NEWBORN DISCHARGE INSTRUCTIONS
Congratulations on the birth of your baby, and on the prospect of taking him or her home for the first time!
Your New Beginnings Pediatrician, as well as your nurse at Delnor, will go over some instructions for the care of your baby on the day you are discharged. Here is a summary of the most important information:
WASH HANDS! Everyone who handles or goes near the baby must wash his or her hands first with soap and water or hand sanitizer, no exceptions.
People will want to visit you and your new bundle of joy. If anyone has obvious symptoms of a cold or cough or fever, that person should not visit, or at least not be near or holding the baby. This applies for the first two months. If mother has a cold or fever, she of course may care for her baby! Breastfeeding mothers may take Tylenol, ibuprofen, and most over-the-counter cold medications. Just use common sense and wash your hands frequently.
To the extent it is possible, try to avoid public places with your newborn, especially enclosed spaces like an airplane or a toddler birthday party. Avoid places where there are likely to be people who may have colds or other illnesses. This is most important in your baby’s first two months, and especially in the months of October through April. A walk in the park, or an evening outside, is fine, and your baby will be appropriately dressed in the same layers of clothing you are, plus one thin layer.
If you are worried your baby may be sick, call us. Symptoms in newborns can be subtle and hard to interpret, and we would rather have you call us than worry. For babies two months and younger, symptoms that warrant an immediate call, even in the middle of the night, include:
- temperature of 100 F or over, or less than 97.5 (taken rectally)
- inconsolable crying for an hour;
- failure to awaken or be aroused for two or more consecutive feedings;
- listlessness or lethargy;
- decreased feeding or number of wet diapers;
- throwing up after every feeding;
- blue discoloration around the mouth or lips;
- difficulty breathing or labored breathing.
Taking your baby’s temperature should be reserved for when you feel he or she is “acting sick” or “not right,” or if he or she feels warm or cold.
Again, please call us if you are concerned about the health of your baby!