Dr. M.J. Bazos, MD, Patient Handout
Newborn Anticipatory Guidance

• Extra water is not necessary. Breastmilk and/or iron-containing infant formulas are primarily water and thus the baby does not need extra water. Any extra fluid will just occupy space in the infant's stomach causing him to be less hungry for nutritious breastmilk or formula.
• Additional vitamins are not necessary with breast or formula feedings in the first four to six months after birth. Infants who are exclusively breast-fed beyond four to six months of age may, however, need additional dietary supplements as breast-milk is deficient in protein, iron, and zinc.
• No tub baths (where the infant is submerged in water) are recommended until the cord separates- use sponge baths until cord separation.
• Hot water temperature should be set at 49 degrees Celsius to prevent burn injuries.
• The baby should NEVER be shaken for any reason as this can cause extensive brain damage and even death.
• Fevers - anything over 38 degrees Celsius - need immediate attention. Babies in the first two months of life who have fevers need to be evaluated as they can have potentially serious or even life-threatening infections with minimal or no other signs or symptoms. The ideal way to take a baby's temperature is to undress the infant and leave exposed to room temperature for one minute, then place a regular glass bulb thermometer in the armpit (axilla) for 3 minutes with the infant's arm held next to his body. The temperature is then read directly off the thermometer - anything over 38 degrees Celsius is worrisome.
• Use a car seat in the back seat facing backwards until the baby is 9 kilograms in weight and is one year of age. Never put children less than twelve years of age in the front seat in cars with dual airbags.
• No smoking around the baby. Keep the baby's environment free of smoke. Make the home and car nonsmoking zones. Passive smoking has been shown to be directly related to increased numbers of ear and upper and lower respiratory tract infections as well as an irritant to the child's airways.
• Pacifiers can be used but should be commercially available pacifiers not home-made using a bottle nipple occluded with paper or cardboard or any other substance, as these can be sucked through the nipple opening and cause aspiration and significant problems. If you are breast feeding limit feedings to no more than 15 minutes on each breast per feeding - any more than that and the infant is simply using you as a pacifier. This can cause the breasts to become tender and make breast feeding less than enjoyable for you.
• Ensure that the baby's crib is safe. The slats should be no more than 5.8 cm apart, and the mattress should be firm and fit snugly into the crib. Keep the sides of the crib raised. Do not put the baby to sleep on a soft surface such as a waterbed, couch, or pillow. The baby should be allowed to sleep in his own bed from day one and should not be allowed to sleep with mother or father.
• Do not leave the baby alone in a tub of water or on high places such as changing tables, beds, sofas, or chairs. Always keep one hand on the baby.
• Put the baby to sleep on his back to decrease the possibility of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome).
• Do not drink hot liquids or smoke while holding the baby as he could easily get burned..
• Test the water temperature with your wrist to make sure it is not hot before bathing the baby.
• Never leave the baby alone or with a young sibling or pet.
• Avoid overexposure to the sun. Babies’ sensitive skin is very susceptible to sunburn and as their sweat glands are not developed, they do not have the ability to cool their skin as efficiently as do adults – often resulting in hyperthermia, heat stroke or exhaustion. Sunscreens are recommended for children over 6 months of age but not for infants.
• The next office visit should be at 10 days of age. By this time most infants have regained their birthweight after a normal expected loss of up to 10% of their birthweight