Baby Care

Newborn Care Tips from Intermountain Health for The First Few Days at Home

Bringing home a new baby is an exciting time for everyone in the family, and often a time with many questions. And during those first few days, new parents may feel excited, yet overwhelmed about caring for this tiny, new, helpless human.

New parents probably have a lot of expectations about motherhood and fatherhood, but the most important thing is to be flexible. Babies are unpredictable, and in the beginning, it may feel like everything revolves around what the baby needs. But if parents give themselves time to adapt to their new life, eventually, they’ll settle into a new routine.

“Intermountain’s childbirth education classes are a wonderful place to learn the basics of newborn care. You even get to practice things like changing a diaper and swaddling, with a baby nurse there to guide you,” said Lauren Davis, BSN, a nurse and childbirth education coordinator with Intermountain Health Park City Hospital.

Davis offers these answers to some of the most common topics parents to be ask her about:

 Safe sleep

Babies are safest when they sleep on their backs in their own bassinet or crib. Avoid co-sleeping or falling asleep with a baby under six months old in your bed. Do not smoke, drink alcohol, use illegal drugs or misuse prescription drugs. Studies show avoiding these practices helps lower the incidence of sudden infant death syndrome or sudden unexpected post-natal collapse.

 Weigh the pros and cons of visitors

There can be a lot of pressure to have visitors, but it’s okay to set boundaries or say “no” or ask visitors if they’ve been ill or ask them to be up to date on their vaccinations, or wear a mask, especially during flu and respiratory virus season.

On the other hand, having a newborn is a time to ask for help. It’s a good time for parents to think who in their life they can rely on to safely give them a break when they need it. Having someone come hold the baby while mom naps can be a lifesaver!

How often to feed your baby

Many parents wonder how often to feed their newborn. Newborn babies have tiny stomachs, so they need to eat often. At birth their stomach is the size of a cherry and by one week it’s the size of an apricot and by one month it’s the size of an egg. It’s normal for newborns to “cluster feed,” especially at night for the first few days and then again during growth spurts. During these times, the baby may want to eat every 30-45 minutes for several hours in a row and that is normal! Go with it. The baby is the boss. Breastfeeding works by supply and demand. The more frequently mom nurses the baby, the more breastmilk she will produce.

Diaper duty

Be sure to keep baby clean and dry by changing wet and soiled diapers. This will help prevent diaper rash. Baby’s first few bowel movements are called meconium and are dark black and sticky. Then as they begin breastfeeding or drinking formula, bowel movements become more yellow and runny. When cleaning baby’s bottom, wipe down away from reproductive organs to keep germs from getting into those openings. If your baby is not producing frequent wet or dirty diapers, call your provider.

Handle newborns with care

Remember newborns cannot hold up their own head, so they’ll need to their neck supported carefully when being held or handing the baby to someone else or placing the baby in an infant car seat, front pack, swing or stroller. Make sure the baby’s car seat is installed according to manufacturer’s instructions.

Bath time bonding

Bath time is a great way for your partner to participate in baby’s care. Use a baby bathtub to help make bathing easier and safer. Baby bath products and shampoo are designed for baby’s sensitive skin and to not irritate baby’s eyes. Be gentle and careful when bathing a baby. Babies are slippery when wet! Never leave a baby unattended in bathwater.

When cleaning the belly button, just clean the area with soap and water. The remains of the umbilical cord will fall off naturally.

 Newborn skin care

Most newborn skin peels a lot for the first few weeks. Parents can apply baby lotion after their bath or put a little baby oil in their bathwater to help moisturize their skin.

Newborns get a lot of different kinds of rashes. Baby acne is common in the first few weeks. If parents are concerned about a rash, call the baby’s provider, ask about it at the baby’s well check-up, or schedule a TeleHealth visit through Intermountain Connect Care.

Importance of well-baby checkups

Be sure to go to baby’s well check-ups at pediatrician or primary care provider clinic. These are recommended beginning at two weeks of age and then at two months, four months, six months, 12 months, 15 months, 18 months and 24 months. These check-ups help parents know if their baby is gaining weight and growing and developing normally. This is also when a baby will receive important vaccines to prevent common childhood illnesses and important screenings are done for hearing and vision, etc.

For more information about virtual or in-person childbirth preparation classes or to find a pediatrician, visit the pregnancy and baby page on

About Intermountain Health

Headquartered in Utah with locations in seven states and additional operations across the western U.S., Intermountain Health is a nonprofit system of 33 hospitals, 385 clinics, medical groups with some 3,900 employed physicians and advanced care providers, a health plans division called Select Health with more than one million members, and other health services. Helping people live the healthiest lives possible, Intermountain is committed to improving community health and is widely recognized as a leader in transforming healthcare by using evidence-based best practices to consistently deliver high-quality outcomes at sustainable costs. For more information or updates, see

Source link

Related Articles

Back to top button