Newborn Care: Everything You Need To Know About Baby’s First Week

You’ve done plenty of planning and preparation during pregnancy, but do you know the basics of newborn care for your first week at home? The first days of being home alone with baby, especially as a new mom, can be extremely terrifying. Take a deep breath and know what to expect in the first seven days of parenting.

How much should my newborn eat?

Newborns will need to feed every 2 to 3 hours. Formula-fed babies will eat 1.5-3 ounces at each feeding. Mothers who are breastfeeding may notice that their newborn is hungry more frequently as breast milk passes through your child’s system faster than formula. Newborns get gas very easily, so don’t forget to burp baby during and after each feeding.

How often should I change my newborn’s diaper?

Your newborn should be wetting 5 to 6 diapers a day as well as passing around 3-5 stools. You can expect to change a diaper either before or after each feeding and as needed in between. When you start to see redness around your child’s bottom, make sure to apply some ointment to soothe the irritated skin and protect it from getting worse.

How do I care for the umbilical cord?

The most important part of umbilical cord care is to keep the stump clean and dry. Avoid getting the stump wet until after it has fallen off. To clean the area, wet a cotton ball with warm water and clean the area around the navel, not the stump itself. Within one or two weeks, the stump will fall off on its own. You do not need to do anything to help it along.

How do I care for my newborn’s circumcised penis?

To promote a healthy healing process, keep your baby’s circumcised penis clean and protected. During each diaper change, be sure to clean away any poop in the area. Keep the penis dry otherwise and avoid using diaper wipes on this sensitive area. You can also apply a dab of petroleum jelly to protect the penis from rubbing against the diaper.

What should I do for baby’s skin?

Baby’s sensitive skin means you need to avoid dyes, fragrances, and frequent bathing. Wash all clothing before using it and be sure to use baby detergent. Also avoid any scented or dyed lotions and soaps. Your newborn’s skin actually produces oils to help protect itself, so don’t worry about bathing your newborn all the time — bathe a newborn about three times a week.

You’ll be ready to tackle the frightening first week at home with the basics of newborn care under your belt. There will be plenty of questions that arise, but know that you can always call your pediatrician or make an appointment if you have concerns about your newborn.

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