alt=”Breast milk is the perfect food for most babies. If your baby is strictly breastfed, vitamin D supplementation is recommended to prevent bone disease. Infant vitamins that contain 400 IU of vitamin D per dose are appropriate and can be found at most pharmacies.” width=”256″ height=”300″ />Breast milk is the perfect food for most babies. If your baby is strictly breastfed, vitamin D supplementation is recommended to prevent bone disease. Infant vitamins that contain 400 IU of vitamin D per dose are appropriate and can be found at most pharmacies. There is no need for cereal or baby food.
It is important to hold your baby during feeding. This is a good time to talk and play. Most babies take 2-4 oz. every 2-3 hours or 15-30 minutes on each breast every 2-3 hours. If you are bottle-feeding, hold the bottle and do not prop it up with another object.
If the skin is dry or sensitive, a mild soap such as unscented Dove should be used. If the scalp is scaly, a washcloth or soft brush along with baby shampoo should control it. If the scaling persists, ask your doctor about a shampoo for “cradle cap.” Almost every child gets occasional diaper rashes. Most of them are due to a combination of wetness and bile acids from stools. Try an over-the-counter diaper cream or petroleum jelly, and call the office if it persists longer than 4 days.
A car seat should always be used when traveling with your baby in a car. It is crucial to properly install the car seat. The straps should be snug against the baby, and the car seat should be secured tight enough in the car that any movement of the seat is very difficult.
Go to www.safekidscharmeck.org and click on “calendar” to find out about local car seat checks. Go to www.seatcheck.org for general car seat information. Keep your baby’s crib in a safe location. Keep it away from a heater with the sides always completely up. Crib slats should not be more than 2 and 3/8 inches apart. Avoid hanging light fixtures or pictures over the crib.
Bowel and Bladder
Most babies will strain to pass bowel movements. As long as the bowel movement is soft, there is no need to worry. Ask your doctor about bowel movements that are very hard and/or formed into solid balls. Babies usually wet the diaper at least 6 times each day.
Your baby will become a good sleeper if he learns to fall asleep in his own bed (as opposed to in someone’s arms). Try not to let your baby become dependent on the breast or bottle to induce sleep. When he is sleepy, but not asleep yet, put him down in the bassinette or crib and try to let him get used to falling asleep there.
Your baby should sleep on his back. This has been shown to reduce the risk of SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome). Other ways to reduce this risk include not over-bundling the baby at night, not over-heating the baby’s room, and keeping blankets, pillows, and stuffed objects out of the crib.
Sleeping with your baby and smoking also increase the risk. A bassinet beside the bed is often good for breastfeeding mothers to facilitate breastfeeding without increasing the risk of SIDS. Also, alternate which side you put his head on and the location of visual stimuli to prevent plagiocephaly (abnormal skull shape due to positioning).
Babies are learning to use their eyes and ears. Smiling faces and gentle, pleasant voices are interesting for babies at this age. Be sure to give your baby “tummy time” during the day. Spread out a blanket on the floor and place her on her tummy to encourage her to strengthen neck and arm muscles. Always monitor your baby during “tummy time.”
The amount of time per day that a baby spends crying usually peaks at 6-8 weeks of age and diminishes thereafter. Excessive crying may be “colic.” Colic always resolves eventually and is not dangerous for your baby, but can be very difficult for any parent. Tell your doctor if you think your baby may have colic or you are having difficulty with your baby’s crying.
If you did not receive an immunization card from the hospital, please ask the nurse for one. If you bring it to each well child visit, it will be updated and you will always have a current record of your child’s immunizations. This is important to keep even until your child is an adult because this will determine the need for all future immunizations. If you don’t have this record, some immunizations may have to be repeated later in life.
Call Your Child’s Physician If:
- Your baby develops a fever (>100.4 degrees)
- Your child will not feed and goes 8 hours without a wet diaper
- Your baby exhibits difficulty breathing