Parenting Tips for New Born Care:
Parenting tips provided in this page cover most areas that are important for parents of a new born baby. Dr. Manuel and Jamie Woodring, our pediatric nurse-practitioner, and our staff members at Manuel Medical Clinic congratulate you and join you to celebrate the arrival of the new member to your family. The staff of Manuel Medical Clinic is eager to assist you to make your experience a pleasurable one. This website provides you with information on many issues related to parenting guidance for you.
Please come back and visit this page whenever you have a question concerning your baby.
Parenting Instructions on Breast Feeding
Breast-feeding is the most ideal feeding for your baby, it is natural, it is healthy. Breast-feeding is a normal process in our life, and should come naturally as an instinctual process. Breast feeding should be conducted in such a way that it does not affect your lifestyle. The following is considered some good practices to follow:
- Find a comfortable place, be relaxed.
- Wipe the breasts with warm water before feeding.
- Do not feed more than 15 minutes from each breast, always alternate and feed from both breasts.
- Do not let the breast become swollen and painful because of the retention of excess milk, express the milk which could be saved for feeding your baby.
Your diet during the period of breast feeding:
You could continue with your regular diet. However, if any item of your food items is associated with excessive crying, you may avoid them. Recently there has been some concern raised about eating fish during pregnancy and lactation because of concern of high mercury level in fish. The Environmental Protection Agency has suggested that the breast feeding mothers avoid eating shark, sword fish, golden bass, king mackerel and albacore tuna. The net effect of eating fish is beneficial. Some studies have suggested favorable effects of maternal fish consumption on infant's behavior attention scores, visual recognition memory, and language comprehension.
Is your baby getting enough milk?
This is a question many parents ask. The incidence of jaundice is higher in breast-fed babies, one the reason being not enough intake of fluids. Breast milk flow in the first week may not be sufficient. It takes a few days for the milk to flow sufficiently. Usually it is not a problem. I advise giving some distilled water after feeding 15 minutes from each breast. If the baby still continues to drink, the baby probably did not have enough milk. There is no harm to supplement with additional formula feeding along with breast feeding especially during the first ten days after delivery. In case you have not started the letdown of milk yet, additional formula feeding will help. Working mothers can feed before going to work, give formula during working hours, and feed from breast after returning from work. Some institutions accommodate the use of a breast pump during the working hours. Recent changes in work place rules encourages management to provide a special area for breast feeding by the employees.
Cow milk based formula such as Similac and Enfamil are the usual choices. Do not be tempted to change and try different types of formula. This is a common mistake many parents make. Please call the office before you make any change. Prepare the formula strictly according to instructions using distilled or bottled water. Hold the baby with the head higher than the rest of the body. Never feed the baby while it is on its back on the bed. Tapping on the back of the baby while holding against your chest may facilitate burp and reduce the chances of excessive crying from colic.
How frequently you feed the new-born baby?
Feeding time varies, each child may require feeding at different intervals. Feed every 3 – four hours during the day, and 3 – five hours during the night. Some babies will need more frequent feeding. Do not try to empty the bottle by forcing to feed the baby. Always use a clean bottle. Try to make the quantity just enough for one feeding or about three ounces. Try not to refrigerate the leftover contents. Keep increasing the quantity you take based on the previous experience of how much the baby needs. It is a good practice to burp the baby half way through feeding and at the end of feeding in order to remove the swallowed air.
Parents have many concerns with regard to behavior of the new-born babies. The following are common:
New-born babies sleep for most of the day. Sleeping for most of the day, crying, breathing irregularly especially while sleeping, sneezing, spitting up, and be startled often while sleeping, are very commonly observed normal behaviors for a new-born baby. If you have any concern call the office or communicate to us using the email address provided to you.
Jaundice of the new-born babies:
Many babies develop a yellowish tinge to their skin, this is very common, especially in breast-fed babies. Before the baby is discharged, the hospital will estimate the level of jaundice and advise you accordingly. Most babies are given return appointment after about five days of discharge from the hospital to be seen by the pediatrician. The pediatrician will advise you if there is a reason for any concern.
Spitting up by new-born babies:
Spitting up formula after feeding or in between feeding is normal. Many babies are born with a weak valve between esophagus and stomach, which facilitates regurgitation of food. This happens excessively, if the baby is fed too much milk. This could be a defense mechanism to prevent getting obese. This could continue sometimes until the baby sits up by about six months of age. Persistent vomiting may need special attention. If you are concerned, please call and talk to our associates at the office.
Crying by new-born babies:
All babies cry, some babies cry a lot more than others. Excessive crying is one common reason for frustration for many parents. There are many reasons why babies cry. Crying is after all, the only way the babies can communicate. Pick the baby up and comfort the baby in the first four months of age. Make sure that the baby is not hungry, especially if you are breast feeding. The baby might not have had sufficiently milk. If additional bottle feeding makes the baby comfortable in the first few days after coming home, it could mean not enough let-down of milk from breasts. However, it is not a good practice to feed the baby, every time the baby cries. This may set a pattern of babies developing undesirable feeding habits. Excessive crying could be one way the new-born baby control their parents.
You can bath the baby every day. If the skin is dry use baby oil. You can wash face with water and soap. You may use gentle shampoo every three days.
Cradle cap is normal. You may use comb with every bath to remove cradle cap.
Use soft cloth to wipe the eyes from inner corner out.
Clean the ears gently with soft cloth, do not use Q-tips
Lift up the cord, and wipe with alcohol with every diaper change. Keep the cord clean and dry.
Diaper Area Care
Use appropriate diaper size. Do not put the diaper tight enough to cast marks on the legs. Leave a little loose space below the cord for ventilation. Use water and soap to clean. Dry the area with cotton clothes. Apply A&D ointment to the area after cleaning to protect the skin.
Genital Area Care
Wipe the genital area from front to the back gently. Use only water to clean. Use soap and water to clean penis and scrotal area with every diaper change.
Care of Circumcision
The bell at the tip of penis takes 10 to 14 days to fall. Clean the tip with water. Do not pull the plastic bell if it hangs. Apply clean gauze at the tip.
If the baby has fever at this age it is very important to contact your pediatrician immediately.Trouble nursing:
Contact the office if the baby has trouble nursing.
Answers to frequently asked questions concerning a newborn baby:
How do I hold my baby?
Hold the baby supporting its head with the palm of your hand, hold close so the baby can see your face.
What type of clothing do I use for a newborn baby?
You can use the baby clothing for new born babies. Wrap the baby up well including the arms and legs. Do not forget to protect the face from cold weather if you are taking the baby out.
How do I comfort the baby when it cries too much?
Crying is normal for babies. Crying is the way baby is trying to communicate to parents and care-takers. Babies are known to be fussy just before falling asleep. some babies cry up to 15 minutes before they fall asleep. Pick the baby up, hold against your chest, tap on the back, make sure the baby is not hungry, make sure he or she is clothed comfortably, make sure that the diaper is not wet, do not get too anxious about baby's crying, and call the office and talk to our associates if you are concerned. Rarely, conditions like stomach reflux and regurgitation can be associated with excessive crying. Do not start the habit of rocking too hard to make the baby sleep, do not start walking up and down with the baby during the middle of night trying to comfort the baby, as it will add to your own anxiety.
Do I have to use colic medicines?
There is no "colic medicines" that I know of, that works for colic. The effective dose for any of those medications prescribed is too close to toxic dose for many of them. I stay away from colic medications, they often are associated with constipation.
Should I make the baby sleep on its back or on its stomach?
Opinions have changed on this issue. The current consensus is to make the baby sleep on its back. It is advisable not to put the baby to sleep on its stomach.
How long should the baby sleep?
Babies usually sleep up to 18 hours of the day. They do not sleep continuously, they sleep one to three hours during the day time, and three to six hours at a stretch during the night. It can vary. they do not know the difference between the day and night. Keep only dim light when the baby wakes up at night. If your baby sleeps more during the day and less at night, stimulate the baby more during the day to stay awake more during day time.
My baby does not breath "right" when he sleeps. What do I do?
Slow and irregular breathing during deep sleep is normal. The eyes will be closed and there will be very little body movement. Do not stay awake watching the baby's breathing. Body movements, movement of eye lids, and slow and irregular breathing are also normal for the baby.
Can I feed formula with breast feeding?
You can definitely feed both breast and formula. It is important that you make breast feeding a normal part of your daily life. If you are a working mother, the baby can be fed formula while you are at work, and breast feed when you are at home.
When do I start vitamins?
We prescribe vitamins at two months of age.
Should the baby be in a separate bed room?
Opinion differs on this issue, it depends often on the culture of the opinion makers. If you want to keep the baby in your bed room for the first year, it is OK, it may be preferable in my opinion. It may help the bonding. If you prefer to keep in a separate bed room, it is fine also. If kept in a separate room, please remember to keep the remote monitoring system always on. Do not put the baby on your bed and go to sleep.
What do I do for the rash on the baby's body?
Fine pink rashes on the body, pimple like rashes on the face, and dry patches on the face are very common for the babies, and should not be of concern. These do not require any treatment.
My baby is "vomiting", what should I do?
Spitting up is normal for a baby. Usually it is accompanied by a gush of air. If formula comes up and flows down the neck it is usually spitting. If it is recurrent, and shoots across from mouth it could be due to reflux or due to some other problems that need to be addressed. Call the office if you are concerned.
When does the baby start seeing?
Baby can see your face at birth, especially babies can respond to your eye contact at short distance. They can follow the movement of objects for a short distance also.
The hospital will take blood samples for PKU tests before you leave the hospital. PKU tests in Louisiana includes tests for Phenyl Ketonuria, Galactose, Thyroxin level, Biotinidase and Hemoglobin. If you leave the hospital earlier than 48 hours after birth the tests will be repeated during your first visit at 10 days. Remember to ask your pediatrician the results of your PKU tests. I am sure that you have more questions that those discussed in this page. Please use the email and other means of communication provided to you to contact us.