Pediatrician Answers 14 Common Questions About Newborns

First pediatrician visits: 14 common questions
Here are some of the most common questions parents ask about their newborns.

Related: How to make a pediatrician’s appointment stress-free for your children

  1. Is it normal that babies sleep a lot during the day?
    Yes and no. Although newborns sleep a lot we expect them wake up every 2 to 3 hour to eat and stay awake for some time. They will sleep, wake up, eat and sleep again. This pattern is normal. If the baby doesn’t wake up on its own, cannot stay awake, does not gain weight, or shows symptoms of infection, then there could be another problem. Call your doctor if you’re worried about your baby’s sleeping patterns. We are here to help.
  2. Do I produce enough breast milk to feed my baby? How can I tell if my child is getting enough breast milk?
    This question is very common, especially when the baby is breastfed. Answer depends on a number of factors but is usually yes. I remind all new mothers that their bodies are designed to produce milk. We should be able to produce enough milk for our babies if we stimulate ourselves enough. A newborn should be fed every 2 to 3 hours. If your baby is happy between feeds and is eating and pooping regularly, and waking up to feed as needed, and gaining weight, then I’d say that you are making enough milk. Call your doctor to have them check the weight of your baby if you are concerned.

Related: Newborn nursing: Your guide to the First Week of Nursing

  1. Can I spoil my child by holding him too tightly?
    Nope. Holding and cuddling babies is what they are made for, so don’t be shy! It’s impossible to spoil a baby by showing them too much affection. This is also great for attachment and bonding.

Related: How babywearing helped me save my motherhood

  1. What color should the poop of my baby be?
    Normal can range from mustard yellow, to green or brown. The color of the breast milk depends on whether the baby was breastfed or formula-fed. Also, the amount of foremilk and hindmilk in the breastmilk can vary. Try not to be worried. If there is any blood or the stool is black in color, call your pediatrician.

Refer to the 1-month-old Baby Health & Growth Guide

  1. Is my child too hot or too cold?
    Baby’s are more difficult to regulate their body temperature. If you are cold or hot, it’s likely that your baby will be too. Dressing babies in layers is another good rule. You should dress your baby in layers.
  2. Is it normal that my baby moves constantly while sleeping?
    Yes. According to experts, the brain develops best when you spend time in active sleep, also known as REM.

Expert advice on the sleep schedule for a 1-week-old infant

  1. What is normal for my child to cough? To sneeze or not to sneeze.
    If your baby is coughing or sneezing, you should call your doctor if the symptoms persist, or are accompanied by other worrying symptoms such as a fever, or rapid breathing.

RSV: What parents should know

  1. What makes my baby sound like Darth Vader
    Mucous is usually found in the nose to help filter impurities and protect us from harmful substances. The same is true for a baby’s nasal cavity. One small booger, however, can block the entire nostril. You can either clean their nose using saline or a nose bulb, as long as the child is otherwise healthy. Bothered? Speak to your doctor.
  2. Why is my baby making such a lot of noise?
    Newborns can be loud. Newborns grunt, sigh and do all kinds of funny sounds. It’s something I didn’t realize until after I had my first child. I spent many sleepless nights staring at the baby, convinced that something was wrong. It’s completely normal. Babys have short sleep cycles. They cycle in and out every 50 minutes. They may make noises or move as they enter lighter sleep.

Related: Motherhood: Hearing your baby cry, even when they are not around

  1. Should my baby have a belly like this?
    Usually, yes. Baby’s bellies are large and soft. If your baby’s stomach looks like that of a frog, it is probably normal. Is it hard or distended? It’s possible they need to poop or have gas. Or it could be more serious. If it persists, you should consult your doctor.
  2. Can I bring my baby outside the house?
    When you’re ready, sure. It’s never too early or too late to bring your baby outside. If you feel comfortable, go ahead. Remember that your baby is susceptible to colds, so keep them away from enclosed or crowded places until their 2 month check-up.

Related: 10 important rules to follow when visiting a new-born

  1. Why does my baby spit all the time?
    The question is how much your baby is bothered by it. It’s okay if they spit up, but otherwise seem happy. They spit up, but then get very fussy. Talk to your pediatrician about it. Call your doctor as well if you notice that the spit-up is very violent, green or bloody like a Christmas Tree.
  2. What causes my baby to have eye discharges? What causes eye discharge?
    Most likely not. Clogged tear ducts can cause yellow-green, watery discharge in the eye. Their eyes should be normal, but not red. Also, their eyelids shouldn’t be swollen. This usually resolves within 9 months. Consult your pediatrician if the eye becomes red, swollen, or if the discharge changes.
  3. What’s wrong with my baby?
    Baby’s skin is sensitive and prone to some normal, but not alarming, rashes. These baby rashes usually go away within a few days. Ask your pediatrician for advice if you’re concerned. When babies are young, I recommend using hypoallergenic detergents and soaps without added colors or fragrances to reduce the risk of irritation.

The little miracles that are newborns can be confusing. But don’t worry. You are doing a great job. If you need our help, please call us.