babies may sleep up to 16 hours each day. They will typically wake every two to three hours to be changed or fed. After the baby reaches six months, they may sleep up to six to seven hours each night. The number of consecutive sleep hours will continue to increase as they age.
Should I wake my sleeping baby to feed?
With newborns that are less than six pounds at birth, you may want to wake your baby every three hours to feed. Contrary to popular believe, not every baby will let you know when they are hungry, especially during the first few weeks of life. If your baby is larger and has several feedings during the day, he or she may be able to sleep through the night without waking up for feedings.
Should I place my baby on their back to sleep?
All healthy newborns should be placed on their back to sleep. Babies should be placed on a firm mattress in a safe environment. it’s best to avoid heavy blankets, stuffed animals, and pillows. When the baby reaches about five months, they may learn to roll over. At this point, you shouldn’t have to worry about flipping the child onto their back in the middle of the night. Even so, you should still take SIDS precautions.
Contact Stepping Stone Pediatrics for an Appointment
One of the best things you can do for your newborn is create a relationship with a pediatrician. Your baby’s pediatrician will get to know your baby and be better prepared to know when something’s awry.