FAQs about Newborns

Q: Baby’s poo is dark green/black. Is that normal?

A: Baby’s poo is dark green/blackish for the first day or two because they are getting rid of the build up in the bowels over 9 months. The sooner and more frequently you breastfeed the sooner this will clear up. After about 3 days baby’s poo should be yellow and seed like. It should remain that way for as long as baby is exclusively breastfed.

Q: How do I know if baby is getting enough milk?

A: Your baby should have 4-6 wet disposable diapers or 6-8 cloth nappies a day if they are getting enough milk. Pale or water colored urine also indicates that baby is well hydrated. Yellowy urine shows that they are not getting enough milk.

Q: How do I treat colic?

A: There is no specific treatment but there are a few things you can try to soothe baby and relieve them of the pressure build up in their tiny tummies. Feed less milk but more frequently. Babies tummy is the size of their fist so being too full can cause colic. Feed baby while sitting upright rather than lying down. Burp baby after every feed and if they are still colicky, lay them on their back and gently rub the tummy in circular motion. You can also try gently moving their legs as if baby is riding a bicycle. That should help to get rid of the gas in the tummy.

Q: My baby throws up a few minutes after every feed. Is that normal?

A: This is called reflux and is very normal till around 6 months of age when baby has learnt to keep their food down and is spending more time upright so that gravity helps to keep the food down. Burp baby and keep them upright for about 20 minutes after every feed. It is more of a laundry problem than a medical problem.

Q: How long does it take the umbilical cord to dry up and fall off?

A: The umbilical cord stump falls off between 7-21 days. Do not attempt to pull it off even if it looks like it is about to fall off. After it falls off you may notice a bit of blood or yellow discharge. This is normal but watch out for signs of infection like continuous bleeding, foul odor, redness under the belly and or crying when you touch the belly button or skin around it. Go to your doctor if you see these signs.

Q: Baby seems to spend most of the day sleeping and most of the night awake. What can I do for her to sleep better at night?

A: For the first few weeks you will have to turn into a night owl yourself but as the weeks go by wake baby up at a set time each morning even if they didn’t sleep well at night. Busy her day with fun games and activities and wake them up for feeds. When night comes, keep the room dimly lit just enough for feeds and nappy changes. Don’t play with her at night and soon she will learn that nighttime is for sleeping and daytime is fun time.

Q: When should I start giving baby water?

A: For as long as baby is exclusively on breast milk or formula then they are well hydrated. Experts advise that you can give baby water when they start solids usually between 4-6 months of age. However if your baby has been vomiting or has serious diarrhea then speak to your paediatrition  about giving water or sugar salt solution.

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