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new parents holding babyBeing a new parent means having lots of questions about caring for your infant and we’ve assembled a dozen of the most frequently asked questions with helpful answers.

HOW OFTEN SHOULD I FEED MY NEWBORN?
Your baby will be feeding every 2 to 3 hours for the first few weeks of life, whether you’re breastfeeding or using formula. After about two weeks, those feedings will begin to spread out, but it can still be 6 times a day. You may have to wake up your baby for a feeding to make sure they get enough to eat.

HOW MUCH SHOULD MY BABY BE SLEEPING?
In the first few weeks of life your baby may sleep only a few hours at a time, but after that, they can sleep for up to four hours. If your baby is growing well, it’s alright to let them sleep and wake up naturally.

 

WHY IS MY BABY CRYING SO MUCH?
In time you will learn to recognize what’s causing your baby to cry. It may be time to feed or change a diaper, or they may be too hot or too cold. Sometimes they simply need to get some energy out. Crying can also be a sign that they are unwell, so check for any symptoms of a medical issue.

HOW DO I CARE FOR THE UMBILICAL CORD?
You can clean the area around the cord with soap and water or a mild cleanser. Don’t submerge the area in water until after the umbilical cord has fallen off, which usually happens when your baby is about two weeks old.

WHAT SHOULD I DO IF MY BABY HAS A RASH?
Rashes are common because a baby’s skin is sensitive. A rash can be caused by a food allergy, so consult with your pediatrician to make sure you know what foods are safe to eat. If a rash doesn’t go away and is accompanied by other symptoms, it’s time to see the doctor.

CAN YOU SPOIL AN INFANT BY HOLDING THEM TOO MUCH?
Babies are meant to be held, whether that’s in your arms or in a wrap or baby carrier. The one time you shouldn’t hold your baby is when they are going to sleep. Put your child in the crib drowsy but awake, and on their back. This will help your baby learn to soothe themselves to sleep.

SHOULD I SWADDLE MY BABY?
Swaddling comforts your baby because it mimics being back in the womb, but it’s important to know when to stop swaddling. If your baby can roll over, you should not be swaddling because they could land on their face and not be able to breathe or turn over.

WHEN IS IT SAFE TO START TAKING MY BABY OUT?
Fresh air and movement are good for your baby and if you’re both feeling well, you can take him/her out beginning a few days after you’re home from the hospital. Because newborns are more susceptible to germs, avoid crowded places and be sure that anyone who holds your baby washes their hands first.

HOW DO I CHOOSE A FORMULA TO USE?
Most doctors recommend a formula made with cow’s milk, but you may need a soy-based formula if your baby is allergic to dairy. Choose the formula that contains everything your baby needs and stick with that brand because changing formula can be hard on your baby’s digestive system and may lead to some discomfort.

WHY IS MY BABY’S POOP SUCH A STRANGE COLOR?
Baby poop comes in all kinds of colors and can vary at times. It might be a yellow or mustard color if you breastfeed or darker if you use formula. It can also be green or brown. There are three colors that should be a warning sign: red for blood, black that indicates old blood and white that could be a sign of a liver problem.

DO I NEED TO STERILIZE BOTTLES AND PACIFIERS AFTER EVERY USE?
Sterilizing is a good practice but it’s also okay to occasionally wash a pacifier or bottle with warm, soapy water and let it dry overnight. But don’t put a pacifier in your mouth to clean it off because the human mouth is full of germs that can be dangerous for your baby.

CAN I HAVE AN OCCASIONAL GLASS OF WINE IF I’M BREASTFEEDING?
Yes, but the timing is important. Alcohol flows into your breast milk as soon as you consume it and clears your system within two to three hours. If you have that glass of wine right after a feeding you should be fine, but some mothers will “pump and dump” to clear out any breast milk after drinking alcohol.

As always, it is important to consult with your healthcare provider with any questions or concerns regarding your child’s condition or safety.

Northline Women's Health Center Locations:

15675 Northline Road

Southgate, MI 48195

(734) 282-3600
(734) 282-3603 - Fax

23050 West Road, Suite 210

Brownstown Twp., MI 48183

(734) 362-7000
(734) 362-7077 - Fax