If you’re a first-time parent, you may have read multiple books about pediatric care. From nutrition to pediatrician checkups, caring for a newborn is crucial to ensure their health. Although it may be difficult at times to tell when your baby needs pediatric care, it’s best to know as much as you can about their basic needs so you can watch your little one grow.
Breastfeed as Needed
Pediatricians often encourage mothers to let their babies latch on immediately after birth. Newborns have to learn how to latch deeply so the nipples won’t turn sore after nursing.
Nurse your baby as needed. In their first month, they should nurse 8 to 12 times a day, reducing to 7 to 9 times at four to eight weeks. Most mothers produce more milk when they breastfeed more frequently, so make sure to drink enough water to continue providing healthy breast milk for your little one.
Ask for Baby Formula Recommendations
If you cannot produce enough milk, don’t be disheartened—you’re not alone. Your option is to supplement your baby’s feeding with formula, so ask a pediatrician for recommendations.
Baby formulas will vary in their nutritional content and ingredients. Before settling for one, ask your doctor to check your newborn for possible allergic reactions, such as lactose intolerance.
Pay Attention to Their Cries
Newborns cry for many reasons—usually because of soiled diapers, hunger, or discomfort. If they suck on your finger, breast, or a bottle, they’re likely hungry. Pacifiers can help put your baby at ease, but it’s best to give them one after you’ve established an effective nursing routine. That way, the pacifier won’t interfere or compete with breastfeeding.
You can also make your baby burp after a feeding to ease their discomfort. Sometimes, they may need soothing, so hold them snugly or gently rock them while making shushing sounds.
Keep Them Safe While Sleeping
The risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) is high in the first 12 months. Prevent this hazard by making sure your baby sleeps on their back. Use a firm mattress or safety-approved crib and remove any loose clothing or stuffed animals.
Take your baby to the pediatrician within five days of giving birth. Follow up a month later for their first non-emergency checkup. Afterward, schedule regular visits to the doctor to assess your baby’s growth and development. Checkups will usually include a hearing screening, blood pressure test, immunizations (as needed), and anemia screening.
Visit the pediatrician if your newborn has a fever, swollen rashes, welts, and other signs of skin irritation, such as redness or patches. A rectal temperature of above 100 degrees Fahrenheit is serious, particularly when accompanied by excessively watery stools, unresponsiveness, lethargy, or noticeable changes in feeding patterns.
Let the pediatricians at HDR Healthcare Network assist you with newborn care. With three urgent care facilities in the Bronx, NY, they offer pediatric care, family medicine, senior care, and other health services to patients throughout the area. Call (929) 256-5005 to schedule an appointment with a pediatrician or visit their website to browse their services.