Newborn - Daily Care & Appearance
Your Baby's Environment
Your home should be kept at a comfortable temperature between 68-72 degrees Fahrenheit. You may dress your baby as you would dress yourself; over-bundling is unnecessary. It is natural for your baby's hands and feet to feel cold occasionally.
We understand that it can be unrealistic to keep your baby "inside" all of the time, and many family members and friends will naturally want to see your newborn. If the weather is nice, it is certainly fine to take your baby outside for short walks or other outings. You do not need to dress your infant any warmer than you dress yourself.
Since the immune system of a newborn is particularly vulnerable to infections, it is best for new babies to have limited contact with large groups of people. Anyone who is sick for any reason should avoid seeing the baby until the person is well.
Head: The head my appear a bit misshapen after birth, and there may also be areas of swelling or bruising as well. These areas should gradually resolve over the first two weeks.
Eyes: The eyelids may be swollen a bit after birth, but this swelling will gradually subside. You may notice red spots on the white portion of the eye; these spots are caused b broken blood vessels during birth. They are similar to a bruise on the skin, and they will also go away on their own.
Skin: Newborn skin can become dry and start to peel because of the transition from the moist in utero environment to room air. These is no need to use lotions or creams on these areas. Some babies can also develop rashes on their face such as baby acne (pimples) or milia (tiny white bumps). These are normal and do not require any treatment.
Breasts: Some babies may have swollen breast tissue, either on one side or both sides, as a result of in utero hormonal factors. This swelling will disappear on its own and does not require special treatment.
Genitals: In baby girls you may notice some white or occasionally bloody discharge from the vaginal area. These are normal secretions that will subside over 1-2 weeks. See the Circumcision section for baby boy information.
Nails: Newborn nails are generally soft and grow quickly. It is safer to use an emery board to file the nails, but the nails can also be trimmed very carefully with a small nail clipper.
All newborns will cough, sneeze, grunt, snort, and hiccup from time to time. These sounds are normal. Hiccups are not dangerous to the baby and do not need any special treatment.