After Your Baby is Born: Newborn Care

How do I prevent SIDS?

Laying a baby on his or her back is the best way to prevent SIDS during sleep. Avoid placing unnecessary blankets, toys, or clothing in your baby’s crib, which can impede airflow if the child rolls onto these items. Use a baby monitor to check on your child regularly throughout the night.

How do I know if my baby is getting enough to eat?

You know your baby is getting enough to eat by following his or her cues. Babies nurse at least 8 to 12 times a day and have at least two to five bowel movements. You will hear the baby swallowing when he or she is feeding. Allow the baby to eat until finished rather than ending meals when you think he or she has had enough. Your baby will be alert and active, and he or she will gain 4 to 7 ounces per week.

How should I care for a baby that has been circumcised?

Lightly clean the baby’s genitals with a sponge and water. Contact your doctor if it hasn’t healed within a week.

How do I clean my baby’s belly button?

Lightly wipe the area with water and a sponge during bath time. The umbilical cord falls off in 1 to 3 weeks. Examine the area daily for redness or tenderness.

Where can I go for continued parenting education?

Local child welfare offices, Planned Parenthood, and community colleges often provide new parents with training and coaching opportunities.

Additional Resources for New Moms

Becoming a parent is overwhelming, but there are resources available to make the transition into parenthood a little easier. This is not a conclusive list; talk to your healthcare provider for further information. Remember that it is better to ask questions, no matter how silly you feel for them, than to hold onto your worry.

  • American Pregnancy Association – provides resources and a forum for those thinking about or preparing to add a child to their family, whether through birth or adoption.
  • Before You Get Pregnant: Information for all Women – published by the Office of Women’s Health, this guide provides tips on healthy living for every woman, whether she plans to become pregnant or not.
  • Pregnancy on MedlinePlus – the U.S. National Library of Medicine, through MedlinePlus, brings users authoritative information on health concerns facing women who are pregnant or planning to become pregnant.
  • WIC Nutrition Program Facts – the USDA supported nutrition program for women and children provides this fact sheet to help new mothers understand what the program offers.