New born baby Things parents need to know


Breast milk is the best milk for your baby. All nutrients needed for growth and development of the young one including the brain is provided by breast milk. Full term babies should be fed on demand, which is usually once in 3-4 hours.

Do not give gripe water, honey or any other type of food other than breast milk. Infant formula should be given only on specific advice of the doctor.

It is important for the mother to stay calm and relaxed during breast feeding. This helps increase milk secretion and calms the baby.

Feel free to consult your doctor on issues concerning feeding as it is the most important aspect or your baby's care in the first year of life.

Babies often swallow air during feeding, which can make them gaseous. You can prevent this by burping your baby frequently. Try burping your baby after every 2 to 3 ounces (60-90 milli liters) of bottle-feed, and each time you switch breasts if you breastfeed.

Temperature control

To keep babies comfortable and maintain good health, it is very important to keep babies warm. It is not necessary for parents to constantly measure the temperature at home for this purpose. Signs such as pink feet and warm body suggest that the baby is comfortable with the surrounding temperature.


A full term newborn baby can be given a bath from the second day of life. Also test the temperature of the water with your wrist or elbow and make sure the water is comfortably warm and not hot. Wrap and dry the baby immediately after and keep close to the mother

Kangaroo care

Kangaroo care is a simple and effective technique to improve baby s health and well being. This involves placing the infant in direct skin to skin contact with the mother or father. In addition, it also helps promote bonding between the parents and the baby. The kangaroo position contributes by enhancing milk secretion and the skin to skin contact helps to keep the baby warm, comfortable and peaceful-enabling them to sleep more soundly. Kangaroo care can be provided as long as it is convenient for the mother.

What is normal?

  • Sneezing and hiccups
  • Red rashes on the body/white spots on the nose. These are harmless and eventually disappear without treatment
  • Passing stools anywhere from 10-12 times a day to once every two to three days. There is no need for concern as long as the baby is active, well and the stools are soft 
  • Soft spot on the head-the anterior fontanelle and usually closes between 9-18 months of age 
  • Jaundice is very common after day two in most babies. lt usually does not last beyond 7-10 days. Your doctor will evaluate the baby for jaundice during the first follow-up visit after discharge


Many babies have some degree of posseting (spitting up) where some or the milk consumed tends to come back into the mouth. This usually occurs shortly after a feed and generally tends to get better as the baby reaches six months of age.


Colic is less common in breast fed babies and is identified by unexplained episodes or crying and fussiness, sometimes accompanied by bloated stomach and/or gas. It generally occurs at the same time of the day. This condition is harmless and tends to improve once baby reaches three months of age. Please seek medical help if the baby cries persistently for more than 3 hours or the child looks sick.


Babies usually sleep between 14 to 18 hours a day. Soft music helps them relax and sleep well. Do not put babies to sleep on their stomach for the first few months

Skin/cord care

Umbilical cord does not need any kind of intervention or care. The cord usually falls off in ten days. If there is any kind of redness or discharge of pus, please seek advice from your doctor

Regular oil massages help babies relax, sleep, and feed better. Coconut oil is preferable. Avoid mustard and nut based oil, like almond oil. There are also suggestions that it may reduce colic and improve bonding between the baby and the mother

Applying powder is not recommended these days. Using moisturizing cream or zinc oxide based creams in the nappy area reduces the risk of nappy rash.


Babies need to be exclusively breast fed til the age of 6 months. Your doctor may advice you to start weaning as early as four months if there are health concerns

Weaning food

  • Double boiled rice, potatoes and dal
  • Puree of well-cooked and mashed fruits and vegetables
  • Curd/yogurt
  • Pureed meat, lentils and beans
  • Fresh fruit juice 
  • It is not advisable to feed egg, honey and cows milk in the first year of life 
  • Raagi porridge

When to seek help

In case of any emergency please take the child to the emergency department of the hospital. The danger signs that you need to look for are:

  • Poor feeding
  • Unusually dull and drowsy baby
  • Jaundice- baby looking yellow from below the navel
  • Persistent and forceful vomiting
  • If the baby has breathing difficulty
  • When you feel something is not right with the baby, even if you are unable to spot any visible signs