Your Newborn Baby

Preparing for Your Baby

Choosing a Pediatrician
A pediatrician, family practice physician, or pediatric nurse practitioner can be your baby's primary care provider. The medical specialty dealing with children is called pediatrics.
Getting Ready at Home
Newborns need just some basic items at first—a warm and safe place to sleep, food, clothing, and diapers.
Preparing the Family
Most families soon find ways to adjust to the changes that take place after a baby is born. But it is helpful to prepare some family members for what is ahead.
Installing and Using Child Safety Seats and Booster Seats
As part of your preparation for your new baby, you probably got an infant safety seat for the car. But do you know how to make sure it’s installed properly? And when do you switch to a child safety seat? Learn the ins and outs of safe car travel for your little one.
A Parent’s Guide to Choosing Child Care
As a parent of a young child, one of the most important decisions you will make is choosing who will care for your child while you’re at work.

Baby's Care in the Hospital

Baby's Care After a Vaginal Delivery
Healthy babies born in a vaginal delivery are usually able to stay with the mother. In many cases, immediate newborn assessments are performed right in the mother's room.
Baby's Care After a Cesarean Delivery
Because babies born by cesarean may have difficulty clearing some of the lung fluid and mucus, extra suctioning of the nose, mouth, and throat are often needed.
Getting to Know Your New Baby
Getting to know your new baby is part of a fascinating but relatively simple process called bonding, in which you essentially "fall in love" with each other.
Care of the Baby in the Delivery Room
A newborn baby is wet from the amniotic fluid and can easily become cold. Drying the baby and using warm blankets and heat lamps can help prevent heat loss. Often a knitted hat is placed on the baby's head.

Your Amazing Newborn

Infant Play
Hang brightly colored objects near your newborn. Sing and talk to your baby. Rock your baby, and take him or her for walks.
Newborn-Reflexes
Ever wonder why your baby flings his arms out sideways when startled? This reaction—called the Moro reflex—is one of many natural reflexes your newborn should exhibit. Read on to learn about common newborn reflexes and what they mean.
Newborn-Senses
Babies are born with the ability to focus only at close range—about eight to 10 inches, or the distance between a mother's face to the baby in her arms.
Newborn-Sleep Patterns
You’ve spent nine months doing everything to ensure your baby arrives healthy. Now that your baby is here, you have another important decision to make: Finding pediatrician that is right for you and your baby.
Newborn Crying
Crying is the way babies communicate. They cry because of hunger, discomfort, frustration, fatigue, and even loneliness.
Newborn Appearance
A baby's skin coloring can vary greatly, depending on the baby's age, race or ethnic group, temperature, and whether or not the baby is crying. Skin color in babies often changes with both the environment and health.
Pregnancy: What’s Normal … and What's Not
Some pregnancy changes are caused by hormones. Others are caused by the pressure and weigh of your growing baby.
Anatomy: Fetus in Utero
A thin-walled sac surrounds the fetus during pregnancy. The sac is filled with amniotic fluid, which protects the fetus from injury.
The Growing Child: Newborn
In the first month of life, babies usually catch up and surpass their birthweight, then steadily continue to gain weight.

Baby's Care at Home

Bathing and Skin Care
Bath time is a great time to bond with your newborn while keeping his/her skin healthy and cuddly soft. Get the facts—and proper supplies—to make these moments safe and enjoyable for both you and baby.
Umbilical Cord Care
In a few weeks, your baby will have the cutest little belly button. But right now the healing remains of his umbilical cord need special care. Here’s how to make sure it stays infection-free.
Diapers/Diaper Rash
You have two choices in diapers—cloth or disposable, and each type has advantages. You must decide which works best for your child and family.
Circumcision
Whether you decided to have your baby boy circumcised or not, it’s important to know how to care for his special needs. Find tips for caring for both circumcised and uncircumcised babies.
Seborrheic Dermatitis (Cradle Cap)
Cradle cap can occur on the scalp, diaper area, face, neck, and trunk. Symptoms include dry or greasy scales.
Babies Need 'Tummy Time'
Putting babies to sleep on their backs has dramatically reduced the incidence of SIDS. One unexpected side effect: Many infants now have a flattened head.
Prevent Shaken Baby Syndrome
While being a new Mom brings lots of joy, it also brings stress—something a crying baby can make worse. Better understanding why your baby cries can help you deal with this stress in a healthy way and help you avoid the most common form of child abuse: Shaken baby syndrome.
Baby’s Emotional, Intellectual Development
Because most brain development takes place after birth, parents have many opportunities to contribute to the brain's healthy development.
New Parents...Sore Backs
When it comes to parenting, back injury is an occupational hazard. New mothers, whose backs have just endured the stresses of pregnancy and birth, are particularly vulnerable. So are taller fathers and mothers who must bend farther than others to scoop up tots from playpens.
Measuring a Baby's Temperature
Most physicians recommend taking a baby's temperature rectally, by placing a thermometer in the baby's anus. This method is accurate and gives a quick reading of the baby's internal temperature.
Newborn Multiples
Because many multiples are small and born early, they may be initially cared for in a special care nursery called the neonatal intensive care unit.

Keeping Your Baby Safe

Airway Obstruction Index
Infants and children under age 4 are particularly at risk for choking on food or small objects because their upper airways are smaller, and they tend to explore things with their mouths.
Prevent Shaken Baby Syndrome
While being a new Mom brings lots of joy, it also brings stress—something a crying baby can make worse. Better understanding why your baby cries can help you deal with this stress in a healthy way and help you avoid the most common form of child abuse: Shaken baby syndrome.
Installing and Using Child Safety Seats and Booster Seats
As part of your preparation for your new baby, you probably got an infant safety seat for the car. But do you know how to make sure it’s installed properly? And when do you switch to a child safety seat? Learn the ins and outs of safe car travel for your little one.
Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)
SIDS stands for sudden infant death syndrome. It is a leading cause of infant death in the U.S. The causes of SIDS are unknown, but researchers have learned more about factors that can put your baby at risk. Learn which ones parents can prevent.
Childhood Immunizations
Your little one will need several immunization shots to help protect her from several childhood diseases, some of which can be deadly. Knowing which shots she needs, when, and what to do in the event of a minor reaction is important.
Tote Your Baby in a Sling — Safely
Slings are a popular, natural way to carry your baby, but recent government warnings showed these slings can also be dangerous. Learn how to carry your baby safely.

When to Call the Doctor

Behavior Changes
Although a baby's activity level, appetite, and cries normally vary from day to day, even hour to hour, a distinct change in any of these areas may signal illness.
Skin Color Changes
The color of a baby's skin can often help identify possible problems in another area of the body. It is important for you to call your doctor if certain skin color changes occur.
Breathing Problems
If you listen closely, you’ll notice that your baby’s breathing isn’t like yours. Babies breathe much more frequently and with different patterns than adults. Here’s how to recognize normal breathing in your infant—and how to spot signs of respiratory distress.
Gastrointestinal Problems
If your baby seems fussy and you’ve fed and changed him, he may have an upset stomach or colic. But don’t worry, there are lots of things you can do to make your little one more comfortable and keep both of you calm.
Natal Teeth
Natal teeth are teeth that are present when the infant is born. They are usually the infant's primary teeth (or baby teeth) that have come in early.
Colic
Though the name sounds like a disease, colic is really just a term for excessive crying in an infant. Unfortunately, nobody knows for sure what causes colic, but there are several theories and possible risk factors for the condition.
Fever in A Newborn
Detailed information on fevers in children
Hyperbilirubinemia and Jaundice
A newborn with this condition has too much bilirubin in the blood. Bilirubin causes a yellowing of the baby's skin and tissues. This is called jaundice.