Vernon Pediatric and Family Care

Newborn Manual

Congratulations on your new baby!

Advocare Vernon Pediatric & Family Care is dedicated to helping you raise happy and healthy children.

Because parents often wish that babies came with manuals, we hope this Newborn Manual will answer many of your basic questions about infant care. We welcome your questions! Please discuss any additional questions or concerns with one of our medical professionals during your office visits, or call our office when you need assistance.

Activity: You and your baby can enjoy time outdoors when the weather permits. Try to keep your baby out of direct sunlight to avoid overheating or sunburn. To minimize exposure to illness, avoid large crowds such as supermarkets or shopping malls for the first two months.

Visitors: As proud parents, you'll want to show off your child, but try to minimize the number of people handling your baby. Visitors must wash hands thoroughly with soap and water before they hold the baby. People with fever or colds should wait until they are well to visit.

Bathing: No tub baths until the umbilical cord has fallen off and this area is dry and healed. You may wipe your baby with a washcloth and mild soap or baby shampoo, being careful to avoid the area around the umbilical cord. When you begin tub bathing, NEVER under any circumstances leave your baby alone in the sink or tub.

Cord Care: The umbilical cord will dry out and fall off within several weeks. Make sure to keep the area clean: try folding the diaper down so that it doesn't cover or rub against the umbilical cord.

Skin Care: Do not use baby powder on the baby's skin unless approved by your doctor. Do not use baby wipes until the baby is two weeks old.

Circumcision Care: With each diaper change, apply Vaseline® to the tip of the penis until the circumcision heals. A whitish-yellow film will appear; this is normal.

Jaundice: Jaundice is a yellowish discoloration of the skin that usually appears within the first two to three days of life. If your baby has a yellowish skin color, call our office. If the yellow becomes more intense after discharge from the hospital, or it extends down to the belly, call your doctor.

Feeding: Breastfeeding should be on demand, usually every two to four hours, for eight to ten feedings a day. For formula feeding, give babies infant formula with iron every three to four hours. Prepare bottles by closely following all the directions on the formula container.

Sleeping Positions: In order to decrease the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), healthy, full-term infants should always sleep on their backs. However, infants with certain medical conditions may need to sleep on their side or belly. Ask your doctor what position is best for your child.

Newborn Safety Tips

Car Seats: The car seat should face backward during infancy. Use only approved model car seats. Follow the manufacturer's suggestions for securing the car seat in your car, and ALWAYS secure your baby in the car seat.

Cribs: Crib slats should be less than 2-3/8 inches apart. Do not use crib bumpers. Do not place stuffed animals, pillow, or toys in the crib.

Falls: NEVER leave an infant alone on elevated surface, even for a second.

Fire: Install smoke detectors in the house and change batteries regularly

Pacifiers: Use only one-piece designs. Never hang a pacifier around a baby's neck.

Water Temperature: To avoid accidental scald burns, set water heater thermostat at less than 120°F. NEVER leave the baby unattended near water.

When to call the Doctor: 

  • Temperature greater than 100.3°F (rectal) in a baby under 3 months of age
  • Persistent lethargy or irritability
  • Refusal to eat (skips two feedings)
  • Vomiting two or more feedings (especially if vomit is projectile or has a green color)
  • No wet diapers for more than eight hours
  • Swelling, drainage, or foul odor in the area of the umbilical cord or circumcision site
  • If at any time your baby does not seem right to you—trust your instincts! Call the doctor!

Recommended Items for Newborn Care

__ Car seat 
__ Baby oil 
__ Baby shampoo (non-stinging) 
__ Cotton balls 
__ Lotion/ointment (non-scented) 
__ Measuring spoon or syringe 
__ Nasal aspirator 
__ Nasal saline spray or drops 
__ Pedialyte 
__ Q-Tips® 
__ Rubbing alcohol 
__ Soap (mild and unscented) 
__ Thermometer (preferably rectal) 
__ Toothbrush (soft bristle) for hair care

Recommended Classes

We strongly encourage parents to become familiar with approved first aid and lifesaving procedures. Contact your local hospital, health department, community center, or ambulance squad for available classes.
  • Pediatric First Aid
  • Basic Life Support
  • CPR

Recommended Reading

Immunizations & Infectious Diseases: An Informed Parent's Guide
by Margaret C. Fisher, MD, FAAP (American Academy of Pediatrics)

Your Baby's First Year (American Academy of Pediatrics)

Recommended Visit and Immunization Schedule

Please refer to our Visit & Immunization Schedule available on our website.

Useful Web Sites

Our website includes Useful Links to good information and valuable resources.

Important Phone Numbers

Post these important phone numbers near your phone and enter them into cell phone contact lists. Make sure that anyone caring for your baby knows where to find these phone numbers.

Emergencies 911

Poison Control 800-222-1222

Advocare Vernon Pediatric & Family Care 973-827-4550