It can be really overwhelming to transition home with your newborn baby! Even as a third time mom, those first few weeks home were a little overwhelming.

It’s hard to remember all the information you’re given in the hospital related to newborn care and signs and symptoms of concerns in your newborn baby. I want to share some helpful information here to support you on your journey.

There are specific things to look out for your newborn baby. I’ve made a list of some of the most important things you need to be aware of. 

Frequency of Feedings

Feed your baby at least eight times each day. By each day, I mean each 24 hour window. Your baby needs to eat at least 8 times (and up to 12) during the first two weeks of life. You don’t want your baby to go more than 4 hours without a feeding until your baby is back to their birth weight. This usually happens around two weeks old. 

It is normal for weight loss in a newborn baby to be around 7% loss of their birth weight. However, as babies approach 10% loss of their birth weight we start to worry about dehydration in your baby. Signs of dehydration in newborn includes a high pitched cry, sunken fontanel, dry lips and mouth, elevated temperature, lethargic (no periods of alertness), irritability, and ineffective feeding pattern.

Sometimes baby is a sleepy feeder and this doesn’t mean there is anything wrong. However, babies that are NOT getting enough calories and volume intake tend to be very sleepy. This statement is NOT true during the first two weeks of life: don’t wake a sleeping baby to eat. You SHOULD wake a sleeping baby who is below birth weight, TO EAT! 

You need to pay attention to the quantity of wet diapers. Track it. Your baby should have at least 1 wet diaper for each day old he/she is. A baby who is a week old should have AT LEAST 6 wet diapers every 24 hours, and really, mostly baby’s that are well hydrated will have 8+ wet diapers every 24 hours. How often newborn should poop is going to be variable among each baby. However, most breastfeeding babies are going to have at least 1 poop per day. It has to be half-dollar sized or larger to count as a poop. 

Umbilical Cord Care For Newborn

Is that little stump freaking you out? Don’t worry, it’s like fingernails. It doesn’t hurt your little one. However, you do want to make sure to pay attention to the smell and appearance. If your baby starts to have redness around the cord, call your pediatric provider. Foul smell doesn’t always mean there’s something wrong, but you want to keep an eye on it if it starts smelling. 

If you have a little boy, caring for newborn circumcision can also be overwhelming. And it’s not like our fingernails, it doesn’t feel uncomfortable to your little guy! If you notice the gauze is stuck to your little guys penis, don’t rip the bandaid off! Slow and steady wins this race. Take a warm washcloth and drench it with water to soak the gauze then slowly peel it away. 

Here Are Some Warning Signs in Newborn Baby

Temperature above 100.4 is a medical emergency. Call your baby’s provider right away.
Projectile vomiting (or green vomit) is not normal.
A high-pitched cry is a concern.
A lethargic baby with no periods of alertness.
A grunting noise with breathing would be a concern.
Again, this list is not all encompassing, these are some common warning signs. 

Safe Sleep for a Newborn

It’s really important to follow safe sleep recommendations. If you’re struggling with using safe sleep recommendations because your baby will only sleep when NOT in a safe sleep environment, please check out my online course: Babies Made Simple. This course will help you figure out the missing piece to the puzzle. It’ll help you figure out what your baby needs to be able to sleep safely.