You have a beautiful newborn. Congratulations! Now begins the great adventure of caring for that precious little one. At Orchard Pediatrics in West Bloomfield, MI, our four pediatricians and their professional staff love helping parents provide the best newborn child care. It's a responsibility that we take seriously.
Sleep, eat, and use diapers
This is what your newborn does best. Expect your baby to sleep about 16 hours a day in short shifts for a few months. This means less uninterrupted sleep for Mom and Dad, but rest assured, your baby's sleep pattern is normal for this stage of development.
For safety's sake, position your newborn on his or her back unless your pediatrician says otherwise. This is the best position to avoid SIDS and other health concerns.
Regarding feeding, breast is best, and mothers are their babies' sole nutritional source for about six months. Nursing continues until age one, and lactation consultation is available for you during routine office hours. Whenever you feed your baby--whether nursing or bottle-feeding--gently rub or tap his or her back to get that satisfying burp.
With eating comes diapers, and newborn child care involves changing six to eight daily. Your friends at Orchard Pediatrics in West Bloomfield want you to fold a new baby's diaper down in front to avoid irritating the leftover umbilical cord. While this stump dries and hardens over several weeks, watch for discharge or bleeding, and call the office as needed.
Also, the youngest of babies produce black stools called meconium. While odorless, it's color is startlingly black. This is normal, and stools lighten to green and yellow as your baby grows.
Soothing and bathing
The best way to soothe your newborn's fussiness is to be with him or her. Hold, rock, and swaddle in a receiving blanket. These strategies help your newborn be calm and bond well to you. Bathing a newborn is not necessary and in fact should be avoided until the stump of the umbilical cord drops off. As weeks go on, your baby will feel calmer and sleep longer when soothed with a warm bath.
Exams and vaccines
You and your baby need both. Moms, be sure to keep your postpartum appointments with your OB/GYN doctor. Regarding visits to the pediatrician, bring your baby for a routine newborn examination within the first week of going home. The doctor will check his or her development, check vitals and ask how feeding, sleeping, and diapers are going. The next routine check-up comes at about one month old.
Regarding vaccines, Orchard Pediatrics follows the schedules set by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Centers for Disease Control. The hepatitis immunization is given at birth, and as your child grows, he or she will receive vaccines against 18 communicable diseases.
Of course, you have questions. Call the office staff at Orchard Pediatrics in West Bloomfield, MI, with your concerns, and you'll receive a caring, accurate answer as soon as possible. To schedule routine exams for your baby, contact us at (248) 855-7510.