Newborn instructions


Mother and Child by Emanuel Phillips Fox, 1908.

There are a number of good books on infant and child care. The only problem is that they often say things differently. My new parents are often confused by the well-meaning advice that they receive both in print and from friends or family.

Often at the first visit either before delivery or at the first well exam, I spend thirty minutes demystifying their child.

The first two weeks at home are often hard. The Gerber baby did not come home with them. Feeding is hard and sleep is a scarce commodity.

Many moms choose to breast feed but many moms either choose not to nurse or cannot nurse. That is the decision of the mother. Nursing is a huge commitment and the parent must feel good about how they choose to feed their child.

Initial feeding whether at breast or bottle is on demand, however if the baby has not awakened in 4 hours, he should be wakened for feeding. Your baby may not feed well every feeding but at least he should feed well every other feeding. Good babies do not sleep well at night usually for the first 2 weeks at home. Babies are often very sleepy on day 3 and 4 but should be more wakeful by day 4 or 5. Your baby may be fussy the first 2 weeks. If he is feeding, passing urine and passing POOP, then I am not too concerned. Your baby may easily loose 8-10 oz those first 4 to 5 days. A normal term baby should be back to birth weight by 2 weeks of age. Breast feeding is not easy and the first 2 weeks are not the warm fuzzy experience that most parents expect. Be Patient! Once your milk comes in usually day 3 to 5, your baby will be more content and you will be happier as well. Keep in mind that each baby’s temperament and each mom is different.

Your newborn may only nurse well at the first breast and fall asleep on the second breast 10-30 min later he will wake and want to feed on the other breast, that is ok but tiring.

Formula fed infants will take 1-2 oz per feeding every 2-3 hours.

In most cases the baby is fussy that is due to your infant having not eaten before and it requires some changes with in his stomach. He is uncomfortable due to the passage of gas and poop. That will improve over the next 2 weeks. Frequent formula changes may not help and that may be unnecessary.

Each newborn is different and each birthing experience is different. Most of my parents do not have the extended local family network that their parents had. Surround yourself with supportive people. Ask your doctor or breast-feeding advisor for help and support.

There are so many books and articles out there that a lot of my parents do not know where to get reliable information.

Terry Brazelton MD has been a reference that I have used for over thirty years.  Here is a link to his newsletter that he has linked in the NAEYC website.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s