NEW BABY HELP
NEW BABY HELP
Congratulations on the birth of your new baby.
Whether this is your first or your fifth, all babies are different; therefore flexibility is essential while adapting to your newborn’s needs. The first few months of your newborn’s life will provide you with many rewarding, as well as some frustrating moments. Use this page as a guide to help you with common questions and always feel free to call the office if you cannot find the answer that you need.
Which are you concerned about?
Fever concerns parents more than any other symptom of illness. The immune system elevates the body’s temperature as a normal response to a viral or bacterial infection to help hinder their progression. A fever is sometimes the first sign that your child is ill.
If your baby is 2 months of age or younger and is acting sick or feels warm to the touch, check their temperature rectally to determine if they are running a fever. Please call our office if the baby’s rectal temperature is higher than 100.5 degrees fahrenheit. Do not give any medications including Tylenol or Ibuprofen.
For babies older than 2 months of age, a rectal temperature is still the most accurate. If the temperature is 102 degrees fahrenheit or above for more than 24 hours, please call our office. You may treat the fever of a baby over 2 months old with acetaminophen (Tylenol).
Many parents have concerns about febrile seizures. They are not caused by the fever itself, but are due to the rapid rise or fall of the child’s temperature. These seizures are frightening for parents, but they are usually harmless and resolve quickly. Febrile seizures rarely occur in children younger than 6 months of age.
Treatment of Fever
Call the doctor if the infant is less than 2 months of age. For infants 2 months of age and older:
- Give your baby plenty of fluids. This will help to lower the temperature and prevent dehydration
- Bathe the child in luke warm water if the fever is high. Do not allow the child to become chilled
- Do not sponge with alcohol
- Dress them in light clothing to allow heat to escape
- Treat with acetaminophen (Tylenol), NOT ASPIRIN
- Call the office for an appointment if the fever does not resolve after 24 hours, the infant is very irritable, or shows other signs of illness
- Do not use ibuprofen if the infant is less than 6 months of age
Burping, Vomiting & Spitting up
Babies swallow air whether they are breast or bottle feeding. Burping should be attempted after each breast or half way through a bottle and then again at the end of the feeding. If the baby is gulping the bottle and taking in a lot of air, burp more frequently during the feeding.
To burp-place the baby over your shoulder and gently pat or rub the lower back. It is common for the infant to spit up a small amount of milk along with the burp. If you are unable to release a burp, lay the baby down on your lap for a moment and then try again. Sometimes, the movement of picking up the baby will cause a burp. Avoid vigorous play for about 20-30 minutes after feeding. When laying the baby down to sleep, it is beneficial to have the head of the crib elevated to allow gravity to help keep milk in the stomach.
Babies may have effortless “projectile” vomiting. This should occur infrequently and usually results from a large air bubble that was not burped up. If this type of vomiting does occurs frequently, please call us.
If your infant has picked up an illness and has true (forceful) vomiting, do not attempt to continue feeding until 1 hour after the last episode of vomiting. Start with 1 teaspoon of Pedialyte every 10-15 minutes for 1 hour. If this is tolerated without additional episodes of vomiting, you may slowly offer increasing amounts of liquid. Continue to offer just Pedialyte for the next 6-12 hours before resuming breast milk or formula. Call the doctor if the vomiting does not stop after several attempts of this process.
Infants have an inborn reflex to suck, even when they are not hungry, which lasts for the first few months of life. Pacifiers help to satisfy this need and it’s much easier to take the pacifier away than to break an older child of thumb sucking. Sucking also helps to comfort the baby when they are crying or fretful.
Most babies have bouts of gas, but it is not a problem as long as they are passing the gas. Stomach cramps may be the result of intolerance to the formula. If excessive crying and cramping occur, the formula may need to be changed. If the baby is breast fed, gassiness may be due to something that mom has eaten such as onions, broccoli, cabbage, beans or dairy products. It usually takes 2-8 hours after mom eats to affect the baby. You will gradually figure out which foods don’t agree with your infant. If your baby is restless and not sleeping well, restrict your intake of caffeine and chocolate.