FAQs about Newborn Child Care
After giving birth, the urge to go home and start your new life together with your baby may be strong, and your stay in the hospital can seem like a lifetime. However, there are several important questions that you should have the answers to after your discharge from the hospital.
Is it normal for my infant to sleep so much?
Since infants’ digestive tracts are so small, they often only sleep around 2-4 hours before they become hungry or need a diaper change. Though there are frequent breaks in their sleeping patterns, babies end up sleeping an average of 16 hours a day. It is common for new parents to be overwhelmed during the first few weeks of their baby’s life. Many pre-birth classes are available to teach soon-to-be parents techniques for swaddling, diapering, soothing and bonding.
When can I bathe my baby?
The umbilical cord usually stays connected to the baby’s stomach for about 1-4 weeks. It will slowly change color from yellow to brown or black before it falls off completely. It is very important that the umbilical cord not be completely submerged in water until it falls off, meaning that you should give your baby sponge baths with a soft, clean washcloth and unscented, mild baby soap and shampoo until the cord calls off completely.
When should my newborn see the doctor?
During the first year of your baby’s life, you will become well acquainted with check ups from your pediatrician. The first appointment should be scheduled 3-5 days after birth, then additional appointments are usually scheduled at or around 1, 2, 4, 6, 9, 12 and 24 months.
What happens at these appointments?
At every appointment, measurements in length and weight will be taken. These numbers allow your pediatrician to monitor your baby’s growth, ensuring they are properly gaining weight and growing normally. Behavioral and physical assessments will also be taken. Tests, screenings and immunizations will be given intermittently throughout these appointments.
No matter what questions you may have, Dr. Ceyhun "Jay" Ozturk, MD and Dr. Maria Guerra, MD at Little Oaks Pediatrics in Raleigh, NC can help. If you are expecting and need to schedule your baby’s first appointment, call (919) 720-4876 today!