Before you go home with your newborn, there are a few things you need to have ready at your home, and a few skills you'll need to know how to do.
- Wash your hands before eating and after using the restroom.
- Wash hands with soap and water for 15 seconds or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer and rub your hands together until dry.
- To prevent the spread of all respiratory infections, including ﬂu, use a tissue to cover your cough and sneeze. Dispose of your tissue in the trash.
- Keep room temperature comfortable, 70-80°F.
- Shade face from sun; use a blanket when taking baby outside.
- Limit visitors to prevent overstimulating your baby.
- Keep your baby away from large crowds.
- People with a fever blister or cold sore should not hold or kiss your baby.
- While sneezing is common in newborns, try to keep the baby’s room free from dust.
- Use a cold water vaporizer for very dry air; do not use a hot water vaporizer.
- When driving, always buckle your baby in a car seat used according to manufacturer’s instructions.
- Keep small items such as pins and buttons away from your baby.
- Never leave baby unattended on a surface.
- Keep pillows and plastic articles out of your baby’s bed to prevent suff ocation.
- Never prop bottle and leave your baby alone; your baby could choke.
- Do not warm baby bottle in the microwave. Hot spots could burn your baby’s throat.
- Keep pets away from your baby.
- Never leave your baby in the bath unattended and keep one hand on baby at all times during the bath.
- Do not use baby powder.
- Do not smoke around your baby.
- Keep your baby’s immunization shots up to date according to your doctor’s advice.
- Take temperature under the arm (axillary) unless your doctor requests it taken rectally.
- Digital thermometers are preferred for young babies less than 3 months of age.
- Mercury thermometers are not recommended.
- Place thermometer under arm and hold arm securely across chest.
- Apply lubricant to thermometer tip.
- Place baby on tummy.
- Insert thermometer into rectum just to the metal end of the thermometer.
- Hold the thermometer securely.
- Support baby across back and legs so baby does not kick to hold the thermometer in place. Hold the buttocks together to support the thermometer.
Bulb syringe (suction bulb)
- Squeeze air out of bulb before placing in mouth or nose.
- Insert bulb into space below cheek and gums, and slowly release the bulb to suck out mucus.
- Do not insert bulb directly to back of throat.
- Remove bulb from mouth, squeeze bulb to empty it, and prepare to repeat.
- Always suction mouth before nose.
- Repeat procedure until airway is clear and baby’s cry does not sound bubbly.
- Cuddle and reassure baby when ﬁnished suctioning.
- Clean bulb with hot soapy water after each use to decrease bacteria growth.
- Do not use bulb for anything else or on any other baby.