Perinatal Well Visit
Congratulations! You have mastered the first two weeks. Moms may be feeling tired, and a little emotional now. Sometimes even fathers feel this way. While it is normal to feel some anxiety about the responsibility of caring for a newborn, the process of parenting shouldn’t be dominated by fear and uncertainty. Be confident as parents that you and your baby will grow together. You will be bombarded with well-meaning advice, and some may be helpful and appropriate. If something you hear or read doesn’t sound right, get a second opinion or call us.
Newborns can lose up to 10 percent of their birth weight, and then gain this back by two weeks of age. Thereafter, they gain about an ounce a day for the first few months.
You should now note that your baby has a unique personality. If you have other children, you may be impressed at how different each baby can be. At this age, babies sleep a large portion of the time. They can recognize parents and voice. They can see, hear, and smell. They raise their heads, and turn them from side to side. Talk to your baby, and make eye contact.
Breast-fed babies usually feed every 2-3 hours for 5-15 minutes on each side. Formula fed babies average 2-4 ounces every 3-4 hours. Burping may be needed after feeding on each breast, or after giving 1-2 ounces. Breast milk or formula contains all the calories and nutrients an infant needs, so solid foods are not needed until 4-6 months of age. Wet burps, hiccuping, and sneezing are quite normal for babies. Do not prop the bottle in bed, or in a sitting position. Holding your baby during feeding helps decrease the incidence of ear infections and tooth decay.
Normal infants average over two hours of crying a day. If crying increases, or intensifies towards evening or night, it may be caused by colic. Your infant may cry, extend, or draw up their legs, and pass gas. Colicky behavior may also signal a medical problem, so consult with your pediatrician’s office if you are concerned.
Some babies have a stool every feeding, and some only once every 2-3 days. Some grunting and straining are normal. If your baby seems to have extreme difficulty passing stools, the stools are hard, or there is blood, contact our office. Most breast-fed babies tend to have more frequent, and looser stools.
Car Seat: This is an absolute must for your baby. Holding him while you are strapped in by a seat belt is not safe, and is illegal. This car seat should be placed rear facing in the back seat. Read the car seat instructions and your vehicle owners manual to be sure it is installed correctly. Your baby must stay rear facing until he/she is 20 pounds and 1 year of age.
Crib Safety: Crib slats should not be more than 2 3/8 inches apart. Sides must be kept up at least 4 inches above the mattress. There should not be gaps between the mattress and the crib where arms and legs could get caught. Do not keep pillows or large stuffed animals in the crib.
Sleep Safety: Infants should not be allowed to sleep with extra plush blankets, or on a waterbed as they could easily suffocate. Infants should be placed on their backs until they are able to roll back to front and front to back and will be able to find their own position of comfort.
Falls: Never leave an infant alone on a changing table, bed, or sofa, or he will fall (Murphy’s Law!).
Fever: Check your infants temperature with a rectal thermometer if he is not acting normal. Any temperature over 100.4 degrees F in an infant less than 8 weeks of age should be brought to the attention of the health care provider immediately.
Water Safety: Hot water heaters should be set at 120 degrees. Always test the temperature before placing the infant in the tub. Never leave the infant in the water alone, even to answer the door or the phone.
Hot Liquids: A baby’s balance is unpredictable, and he may move his head suddenly when being carried. Carrying the baby and hot coffee or tea can cause burns.
Feeding: Do not warm your baby’s bottle in the microwave. Uneven heating can scald your baby’s mouth, even if the milk temperature feels OK to your hand. Honey should be avoided until after one year of age. It may poison the baby by causing botulism. Egg whites and cows milk should also be avoided until after 1 year of age.
Passive Smoking: Smoke from tobacco in the infants environment is proven to be linked to more frequent respiratory problems, including asthma, colds, pneumonia, and ear infections. It is even associated with Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.
General Safety: No cords or jewelry around your baby’s neck. Check to see that drapery and blind cords don’t dangle in the reach of infants or toddlers.
A reminder that the 2nd Neonatal Screen(PKU) should be done at the lab after 1 week of age. If it is abnormal, you will be notified immediately.
Your infant will be receiving a Hepatitis B vaccine today if she did not receive one at the hospital. Acetaminophen (Tylenol) should not be necessary. If the infant has problems, call the office, and be sure to inform us before the next set of vaccinations.
We would like to see your infant at 2 months of age, and possibly sooner if there are concerns about jaundice, or weight gain.