Newborn Information

Helpful Tips for New Parents


Just remember all babies are different, even twins! These are some guidelines that may help you in getting to know your new baby.


  • While hiccups and sneezing are normal, coughing is not. Let the doctor know if your baby is coughing.

  • Appearing cross-eyed is normal until the baby is 4 months old.

  • Newborns have a one-time "skin peel" that may be more pronounced over the hands and feet. Putting on an ointment-based skin protectant such as Aquaphor or Vaseline will help keep the skin hydrated.

  • BABY ACNE is a rash on the face at 3-5 weeks that may spread to the upper torso. This is normal and is a result of the mother's hormones. It may look more alarming on some babies than others. There is no treatment for it, but it will resolve on its own without leaving any scarring. If the rash spreads below the belly button, let your doctor know.

  • Some babies may get a milky white vaginal discharge, have vaginal bleeding, and/or lactate from their breasts. This is normal and is also a result of the mother's hormones.

  • Newborns have what we call periodic breathing, when the baby breathes rapidly and then pauses momentarily. If the baby pauses for more than a few seconds, call your doctor.

  • Newborn babies get stuffy noses and can't blow their own noses. Babies need their noses to breathe while sleeping and eating. You can administer a few drops of normal saline (1/2tsp of salt in 8oz of water) in each nostril and let it sit for a couple of seconds. One nostril at a time, suction it out with a bulb aspirator while closing the opposite nostril. Remember to squeeze the air out of the aspirator before placing it into the nostril.

  • Until babies can roll over on their own, all babies should be placed on their back to sleep. Give them some tummy time while they are awake.

  • A FEVER is defined as a temperature greater than 100.4°F or 38°C. If your baby has a fever, call a doctor.

  • One source that we recommend to all new parents is a book/DVD called "The Happiest Baby on the Block", by Harvey Karp. It will teach you useful skills that will help with calming your baby.

  • Another great resource is Baby 411 by Dr. Ari Brown and Denise Fields.  It has practical answers to everyday questions and easy-to-follow advice.


Feeding

  • During the first 2 weeks of life we give a different message in terms of feeding.

  • Feed every 2-3hrs, at least 8 feeds over a 24 hour period.

  • There is no need to supplement your baby with water until he/she is 6 months old.

  • Waking the baby occasionally to feed may be necessary for some. If this becomes more frequent, let the doctor know.

  • We would like to see the baby gaining close to 1/2- 1oz per day.

  • One way to tell if your baby is eating enough is by the amount of wet diapers they are having, which should be at least 3-4 times in a 24 hour period.

  • Normally, newborns will have frequent bowel movements. Their stool will look soft, mustard-like/seedy at first. A little straining (turning red) is also normal as long as they aren't passing hard/pellet-like stools or crying that is relieved with stooling (in which case you should call the doctor.