Going Home Instructions for Your New Baby
Congratulations on your new baby! I hope everything went smoothly for you and continues to go well at home as you celebrate the newest addition to your family. Here is what I would like you to do when you get home from the hospital:
- Go back to bed! Snuggle!
- "Forget" about the scheduling techniques I taught you in the prenatal class for now. The first two or three weeks with your baby are for bonding, recovering from the stress of delivery, and if you are nursing, to get a really good milk supply established. No "Six B's" and no looking for the natural bedtime just yet. At the two week checkup we will make sure your baby is gaining well, and if everything looks good we'll start thinking about setting the bedtime and then moving on to adjust the feeding schedule towards the goal of sleeping through the night by two to three months.
- Rest as much as possible. I told you at the class - they don't call it labor for nothing! Try to sleep when the baby sleeps. For the first week or two, it is OK to let the baby snuggle in bed with you during the day but please, not at night when Dad is there. Baby can stay in your room for about the first month. After that, put Baby in his or her own room next to yours with the door open and a night light on.
- Keep the blinds open. Let Mr. Sun help you as much as possible to get your baby's days and nights sorted out.
- Breastfeeding mothers: nurse about every two hours during the day, and on demand at night. Baby should wet and poop a lot. Increase your nursing time up to 10-15 minutes per side at least and don't forget to alternate sides and vary nursing positions, and to drink lots of fluids. Eat or drink whatever you want, and if you need to take medicine, anything over the counter is OK, as well as whatever your obstetrician prescribes.
- Bottlefeeding mothers: feed as much as the baby will take, burp well, and don't worry about waking the baby up to feed. You can boil the baby's water if you want to, but I have generally found the health risk to babies with approved city water supplies to be about zero.
- Remember to hold your baby as upright as you can for feedings to reduce spitting and aid in burping.
- Strict back sleeping, please. Swaddle at first if necessary to get the baby to accept this position. It is important to lower the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).
- Cord care: just leave it alone. Keep the diaper folded down to keep urine off the cord as much as possible, but don't worry about it. If the cord gets very smelly or there is redness or discharge, pull the cord up and clean the stump with alcohol on a cotton ball. Call us if that doesn't seem to help soon.
- Circumcision care:
- If there is vaseline gauze on the circumcision change it often as it looks cruddy.
- If you run out of gauze, Dad can pick up some more at the drugstore.
- Keep the gauze on for about a week - by that time the circumcision will be well healed.
- If your son has a little plastic ring on the penis, that's called a Plastibell. The ring will fall off in about a week. No particular care is needed - it is pretty much self-tending.
- Once the cord is off and you can start tub baths. (At that point you will start washing the penis and retracting the foreskin.)
- Call the office in two days at 306-0101 to make your two week appointment and to leave your number for a little progress report. I will call you back later in the day and see how you are doing, and answer any questions you might have. Please write your questions down and leave them by the phone!
- Call anytime you have a question or problem. We are here to help you off to a great start!
Date of Birth:_________________
Birth Weight:_________________ Discharge Weight:_________________
Blood Type:________ (Note: blood type is usually done only if Mother is type O or Rh Negative)
Jeffrey W. Hull, M.D.
1215 7th Street SE, Suite 210
Decatur, AL 35601-3309