*Again, as a disclaimer, these are general recommendations for otherwise normal infants. If there is something you are concerned about, please call your doctor’s office. That’s what we’re here for! A great resource for many of the questions parents have is healthychildren.org . This website is run and updated by the AAP, so has the most up to date recommendations as well as great tips and tricks for your little one.
I need more information about feeding this little person.
When babies are first born, their stomachs are about the size of their fist - TINY! In general, newborns will eat 1-2 ounces every 2-3 hours. Sometimes, they will cluster feed and eat more frequently; sometimes they eat more or less than that. At the beginning, I recommend having your baby eat every 3 hours because newborns need to eat at least 8-12 times per day. With nursing, the timing should be the same - at least every 3 hours. I recommend nursing for about 15-20 minutes on each side.
If you are using bottles, there is no need to boil them to sterilize them every time. We do recommend sterilizing them before the first use. After that, just make sure to wash them with hot water and soap after every use, then allow them to dry completely. The dishwasher works too! In general, you do not need to boil the water that you use to make your baby’s formula unless you have specifically been instructed to do so. One special situation is if you use well water - make sure to discuss this with your pediatrician.
Once the bottle hits your baby’s lips, you have about 1 hour to use that formula. Formula that has been prepared but not yet given to an infant can be stored for up to 24 hours in the refrigerator. Do not water down your baby’s formula - this can lead to very serious consequences, including seizures.
If you are pumping breastmilk, we recommend that you store it in small batches to help prevent waste. Freshly pumped breastmilk can remain at room temperature for up to 4 hours, but it is recommended that you refrigerate it as soon as possible to decrease the possibility to bacterial contamination. Refrigerated breastmilk is best used within 4 days of being pumped, but can be refrigerated for up to 8 days if needed. Freeze any breastmilk that you won’t be using within 24 hours. Frozen breastmilk can last for up to 9 months. To warm up breastmilk, run the bottle or bag of milk under warm water or place in a bowl with warm water. We don’t recommend microwaving it due to risk of overheating and scalding your infant. Once breastmilk is warmed, you should use it within 24 hours.
Is my baby’s poop normal?
The short answer is probably yes. Infants can have a wide range of stool patterns, from multiple times per day to just once or twice a week. Breastfed babies in particular can go a few days between bowel movements without having an issue. Infants usually stool more at the beginning, with frequency decreasing over time. As long as your baby’s poo is soft and they don’t seem uncomfortable when passing it, you probably don’t have to worry about the frequency. Stool can range in color from tan to brown to green to yellow to orange, all without being a problem. Call you doctor if the stool is bright red like blood, black, white, or very mucousy - like someone sneezed in the diaper.
What’s that in the diaper?
Female infants can have some vaginal discharge - this is normal. Even if it is slightly blood tinged, you do not have to worry. Male circumcisions often look red or have yellow “goop” on them - this is probably okay and a sign of normal healing. Continue to use vaseline until the redness has improved to encourage healing.
One last thing: the best way to take care of your baby is to take care of yourself. Sleep when the baby sleeps. Take a shower. Make sure you eat. Let other people do the work - cleaning, cooking, laundry should not be your priorities.
Ask for help - no one can do it alone! If you are feeling overwhelmed, tell someone.
Warmly, Dr. Huff