While it may seem slightly frightening caring for your newborn at first, you will soon feel more comfortable and confident about being able to tell when something is wrong. Within days of meeting your newborn, you will have a sense of when something isn't right. You will soon know your baby's eating, sleeping and fussing patterns, which will help indicate when something is wrong.
This being said, it is important to keep your baby as healthy as possible. This includes keeping your baby away from sick people, as well as any smoke. Remember to consistently wash your hands after each diaper change, and if you are breastfeeding it is better to keep doing so as long as possible to help strengthen your baby's immune system.
When newborns arrive home, they have several characteristics that may appear odd but are actually completely normal. Some of these include:
- Bluish hands and feet
- Puffy eyes
- Milia - tiny white bumps or small cysts that occur on the skin. These often disappear in the first few weeks of life.
- "Stork bite" - a common type of birthmark on the face or neck of in newborns, which is often temporary.
You may feel unsure about when it is necessary to call your health care provider with a concern about your baby. Knowing when to call can be tricky, especially as a new parent. Call your health care provider when your baby has:
- Fever - above 101 degrees
- Trouble breathing or noisy breathing
- Dehydration - fewer wet diapers or dry mouth and tongue
- Repeated vomiting or projectile vomiting
- Prolonged crying
- Severe abdominal pain
- Bad sunburn
- Pink or crusty eyelids - white of eyes are pink or red, or crusty eyelids
- Stiff neck
- Jaundice - yellowing of the skin or whites of eyes