Bathe your baby every one to two days. Use a mild cleanser such as baby bath soap or Dove. Sponge bath until the navel and circumcision is completely healed and dry. Use of Q-tips in the ears, nose and mouth is not recommended. Avoid oils, lotions or powders unless directed since they frequently irritate the skin.
When your baby arrives home, he will have a drying remnant on his naval cord. This usually falls of between 7 to 10 days but will occasionally remain attached for as long as three weeks. Keep the navel dry, the diaper folded back off the navel and open to air. After the cored remnant drops off, it may ooze bloody mucus for several days to a week. Remember do not give a tub bath until healing is complete. Please call us if oozing persists, if the discharge contains pus, or if redness appears on the surrounding abdomen.
After the circumcision has been performed special care for your son s penis is important. Your obstetrician normally performs your baby's circumcision on the day prior to discharge or on your last day in the hospital.
During the circumcision, the foreskin that overlies the glans (head) of the penis is separated and removed. After this procedure gauze that is lubricated with Vaseline is wrapped around the head of the penis. This helps any initial bleeding to stop as well as keeps the newly circumcised penis clean and lubricated. This gauze normally will stay in place for the first day or two and then either fall off or can be removed by you. While the gauze is in place, keep it clean by using a washcloth and rinsing water over the area. Apply a layer of Vaseline with each diaper change. Once the gauze falls off or is removed, apply a generous amount of Vaseline to the healing penis at each diaper change at least 4-5 times a day. As the area of the circumcision begins to heal it may ooze a natural granulation secretion but should not appear like thick pus or smell malodorous as these may be signs of a secondary infection and you should give us a call. During the first several days it is not unusual to see areas of dried blood on the diaper. However continued or profuse bleeding is abnormal and requires immediate attention.
Normally by the 10th day after the circumcision was performed, the infant's penis appears almost completely healed. Continue to apply the Vaseline until your baby's doctor visit at one week of age.
CARING FOR THE UN-CIRCUMCISED
PENIS IS A VERY SIMPLE PROCEDURE:
Keep it clean and leave it alone!
There is no need to retract the foreskin over the head of the penis (glans) during infancy. As your son grows older, the foreskin overlying the glans will naturally disattach and become easy and pain -free to retract, allowing for proper hygiene. This process takes years. Usually by age 4-5 years, most boys should be taught to clean themselves in the shower. Efforts at retracting the foreskin at an earlier age are painful and may cause the foreskin to become inflamed and even infected.
Sometimes uncircumcised infants may get an infection over the foreskin covering the head of the penis. If this area appears reddened or inflamed and is discharging pus or appears painful to touch .... call us.
Otherwise, keep the penis externally clean from urine and stool and DO NOT retract the foreskin.
Many babies have noisy, gurgly breathing in the first months of life. They may also sneeze. This does not necessarily mean they have a cold. If the congestion seems to be bothering your baby you can use saline drops such as AYR or homemade drops. To make saline drops, mix 1/4 teaspoon salt into 4 ounces of water. Boil the water and dissolve the salt in it. Allow mixture to cool. Place 2 drops in each nostril and gently suction out your baby's nose with a bulb syringe. Always make a new batch of saline every 24 hours.
A humidifier or cool mist vaporizer may also help stuffy noses (Remember to change the water and clean everyday). Elevate your baby's head by sitting your baby upright in the car seat or elevate your baby's head of bed by placing a rolled towel under the mattress. We do not like to use over-the-counter cold remedies in young infants (less than 6 months of age). Call us if your baby's symptoms seem to be worsening or persisting longer than usual, if your baby refuses to breastfed or take a bottle, or if she has a fever (any temperature more than 100.4 rectally in an infant less than 2 months old).
This is a word that we use to mean no bowel movement for 2-3 days, usually associated with hard, formed stools. Not all children (or adults) have stools everyday, and for some every 3 days may be normal. Some breastfed babies stool every 8-9 days. If your baby is having difficulty stooling and is less than one month old, please give us a call before using the following. Never give your baby a laxative, suppository or enema without first contacting us.
Note: All infants will seem to "strain" with bowel movements. This is because their muscles and nerves are not really working together yet. Your baby is not constipated if the stools are soft, even if they occur infrequently.
Cradle cap or infant seborrhea is an accumulation of scaly, sometimes greasy skin on the scalp. It usually starts with yellow oily scalp and may spread to the forehead, cheeks or ears. In dark skinned children it often leaves lighter areas as it heals but returns to normal color with time. Washing your baby's scalp with Dove soap during her bath can control mild cradle cap, Putting oils in the scalp will only make it worse. More severe cases are usually controlled by shampooing with Sebulex Shampoo or Selsun Blue Shampoo 2 times per week using a baby brush or soft toothbrush to work in the shampoo (always avoid the eye area). Call us if your baby's seborrhea does not respond to this treatment within 2 weeks.
Many babies will have fussy periods. It can be normal for babies to cry several hours per day.
What Should You do if your Baby is Fussy: Remember fussy periods are normal. Check to see that nothing else is wrong with your baby. Does your baby have a fever? Does your baby need a diaper change or need to be fed? Make sure your baby's clothes are comfortable and not irritating. If nothing else is wrong, your baby may respond to being held, walked around or rocked gently. Gentle massage and swaddling your baby may also be helpful. At this age, you cannot spoil your baby. If you feel yourself getting frustrated, have someone else care for your baby for a short while if you can. This might help you both.
Colic is defined as an overly fussy baby, usually 2 weeks to 3 months of age, who is difficult to console. Typically the infants draw their knees to their chest and seem to have more "gas" than usual. No one is sure what causes infants to behave this way, nor do we know why some babies have these symptoms while others do not. Things that vibrate are usually best for soothing colicky babies - car rides, running vacuum cleaners, washing machines, swings etc. Call us if your baby cannot be consoled by any method; if she refuses to breastfed or take a bottle, or if she is irritable with fever (any temperature more than 100.4 rectally in an infant less than 4 months old).
Colic is very frustrating for parents - sometimes you will need to ask a friend or relative to care for the baby so that you can get some rest.
It is not uncommon for infants to have frequent loose stool during the early weeks of life. This usually settles down to 1 to 6 stools per day by about two weeks of age. This is not diarrhea. There are many causes of diarrhea, the most common of which is a virus. Continue to nurse or bottle feed.
You should call us if your infant has more than 8 - 10 loose stools per day, if there is blood in the stools, or if she shows any signs of dehydration (no urine in 8-10 hours, dry mouth, no tears with crying, or a sunken soft spot). Do not give any medications to stop the diarrhea.
Fever does not cause brain damage. Fever is simply the body's reaction to and attempt at fighting some kind of virus or infection. You should be concerned about any fever in an infant less than 4 months old (more than 100.4 rectally). Always give us a call before using any Tylenol.
The word jaundice comes from the French word "'aune" which means yellow. Almost half of all full term babies and about 75-80% of pre term infants will become jaundiced or appear slightly "yellow or orange" tinged.
The most common form of jaundice in the newborn period is called "physiological jaundice". The cause of physiological jaundice is twofold:
This form of jaundice is normally safe and causes no significant health issues. It is extremely important that you notify us if your baby's skin appears yellow/orange to you. Some infants may require "phototherapy" if the bilirubin levels in the blood exceed a certain level. Physiological jaundice normally peaks around 3-4 days of life. Keep your baby in a "well lit" room (natural light: i.e. near a window) as this will help process some of the bilirubin in the blood. Direct sunlight is not a good idea!
If your baby appears yellow/orange tinged or you're just not sure.... Call us for advice!
When babies develops jaundice (yellow-orange skin tint) because of a medical condition or illness, this is referred to as "pathological jaundice. Pathological jaundice may develop insidiously (within the first 24 hours of life) or weeks later.
PLEASE REMEMBER... Don't blame your breast milk for your baby's jaundice! Your breast milk is actually helpful in decreasing the bilirubin levels in your infants blood through good nutrition and increased stooling. If your infant is wetting at least 6-7 diapers per 24 hours, your infants hydration status should be adequate. If your infant is not wetting the adequate number of diapers per day, please call us.
If your infants bilirubin exceeds a certain level or the speed of turning yellow is rapid (within the first 24 hrs), your doctor may elect to place your infant under "photo therapy". This may be in the form of placing your infant under special lights or using a "bili-blanket" (a lighted pad that wraps around your infants chest). Your doctor will monitor your infants bilirubin blood level. Adequate nutrition and hydration is essential and assists in lowering the bilirubin in your infant's blood.
Phototherapy is safe and is being offered now as home therapy.
Accidents and accidental poisonings are frequent causes of death and injury to infants and children.
All babies spit to some degree. That is because their nerves and muscles do not work perfectly for the first weeks of life. This does resolve with time. Some babies do spit worse than others. But, if your baby is gaining weight, she is not losing everything as you may think after she spits up on you. To make spitting less of a problem, make sure that you are not overfeeding your baby. Most newborns take 1-3 ounces every 2-4 hours, while a baby a few weeks old may be able to take a little more formula or breast milk and feed less often. Try to burp your baby after every 1 to 2 ounces (sit baby on your lap and lean forward; rub slow circles on her back for several minutes until she burp; do not bounce or jiggle the baby during or after feeds). Leave your baby upright in a seat, leaning slightly to the right, for 30 minutes after feeding. If your baby is gaining weight, be patient, and this will get better as your child matures. If your baby does not seem to be gaining weight or is losing weight, please give us a call.
During the early days of life, your baby may have frequent loose stools but this usually settles down to 1 to 6 stools per day by two weeks of age. Breastfed babies initially may have more frequent and looser stools than bottle fed babies. On the other hand, some babies have only one large loose stool every two or more days. The usual stool appears as "soupy oatmeal" and is yellow in color. Formula fed babies stools range from yellow to brown and possibly green.
Always check with us before you use them.