Congratulations on your new arrival! At Loudoun Pediatric Associates, the physicians and staff welcome you and look forward to caring for your child.
Most newborns sleep 16 to18 hours per day. Infants need to sleep on their backs or sides. Research shows this decreases Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) by almost 50 percent. Do not put your baby to sleep on his or her stomach.
Bathe your infant two or three times per week with a mild soap. Bathing more often can dry their skin. Peeling is normal during the first two weeks. Avoid lotions as they sometimes cause reactions on infant skin. Keep the umbilical cord dry.
Hiccups, sneezing and nasal congestion are typical for newborns. Fevers are not. Report any temperature over 100 degrees Fahrenheit to your physician immediately. Temperatures should be taken rectally. Ear thermometers are not accurate in infants under eight to 10 months of age. Limit visitors and avoid crowds to prevent exposure to illnesses during the first two months.
Feed your infant with breast milk or iron-fortified formula. Do not give cow’s milk until 12 months of age.
Most newborns breastfeed for 10 to 20 minutes on each breast every two to three hours, or take two to three ounces of formula every two to three hours. Be careful not to overfeed. You may want to try a pacifier if your baby wants to feed more than this.
Babies do not need extra water. Do not give plain or tap water until after six months of age.
Always use a car seat. Make sure it is installed correctly in your vehicle. Five-point harnesses are the safest. Straps should be snug against your baby’s body when fastened.
Lower your hot water heater to 120 degrees Fahrenheit to prevent accidental burns.
Do not leave your baby unattended with your pets (no matter how good your pet is). Pets are still animals and can act unpredictably.
The majority of a newborn’s time is spent eating and sleeping. Newborns can hear, see, smell, taste and feel. They can focus on objects 8-10 inches away. They respond to gentle voices and touch, especially that of their parents.