Common Questions About Infants Answered

Common Questions About Infants Answered

Newborns are just wonderful bundles of joy.  There are some questions though that may arise in your newborns little life that you just don’t know what to do about.  Since your baby can’t communicate to you it can be hard to see what they are wanting or needing. Also even if it isn’t your first baby, no two babies are alike.  Here are some of the most common questions about babies answered. 

 

When will the umbilical cord fall off? 

 

There is no exact time of when the umbilical cord stump will fall off.  It can happen as early as five days after birth and take as long as three weeks.  Usually it will fall off two weeks after birth. If the cord is pulled off too soon it can start bleeding, so make sure you do not try to pull the stump off even if it is hanging by a thread.  Keep the umbilical cord dry, make sure you are just giving your baby sponge baths until it has fallen off. The cord will dry out and fall off on its own if it hasn’t after four weeks after birth call your pediatrician there could be something wrong.  If the umbilical cord looks like it is red, or yellow pus starts coming from it, call your doctor there may be an infection. 

 

When does teething start? 

 

The dreaded teething, where your child may become extra fussy, unable to be soothed, having a loss of appetite, having trouble sleeping, biting or sucking more, drooling buckets, or have a rash around their mouths.  Usually babies don’t get their first tooth until month 5 or 6. But the teething process can actually start as early as 2 months.  

 

When can I start my baby on solid foods?

 

Starting solid foods is truly dependent on your baby.  Every baby is different but you can look for certain things to see if your child is ready.  Around four months when your baby can hold its head up on its own will be a good time to start looking to see if your baby is ready for some purees.  Another indicator that your baby is ready is if they open their mouth up when food comes their way. Make sure when you start feeding your baby you start with one new food at a time.  Make sure they do ok with a food before moving onto something else. This will help you indicate if they have a food allergy. After purees and your baby can sit up all by themselves, and bring their hands to their mouths you can start on some finger foods.  Make sure with finger foods the pieces are chopped up small, and that the foods are still soft such as scrambled eggs, or a cut up banana will help your baby not choke.

 

When will my baby sleep through the night? 

 

As a new parent all you want is more sleep than 2-3 hour increments.  The idea of your child sleeping through the night cannot come too soon. Sadly sleeping through the night all depends on your baby.  When they are ready to sleep through the night they will. It can happen as early as three months, or take as long as up to a year before your baby will sleep fully through the night.  The main reason a baby will wake up in the middle of the night is because they are hungry. So once you can get their appetite curbed to where they can make it multiple hours through the night you should be on the way to get your baby to sleep through the night. 

 

Poo? What color? What consistency? How often? How much?  

 

You truly become a parent when you are more concerned about your baby’s poop than anything else.  It is so easy to go change a diaper and think hmmm that looks strange. Color can range from brown, to yellowy, to green and be ok.  Pediatrician’s say that they don’t worry about poop color unless it is black, white, or bright red from blood. Consistency can be from a bit watery loose stools, to the thickness of peanut butter.  You only need to worry about consistency when it is water diarrhea, or extremely hard like rabbit poop which means your child could be constipated. How often and how much depends on your baby. They may poop after every meal, once a day, twice a week, or even a little as once a week.  As long as your baby is having at least 6 wet diapers a day, if they only poop once a week that is ok. Poop schedules differ for adults so of course they can differ for babies too.  

 

What is colic? 

 

Colic is when a healthy baby cries for a long period of time constantly without being able to be soothed.  The crying period is longer than normal and usually seems to happen during the evening and nighttime hours.  Colic usually only lasts for the first three months of your baby’s life and they usually will grow out of it.  If you see your baby is collicy you can try laying your baby in a dark room on his back and letting him cry it out for a bit.  Other things to try are swaddling them, having them lay across your lap and patting their back, infant massage, water water bottle on their belly, pacifier, or a warm bath.  If your baby’s crying gets to you and you can’t take it, put them in a safe place like their crib and walk away for a minute. Crying does not hurt your baby, shaking your baby can hurt them so make sure you compose yourself before going back or if you need help ask for it from a spouse, family member or friend. 

 

How many layers should my baby wear inside? 

 

It’s sometimes hard to tell how warm you need to dress your baby.  Just because you are comfortable in shorts and a t-shirt does not mean that is enough to keep your baby warm.  Babies lose heat faster than adults, and they don’t have as much insulation to keep their bodies warm. When it is cold make sure your baby has a hat on, babies lose most their heat through their heads and hands.

Here’s a quick guide on what your baby should wear to sleep.

  • 80℉ your baby can wear just a diaper.   
  • 78℉ baby can be in a short sleeved onesie.  
  • 75-77℉ baby can be in a onesie plus a sleep sack. 
  • 71-74℉ baby can be in footie pajamas plus sleepsack. 
  • 69-70℉ baby can be in a onesie, pajamas, and sleepsack. 
  • 64-68℉ baby can be in a long sleeved onesie, pajamas, and sleepsack. 
  • 61-63℉ baby should wear long sleeved onesie, pajamas, sleepsack and socks(even if pajamas are footies).
  • Under 60℉ baby should wear long sleeved onesie, pajamas, sleepsack, socks, hat and gloves.  

Another tip is whatever you have on, add one more layer for your little one.  If you are in short sleeves and sweatpants, your baby can be in a short sleeved onesie, sweatpants and a sweatshirt. 

 

How to bathe a newborn? 

 

When your  baby is just born you will want to sponge bathe them until the umbilical cord falls off.  Make sure you do this in a warm room that doesn’t have any drafts. Keep the door shut while bathing so your baby doesn’t become too cold.  When sponge bathing do it in sections, start with baby’s face first, wash, rinse and dry thoroughly. Then move on to the torso, repeating the steps wash, rinse, and dry before moving on to the lower half.  Once your baby’s body is completely washed and dried, bundle them up completely in a towel and then wash their hair. Make sure to dry in all the crevices. Once the umbilical cord has fallen off your baby can be submerged into the water.  Use a baby tub or a bath seat to make this easier. Fill the tub full of about 3-4 inches of water is plenty. Make sure the water isn’t too hot or too cold, you can use a water thermometer if you need help testing the water. The temperature of the water should be just above 100℉, this will help keep your baby from becoming too cold.  After your baby is all clean, lift them out of the water straight into a towel. Make sure when you undress your baby to get into the tub, you undress where the tub is and immediately into the water so they don’t get too chilly. 

 

Having a newborn at home can be a lot.  This is not even nearly grazing the surface of questions you may have when you are raising your new baby.  Hopefully these will help ease some of your questions. If you have any questions or concerns, reach out to your baby’s doctor and ask them. 


When it is cold make sure your baby has a hat on, babies lose most of their heat through their heads and hands.

Sources:
newsday.com
babygaga.com
mayoclinic
emidicinehealth.com
healthychildren.org
healthline.com

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HealthStatus has been operating since 1998 providing the best interactive health tools on the Internet, millions of visitors have used our blood alcohol, body fat and calories burned calculators.

The HealthStatus editorial team has continued that commitment to excellence by providing our visitors with easy to understand high quality health content for many years.

Our team of health professionals, and researchers use peer reviewed studies as source elements in our articles.

Our high quality content has been featured in a number of leading websites, USA Today, the Chicago Tribune, Live Strong, GQ, and many more.

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HealthStatus has been operating since 1998 providing the best interactive health tools on the Internet, millions of visitors have used our blood alcohol, body fat and calories burned calculators. The HealthStatus editorial team has continued that commitment to excellence by providing our visitors with easy to understand high quality health content for many years. Our team of health professionals, and researchers use peer reviewed studies as source elements in our articles. Our high quality content has been featured in a number of leading websites, USA Today, the Chicago Tribune, Live Strong, GQ, and many more.

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