All major medical organizations, including the World Health Organization and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), agree that breastfeeding is the preferred way to feed newborns. Breastfeeding also protects against respiratory illnesses, ear infections, gastrointestinal diseases and allergies. The AAP recommends mothers breastfeed babies exclusively for about the first six months of life.
But breastfeeding is not without challenges. It can take a few days for a new mom and baby to adjust to breastfeeding, which can be stressful for everyone involved.
Are you expecting a baby boy? If yes, the topic of circumcision is sure to come up. Before you know it, you’ll be immersed in a lively discussion about whether it’s best for baby to be circumcised or not. Some parents choose to have their son circumcised for religious or cultural reasons. Others want their little boy to “‘look like dad or the other men in the family.”
Although recent scientific studies show some important health benefits of circumcision, it is not essential to your child’s good health, says Paul Protter, M.D., a pediatrician with the Palo Alto Medical Foundation. “Ultimately, it’s up to the parents to decide what’s best for their child,” he says. Here are his answers to expecting parents’ most common questions about circumcision.
What is circumcision and what should I expect for my baby boy after circumcision? Read More about A New Look at Circumcision
New parents often marvel that such an adorable and precious bundle of joy has become part of their lives. But the responsibility for another human being – one who can only communicate by crying, pooping and sleeping – can be overwhelming. Especially if you think your baby might be sick.
“New parents should never hesitate to call their child’s doctor if they are concerned,” says Rebecca Fazilat, M.D., a pediatrician at the Palo Alto Medical Foundation. “Doctors who care for children, such as pediatricians and family medicine doctors, expect a lot of calls because it takes experience for parents to learn how and when to respond to their child’s illness.”
While you are still learning to understand “baby language,” follow Dr. Fazilat’s guidelines on when you should seek medical help for your little one. Read More about New Parents: When to Call the Doctor
Watching the changing – and often comical – expressions on your baby’s face when they first try solid foods is a delightful and exciting time for many parents. It’s also a time when parents have many questions for their child’s doctor: when to start, what foods to begin with and how much to feed.
“In the beginning, it’s important to remember that starting solid foods is all about learning for the child,” says Katharine Padrez, M.D., a pediatrician at the Palo Alto Medical Foundation. “Keep the experience fun and enjoyable. Your baby is learning about new flavors, different textures, how to move solids from the front to the back of the mouth and how to take food from a spoon.”
Bringing home your newborn baby is one of the most thrilling and scary moments in life. New parents are filled with many emotions – fear, excitement and, of course, exhaustion. Often parents leave the hospital feeling unprepared to care for their newborn baby on their own.
Julie Kim, M.D., a pediatric hospitalist at the Palo Alto Medical Foundation, offers these tips to help expecting parents prepare for a smooth transition home from the hospital.
Read More about Bringing Home Your Newborn Baby
Each year, more than 2 million children are injured by hazards in the home. The good news is that many of these incidents can be prevented by using simple child safety devices on the market today.
Any safety device you buy should be sturdy enough to prevent injury to your child, yet easy for you to use. It’s important to follow installation instructions carefully. In addition, if you have older children in the house, be sure they re-secure safety devices. Remember, too, that no device is completely childproof; determined youngsters have been known to disable them.