Your baby is finally here! However, if you’re a first-time parent you may have a ton of questions about caring for your newborn. We know that dressing, changing, and even handling your little newborn may make you feel more than a little nervous, but trust us when we say, “You got this!” From providing your child with wellness checkups to offering parents recommendations and support, the pediatric team at Desert Willow Pediatrics is here to help your family the moment you bring your newborn home.
We know how tiny your newborn is but there are some basic ways to handle and support them safely. Make sure to:
- Always wash your hands before holding or handling your baby
- Always provide ample support for their head and neck
- Always be gentle with your newborn
- Never shake your baby, even to wake them
You will sponge bathe your newborn until the umbilical cord falls off and the area heals (if your baby has been circumcised you will want to wait for the area to heal completely, as well). Once you can start bathing your baby, you will only need to bathe them about 2-3 times a week (any more than that, and you risk drying out their skin). Use mild, fragrance-free shampoos and soaps designed for babies, as well as soft washcloths and towels. Once your child upgrades from sponge baths you’ll want to purchase an infant tub.
Wondering when your baby needs to visit the pediatrician for the first time? Wondering how often they need to come in for well-child checkups? We know that as a parent there are so many questions you have about the health care your baby receives. Here at Desert Willow Pediatrics, we make it our mission to provide the highest quality care to your newborn at every wellness visit.
The Benefits of Breastfeeding
The CDC recommends that women breastfeed for at least the first six months of their baby’s life. Women are also encouraged to continue breastfeeding for one year or longer if possible. Of course, we understand that many women experience issues when it comes to breastfeeding, especially in the very beginning. Our pediatrician knows how important it is for moms to have the support they need for a stress-free breastfeeding experience.
It Takes Time
While breastfeeding is completely natural, it doesn’t always feel natural. It will take a little time for everything to go smoothly. It’s important for everyone, particularly first-time moms not to get discouraged by this. Your baby has to learn to latch, which takes time. Being patient with yourself is very important. Remember that the first few days may not be this magical breastfeeding experience, and that’s okay.
It’s a Great Bonding Experience
With that said, breastfeeding offers a lot of one-on-one time with your little one. Once you get into the groove of breastfeeding then you can enjoy these quiet moments together. After all, when you breastfeed, your body releases oxytocin, a hormone that promotes bonding and connection.
It Offers Health Benefits
If you’ve chosen to breastfeed then you probably already know about the array of benefits that your child will gain through breastfeeding. After all, breastfeeding is a free and easy way for your child to get all the nutrients they need. Plus, breastfeeding could reduce your child’s risk for stomach problems, ear infections, asthma, and obesity. Not to mention the benefits that breastfeeding offers moms. Breastfeeding can help speed up weight loss post-pregnancy, stimulate the uterus to return to its pre-pregnancy size, and help mothers heal faster overall after childbirth.
If breastfeeding is still not going well or your baby isn’t gaining weight, then it’s time to turn to our pediatrician. We are knowledgeable in lactation consulting and have helped many of our new moms develop effective breastfeeding habits that make it a more positive experience for everyone. We can teach you the basics and help you address specific challenges and concerns.
What to Expect During Your Newborn's Well Visit
Within 24 hours of your baby’s birth, the hospital is going to perform a comprehensive examination to make sure that your baby is healthy. Once you and your baby have been discharged from the hospital, you’ll bring your newborn into our practice a few days later for their first pediatric checkup. These checkups are vital for all newborns. Here are some of the most important aspects of these regular wellness checkups,
Hearing and vision screenings: We must check your child’s hearing and vision to identify potential problems early. We will perform a hearing and vision screening at their 3-month visit and again around 2-2.5 years old.
Behavioral assessments: As your child continues to grow, we may also ask parents about certain behaviors they may be exhibiting. Just as adults can deal with behavioral and psychological issues, so too can children. By pinpointing these issues early, we can provide early treatment options to help manage everything from ADHD to anxiety.
Physical exams: Getting a physical examination from a physician isn’t just for adults and kids wanting to play sports. These routine exams are important for infants, too! These exams allow our pediatrician to evaluate all areas of the body, from the eyes and mouth to the heart, lungs, and hips, to make sure everything looks healthy and is functioning properly.
Monitoring developmental milestones: From crawling to walking, there are many developmental milestones that your newborn will reach as they continue to grow, and our pediatric team must monitor these developmental stages to make sure that everything is on track.
Documenting measurements: From the very first checkup onwards, we will need to measure your baby’s weight and height, which we will compare to a standard growth chart. This will help us compare your baby’s height and weight to others to make sure there aren’t any issues.
Vaccinating: One of the best ways to protect your newborn from the threat of certain serious and contagious viruses is by getting them vaccinated. Babies will be vaccinated from the moment they are born, and they will need to come in for wellness checkups so that we can continue to administer these inoculations throughout their childhood.