How to care for your newborn baby

How to care for your newborn baby

This information is about how to care for newborns It is especially helpful for first-time parents. 
Topics covered include:

  • Feeding
    • Breast feeding
    • Bottle-feeding
    • Burping
    • Sterilizing
  • Hygiene
    • Bathing your baby
    • Umbilical cord stump care
    • Bowel movement



Breastfeeding and bottle-feeding are the two ways you can feed your baby. However, breast-feeding is the preferred method of infant feeding because of its benefits. You should decide whether to breastfeed or bottle-feed before your baby is born. Talk to your doctor if you have questions about feeding.

Breast feeding

When should I start breastfeeding?
It is best to start breastfeeding as soon as possible .your baby's first feeding can take place within 30 minutes to an hour after delivery.

How often should I nurse?
Breastfed babies tend to feed more often than formal-fed babies, usually 8 to 12 times a day. The main reason for this is that their stomachs empty much more quickly because human milk is so easy to digest.
Initially, your newborn will probably nurse every couple of hours, regardless of whether it's day or night. by the end of the first month, your baby may start sleeping longer at night. Let your baby feed on the demand that is, whenever infant is hungry.

How do I know my baby is getting enough milk? 

You can tell if your baby is getting enough milk if your baby has the following:
✔ At least six wet diapers a day.
✔ Pale yellow urine (not dark yellow or orange). 
✔ Two to five loose yellow stools per day.
✔ Steady weight gain after the first week of age. 
✔ Sleeping well.
✔ Looks alert and healthy when awake.


How often and how much to feed my baby? 

✔ Feed your baby when he/she seems hungry which is called demand feeding.
✔ A newborn usually needs a feeding every 2 to 3 hours and most likely takes about 2 to 3 ounces of infant formal at each feeding in the first month. Every baby is different .A rigid feeding schedule is not important. You and your baby will eventually establish your unique feeding pattern. As the baby grows older, he/she will need to be fed larger amounts at each feeding and fed less frequently.
✔ You can be assured that your baby is getting enough to eat if he or she seems satisfied, produces about six wet diapers a day, sleeps well and is gaining weight regularly.

Tips of bottle-feeding

✔ Check the expiration date on each can/bottle. 
✔ Always wash hands before preparing formula. Wash and rinse can top before opening.
✔ Shake well and test milk temperature by shaking a few drops on your wrist to make sure it is not too hot before feeding. The milk should barely feel warm.
✔ Do not heat bottles I the microwave.
✔ Hold baby in the semi- upright position and support the head during feeding .propping the bottle or putting baby to bed with a bottle may cause baby to choke.
If baby falls asleep with the bottle in his mouth, it can cause babys' teeth to rot or increase chance of ear infections.
✔ Throw away leftover milk from bottles immediately. Bacteria from the baby's mouth contaminate the milk where it can grow and multiply.


Burp baby in the middle and the end of each feeding to get rid of air that the baby may have swallowed. Three positions you can use:
✔ Hold your baby upright with his or her head on your shoulder. Support your baby's head and back while you gently pat his or her back with your other hand. 
✔ Sit your baby on your lap. Support your baby's chest and head with one hand and gently rub his or her back with the other.
✔ Lay your baby on your lap with his or her back facing up. Support your baby's head in the crook of your arm and gently pat or rub his or her back.


For infants less than 4 months, sterilize bottles, nipples, lids, measuring cup and mixing jug.
Place all equipment in a pot of water. The water should completely cover everything in the pot .cover the pot and bring water to a boil. Continue boiling for 15 minutes. Let cool and remove the equipment with Sterilize tongs.




What items are needed for bathing a baby?

✔ A soft, clean washcloth.
✔ Towels or blankets.
✔ Clean clothes.
✔ Baby shampoo and baby soap (non-irritation).
✔ An infant tub.
✔ Cotton balls.
✔ A clean diaper.
You should only give your baby sponge baths until your baby's umbilical cord has fallen off and the stump is healed, and after a boy's circumcision has healed.

How to give a sponge bath?

✔ Make sure the room is warm.
✔ Keep the baby covered with a towel or blanket. 
✔ Start with the baby's face: use one moistened cotton ball to wipe each eye from the inner comer to the outer corner.
✔ Wash the rest of the baby's face with a soft, moist washcloth. Also, clean the outside folds of the ears. 
✔ Wash the baby's head with a shampoo on a wash- cloth, create a lather and rinse.
✔ Add a small amount of baby soap to the water or washcloth and gently bathe the rest of the baby from the neck down. Uncover only one area at the time. Rinse with a clean washcloth or a small cup of water. Be sure to avoid getting the umbilical cord wet.
✔ Pay special attention to creases under the arms, behind the ears, around the neck and the genital area. After washing these areas, make sure they are dry. Then you can diaper and dress your baby.

How to give a tub bathing?

Once your baby's umbilical cord has fallen off and the stump is healed, and after a boy's circumcision has healed, you can give your baby a tub bath.
✔ Gather all necessary bath supplies. Lay out a towel, a clean diaper and clothes. Make sure the room is warm.
✔ Fill the tub with 2 to 3 inches of water that feels warm but not hot, about 90F (32C). test the water temperature, feel the water with your elbow or wrist or use a bath thermometer.
✔ Bring your baby to the bath area and undress him or her completely.
✔ Grab baby firmly with one hand under armpit which is supporting baby's neck and head, and the other hand under his or her buttocks when placing baby into infant tub. Feet first and slowly lower the rest of baby's body until he or she is in the tub.
✔ Use mild soap and use it sparingly, as you wash baby with a washcloth from top to bottom, front and back. Clean all skin folds and creases.
✔ Wash baby's scalp with a wet, soapy washcloth.
✔ Use moistened cotton balls (no soap) to clean his or her eyes and face.
✔ As for your baby's genitals, a routine washing is all that is needed.
✔ After the bath, wrap your baby in a towel immediately and pat him or her dry. Then diaper, and dress him or her.

Umbilical cord stump care for newborns 

During pregnancy, your baby received nourishment and oxygen through the umbilical cord. After the baby is born, the umbilical cord is clamped and cut, leaving an umbilical stump. This stump will fall off within 10 to21 days. Only give sponge baths until the stump falls off.
The newborn's umbilical cord stump must be kept clean and dry. Fold the baby's diaper below the stump or use a special newborn diaper with a cutout space for the cord stump.

Apply rubbing alcohol (70%) to the baby's cord every time you change the diaper. Observe the umbilical cord for infection. Contact your baby's doctor immediately if there is any sign of infection. Signs of infection include:
✔ The skin surrounding the cord stump becomes swollen or red.
✔ Pus appears at the base of the stump.
✔ The cord stump continues to bleed.
✔ Baby suddenly develops fever.

Bowel movement

✔ Bowels of newborns will gradually change from a greenish black to a yellow color.
✔ Breastfed babies have loose, seedy yellow bowel movements.
✔ Bottle -fed babies have firmer stools and their movements are less frequent in general.
✔ Prompt diaper changes are important to take care baby skin