New-Born Care

Parenting For A New BornĀ 

How can we care for your child at home?


  • Feed your baby on demand. This means that you should breastfeed or bottle-feed your baby whenever they seem hungry. Do not set a schedule.
  • During the first 2 weeks, your baby will breastfeed at least 8 times in a 24-hour period. Formula-fed babies may need fewer feedings, at least 6 every 24 hours.
  • These early feedings often are short. Sometimes, a newborn nurse or drinks from a bottle only for a few minutes. Feedings gradually will last longer.
  • You may have to wake your sleepy baby to feed in the first few days after birth.


  • Always put your baby to sleep on their back, not the stomach. This lowers the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
  • Most babies sleep for about 18 hours each day. They wake for a short time at least every 2 to 3 hours.
  • Newborns have some moments of active sleep. The baby may make sounds or seem restless. This happens about every 50 to 60 minutes and usually lasts a few minutes.
  • At first, your baby may sleep through loud noises. Later, noises may wake your baby.
  • When your newborn wakes up, they usually will be hungry and will need to be fed.

Diaper changing and bowel habits

  • Try to check your baby’s diaper at least every 2 hours. If it needs to be changed, do it as soon as you can. That will help prevent diaper rash.
  • Your newborn’s wet and soiled diapers can give you clues about your baby’s health. Babies can become dehydrated if they’re not getting enough breast milk or formula or if they lose fluid because of diarrhea, vomiting, or a fever.
  • For the first few days, your baby may have about 3 wet diapers a day. After that, expect 6 or more wet diapers a day throughout the first month of life. It can be hard to tell when a diaper is wet if you use disposable diapers. If you can’t tell, put a piece of tissue in the diaper. It will be wet when your baby urinates.
  • Keep track of what bowel habits are normal or usual for your child.

Umbilical cord care

  • Keep your baby’s diaper folded below the stump. If that doesn’t work well, before you put the diaper on your baby, cut out a small area near the top of the diaper to keep the cord open to the air.
  • To keep the cord dry, give your baby a sponge bath instead of bathing your baby in a tub or sink.

The stump should fall off within a week or two.