You have been waiting for this moment for 9 months or so, and ready or not, here you are, a new parent.
First off, congratulations! Being a parent really is the best job there is, even though it is sometimes also the hardest.
You can do it! You will worry about almost everything, and that is OK. In fact, worrying is how you make sure you don’t miss things. You will gradually gain confidence as you go, and our job at Falmouth Pediatrics is to be here for you all the way along. Thank you for trusting us with your most precious gift.
The most important person to listen to is your baby. He or she will cry when hungry, tired, upset or in need of a clean diaper. These cues will tell you what to do. If you’re not sure , then go down the list in your head (Hungry? Tired? Dirty diaper? Wants to be held?). Most times you will figure it out. This also teaches you to listen to yourself . As you do, you will realize you have what it takes.
Keep a small circle around you to help when you are not sure- one relative, one friend and one book or website, we like to say. This will answer most of the rest of your questions. Many people get overwhelmed with too much conflicting advice, so keep it simple. And always trust your gut.
Call us whenever you need to. Someone is on call for the practice 24/7/365. While most general questions can be answered during daytime hours, if your newborn is sick, we want you to call at night. Most reasons will be obvious- labored breathing, poor color or poor feeding, crying inconsolably for hours.
If the baby has a temperature of 100 degrees F or higher in the first 2-3 months of life, you should call.
Do not give the baby Tylenol first.
Do not be shy about being the germ police- keep sick people away from visiting, and make sure everyone is washing their hands.
Sleep the baby on his/her back in a nice sparse crib, with no blankets, pads or stuffed toys.
Use an extra sleeper if it is too cool. And keep smoke out of the home.
There are many other things we could discuss, and the important ones are elsewhere on the website if you need them. Most of all, we just want you to feed, hold and love your baby. And enjoy him or her when a good moment arises. You can keep these moments tucked in your heart and turn to when you are tired, worried or upset.
Billions have gone before you in parenting. There will be fun and there will be challenges. You don’t have to be perfect, as long as you love the heck out of them. When you don’t know what to do, let us help. Together, we will keep your child as healthy as possible.