1. Getting Ready For The Baby
Gather the basics early- carseat, bassinet, newborn diapers, swaddling blankets
Stock up- easily prepared meals and household necessities
Rally a village of helpers- find your "go to" friends for a helping hand, for running errands, for moral support
Get the medical supplies- digital oral/rectal thermometer, nasal saline and bulb suction, diaper cream
2. Tips For First Month
Sleeping and Eating- Newborns sleep a lot! Until the baby is back up to their birthweight , wake every 2-3 hours in the daytime to eat and allow one 4 hour stretch of sleep in the night. If your baby has lost a lot of weight in the first couple of days after birth, your pediatrician may recommend even more frequent feeding.
Until a breast fed baby is back to their birthweight, put them to breast when they want to suck and avoid the pacifier. Formula fed babies will take 1-2 oz. of feeding the first day, and 2-3 oz. every 3-4 hours the first couple of weeks. Your pediatrician will help adjust feeding as needed after a couple of visits and weight checks. A good guideline is gaining an ounce of weight each day after the baby is 5-7 days old. Also place babies on their back to sleep to prevent SIDS.
Spitting Up- It is normal for your baby to spit up. Spitting up can be minimized by burping well with feedings. Also keeping your infant upright after feeding can help.
Hiccups- Hiccups are normal. Your baby is just learning to coordinate breathing and swallowing. Babies are just figuring it all out. If the hiccups are bothering your baby, they will cry, thus holding their breath and the hiccups will subside. Also, giving another small feeding may help.
Rashes- Newborn rashes are common. Use hypoallergenic soaps and detergents and avoid lotions the first month.
3. When To Seek Help
Fever- If your baby gets a fever, it is an emergency. A rectal temperature is the most accurate. Any temperature more than 100.4 please call your pediatrician. Put Vaseline/KY on the thermometer and insert in rectum until silver tip no longer shows.
Dehydration- In the first few days of life, if your baby hasn’t had a wet diaper in 6-8 hours, please call your pediatrician.
Jaundice-Call your pediatrician if you notice increasing jaundice (yellow color) of the eye and skin.
Lethargy- If your infant is difficult to wake up, limp, or having difficulty breathing, call 911.