- Place your baby on his or her back to sleep.
- Newborns should sleep in a bassinet/approved co-sleeper next to parent’s bed. There should be no pillows, bumpers, blankets or toys in the bassinet or co-sleeper. Please refer to Yale Sleep Safety handout for images. Please do not place newborn in the bed with you at night.
- Use a rear-facing car seat secured in the backseat of the car until 2 years of age. Refer to this handout for car seat information.
- Limit exposure to large crowds during the first 8 weeks of life. Practice good hand washing techniques prior to handling infant. Limit your baby’s exposure to people with active illnesses.
- Make sure to have a digital thermometer that can be used for axillary or rectal temperatures. A fever for infants younger than 8 weeks is a temperature of 100.4 or greater taken rectally. An infant with this temperature must be seen in the Yale Children’s Emergency Department for evaluation.
- Have working smoke and carbon monoxide detectors on all floors of your home.
- It is normal for newborns to randomly hiccup, sneeze, and startle. They also exhibit Newborn Periodic breathing. This consists of short periods where they breathe rapidly for few seconds, pause for less than 20 seconds, then restart breathing. We expect to see this for the first 2 months of life.
- Start observed tummy time while the baby is awake every day. This prevents the flattening of the back of the head. Vary the direction the head is facing, left or right, at each tummy time event.
- Breastfeed on demand somewhere from 8 to 12 times a day. Feed until your baby is content.
- Mother should be taking her pre-natal vitamins.
- Vitamin D 400 I.U daily is recommended to be given for exclusively breastfed infants and is available over the counter as a liquid vitamin. If unable to find, then consider Tri-vi-sol or Poly-vi-sol.
- Please refer to the handout “A Simple Guide to Breastfeeding in the First Week.”
- If you need further assistance, please contact our Lactation Consultant.
- Formula fed infants: 1 to 2 ounces every 1 to 2 hours on average. Sometimes they will feed more often and sometimes more than 2 ounces. As your baby grows, the formula intake will increase too.
- Use nursery water or previously boiled water to prepare powder formula. Follow the instructions closely in preparation.
- Newborns will initially have a tarry black stool that eventually transitions to a mustard yellow seedy or grainy stool. At minimum, they will have one stool a day. They will have at least 5 wet diapers a day after five days of life.
Other Helpful Notes:
- Newborns have different sleep cycles. They will be awake at night and sleep most of the day except when feeding. This will change by 8 weeks of life.
- It is important for parents to rest and take naps while the baby is sleeping. Make sure that as parents, you are well hydrated and eating healthy meals.
- Never leave your newborn unattended around pets or other children.