Pediatric care and caring for your baby

by Kaiser Permanente |
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Our clinicians who care for children are highly trained and passionate about what they do. Kaiser Permanente’s team of pediatricians, family practice doctors, nurse practitioners and physician assistants have gone through extensive training and evaluations and are recognized for their expertise in the field. They work together as a team to provide you and your family with seamless, connected care so you don’t have to worry if you need to bring your child in suddenly and their regular clinician is out.

What to expect at a well-child visit

Your baby’s first well-child visit will usually be scheduled for when they’re 3 to 5 days old. Your clinician will review the results of any screening tests your baby had in the hospital. They will also give your baby the Hepatitis B vaccine if it wasn’t already given at the hospital.

At every well child visit, your baby’s clinician will ask you how your baby is doing, weigh them, measure them, and do a physical exam.

Caring for your baby at home

Feeding

Babies feed fairly often during the first few weeks of life. If you’re breastfeeding, your infant will likely feed at least eight to twelve times within 24 hours. Formula-fed babies usually feed a little less often — six feedings within 24 hours is typical.

Sleeping

Newborns sleep a lot—in most cases, it can be up to 18 hours a day. During periods of what is known as “active sleep” you might notice your baby making sounds or moving around. It’s normal for this to happen once an hour or so. Active sleep periods usually last only a few minutes before your baby returns to deeper sleep.

Most infants wake up every one to three hours to feed. When your baby wakes up, you may check to see if they need a diaper change and feed them by either offering your breast/chest or a bottle.

Crying

Babies cry for all sorts of reasons. Your baby might cry because they are uncomfortable, overstimulated, hungry, or tired. Crying can also express emotion, which is why babies cry when they’re unhappy about something.

Your baby will cry if they are sick or in pain. However, this cry usually sounds different than their normal crying.

Your new baby cries to communicate with you. It’s normal for newborns to cry for up to three hours every day. Many babies seem to cry more in the late afternoon or early evening.

Bonding

Your new baby needs a close bond with you. This special closeness is essential for growth and development. Bonding also helps you better understand your baby’s needs as they adjust to life after birth.

You can bond with your baby by:

  • Getting lots of skin-to-skin contact
  • Gently massaging your baby
  • Holding (or wearing) your baby as much as possible
  • Speaking, talking, singing, or reading to your baby

This article has been created by a national group of Kaiser Permanente ob-gyns, certified nurse-midwives, pediatricians, lactation consultants and other specialists who came together to provide you with the best pregnancy, birth, postpartum, and newborn information.

Some of the content is used and adapted with permission of The Permanente Medical Group.

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