Welcome to Newborn Handbook Online!

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I am a registered nurse at a large metropolitan hospital. My specialty is postpartum or mother-baby. I take care of hundreds of new infants and their families each year. I am starting this website to help answer questions about newborns and the postpartum period. My goal is to start an honest blogging community that tells the truth about what to expect after your baby is here. There is so much information out there about pregnancy and delivery, but I encounter many women who are surprised what goes on after delivery. I also answer thousands of questions on newborns and their surprises! So please use this website to ask your “silly” questions or post your surprises.

Newborn Body Temperature

Newborn body temperature is between 97 to 100 degrees Fahrenheit or 36.1 to 37.8 degrees Celsius. Keeping your newborn between 97.7 to 99.5 degrees Fahrenheit or 36.5 to 37.5 degrees Celsius is optimal.

Keeping your newborn’s body temperature normal is important. If your baby is too warm or too cold she will burn calories to regulate her temperature; these are calories that she needs to use for growth and brain development. Continue reading

Newborn Baby Sounds

Should my newborn baby hiccup? Yes! It is very common sound newborn babies make. They actually start hiccuping in the womb. Hiccups do not bother the newborn and they do not need to be stopped.

Should my newborn baby sneeze? Yes sneezing is a common newborn baby sound! It does not mean that your baby is sick or cold. Babies sneeze to clear their nostrils, since they can’t pick their nose or blow it with a tissue, they have to sneeze.

Should my newborn baby sound congested? Newborns sound congested or “whistle” through their nose often because their nasal passages are very narrow. If fluid has come out their nose (saliva, breast milk, amniotic fluid after birth) newborns can sound congested. This can be normal. If your baby is having difficultly breathing (rapid heart rate: greater than sixty breaths per minutes, nasal flaring, a non-pink color) let the nurse know if you are still in the hospital or call your pediatrician.

Bonding With Your Baby

“Bonding,” a noun, means “(1) the formation of a close relationship especially through frequent or constant association and (2) the attaching of a material to a tooth surface especially for cosmetic purposes” (Merriam Webster Dictionary, 2011). The etymology of the word comes from “the 12th century Middle English word, “band,” referring to something that binds, ties, or restrains.”  Even earlier, during the 4th century BC, Plato “argued that love directs the bonds of human society.” Many years later in Britain 1958, John Bowlby, published “The Nature of the Child’s tie to his Mother,” the precursor to the concepts of attachment theory (Human Bonding, Wikipedia). This means that the idea of bonding between two people has been discussed for centuries. Clearly this is an import aspect of life and for most mothers and new infants bonding occurs without interruptions. Continue reading

Breastfeeding and Newborn Gas!!!

Many mothers frequently ask me, what did I eat that has made my baby so gassy? Well truth be told it could be a number of things. Remember though that this question usually comes in the middle of the night when all the mom wants to do is sleep and all the baby wants to do is be held, eat, and cry. It is normal for babies to be gassy and just like us when our tummies are rumbling it is not comfortable, so they do the only thing they know: cry! Continue reading

What is Postpartum?

What the heck is postpartum? I have been asked this so many times that if you know the answer then you are ahead of the general public! Postpartum in the first six weeks after delivery, it refers to the mother and baby. Many people when they hear the word postpartum instantly think of postpartum depression. In the past years postpartum depression has been brought to the publics eye, which is a very good thing because it is a serious illness. Not every woman goes through postpartum depression, but every woman that has a baby goes though the postpartum period; it is not optional. Many hospitals refer to postpartum as the mother-baby phase. It is the postpartum period that I find most people are least educated about. The focus has been about getting the baby out and not on what happens after. Continue reading