What is newborn care?

Newborn Care
Jump to

Your newborn at home: Overview

During your baby's first few weeks, you may feel overwhelmed at times. Newborn care gets easier with every day. Soon you will know what each cry means, and you'll be able to figure out what your baby needs and wants.


To keep the umbilical cord uncovered, fold the diaper below the cord. Or you can use special diapers for newborns that have a cutout for the cord.


To keep the cord dry, give your baby a sponge bath instead of bathing them in a tub. The cord should fall off in a week or two.

What are the signs of problems in a newborn?

Your baby may need medical care if they have any of these signs. Call your baby's doctor if you have any questions.


Call the doctor now if your baby:

  • Has a rectal temperature that is less than 97.5°F or is 100.4°F or higher.
  • Seems hot, but you can't take their temperature.
  • Has no wet diapers for 6 hours.
  • Has a yellow tint to their eyes or skin. To check the skin, gently press on their nose or forehead.
  • Has pus or reddish skin on or around the umbilical cord.
  • Has trouble breathing (for example, breathing faster than usual).


Watch closely for changes in your baby's health, and contact the doctor if your baby:

  • Cries in an unusual way or for an unusual length of time.
  • Is rarely awake.
  • Does not wake up for feedings, seems too tired to eat, or isn't interested in eating.
  • Is very fussy.
  • Seems sick.
  • Is not having regular bowel movements.

How can you introduce solid foods to your baby?

There are many ways to give your baby solid foods. Try serving food that is mashed, blended, or cut for them to pick up. Start by giving one food at a time. And try to offer a variety of foods. Give foods that may cause an allergic reaction if the doctor says it's okay.

©2011-2024 Healthwise, Incorporated

The content above contains general health information provided by Healthwise, Incorporated, and reviewed by its medical experts. This content should not replace the advice of your healthcare provider. Not all treatments or services described are offered as services by us. For recommended treatments, please consult your healthcare provider.