Pediatric Care for 11+ years
Newborn Care Specialist
Frequently Asked Questions
How long should my newborn sleep?
During the first few weeks of your baby’s life, they will spend the majority of the time asleep. Typically sleeping an average of 16-18 hours a day, most newborns do not sleep for more than 2-3 hours at a time, especially if they are breastfeeding. If your baby is not gaining adequate amounts of weight, Dr. Kolsi may recommend waking them up more often to feed them to ensure they are getting the nutrition they need.
How often should I feed my newborn?
Many new parents seem anxious about how often their newborn eats. It is recommended that parents adopt a demand feeding system, where their baby is fed whenever they seem to be hungry. Babies tend to become hungry every 2-3 hours, with those stretches expanding to every 3-4 hours as their stomachs grow and are able to hold more milk. Babies who are hungry often move their heads from side to side, try to suck on their hands, turn their heads toward a mother’s breast, or move their mouths toward something stroking their cheek.
Breastfed babies also tend to go through periods of “cluster feedings” where they seem to eat every 1-2 hours for 1-2 days. Cluster feedings are an important part of stimulating the mother’s body to produce adequate amounts of milk for a growing baby, but can sometimes result in frustration, exhaustion, or questioning of whether or not the newborn’s behavior is normal.
If you are exclusively breastfeeding your baby and their cluster feeding lasts longer than 48 hours, your milk supply may be inadequate for your baby’s needs. Contact Dr. Kolsi to discuss feeding options.
How do I help my newborn stop crying?
It is important to remember that your newborn’s primary method of communication is crying. Crying in newborns is never a sign of manipulation, but rather a sign of distress.
If your newborn is crying, begin by checking these things:
1) Is your baby’s diaper clean and dry?
2) Is your baby too cold or too warm?
3) Are They Hungry?
4) Are they tired or overstimulated?
5) Do they have gas or are they constipated?
If you have tried everything you can think of, do not panic. Ensure your newborn is safe and contact Dr. Kolsi who can help you discover the source of your newborn’s crying.
What is considered a “normal” baby stool?
In the first few days of your baby’s life, you’ll notice their stool is thick, black, and shiny. This tar-like substance is known as meconium. Once your baby’s digestive system begins to work with formula or breast milk, their stool will change as well.
Within 3-5 days of birth, a baby’s stool will become brown-green and then turn to a loose, yellow, seedy mixture as they begin to digest breast milk. These loose, yellow-colored stools continue as long as the baby is exclusively breastfed.
On the other hand, babies who are formula fed tend to have light brown, pasty bowel movements. As you begin to feed your baby solid foods, the color, and quality of their stool once again change with their diet. For example, if a baby eats beets their stool will be tinted red.
If your baby’s stool suddenly changes color or consistency without a change in their diet, they may be sick. If you’re concerned about your baby’s bowel movements, please consult with Dr. Kolsi for more information.
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