There are questions that may come up in the first few days you bring your baby home. Many of these questions can be answered by knowing what is normal behavior for babies.
Babies are obligate nose-breathers for the first few months of life. That, along with having small airways, will make for noisy breathing. Your baby may sound like he has a stuffy nose or allergies or a cold. As long as your baby is feeding and sleeping well then it should not be concerning. It can take up to 6 months to reside.
Sneezing is common in the first couple months of life. It helps your baby clear her nasal passages from dust and mucous. It is not a sign of allergies or illness.
Most babies have hiccups periodically. They usually do not bother the baby and often disappear within 15 minutes. If not, giving an ounce of Pedialyte or water may help.
Both breast milk and formula are > 95% water. No extra water is necessary until your baby starts eating solid foods. For any vomiting that may occur during your baby’s first couple years only Pedialyte, rather than water, should be used.
Rectal temps are the most accurate way of taking your baby’s temperature. If it is taken in another manner and you obtain an abnormal reading, it should be verified with a rectal temperature. Fevers in the first 3 months of life is a medical urgency and require evaluation by a medical professional immediately. A temperature of 98.6 is the average body temperature. However, a normal body temp can range from 98 to 100. A fever is a core body temperature (rectal temp) > 100.4.
A car seat that is rear-facing in the middle of the back seat is the safest position for your child to be in during the first two years of life.
Smoke detectors are recommended in every room of the house. To prevent accidental scalding, water heaters should be set no higher than 120 degrees F. During the first few months of life, especially during cold & flu season, it is best to avoid exposing your baby to large crowds, individuals with respiratory illnesses or “colds”, and everyone should practice strict hand washing. There should be no smoking in the home as this has been linked to SIDS (crib death) and respiratory disease. Remember, a baby can drown in as little as 2 inches of water and should never be left unattended. Beware of choking hazards such as strings on blinds, toys, and pacifiers. Use crib bumpers if the bars are greater than 2 3/8 inches apart.
A firm, well fitting mattress should be used in the crib. Babies should be placed to sleep on their backs as this has been shown to decrease the risk of SIDS. Cribs should be free of pillows and stuffed animals. You may be asked to put a few books under one end of the crib if your baby has reflux or an upper respiratory illness. Bringing your baby into your bed to sleep with you is discouraged because of the risk of suffocation.