Health Information

Normal Newborn

  • Bathing and Skin Care for the Newborn

    Bath time is a great time to bond with your newborn while keeping his or her skin healthy and cuddly soft. Get the facts—and proper supplies—to make these moments safe and enjoyable for both you and baby.

  • Normal Newborn Behaviors and Activities

    Detailed information on normal newborn behaviors and activities

  • Newborn Reflexes

    Ever wonder why your baby flings his arms out sideways when startled? This reaction—called the Moro reflex—is one of many natural reflexes your newborn should exhibit. Read on to learn about common newborn reflexes and what they mean.

  • Newborn Senses

    Babies are born with all 5 senses—sight, hearing, smell, taste, and touch. Some of the senses are not fully developed.

  • Newborn Sleep Patterns

    New parents are often unsure how long and how often a newborn should sleep. Read on to learn about general newborn sleep patterns, the quiet alert phases, and how to help your baby fall asleep.

  • Your Baby and Breastfeeding

    Think there’s only one way to breastfeed? You can position your baby in several ways during feeding time that can be comfortable for both of you.

  • Breastmilk Is Best

    Your milk contains just the right balance of nutrients in a form most easily used by your baby's immature body systems.

  • Breastfeeding: Getting Started

    The first weeks of breastfeeding should be considered a learning period for both you and your baby. Here's what you need to know.

  • Effective Sucking

    It’s important for your baby’s health to be able to effectively remove milk from your breast during nursing. To do this, your baby must learn the proper way to suck. But how do you know if your baby is actually getting the nutrition he or she needs? Here’s a guide to help you.

  • Bottle-Feeding

    Detailed information on bottle-feeding, including information on the different types of baby formulas.

  • Baby's Care After a Cesarean Delivery

    Because babies born by cesarean may have difficulty clearing some of the lung fluid and mucus, extra suctioning of the nose, mouth, and throat are often needed.

  • When a Baby Has Difficulty After Birth

    Some babies may have difficulty at birth. These include babies who are born prematurely, have a difficult delivery, or have birth defects.

  • Baby's Care in the Delivery Room

    A newborn baby is wet from the amniotic fluid and can easily become cold. Drying the baby and using warm blankets and heat lamps can help prevent heat loss. Often a knitted hat is placed on the baby's head.

  • Baby's Care After Birth

    Detailed information on baby's care after birth

  • Baby's Care After a Vaginal Delivery

    Healthy babies born in a vaginal delivery are usually able to stay with the mother. In many cases, immediate newborn assessments are performed right in the mother's room.

  • Circumcision

    Whether you decided to have your baby boy circumcised or not, it’s important to know how to care for his special needs. Find tips for caring for both circumcised and uncircumcised babies.

  • Umbilical Cord Care

    In a few weeks, your baby will have the cutest little belly button. But right now the healing remains of his umbilical cord need special care. Here’s how to make sure the cord remainder stays infection-free.

  • Choosing Your Child's Healthcare Provider

    A pediatrician, family practice healthcare provider, physician's assistant, family nurse practitioner, or pediatric nurse practitioner can be your baby's primary care provider. The medical specialty dealing with children is called pediatrics.

  • Newborn Crying

    Crying is the way babies communicate. They cry because of hunger, discomfort, frustration, tiredness, and even loneliness.

  • Breastfeeding Difficulties - Baby

    Detailed information on breastfeeding difficulties of the baby, including ineffective latch-on, ineffective sucking, slow infant weight gain, poor infant weight gain, mismanaged breastfeeding, over-active breast milk let down

  • Difficulty with Latching On or Sucking

    Detailed information on ineffective latch-on or sucking during breastfeeding

  • Managing Poor Weight Gain in Your Breastfed Infant

    Detailed information on mismanaged breastfeeding, including information on breastfeeding positions

  • Overactive Let-Down

    Many nursing mothers worry if their babies aren’t getting enough milk—but what if the opposite were true? Here’s what you can do to make sure your aren’t overwhelming your baby during feeding time.

  • Slow or Poor Infant Weight Gain

    Are you concerned that your little one has slow or poor weight gain? Unsure? This article will help you sort out your questions and concerns.

  • Diapers and Diaper Rash

    You have 2choices in diapers—cloth or disposable. Each type has advantages and disadvantages. You must decide which works best for your child and family.

  • Breastfeeding and Delayed Milk Production

    Detailed information on insufficient or delayed milk production

  • Flat or Inverted Nipples

    Detailed information on breastfeeding and flat or inverted nipples

  • Breastfeeding Difficulties - Mother

    Detailed information on breastfeeding difficulties of the mother, including sore nipples, low breast milk production, flat nipples, plugged milk ducts, and mastitis

  • Low Milk Production

    Detailed information on breastfeeding and low breastmilk production

  • Plugged Milk Ducts

    For mothers who breastfeed, some may be more susceptible to plugged ducts than others. Get some quick tips on how to avoid and manage this concern, so you can keep you and your baby happy and healthy.

  • Sore Nipples

    Detailed information on breastfeeding and sore nipples

  • Fever in A Newborn

    The system that controls body temperature is not well developed in a newborn. Here's what you need to know about fever and your baby.

  • Behavior Changes

    Your baby's activity level, appetite, and cries normally vary from day to day, and even hour to hour. But a distinct change in any of these areas may signal illness.

  • When to Call Your Child's Healthcare Provider

    Detailed information on when to call your baby's physician

  • Breathing Problems

    If you listen closely, you’ll notice that your baby’s breathing isn’t like yours. Babies breathe much more frequently and with different patterns than adults. Here’s how to recognize normal breathing in your infant—and how to spot signs of respiratory distress.

  • Skin Color Changes

    The color of a baby's skin can often help identify possible problems in another area of the body. Here are some skin color changes to be aware of.

  • Measuring a Baby's Temperature

    Most healthcare providers recommend taking a baby's temperature rectally, by placing a thermometer in the baby's anus. This method is accurate and gives a quick reading of the baby's internal temperature.

  • Physical Exam of the Newborn

    A complete physical exam is an important part of newborn care. Each body system is carefully checked for signs of health and normal function.

  • Gestational Age Assessment

    It’s not always easy to tell a newborn’s age by their size. Premature babies are usually small, but full-term and past-term babies can be small, too. That’s when healthcare providers will do a gestational assessment to determine if a newborn needs special treatment.

  • Newborn Health Assessment

    Detailed information on newborn health assessments

  • Newborn Measurements

    Your newborn will be weighed in the hospital and at all check-ups. In most cases, metric units are used to record babies' weight. This chart will help you convert the metric unit grams (g) to pounds (lb) and ounces (oz).

  • Newborn Warning Signs

    Most newborns adjust well to the outside world. But it's helpful to know about these warning signs that could indicate a possible problem.

  • Childhood Immunizations

    Your little one will need several immunization shots to help protect her from several childhood diseases, some of which can be deadly. Knowing which shots she needs, when, and what to do in the event of a minor reaction is important.

  • Home Page - Normal Newborn

    Detailed information on newborn care

  • Maternal Nutrition and Breastfeeding

    Women who are breastfeeding should eat a well-balanced, varied diet and drink enough liquids.

  • Breast Milk Collection and Storage

    Detailed information on breast milk collection and storage

  • Taking Care of Your Breast Pump and Collection Kit

    Moms who bottle feed their babies are always worried about keeping the bottles and nipples clean and sterilized at all times. Likewise, if you’re a breastfeeding mom you have to be concerned with keeping your breast pump and all its parts clean to keep your baby safe from breast milk contamination.

  • Storing Your Breastmilk

    Hard plastic containers or breastmilk storage bags are the best storage containers for human milk, especially if it is to be frozen and stored for weeks or months.

  • Thawing Breast Milk

    Use the oldest milk first, and thaw it by placing the collection container in the refrigerator for several hours or overnight.

  • Using a Breast Pump

    A breast pump is an important piece of equipment for the breastfeeding mom who wants to increase her supply or store pumped breastmilk. While it seems like a simple thing to sit down and pump out milk, there are things you can do to make pumping more effective.

  • Birth Injuries

    Some babies have a more difficult trip through the birth canal than others, resulting in physical injuries. These injuries usually are not serious and clear up or improve within a few days or weeks after the birth.

  • Newborn Complications

    Detailed information on the most common types of newborn complications

  • Transient Tachypnea of the Newborn

    Transient tachypnea [TACK-up-NEE-uh] of the newborn is a mild breathing problem. It affects babies during the first hours of life. Transient means it is short-lived. Tachypnea means fast breathing rate. The problem usually goes away without treatment in about 3 days.

  • Thrush

    Thrush is a yeast infection in the mouth and throat of babies. Babies usually contract the organism from the mother's body during delivery and may develop thrush as early as 2 weeks old.

  • Newborn Appearance

    Newborns have many variations in normal appearance, from their skin color to the shape of their head. Here's a look at some of the normal variations you can expect.

  • Newborn Care

    Detailed information on newborn care

  • The New Mother: Taking Care of Yourself After Birth

    You will need plenty of rest, good nutrition, and help during the first few weeks after your baby is born.

  • Infant Feeding Guide

    How much, what, and when to feed your baby can seem daunting. But this cheat sheet will give you the information you need to start your baby on the right nutritional path.

  • Online Resources - Normal Newborn

    List of online resources to find additional information on newborn care

  • Preparing the Family

    Most families soon find ways to adjust to the changes that take place after a baby is born. But it is helpful to prepare some family members for what is ahead.

  • Preparing for Your New Baby

    Detailed information on preparing for your new baby

  • Eye Medicine/Vitamin K Injection for Newborns

    Newborn babies routinely receive eye medicine and vitamin K injections soon after birth. Both prevent serious conditions.

  • Hearing Screening Tests for Newborns

    Today nearly all newborns are screened for hearing loss. Here's a look at why, and the types of screening tests that are done.

  • Common Procedures

    Detailed information on the most common procedures performed on newborns

  • Newborn Immunizations

    Your newborn is fragile and needs protection from the new world. One of the first steps you can take to protect your baby is to get her vaccinated. Learn about the first scheduled immunization—the hepatitis B vaccine—and how it keeps your baby safe from serious illness.

  • Newborn Babies: Getting Ready at Home

    Newborns need just some basic items at first. These include a warm and safe place to sleep, food, clothing, and diapers. Here's a helpful guide to the essentials.

  • Topic Index - Normal Newborn

    Detailed information on newborn care

  • Planning to Be Away from Your Baby: Introducing a Bottle

    You’ve been breastfeeding your baby up until now—but it’s time to return to work. You haven’t given her a bottle with breast milk yet. When should you make the change? Here are tips to make a successful transition from breast to bottle.

  • Child Care

    Choosing a childcare provider for your baby is an important decision. Find one who supports your choice to breastfeed and is willing to carry out your plan. Doing so will give you peace of mind and make your transition back to work easier.

  • Expressing Your Milk - Helpful Equipment

    Hospital-grade, electric breast pumps are the only pumps built for frequent and prolonged use. These pumps automatically cycle suction with release of suction—similar to a baby's sucking action.

  • Breastfeeding and Returning To Work

    Detailed information on breastfeeding while at work

  • Breastfeeding When Returning to Work

    Helpful advice on how to maintain your milk production when going back to work.

  • Maternity Leave

    The length of time given for a paid maternity leave of absence varies among companies. Some women extend their maternity leaves by taking additional weeks of unpaid leave.

  • Breast Milk Expression

    Most mothers who plan to continue breastfeeding will need to express their breast milk during the work or school day if away from the baby for more than three or four hours.

  • Breastfeeding: Returning to Work

    About 2 weeks before you return to work, start pumping or expressing milk for storage to use once you return to work.

  • Breastfeeding at Work

    Discuss your plan to continue to breastfeed, and your need to pump or express breast milk during the workday, with your employer when you are pregnant or before you return to work.

  • Breastfeeding Your Baby
  • Gastrointestinal Problems

    If your baby seems fussy and you’ve fed and changed him, he may have an upset stomach or colic. But don’t worry, there are lots of things you can do to make your little one more comfortable and keep both of you calm.

  • How Breast Milk Is Made

    Detailed information on how breast milk is made for breastfeeding

  • Mastitis

    Detailed information on breastfeeding and mastitis

  • Newborn Screening Tests

    A national program exists to screen all newborns for certain disorders within the first few days of life.

  • Overview of Birth Defects

    A "birth defect" is a health problem or physical change that is present in a baby at the time he/she is born.

  • Hypoglycemia in a Newborn Baby

    Hypoglycemia is when the level of sugar (glucose) in the blood is too low. Glucose is the main source of fuel for the brain and the body. In a newborn baby, low blood sugar can happen for many reasons. It can cause problems such as shakiness, blue tint to the skin, and breathing and feeding problems.