Capitol Pediatrics :: Our Love for kids keeps growing

Capitol Pediatrics :: Our Love for kids keeps growing

Basic Newborn Information & Care

Bringing a newborn home is very exciting, yet at the same time it may cause some anxiety, especially for first time parents. Rest assured we are here to help you through this transition and provide the information and assistance you may need to make this experience enjoyable. Listed below are the answers to some common questions regarding newborn care.

Baby’s First Office Visit

Most infants will go home with their parents 2-3 days after they are born. The doctor will tell you before you are discharged when he or she would like you to bring the child in to our office for the first visit. We generally see all newborns within the first week after they are sent home from the hospital.


When you first get home, we recommend that you feed your baby every 2-3 hours during the day and night. Breast fed babies may feed every 1-2 hours initially while formula fed infants may feed every 2-4 hours (usually taking 1-2 ounces, or 30-60 milliliters. We strongly recommend that you feed your newborn no less than every 4 hours for the first 2 weeks of life.


During the first week of life, newborn infants may develop a yellowing of their skin called jaundice. Jaundice has multiple causes but most commonly is due to immaturity of the liver in the newborn period. We will check your infant for signs of jaundice before you leave the hospital. The timing of your infant’s first office visit will be based in part on the level of jaundice at the time of discharge. Frequent feeding and exposure to indirect sunlight are two ways to help your baby’s jaundice resolve more quickly. Occasionally, we may recommend that you supplement breast feedings with formula to help the jaundice resolve more quickly.

Umbilical Cord Care

Your infant’s umbilical cord will probably dry up and fall off within the first 2-3 weeks of life. We advise parents to gently clean the umbilical cord 4-6 times a day using a Q-Tip dipped in rubbing alcohol. This will keep the cord clean as well as help it fall off more quickly. If you notice any foul smelling drainage, watery drainage, redness, or swelling around the cord, please call our office immediately to schedule an appointment. If the cord has not fallen off within 2-3 weeks after birth, we also recommend that you bring your child in to be seen.


Fevers in newborns can be tricky and difficult to assess. Since infants are always bundled, they can have artificial rises in their temperature that can be mistaken for fever. Keep your infant comfortable by putting them in the same number of layers that you are comfortable in, along with a light swaddling blanket. If, however, you notice fussiness, decreased feeding, inconsolable crying for more than one hour, vomiting/diarrhea, cough or cold symptoms, or any other behavior changes in your baby, we advise that you check a rectal temperature on your child using a digital thermometer. If the thermometer reading is 100 degrees or higher, please call our office for an immediate appointment or speak with the on-call doctor if it is after hours. Fever in infants 2 months of age or younger can be serious and needs to be addressed immediately.


Until the umbilical cord falls off, your baby should not be bathed in a traditional tub in order to prevent the cord from getting wet. Use a wet washcloth to wipe your infant down, adding a small amount of gentle cleanser if there are heavy areas of soiling. Once the cord falls off, you can bathe your infant using a baby bath tub that supports their head and keeps them above the water level. We recommend bathing your infant and children using a mild, moisturizing soap such as Dove, Cetaphil, or Aveeno, using care to avoid getting soap in their eyes.