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Frequent Questions about Newborns

As a new parent, it is normal to have many questions about how to care for your baby. Friends, family and your pediatric healthcare provider can be great sources of information. Here are answers to some of the most common questions new parents ask.

Should I breastfeed or formula-feed?

Breastfeeding is the best nutrition for your baby. Breastfeeding provides all the protein, sugar, fat, and vitamins your baby needs to be healthy and helps protect your baby against certain diseases and infections. Research also suggests that breastfeeding may help protect against Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).

Breast milk is easier for babies to digest costs nothing to make and is always in supply. Breastfeeding also provides physical contact, warmth, and closeness, which helps to create a special bond between mother and her baby. For mothers, breastfeeding burns more calories, which helps you get back to your pre-pregnancy weight, reduces the risk of ovarian cancer, and in premenopausal women, helps prevent breast cancer.

Give it a try, Breastfeeding can be tough at first, but the benefits really are worth it. And once you've got the hang of it, you still have the option of also using formula if you need to. Many moms combine breast and bottle-feeding.

How often should I feed my baby?

Breastfed babies tend to feed more often than formula-fed babies, usually 8 to 12 times per day. The main reason for this is that their stomachs empty much more quickly because breast milk is so easy to digest.

Initially, your newborn will probably nurse every couple of hours, regardless of whether it's day or night. Let your baby feed on demand - that is, whenever he is hungry.  

How do I know if the baby is getting enough to eat?

By about one week of age,  a well-nourished breastfed baby will have six to eight diapers per day and three or four with stool. Infants who are well fed will usually gain 4 to 5 ounces per week for the first few weeks, and an average of 1 to 2 pounds per month for the first six months. As a general guideline, a formula-fed infant will usually consume an average of 2 to 3 ounces of formula per pound per day.

Where should the baby sleep?

The American Academy of Pediatrics strongly recommends all babies be put to sleep on their backs to reduce the risk Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). 

A traditional crib that conforms to U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission standards is best - look for the JPMA (Juvenile Product Manufacturers Association) certified sticker. Supine (wholly on their backs) confers the lowest risk and is preferred. If you choose to have your baby sleep in the bed with you in order to breastfeed, make sure your baby sleeps on his/her back. Avoid soft surfaces, pillows, and loose bed covers. Make ensure your baby can't get trapped between the mattress and the framework of the bed (headboard/footboard), a wall, or other furniture.
Should I use a Pacifier?

The need to suck is present in all infants. Some infants suck their thumbs even before they are born, and some will do it right after being born. Pacifiers do not cause any medical or psychological problems. If your baby wants to suck beyond what nursing or bottle-feeding provides, a pacifier will satisfy that need. Offer a pacifier only after or between feedings, only when you are sure your baby is not hungry.

Some babies use a pacifier to fall asleep. The trouble is, they often wake up when it falls out of their mouths. Some babies who suck their fingers or hands have a real advantage here because their hands are always readily available. 

Should I have my child (or baby) vaccinated?

The diseases that vaccines protect against are a very real threat. The odds of your child becoming ill from not being vaccinated are much higher than the odds of having a serious reaction to a shot. Over the years, rumors have linked vaccines to SIDS, autism, and other problems, but no cause and effect has ever been substantiated, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Talk to your healthcare provider about your child's vaccination options and schedule.

Disclaimer: the purpose of this entire website is for informational purpose only. It is not intended to advise on medical treatment. For medical purpose, treatment or advice consult directly with your healthcare provider.