Congratulations on the birth of your baby! Use this special time to start to get to know each other. Don’t worry if it all seems new—each day, you will learn more as your little one changes and grows.
Keeping Baby Healthy
Your baby will need medical tests to make sure he is healthy. At the hospital, he will probably have:
- A blood test. This is done with a tiny heel prick. Your baby will need another heel prick test when he is 2 weeks old. If you have not chosen a doctor for your baby, your doctor can tell you where to get this test.
- A hepatitis B shot.
- A hearing test.
Breastfeeding helps your baby have fewer infections and diseases. Breastmilk is the best food you can give your new baby because:
- It is made by your body to help your baby grow and stay healthy.
- Breastfeeding helps you lose the pregnancy weight.
- It is less expensive than formula.
- It lowers your baby’s risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).
- If you do not breastfeed, your baby should be given iron-fortified formula.
- If you need breastfeeding help, call the Texas Lactation Resource hotline at 1-800-514-6777.
Baby’s Hunger Cues
Babies can’t talk, but they do give us other signs about what they want and need. Your baby may be hungry if she:
- Moves, licks, or smacks her lips.
- Sucks on lips, finger, tongue, or fist.
- Opens her mouth when touched on the chin, cheeks, or lips.
- Shows excited arm or leg movements.
- Cries (this is a late sign of hunger).
Baby’s Fullness Cues
Your baby may be done eating when he:
- Turns his head away from the nipple.
- Stops sucking and closes his mouth.
- Relaxes his arms and hands.
Ask for Help
The doctors and nurses at the hospital want to answer your questions. They can help you know:
- If your baby is eating and sleeping enough.
- How to calm your baby when she cries.
- What to do if you are worried that your baby is sick.
Keeping Baby Safe
You are your baby’s first protector. Your baby needs you to help keep him safe from dangers and harm.
- Handle your baby gently. Support his head and neck when holding him.
- Never leave your baby alone on a changing table or high place where baby could fall.
- Keep your baby away from hot objects and liquids.
- Everyone should wash hands with soap and water before holding your baby. This is the most important thing you can do to keep your baby safe from germs.
Use a Car Seat
It’s the law, and it is safer for your baby.
- Buckle your baby in a rear-facing infant seat.
- Put the car seat in the back seat, in the middle if possible.
- Use the car seat even if your baby fusses. Talk or sing to your baby to help him stay calm and get used to the seat.
- For information or questions on car seat safety, call Safe Riders: 1-800-252-8255