Child's Routine Checkup, 1 Week: Care Instructions

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Your Care Instructions

You may wonder "Am I doing this right?" Trust your instincts. Cuddling, rocking, and talking to your baby are the right things to do.

At this age, your new baby may respond to sounds by blinking, crying, or appearing to be startled. He or she may look at faces and follow an object with his or her eyes. Your baby may be moving his or her arms, legs, and head.

Your next checkup is when your baby is 2 to 4 weeks old.

Follow-up care is a key part of your child's treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if your child is having problems. It's also a good idea to know your child's test results and keep a list of the medicines your child takes.

How can you care for your child at home?

Feeding

  • Feed your baby whenever he or she is hungry. In the first 2 weeks, your baby will breastfeed about every 1 to 3 hours. This means you may need to wake your baby to breastfeed.
  • If you do not breastfeed, use a formula with iron. (Talk to your doctor if you are using a low-iron formula.) At this age, most babies feed about 45 to 90 millilitres of formula every 3 to 4 hours.
  • Do not warm bottles in the microwave. You could burn your baby's mouth. Always check the temperature of the formula by placing a few drops on your wrist.
  • Never give your baby honey in the first year of life. Honey can make your baby sick.

Breastfeeding tips

  • Offer the other breast when the first breast feels empty and your baby sucks more slowly, pulls off, or loses interest. Usually your baby will continue breastfeeding, though perhaps for less time than on the first breast. If your baby takes only one breast at a feeding, start the next feeding on the other breast.
  • If your baby is sleepy when it is time to eat, try changing your baby's diaper, undressing your baby and taking your shirt off for skin-to-skin contact, or gently rubbing your fingers up and down your baby's back.
  • If your baby cannot latch on to your breast, try this:
    • Hold your baby's body facing your body (chest to chest).
    • Support your breast with your fingers under your breast and your thumb on top. Keep your fingers and thumb off of the areola.
    • Use your nipple to lightly tickle your baby's lower lip. When your baby opens his or her mouth wide, quickly pull your baby onto your breast.
    • Get as much of your breast into your baby's mouth as you can.
    • Call your doctor or nurse call line if you have problems.
  • By the third day of life, you should notice some breast fullness and milk dripping from the other breast while you nurse.
  • By the third day of life, your baby should be latching on to the breast well, having at least 3 stools a day, and wetting at least 6 diapers a day. Stools should be yellow and watery, not dark green and sticky.

Healthy habits

  • Stay healthy yourself by eating healthy foods and drinking plenty of fluids, especially water. Rest when your baby is sleeping.
  • Do not smoke or expose your baby to smoke. Smoking increases the risk of SIDS (crib death), ear infections, asthma, colds, and pneumonia. If you need help quitting, talk to your doctor about stop-smoking programs and medicines. These can increase your chances of quitting for good.
  • Wash your hands before you hold your baby. Keep your baby away from crowds and sick people. Be sure all visitors are up-to-date with their vaccinations.
  • Try to keep the umbilical cord dry until it falls off.
  • Keep babies younger than 12 months out of the sun. If you cannot avoid the sun, use sunglasses, a wide-brimmed hat that covers the back of the neck, and clothing to protect your child's skin. Do not use sunscreen on babies younger than 6 months old.

Safety

  • Put your baby to sleep on his or her back, not on the side or tummy. This reduces the risk of SIDS. Use a firm, flat mattress. Do not put pillows in the crib. Do not use crib bumpers.
  • For every ride in a car, secure your child into a properly installed car seat or booster seat that meets all current safety standards. Use a car seat or booster seat that is made for their weight and height. For questions about car seats and booster seats, call Transport Canada at 1-800-333-0371 or visit the Government of Canada Child Safety webpage at www.canada.ca/en/services/transport/road/child-car-seat-safety.html.

Parenting

  • Never shake or spank your baby. This can cause serious injury and even death.
  • Many women get the "baby blues" during the first few days after childbirth. Ask for help with preparing food and other daily tasks. Family and friends are often happy to help a new mother.
  • If your moodiness or anxiety lasts for more than 2 weeks, or if you feel like life is not worth living, you may have postpartum depression. Talk to your doctor.
  • Dress your baby with one more layer of clothing than you are wearing, including a hat during the winter. Cold air or wind does not cause ear infections or pneumonia.

Illness and fever

  • Hiccups, sneezing, irregular breathing, sounding congested, and crossing of the eyes are all normal.
  • Call your doctor or nurse call line if your baby has signs of jaundice, such as yellow- or orange-coloured skin.
  • Take your baby's rectal temperature if you think he or she is ill. It is the most accurate. Armpit and ear temperatures are not as reliable at this age.
    • A normal rectal temperature is from 36.6°C to 38°C.
    • Lay your baby down on his or her stomach. Put some petroleum jelly on the end of the thermometer and gently put the thermometer about ½ centimetre to 1 centimetre into the rectum. Leave it in for 2 minutes. To read the thermometer, turn it so you can see the display clearly.

You can also take your baby's temperature from his or her armpit (axillary), but for children younger than 5, rectal temperatures are the most accurate. Call your doctor if your newborn has an armpit temperature that is less than 36.5°C or that is higher than 37.5°C.

When should you call for help?

Watch closely for changes in your baby's health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if:

  • You are concerned that your baby is not getting enough to eat or is not developing normally.
  • Your baby seems sick.
  • Your baby has a fever.
  • You need more information about how to care for your baby, or you have questions or concerns.

Where can you learn more?

Go to http://www.healthwise.net/ed

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