We would like to see your baby upon discharge from the hospital. Please let your nursery know that you will be following up with us. Please call our office before leaving the hospital to schedule your first newborn visit!
What to expect in the hospital
- Examination: Your baby will be examined by one of the newborn specialists in the hospital. These physicians are on staff at the hospital, attend some deliveries, and examine the baby in the nursery and upon discharge.
- Newborn Screen: Before discharge from the hospital, the baby will be tested for a number of metabolic disorders via a NEWBORN SCREEN, required by the state of Texas. We will repeat this test here at the office at the 2 week check up.
- Prevention & Vaccines: After the delivery, your newborn will receive an injection of vitamin K to help boost clotting factors in the baby’s blood system. An antibiotic will be applied to their eyes to treat any possibility of infection after delivery. The umbilical cord will also be dried. You will be asked if you would like the baby to receive the first of their Hepatitis B vaccines.
Most newborns will have a follow-up appointment after discharge to assess weight and jaundice level.
Babies are also seen at 2 weeks of life for a check up.
It is normal for babies to lose up to 10% of their birth weight. They usually catch up by their 2 week visit.
Newborns like to feed every 1 ½ – 3 hours. For breast feeding moms, milk supply often does not come in until days 3-5 postpartum. Put your baby to the breast frequently to increase your milk production.
Sneezing and hiccups are very normal. Coughing is normal as well, as long as it is not accompanied by a fever or difficulty breathing.
Use your bulb syringe with nasal saline drops to relieve congestion in your baby’s nose. It is best to plug the opposite nostril to create a good seal and effective suction.
Cool mist humidifiers often help with congestion.
Bloody discharge from the umbilical stump is normal. It may also look a little gooey as the stump falls off. We need to see any umbilical cords with active bleeding or foul smelling copious drainage.
Fever: We need to see your baby or coordinate ER care if your baby has a fever of 100.4 degrees or higher. This is an emergency in the first 2 months of life, and you should call your doctor or go to the ER. The most accurate way to take your baby’s temperature is rectally. You do not need to add or subtract a degree for other methods.
Start to develop a good bedtime routine with your baby early on. This may include bathing and putting their pajamas on in the early evening hours. You should not fully bathe your baby until the umbilical stump falls off. Sponge baths are fine until then.
Circumcised baby boys – the circumcision will start to heal and may have a film of yellow material on the tip of the penis and this is normal. Active bleeding or pus drainage needs to be evaluated.
Uncircumcised baby boys – you do not need to retract and clean their foreskin. It is recommended to not retract the foreskin until it is able to retract on its own (normally school-age).
Babies bowel movements are different. Some go frequently, some every couple of days. Stools start out black and tar-like. Breast fed babies have stool that is runny, yellow and seedy (often looks like diarrhea). Formula fed babies can have thicker stools and can be many different colors. As long as your baby’s stool is soft, they are not constipated and you shouldn’t worry about their frequency unless it has been greater than 4-5 days and they seem uncomfortable. Stool with blood, or white/clay colored stools need to be evaluated by your physician.
All babies are gassy, some more than others. As long as your baby’s stools are soft, you can use Mylicon and tummy massage to help them with their gas.
Babies should not drink plain water until they are 6 months of age. Their kidneys cannot handle a free water load yet.
Dry skin and newborn rashes are common. Aquaphor is helpful to keep the skin hydrated. Neonatal acne is often seen at 4-8 weeks of life. This will go away by itself.
Watery/ crusty eyes are common for the newborn, as this is a sign of an immature or clogged tear duct. Please make an appointment if the eye is draining a lot of pus or the eye itself looks red.
Some babies cry more than others. Colic (persistent or excessive crying in young infants) usually peaks at 2-6 weeks of life. All infants, whether they have colic or not, cry more during the first 3 months of life. If your baby is inconsolable or extremely fussy, they need evaluation.