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These instructions give you general information on caring for your new baby after you leave the hospital. Your baby’s doctor may give you other instructions. Be sure to ask about anything you don’t understand.
Be sure to make a follow-up appointment for your baby at the doctor’s office.
If you have a current Medical Assistance Card, please call 1-800-KIDS-MED (1-800-543-7633) to learn about free early screening care.
Always wash your hands before caring for your baby.
Ask your doctor how often to burp your baby.
Babies should be placed on their backs in a safe crib to sleep at night and for naps. Parents have been following this advice for the last several years. People used to think that babies sleeping on their backs would be more likely to choke on vomit. This is not true. Because of “Back to Sleep,” the number of babies who die from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) has been greatly reduced.
It is important for your baby to spend some time on his or her tummy to develop head control and upper body muscle strength. Sit on the floor with your baby and let baby have some "Tummy Time" while you play together. As long as you are watching your baby, you may place your baby on his or her tummy while he or she is awake.
Your baby’s doctor may give you other instructions. Call your baby’s doctor if you have any questions or concerns.
All babies cry a lot during the first few months of their lives. Crying is a baby’s only way to let you know that he or she is hungry, wet, tired, not feeling well, or even bored. Feeding or changing the baby may help. There are many other ways to calm a crying baby:
If all your attempts to calm the baby fail, and you are very frustrated, place the baby safely in the crib. Close the door and go to another room. It may help to call a family member or a friend. You can also call the Family Resource Warmline for support and advice: 1-877-WARMLYN (1-877-927-6596).
Never shake or toss your baby. This may cause serious injuries, like brain damage, eye damage, injury to the spine, or mental retardation.
Give your baby sponge baths until the cord falls off and the belly button heals. Use lukewarm water and a mild soap or shampoo to bathe your baby. Do not use any powders. Do not clean your baby’s ears or nose with cotton swabs.
Do not use cotton swabs or special cleaning fluids to clean your baby’s genital area. Call your baby’s doctor or nurse if your baby seems to have difficulty or discomfort while urinating or the stream of urine is just a trickle.
Clean the genital area daily. Wash with gentle soap and water from front to back.
Wash with gentle soap and warm water. Wash the head of the penis and the inside fold of the foreskin. There is no need to pull back the foreskin and clean under it.
Your doctor will tell you how to care for your baby after his circumcision. Be sure to ask your doctor about anything you don’t understand.
The penis may have a bandage or a plastic ring on it for protection. Use petroleum jelly to keep the bandage from sticking to the diaper. The plastic ring usually drops off after 5 to 8 days.
It is normal for the penis to have a little yellow discharge or coating around the tip. This discharge should not last longer than a week. It takes 7 to 10 days for the penis to fully heal after circumcision.
Call your baby’s doctor if the penis keeps bleeding. Also call if there is redness or swelling around the tip of the penis that gets worse after 3 to 5 days.
Your baby does not need any more clothing than you do. Be sure to keep your baby away from drafts and too much wind. Use a hat when out in the sun, cold, or wind.
Do not take your baby into crowded places. Do not take your baby near anyone with a cold, sore throat, or other infection or illness. A baby is not strong enough to handle many common illnesses.
Call your baby’s doctor or nurse if your baby: