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Caring for your Breastfed Baby

Medically reviewed by Drugs.com. Last updated on Apr 2, 2024.

How should I feed my baby?

It is best to give your baby only breast milk (no formula) for the first 6 months of life. Breastfeeding is still important after your baby starts to eat solid food.

How do I help my baby latch on correctly?

Help your baby move his or her head to reach your breast. Hold the nape of his or her neck to help him or her latch onto your breast. Touch his or her top lip with your nipple and wait for him or her to open his or her mouth wide. Your baby's lower lip and chin should touch the areola (dark area around the nipple) first. Help him or her get as much of the areola in his or her mouth as possible. You should feel as if your baby will not separate from your breast easily. A correct latch helps your baby get the right amount of milk at each feeding. Allow your baby to breastfeed for as long as he or she is able.

Correct Latch-on Breastfeeding

How do I know if my baby is latched on correctly?

How do I burp my baby?

Your baby may swallow air when he or she sucks from your breast. This can cause gas pain. Burp him or her when you switch breasts and again when he or she is finished feeding. Your baby may spit up when he or she burps. This is normal. Hold your baby in any of the following positions to help him or her burp:

How do I change my baby's diaper?

Umbilical Cord Care

What do I need to know about my baby's breathing?

How do I care for my baby's umbilical cord stump?

Your baby's umbilical cord stump dries and falls off in about 7 to 21 days, leaving a belly button. If your baby's stump gets dirty from urine or bowel movement, wash it off right away with water. Gently pat the stump dry. This will help prevent infection around your baby's cord stump. Fold the front of the diaper down below the cord stump to let it air dry. Do not cover or pull at the cord stump.

Umbilical Cord Healing

How do I care for my baby's circumcision?

Your baby boy's penis may have a plastic ring that will come off within 8 days. His penis may be covered with gauze and petroleum jelly. Keep your baby's penis as clean as possible. Clean it with warm water only. Gently blot or squeeze the water from a wet cloth or cotton ball onto the penis. Do not use soap or diaper wipes to clean the circumcision area. This could sting or irritate your baby's penis. Your baby's penis should heal in about 7 to 10 days.

How do I clean my baby's ears and nose?

What should I do when my baby cries?

Crying is your baby's way of talking to you. He or she may cry because he or she is hungry. He or she may have a wet diaper, or be hot or cold. You will get to know your baby's different cries. It can be hard to listen to your baby cry and not be able to calm him or her down. Ask for help and take a break if you feel stressed or overwhelmed. Never shake your baby to try to stop his or her crying. This can cause blindness or brain damage. The following may help comfort him or her:

How can I keep my baby safe when he or she sleeps?

How can I keep my baby safe in the car?

Always buckle your baby into a car seat when you drive. Make sure you have a safety seat that meets the federal safety standards. It is very important to install the safety seat properly in your car and to always use it correctly. Ask for more information about child safety seats.

Child Safety Seat

Call your local emergency number (911 in the US) if:

When should I seek immediate care?

When should I call my baby's doctor?

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your baby's care. Learn about your baby's health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your baby's healthcare providers to decide what care you want for your baby. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

© Copyright Merative 2024 Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes.

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