Newborn Baby Care
- Babies should sleep on their backs, in their own crib or bassinette. No loose blankets, bumpers, or stuffed animals in the crib.
- Car seats should be rear-facing until 2 years old. Have the car seat installed well before the baby is due.
- Never leave a baby alone on a raised surface, such as a changing table or a bed.
- NEVER shake a baby. This can cause serious, lifelong brain damage, as well as death.
Illness: Newborns have very immature immune systems. Friends and relatives who have a cold or fever should visit at another time when they are well. Wash your hands frequently, and have all those who are around the baby wash their hands as well. All those who care for the baby should have yearly flu shots and updated pertussis (whooping cough) shots. Call your pediatrician immediately if your newborn baby has a rectal temperature of 100.4 or above, as this is considered an emergency.
Feeding: Breast is best. Babies usually want to nurse every 1-3 hours in the first few weeks. Don’t let more than 4 hours elapse between feedings for about the first month of life (you may need to wake your baby to feed if they are very sleepy.)
Vitamin D: All newborn babies (breast and bottle fed) need one mL dropper-full per day of a vitamin D supplement (d-vi-sol, tri-vi-sol, or poly-vi-sol.) This can be purchased at most grocery stores or pharmacies.
Elimination: Baby should have at least 5-7 wet diapers per day in the first few days of life. Stools will initially be black and tarry in appearance, and gradually turn yellow, thin, and seedy looking.
Umbilical cord care: Keep the umbilical cord dry. No submersion bath until the cord has fallen off and is healed.
Circumcision care: Keep the newly circumcised penis dressed with petroleum jelly or A&D ointment to keep it from sticking to the diaper. The circumcision should heal up nicely within 5-7 days.
Dry skin and rashes: All babies have dry appearing skin, and most babies have newborn rashes. You can use petroleum jelly to moisturize very dry areas if desired.
Hepatitis B vaccine: This will be offered in the newborn nursery. We recommend giving all newborns the first vaccine at that time.
Crying: All babies cry! They may be wet, hungry, hot, cold, sleepy, gassy, or in need of attention. Many healthy babies can cry for up to 4 hours per day. Call us if you are concerned or you think the crying is excessive.
Usual schedule of Doctor’s visits:
- Within 1-2 days of discharge from the nursery (call our office at 770-814-1160 after the baby is born to schedule this appointment)
- 2 weeks old
- Optional 1 month weight check
- 2 months old – vaccines given at this appointment
In case of after-hours emergency: If you have an after-hours emergency that cannot wait until the next day, please call the main office number (770-814-1160.) The answering service will give you the option of speaking with a Doctor from our practice or a nurse from the Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta nurse line. One of our physicians is on call 24 hours a day, every day of the year.
What to bring to your baby’s first appointment:
- Paperwork from the hospital
- Your insurance card and photo ID
- List of any questions or concerns you may have
- You can download or complete online our first visit paperwork from our website (www.johnscreekpediatrics.net) to facilitate your first visit.
We would like to remind you to please add your child to your medical insurance as soon as possible. Typically, your newborn will be covered under the mother’s health insurance for the first 30 days. This is not always the case, though. Please contact your employer’s Human Resources Department or your insurance company directly to make sure your infant has been added to your policy in a timely manner. If your infant does not have active insurance coverage after the first thirty days, the balance on their account will become your responsibility. Please contact our billing department with any questions.
Are you in need of newborn baby care?
Contact John Creek Pediatrics, P.C., located in Cumming, GA, at (770) 814-1160 to schedule an appointment!