Thursday, July 2, 2009

Newborn Care 101

Feeding and Nutrition
Breastmilk or formula should be your baby's major source of nutrition for the first year of life. We usually introduce solids around 4-6 months of age. There will be a period of time that your baby will undergo growth spurts. They will start to nurse and eat more often than usual and they seem to be hungry all the time. Do not worry this just occurs in spurts and they go back to their normal routine. You know you are overfeeding your baby because they will be spitting-up a whole lot. Make sure you burp them often in between feedings.

You are underfeeding your baby if:
  • he has less than 4 wet diapers a day
  • not nursing at least 10 minutes at the breast
  • appears hungry looking for the breast
  • appears more yellow
  • does not seem to be gaining weight

(for the first few weeks of like we expect the babies to be gaining at least 1/2 ounce a day)

Bowel Movement

The initial bowel movement of babies are called the meconium stools . They start of as black and tarry then we see the transition stools which are greenish yellow and the normal seedy mustard looking stools that is slightly watery. Formula fed babies have more formed stools. They can move their bowels everytime they eat to once a week there is a wide variation of normal. They are considered constipated if the stools are rock hard and come out as pellets.

Wet Diapers

We need to know the number of wet diapers a baby has to ensure the baby is taking enough breastmilk or formula. This is usually between 6-8 diapers a day.


Babies can not express themselves very well and they tend to cry for everything. It will take you a few weeks to learn what cry is for what. You can not spoil a baby by carrying and hugging them. Make sure the baby is not hungry or wet. Sometimes they just need cuddling.

According to Dr. Karp think of the 4S

S - swaddle the baby this helps them feel comfortable, remember they were inside the uterus in a tight spot which is a comfort for them

S - Stomach try to lay them across your arms on their stomach they seem to quiet down with this position

S - Shh... silence or darkness can calm them, overstimulated babies are cranky babies

S - swinging not to much just gently, they like monotonous noises like the sound of the blow dryer, the vacuum cleaner


If you do not burp your baby they will become fussy and inconsolable. Try burping in between feeding. you can burp them over your shoulders, across your lap or sitting-up, make sure you pat their backs gently


This is totally normal in newborns. Try to feed them before they get too hungry when they start gulpin the milk down they tend to swallow a lot of air. make sure the nipple airflow is not too fast.

You can never spoil your baby during the first few months of life. This is the perfect time to attend to their needs closely and you will realize that they can communicate to you what they need and want very effectively.

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