Avon Medical Practice

Care for Newborn

Care for Newborn


You finally get to take your bundle of joy home! As you go home please note the following as you care for your little one.


  • Feed your child every 2-3 hrs. Tummies are small and frequent feeds are necessary to prevent low blood sugar and dehydration.
  • Ensure you sterilise feeding bottles and other utensils with Milton tablets/sterilising fluid or a steam steriliser. Boiling or washing with hot water does NOT kill germs.
  • Ensure proper cord care with methylated spirit till the cord falls off. Do not apply hot compresses, Vaseline or powder to the cord stump
  • Wash your hands before attending to your baby and after any diaper change. Ensure anyone who carries the baby washes their hands first to reduce the risk of infection.


  • Put babies to lie on their stomachs. It increases the risk of suffocation and Sudden Infant Death. It also does not help with colic.
  • Do not over-expose your baby. They are unable to regulate their temperature and catch a chill very quickly.
  • Breastfeed your baby while both of you are lying down. It increases the risk of ear infection in infants. Sit propped up in bed or in a chair with your back well supported to breastfeed at all times
  • Force feed your child when they refuse feeds as they grow older. Force feeding may cause aspiration which could be fatal.

Please return to the hospital immediately if you notice the following in your baby.

    • Poor feeding
    • Being too irritable, inconsolable crying
    • Being floppy, drowsy or less alert than usual.
    • Convulsion
    • High-pitched, weak or continuous cry
    • Sunken eyes
    • Depressed or bulging fontanelle (the top of the baby’s head)
    • Pus draining from the ear
    • Eye discharge/redness or swelling of the eyelids
    • Bleeding from cord, anus, mouth or nose; or vomiting blood
    • Redness of the skin at the base of the umbilical stump
    • Discharge from the umbilicus
    • Stiff limbs
    • Excessive twisting of legs
    • A bulge in the groin that gets bigger with cry.
    • Being too cold or too hot (body temperature below 35.5ºC or above 37.5 ºC).
    • Changes in skin colour – pale skin, blueness of the skin around the mouth, hands or feet
    • Widespread skin rash
    • Difficult or fast breathing
    • Grunting respiration
    • High-pitched whistling sound (wheezing) when breathing
    • Vomiting and/or diarrhoea
    • Distended tummy
    • Bloody stool.