"Newborn Care" What should I know about my newborn and how to care for him/her?

Newborn Care

Welcome back to our monthly blog!
This month we will be outlining some important topics on newborn care. Having the best care for your infant begins with the selection of a great pediatrician. Your pediatrician will be supporting you and your child for many years to come. 

 SELECTING YOUR PEDIATRICIAN 
Begin choosing your pediatrician in the last trimester of your pregnancy. This will give you time to select a doctor who best fits your requirements. After all, most pediatricians will be a part of your child’s life from birth through the age of 18. 

* Start with your Obgyn, friends and family for a recommendation.

* Which of these recommendations are in your network? Check with your insurance company.

* An office with close proximity to your home or office may be important to you. You will be spending a lot of time with your pediatrician so think about convenience.

* Call the office staff. Do they have the ability to answer basic questions? How are emergencies handled? What if your pediatrician is out of the office or on vacation?

* Is the pediatrician a good fit? Visit the clinics website and blogs. By doing so, you will learn of their credentials, specialties, education and the languages they speak. You will also be able to read patient reviews and experiences as well as their care philosophy. 

* Once you have narrowed your selection, see if you can have a meet and greet appointment with your doctor.

FEEDING YOUR NEWBORN
Breast milk is the ideal food for your baby. If this is not possible, use an infant formula recommended by your pediatrician.

Newborns require approximately 12 feedings a day which are usually 2-3 ounces every 2-3 hours.
Look for early signs of readiness. This will allow you and your baby to bond at feeding time instead of trying to calm a frantic baby.

Your pediatricians will monitor your infants weight gain. This indicates that your baby is getting enough nutrients.

INFANT STOOLS

Diaper  changes are a part of any parent's daily routine. It can also be a way to keep an eye on your babies health.

The first few diapers will likely contain a gooey, dark-green, tar-like substance, with hardly any smell. This is called meconium.

This special kind of stool is made of skin cells, mucus, and other particles your baby swallowed along with the amniotic fluid while still in the womb.

If your baby’s first bowel movement doesn’t happen within the first 24 hours after birth, be sure to contact your pediatrician.

If you are breastfeeding your baby, stools in the first few months may be a  seedy, mustard color with a runny consistency. The color of your baby’s stool will change depending on what you are eating.

If your baby is getting nourishment from formula, the stool will be a little firmer.

The color and consistency of your baby’s stool changes over time.

As a general rule, all earth tones (yellow through green and brown) are normal.  Abnormal stools should be discussed with your pediatrician. Red, black, white or grey stools may be a concern, so let your Pediatrician know.

ORAL MOUTH HYGIENE 
Mouth hygiene starts right from the beginning. At least twice a day, clean the inside of your babies mouth with a damp washcloth or gauze. By doing so, you will remove sugars, milk, food and bacteria. This will pave the way for healthy teeth before they emerge and avoid infections such as thrush.

THRUSH
Thrush is a oral or diaper yeast infection most common in newborns. They yeast infection can develop as a result of sugars residue from milk that remain in your babies mouth allowing for fungus to grow. Common symptoms are white patches inside the mouth, plaque on the tongue and/or fussiness while feeding.
If your baby has any of these signs, be sure to contact your pediatrician for further evaluation.

UMBILICAL CORD CARE
Your newborn umbilical cord stump will harden and turn color. Usually brownish black. This will occur a few weeks after their birth.

To prevent irritation or infection :

*  Keep the umbilical cord stump dry and clean. Remember to use the sponge bath method, patting the area gently. Dry with a second soft towel without rubbing the area.

* Allow air to reach the stump. Try cutting a notch in the top, middle portion of the diaper. This will also prevent urine from reaching the stump.

* Use the dry cord method . The dry cord care method is the procedure in which the umbilical stump is kept clean and dry without applying anything including ointments. 

If you notice any swelling, redness, discharge, odor, tenderness or bleeding, please make an appointment with your pediatrician. 

CIRCUMCISION CARE
Circumcision is the removal of the foreskin from the penis.  In a common procedure, the foreskin is extended with forceps. A circumcision device is placed, after which the foreskin is excised. Topical or locally injected anesthesia is often used to reduce pain.

Circumcision reduces the bacteria that can live under the foreskin. This includes bacteria that can cause urinary tract infections.

Your pediatrician will recommend your baby boy be circumcised within the first 48 hours.

Proper care of the site will reduce the chance of infection. Be sure to follow your pediatricians instructions which will most likely include:

* Keep the area clean. A warm, soapy cloth can be used, however, do not use wipes.

* If there is a dressing on the surgery site, put a new one on (with petroleum jelly) every time you change a diaper for the first day or two. 

* Continue to use the petroleum jelly for another 3-5 days, even after the dressing is no longer needed.

* The penis will be healed between 7-10 days. Initially, the tip of the penis may appear slightly swollen and red. It is normal to notice a small amount of blood on the diaper. A slight yellow discharge or crust is also part of the healing process.

* Be sure to call your pediatrician if the bleeding is not stopping, the redness persists, or if your infant has a fever or any other sign of infection. 

It’s completely normal to feel nervous about parenthood. With all the new experiences that come with pregnancy and preparing for your baby to arrive, parents have a lot to navigate. 

Healthy Kids Care is here to answer all your questions and concerns.  Motherhood is a a learning process. We will assist you along the way with understanding and solutions as you grow into the role of being a new mom. 

We look forward to meeting with you. 

Dr. Atousa 

 

You Might Also Enjoy...

Back-to-School Tips & How to Prepare

Welcome! Our clinical team at Heathy Kids Care at Sunrise would like to thank you for taking a moment to visit our blog. As a parent and pediatrician, this may be the perfect forum to share experiences and ideas.