Having a new baby at home is challenging, even for the most seasoned parent. If only a manual could walk you through those worrisome times. Fear not — support and help are available if you need it. Your baby’s pediatrician is your best resource for most questions and concerns. Please don’t hesitate to ask — there are no silly questions. Your baby is depending on you to advocate for their needs.
Newborns are needy. They eat frequently, (breast milk or formula) every two to three hours, sleep about 18 hours each day, need clean diapers and lots of cuddles.
In addition to your pediatrician, there are a number of resources available to parents. Family Connect is a free evidence‑based, home visiting nurse program for all families with newborns. For more information, visit familyconnectsoregon.org.
Another free resource is Pollywog, which connects families with classes, services and resources in Benton, Lincoln and Linn counties, including childbirth preparation classes and free virtual one‑on‑one parenting coaching. Visit pollywogfamily.org to learn more.
If your baby is a healthy birth weight and has no complications, the first well‑check appointment with the pediatrician is typically one week after their birth. Well‑baby checks are an important way to monitor your baby’s growth and development. Your doctor will also check for any problems. These appointments are a good way to get comfortable and develop a relationship with your baby’s doctor.
Well-baby Check-ups & Immunizations
Well‑baby checks with your pediatrician continue as your baby grows. Generally, during the first year appointments are set at one, two, four, six, nine and 12 months per the American Academy of Pediatrics recommendation. At these appointments the nurse will check your baby’s weight, height and head circumference. Then, when the pediatrician is examining your baby, use the opportunity to ask any questions on topics including development, sleep, feeding and safety.
Immunizations are also done at these appointments and are important for boosting your baby’s immune system. Immunizations help protect your baby against life‑threatening diseases. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Academy of Pediatrics have a recommended immunization schedule that parents are encouraged to follow to provide immunity early in your baby’s life.
Looking for a pediatrician?
Visit samhealth.org/FindADoc or call 800‑863‑5241 for assistance.