Bourne Pediatric Medical Group

Newborn Advice:

Bathing: Don't bathe the baby until the umbilical cord falls off.  In the meanwhile, you can sponge the baby's skin with water or lotion.

Changing Diapers: Disposable or cloth diapers are fine.  When changing the diaper at home, use only water (wipes can sometimes irritate the skin).  You can also add vasoline or A&D ointment to the diaper area.  Make sure the baby is changed frequently (e.g. every few hours), because a diaper rash could happen if you don't.

Feedings: Newborns feed about every 3-4 hours, or 6-8 times daily.  For breast-fed babies, gradually increase the duration of feedings to 10-15 minutes on each breast by 5 days of age.  For babies on formula, the feedings average 1-2 ounces initially (depending on the weight).  Also, try to burp the baby after each feeding.

Jaundice: Jaundice (yellowness of the skin) is common in 70% of newborns.
However, jaundice should always be seen by us, because sometimes excessive jaundice could be a problem.

Rashes: Newborns often normally have a rash over the whole body in the first week, but this should be seen by us to make sure.  Diaper rashes that don't go away should also be checked by us.

Skin Care: Newborns have dry skin.  Use only water and/or lotion on the skin.  Don't use soap, because soap dries out the skin.  As for the hair, use baby shampoo once weekly.

The Umbilical Cord: The umbilical cord remains on for about 2 weeks.  When it's about to come off, there's blood-spotting for a few days.  The care for the cord is dabbing rubbing alcohol inside the rim of the belly-button once daily.

Follow-up Visits after Discharge: The baby should be seen 1-2 days after being discharged from the hospital.  This enables us to check the weight and check for jaundice.

N.B.  Please note that this column is for general advice only.  Problems and questions need to be discussed with us.