Caring for Your Newborn: Five Expert Tips from a Pediatrician
Dr. Jen Trachtenberg, Pediatrician and children’s health expert, is a paid spokesperson for Culturelle®. The information provided herein is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be construed as medical advice or to replace professional medical care. You should always seek the advice of a medical professional before starting any new medication or dietary supplement. The opinions stated herein are those solely of the writer and do not portray the opinions of the Culturelle® brand, i-Health, Inc., or DSM.
What’s not to love about a newborn baby? If you’re a new mom—and even if you’re a mom who’s been there before—there’s a good chance you’re nervous and stressed out about keeping your newborn healthy. Pediatrician and children’s health expert Dr. Jen Trachtenberg° offers up five doctor-approved tips to help you and your baby rest easier.
Tip #1: Nighttime Routines and Rituals
It's never too early to start a nighttime routine. Babies start out having their days and nights mixed up and generally sleep more and longer during the day for the first month or two. Having an evening routine such as bathing, infant massage, feeding and then a few lullabies can help your baby transition to sleep. Remember to keep lights low and noise to a minimum at night.
Tip #2: Feeding Fast Facts
Is my baby getting enough to eat? This is a very common concern for new moms. Here are a few signs your baby is well-fed or ready for more:
- Whether breastfeeding or formula feeding, your baby should have frequent wet diapers—at least 4 to 6 daily.
- In between feedings, babies should sleep, or appear content or playful.
- When babies are hungry, they may begin smacking their lips together, turning their head toward your breast or looking around for their bottle.
- Crying can be a late sign of hunger.
Tip #3: Routine Checkups Are Key
Maintaining routine checkups is one of the most important things you can do to ensure your baby's health. These visits with your pediatrician not only provide vital information (i.e. height, weight, head circumference) to make sure your baby is growing at a healthy rate, they also help you stay up-to-date on vaccines that can prevent many serious childhood illnesses.
The checkup is also an opportunity for you to get your specific baby questions answered, and address any concerns you may have. It helps to prepare in advance—jot down your questions before the appointment and bring the list with you so you don’t forget anything you want to ask.
Tip #4: Supplements Simplified
You can see your baby growing on the outside, but inside their immune system is developing as well. Breastfeeding positively influences the type and amounts of healthy bacteria in the baby's digestive tract, whereas antibiotics can negatively impact the balance between good and non-beneficial bacteria. This imbalance can potentially lead to gas, fussiness, crying, eczema and food allergies. Giving your baby a daily probiotic such as Culturelle® Baby Calm + Comfort with 100% Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG® —the #1 studied probiotic strain in infants††—can help reduce fussiness and crying related to occasional digestive upset and help support your baby's developing digestive system and immune system.*
Tip #5: Tummy Time for Play
I can't stress enough the importance of putting babies to sleep on their backs to avoid SIDS. However, it is also important to give some daily tummy time to your baby to help build strength. Just start out a few minutes a day until they get used to it. You can use a playmat or simply lay them across your lap or chest. Have fun making silly faces and sounds at your baby, stick out your tongue and you'll see very soon they will do the same. Enjoy!
Caring for a new baby can seem scary and overwhelming at first. But remember, there are many other new moms out there right now, feeling just like you! You are not alone—seek the support and guidance you need, and know that your pediatrician is a great resource to help you and your baby thrive.