As you head home with your newborn, it can be an exhilarating yet daunting experience, especially for first-time parents. Even if you’re a parent already, it’s sometimes hard to remember what you need to do in those precious first days and months. This is why it is important to establish a relationship with a pediatrician and plug into resources throughout the community, such as the educational classes offered at Cone Health Women’s Hospital.
Here are a few helpful tips for new parents:
- Tummy time and back to sleep: When your baby is not sleeping and under your supervision, it is important they spend time on their tummy to begin developing strength and motor skills. However, when they are sleeping, it is important to lay them down on their back, in their crib, without loose blankets or toys surrounding them to help prevent SIDS.
- Breast milk or formula exclusively for the first four to six months: Newborns sole source of nutrition should be from breast milk or formula for the first few months of their lives. After about four to six months, parents can start introducing solid foods and water.
- Begin reading to your baby as soon as possible: Talking and reading to your baby from birth helps promote language and literacy skills development.
Because Women’s Hospital understands that new parents often have a lot of question about caring for their newborn, they have developed a website, www.conehealthybaby.com, to provide helpful prenatal and postnatal information for families throughout the community. Expectant parents can also log on to the website to sign up for the various educational classes offered at the Hospital.
Dr. Kaye Gable is the program director for Cone Health’s Pediatric Teaching Service. Dr. Gable is a 1983 graduate of Wake Forest University School of Medicine. She completed her residency in pediatrics at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center in 1986. Dr. Gable also serves as a clinical professor of Pediatrics at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine.