Becoming a parent is an exciting change. Parents and babies learn together. It can be tiring at first, but soon energy returns. Feelings of doubt and concern are normal. It helps to have someone close to talk to. Hang in there, but don’t forget to ask for help - your Healthy Futures Nurse will be calling you to schedule a visit but you can also call to schedule.

Your Baby

As you bring your newborn home he/she may:

Cry – As a newborn, your baby will do more crying now than they will at any other time of their life. Crying is normal but can be a challenge for parents. Learn more about normal infant crying.

Spit Up – Although it looks like a large amount when it comes out, don’t be too alarmed. Spitting up can be a normal part of infancy. Spitting up is usually not of concern as long as your baby is growing well. There are many factors that can contribute to a healthy baby spitting up: positioning, an immature digestive system, and overfeeding are the most likely culprits. Talk to your baby’s health care provider to determine when spitting up becomes excessive.

Wet six to eight diapers daily and pass three to five stools daily – have plenty of diapers ready to go! And remember to wash your hands with each diaper-changing.

Hear voices of friends and family – get in the habit of talking to your baby. They will start to understand long before they can speak.

Be frightened or startled by loud noises and bright lights

See people and objects six to 12 inches away



It is important to call your baby’s health care provider if any of the following occur:

• a temperature over 100.4 degrees under the arm or 102 degrees rectally

• an excessive vomiting or diarrhea

• change in skin color to yellow or blue

• change in baby’s behavior – becomes unusually fussy, unable to calm, or is difficult to wake

Your Body

As you recover from childbirth, you may:

Notice your vaginal flow becoming dark brown – It will fade and slow until stopping in around 10-14 days. However, it may continue for as long as six weeks. Call your health care provider if flow increases (soaking one pad in an hour) or if it has a foul odor.

Experience continued discomfort in the area between the vagina and rectum (the perineum) – Use warm water to promote healing and comfort. Tighten your buttocks before sitting.  Sit on flat padded surfaces.

Be constipated – Drink at least six to eight glasses of liquid per day and eat fruits vegetables, bran cereals and whole grain breads.

Experience a wide range of feelings – This can range from pride and happiness to fear, loneliness or sadness along with periods of crying. Post-partum blues are common three days to two weeks after delivery. Accept help and support from your friends and family. If your feelings of sadness, anxiety or despair do not improve after a few weeks, contact your health care provider.

Be fatigued or tired – It would be surprising if you weren’t. Rest when the baby rests.

Have fullness and discomfort in your breasts – A comfortable and supportive bra may be worn if desired but is not essential. Ask your health care provider about the use of Ibuprofen to relieve pain and reduce swelling.

  • If you are breastfeeding: nurse your baby frequently; take warm showers, or briefly apply warm compress before feeding.
  • If you are not breastfeeding: avoid breast or nipple stimulation; avoid applying warm compresses; use ice packs to reduce swelling.

Your Family

Dads / Partners are a key to breastfeeding success! Offering encouragement, practical support and appreciation will go a long way to helping moms feel relaxed.

Use caution when your pet is near your baby. Your pet is a part of your family but it is impossible to know how a family pet will react to your baby.

Accept offers of help from friends and family.  With a new baby at home, many friends and family members may offer to help. It is healthy to accept help from others, especially during this special time. Sometimes the best baby gifts others can give are of themselves. Here are some suggestions you can give friends and family when they ask what they can do. Let your friends and family help you …

  • Do the laundry for one week
  • Do the weekly cleaning
  • Bring dinner
  • Babysit other children for the afternoon or evening
  • Take care of the baby for a few hours daily, while mom naps

Your Checklist

1.     Keep temperature setting of your water heater below 120 degrees – to avoid scalding.

2.     Avoid warming bottles in the microwave

3.     Remember your guidelines for sleep safety. Babies are most safe when they…

  • Sleep alone in a crib
  • Sleep on their back
  • Sleep in a crib with no toys, stuffed animals, bumper pads, quilts, or blankets
  • Sleep in a crib with a firm crib mattress and tight-fitting sheet and slats are no more than two inches apart

For more information, go to

4.  Use an Approved Car Seat. Use an approved car seat and be sure your infant is properly restrained in the back seat of the automobile, since airbags can be very dangerous to infants and children. For information on car seat safety, installation, and resources, visit

5. Get vaccinated – Vaccine-preventable diseases can cause serious harm to children who are not fully immunized. If it didn’t begin already in the hospital, your baby’s immunization series will begin at his two-month well-baby checkup. Call your baby’s health care provider or your local health department to make an appointment.

6. Remember to make two follow-up appointments – one for you and one for your baby.


7. Remember to take care of yourself. Bringing a new baby home is exciting, but can also be exhausting. Eating well and drinking plenty of fluids can help you feel your best during this time. Try to eat around five mini-meals a day, by incorporating a lower fat source of protein with a grain, fruit/ veggie choice and a thirst-quenching beverage. Beverage ideas include water with a slice of lemon or lime, reduced fat milk, or calcium-fortified orange or cranberry juice. A few nutritious food ideas that are quick and easy to make include:

• Peanut butter toast, using whole grain bread

• Cottage cheese with fruit

• Trail mix made with dry breakfast cereal, nuts, and dried fruit

• Cheese tortillas

• English muffin pizzas

• Angel hair pasta (which cooks in a matter of minutes)

• Tuna mixed with elbow macaroni, peas and mayo

• Beef, bean and cheese burritos

• Fruit and yogurt smoothies


Questions to ask your health care provider:

Changes in your hormone levels may cause you to become fertile before your period resumes. Discuss family planning options with your health care provider.