*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.
Tell me more about Safe Sleep.
The hospitals do a great job with safe sleep education, so here's a refresher: I recommend the ABC's of safe sleep. Your baby should be sleeping ALONE, flat on his or her BACK, in a CRIB (or bassinet or pack n play). Your baby's sleep environment should be boring - no toys, no blankets, and definitely no crib bumpers. Anything that goes into the baby's sleep environment (other than the baby) increases the risk for SIDS, or sudden infant death syndrome. We strongly recommend against co-sleeping for the same reason - this includes falling asleep with your baby on your chest. I am a big fan of sleep sacks for babies. This is a great, safe way to help your baby sleep. Finally, the most recent recommendations from the American Association of Pediatrics are to have your infant sleep in your room until they are at least 6 months old. One last thing about sleep - newborns will often sleep 16 or more hours per day. Many times, especially at the beginning, your little one will seem to have his or her days and nights mixed up. This is frustrating, but normal. Things will get better! By 3 months, many babies get two-thirds of their sleep at night.
So what's the deal with tummy time?
I recommend tummy time every day, and you can get started with this as soon as you get home from the hospital. Tummy time is time your baby spends on his or her tummy. This should be time when he or she is awake and there is an adult there to supervise. Tummy time encourages babies to strengthen their muscles and helps to stimulate development. Some infants like this more than others - at the beginning, you really only need 15-20 total minutes per day.
My baby’s breathing sounds weird. What’s up with that?
This is a harder one to answer without having more specifics. If you are concerned about your baby’s breathing, I would recommend talking to your doctor. If you are really concerned about your baby’s breathing, you should call 911. If you baby has a pause in his or her breathing that lasts longer than 10-15 seconds or has a color change associated with it, take him or her to the emergency room right away. Babies born via c-section often times sound a little noisier at the beginning because they tend to retain a little more amniotic fluid.
Everyone wanted to touch my belly. Now, everyone wants to touch the baby. Help! Be a jerk about your baby. No one can hold them, no one can go near them unless you say it’s okay. You can tell them your doctor said that, even Grandma Ida who flew all the way in from Honolulu to see the little one. Have a big bottle of hand sanitizer by the front door - anyone who comes to visit needs to clean their hands before they can see your little one. This is to help keep your baby safe. Until they have gotten their vaccines, they are very susceptible to illness. Something that is just an annoyance for an adult can be very serious for a baby.
My baby has a rash!
This is a questions that’s hard to answer without more information. Most of the time, baby rashes are normal and benign, but there are some rashes that can be very serious. Babies in general have very sensitive skin, which is why we recommend scent free detergents and lotions. If you are concerned about your baby’s skin, please call the office.
See you next time for the final installment of newborn FAQs!
Warmly, Dr. Huff