At our practice we offer new & expecting parents a “Parenting 101” class that covers a variety of topics from newborn care to feeding to sleeping, and more. We thought it would be a good idea to add some of those topics to the blog so that parents that can’t make it out to meet us or maybe aren’t in the area could benefit from this great information as well! Our newest pediatrician to join our group, Dr. Jacob LeBas has met many new babies here in Cedar Park since joining our practice over the summer! Having some of his own personal experience with newborn care, he kindly offered to blog about some of the things you might be most concerned about as a new parent.
As if feeding and changing your baby wasn’t enough to keep a new parent busy – bathing, cord care and newborn nail care are also important after bringing baby home from the hospital.
Bathing your newborn and umbilical cord care
The first bath takes place in the hospital about 6 hours after birth. Once you get home, you can sponge bathe your baby 2-3 times a week with dye-free, fragrance free soap. Remember, your new bundle of joy is not doing much but sleeping, eating, and cuddling, so they do not need a bath every day. No need for a full bath until the umbilical cord falls off, which usually occurs within 2 weeks after birth. Wiping the umbilical stump with alcohol is not necessary, but can help if there is an odor. You might also notice that your baby has peeling skin – and that is perfectly normal. If the skin begins to have excessive peeling or cracking, applying gentle moisturizing lotion can be helpful.
Trimming newborn nails
Many parents want to keep baby’s nails trimmed in order to avoid baby scratching their delicate skin. Newborn nails can be very hard to clip. At first, use a nail file and mittens to keep baby from scratching herself. It is easiest to clip nails by holding your baby facing away from you or with a partner to prevent baby from squirming. Use baby nail scissors or baby nail clippers, both of which are safe. You may also try clipping nails while baby is sleeping. Nails can grow very quickly at this age and may need to be trimmed once a week.
For more resources, please visit our the Newborn Care section on our website
Jacob LeBas, MD is board certified in pediatric medicine. Learn more about Dr. LeBas on our website.