Is the Room Your Baby Sleeps in Safe?

Click Here to learn what you can do to make the room your baby sleeps in is as safe as can be. nursery_small

Feeding Your Baby

For more information, see the How to breastfeed page in the After Pregnancy section.

When possible, women are encouraged to breastfeed their babies. Mother’s milk provides all of the nutrients that a baby needs to grow and protects the baby against some illnesses. For more information, see the How to breastfeed page in the After Pregnancy section.

Sometimes breastfeeding is not possible (for the baby or the mother) or the mother chooses not to breastfeed. Bottle-fed babies will be well-nourished if you use formula that is prepared as directed. Carefully follow the directions on the can or package.

Caring for Your Baby

  • Wash your baby’s face, chin, neck and bottom every day. Use only mild soap on your baby’s bottom. Do not use soap on the navel (belly-button) or on a circumcision until it heals.
  • Most newborn babies need a full bath only three to four times per week. Test the water temperature with your elbow; it should be warm, never hot. Keep one hand on your baby at all times.
Skin Care
  • Babies do not need lotion or powder unless recommended by a health care professional
  • Wash new clothes in a mild detergent before putting them on your baby. Avoid fabric softener and bleach.
  • Avoid overdressing your baby. If you are warm in a T-shirt and shorts, your baby will be comfortable in a diaper and T-shirt.
Umbilical Cord Care
  • Wipe the umbilical cord with a cotton ball dipped in alcohol to keep it clean and dry so that it heals.
  • Call your healthcare provider if you see redness, blood, pus, if the navel smells bad, OR if the cord has not fallen off after three weeks.
Circumcision Care
  • Circumcisions should heal within seven to ten days. Use petroleum jelly at diaper changes to prevent irritation. Call your baby’s doctor if you smell an odor or see blood or pus around the circumcision.
  • If your baby is not circumcised, do not force the skin back over the tip of the penis.
Diaper Care
  • Change your baby’s diaper when it is wet or soiled. Wash baby’s bottom with mild soap and water or disposable wipes. Wash your hands after each diaper change.
Other Tips
  • Keep your baby’s toe nails and finger nails short to prevent scratches
  • Wipe your baby’s gums with a clean washcloth
  • Your baby’s first checkup should be between two weeks and one month of age
  • Newborn babies should sleep about 16 to 18 hours a day.
    Click here to learn more about baby’s safe sleep.

Your Baby’s Development

See How We Grow – Baby’s First Year tells how babies grow and develop and how you can help. There are ideas for activities, games and toys. (plain text version.)

Your Baby’s Safety

  • Babies need constant attention. Do not leave your baby alone even for a minute unless he is in a secure area like a crib or playpen.
  • Put baby to bed safely in a crib.
  • Never leave a baby alone in a car – especially on a warm day.
  • Used car seats, cribs and toys can be great gifts but may not meet current safety standards.
  • Keep your baby away from secondhand smoke. (For tips on how to deal with secondhand smoke, download Oh Baby! We want to keep you safe from secondhand smoke. (plain text version.)

Visit Safety tips to learn how to keep your baby safe now and as your baby gets older — including reducing the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome or SIDS.

Additional Resources

North Carolina

Period of Purple Crying Website (Shaken Baby Syndrome):

This phrase is used to describe the point in a baby’s life when they cry more than any other time. Information based on scientific studies with articles written by authors who are the leading experts in their fields. An interactive site with video throughout for parents and caregivers to get more information about their baby who is crying a lot.

Vaccines for Children Program

The North Carolina Immunization Program (NCIP) works in conjunction with the federal vaccine supply program, called the Vaccines for Children (VFC) program.

WIC Program Breastfeeding and Support

WIC strives to increase the incidence and duration of breastfeeding among women enrolled in the Program.

Carolinas Poison Center-1-800-222-1222


Catchup Immunization Scheduler (CDC)

An online vaccination history scheduler for children six years and younger. Enter child’s vaccination history, name and date of birth and receive a generated vaccine schedule

Milestones -Tracker

A printable chart with immunization dates as well as a milestone and growth trackers