Boy Playing

Baby's First Night Home

Welcome home little one!  We are looking forward to seeing you at Village Pediatrics within a day or two of your arrival home.  But since your parents are on their own tonight, we thought we’d give them a couple of tips!
  1. Babies cannot sleep too  much.  In fact, many infants sleep up to 19 hours a day for the first few weeks.  Enjoy it!
  2. Your infant should be feeding every 1.5-3 hours until they are seen by us and can demonstrate that they have begun to put on weight (since many of them initially lose weight in the hospital)
  3. Look for 1 wet diaper per day of life.  Since most vaginal delivery newborns go home on day 3 of life, the goal is 3 urine diapers on that day.  This rule peaks at 6 days.
  4. Don’t panic if you’re breastfeeding and your breasts feel flat.  Milk typically comes in day 4-5.  In addition, many infants feed so frequently the breasts hardly have time to refill and will feel soft.  Monitor urine and stool output as a marker of good feeding.  Visit us within 48 hours of discharge as your baby’s weight and exam will tell us if your milk is adequate.
  5. Babies can sense nervousness.  Relax and enjoy.  You’re never going to do everything right, but if you follow your instincts and call us with questions you are going to do well.  Babies respond well to calm, confident demeanors.
  6. Babies like to be rocked, held, swaddled, etc.  Remember they just emerged from a 9 month long hot tub stay!  While it’s never a bad thing to put them down to help them learn to have alone time (sleeping, looking at mobile, etc), it’s also not unusual for infants to like to be held a lot in the first month of life.  You’re not going to set any patterns that can’t be undone by holding them (no matter what your mother in law says!)
  7. Some infants spend the first night at home awake!  The sleep-wake cycle in infants is not set for day and night, sometimes for the entire first month.  Many infants will seem more awake at night.  Don’t try to keep them awake during the day to counteract this – sleep begets sleep.  Try to jump in bed during the day when they do sleep.  Don’t feel guilty if you snooze while they gaze happily at their mobile while awake in the middle of the night.  The most important thing is a parent who can function.
  8. Some favorite reading materials include,
    • Happy Baby, Healthy Sleep Habits by Marc Weissbluth
    • Your Baby’s First Year by the American Academy of Pediatrics
    • Nursing Mother’s Handbook