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Here are some suggestions from Bright Futures experts that may be of value to your family.
If you are worried about your living or food situation, talk with us. Community agencies and programs such as WIC and SNAP can also provide information and assistance.
Ask us for help if you have been hurt by your partner or another important person in your life. Hotlines and community agencies can also provide confidential help.
Tobacco-free spaces keep children healthy. Don’t smoke or use e-cigarettes. Keep your home and car smoke-free.
Don’t use alcohol or drugs.
Check your home for mold and radon. Avoid using pesticides.
Feed your baby only breast milk or iron-fortified formula until she is about 6 months old.
Avoid feeding your baby solid foods, juice, and water until she is about 6 months old.
Feed your baby when she is hungry. Look for her to
Put her hand to her mouth.
Suck or root.
Stop feeding when you see your baby is full. You can tell when she
Closes her mouth
Relaxes her arms and hands
Know that your baby is getting enough to eat if she has more than 5 wet diapers and at least 3 soft stools each day and is gaining weight appropriately.
Burp your baby during natural feeding breaks.
Hold your baby so you can look at each other when you feed her.
Always hold the bottle. Never prop it.
Feed your baby on demand generally every 1 to 3 hours during the day and every 3 hours at night.
Give your baby vitamin D drops (400 IU a day).
Continue to take your prenatal vitamin with iron.
Eat a healthy diet.
If Formula Feeding
Always prepare, heat, and store formula safely. If you need help, ask us.
Feed your baby 24 to 27 oz of formula a day. If your baby is still hungry, you can feed her more.
Take care of yourself so you have the energy to care for your baby. Remember to go for your post-birth checkup.
If you feel sad or very tired for more than a few days, let us know or call someone you trust for help.
Find time for yourself and your partner.
Hold and cuddle your baby often.
Enjoy playtime with your baby. Put him on his tummy for a few minutes at a time when he is awake.
Never leave him alone on his tummy or use tummy time for sleep.
When your baby is crying, comfort him by talking to, patting, stroking, and rocking him. Consider offering him a pacifier.
Never hit or shake your baby.
Take his temperature rectally, not by ear or skin. A fever is a rectal temperature of 100.4°F/38.0°C or higher. Call our office if you have any questions or concerns.
Wash your hands often.
Use a rear-facing–only car safety seat in the back seat of all vehicles.
Never put your baby in the front seat of a vehicle that has a passenger airbag.
Make sure your baby always stays in her car safety seat during travel. If she becomes fussy or needs to feed, stop the vehicle and take her out of her seat.
Your baby’s safety depends on you. Always wear your lap and shoulder seat belt. Never drive after drinking alcohol or using drugs. Never text or use a cell phone while driving.
Always put your baby to sleep on her back in her own crib, not in your bed.
Your baby should sleep in your room until she is at least 6 months old.
Make sure your baby’s crib or sleep surface meets the most recent safety guidelines.
Don’t put soft objects and loose bedding such as blankets, pillows, bumper pads, and toys in the crib.
Swaddling should be used only with babies younger than 2 months.
If you choose to use a mesh playpen, get one made after February 28, 2013.
Keep hanging cords or strings away from your baby. Don’t let your baby wear necklaces or bracelets.
Always keep a hand on your baby when changing diapers or clothing on a changing table, couch, or bed.
Learn infant CPR. Know emergency numbers. Prepare for disasters or other unexpected events by having an emergency plan.
We will talk about
Taking care of your baby, your family, and yourself
Getting back to work or school and finding child care
Getting to know your baby
Feeding your baby
Keeping your baby safe at home and in the car
The information contained in this handout should not be used as a substitute for the medical care and advice of your pediatrician. There may be variations in treatment that your pediatrician may recommend based on individual facts and circumstances. Original handout included as part of the Bright Futures Tool and Resource Kit, 2nd Edition.
Listing of resources does not imply an endorsement by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). The AAP is not responsible for the content of external resources. Information was current at the time of publication.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) does not review or endorse any modifications made to this handout and in no event shall the AAP be liable for any such changes.
© 2019 American Academy of Pediatrics. All rights reserved.