New Baby? Breastfeeding and Other Tips Shared by Antioch Pediatrician

How much do you really know about caring for your new baby? As an East Bay mother learned while pregnant with her eighth baby, each newborn is unique. Watch her video:

Young mother welcomes her new baby to the East Bay, delivered at Sutter Delta Medical Center in Antioch; watch her video story

To help you get a great start, our specialist separates fact from myth to give you 10 tips every new parent needs to know.

1. Babies are ready to eat solid food at 3 months old.

Two East Bay moms and their young babiesMYTH: “At 3 months, a baby’s digestive tract is still developing, so solid foods can cause gas, and the possibility of infection,” warns Sutter East Bay Medical Foundation (SEBMF) pediatrician Susan Adham, M.D., who practices at Sutter Delta Medical Center (SDMC). “It’s ok to start introducing solid foods at 4 to 6 months of age. Just make sure that your baby has good head control and that you support their head when they are swallowing to prevent choking.”

2. Your newborn’s cries are always distinguishable.

Oakland mom comforting her crying babyYES & NO: Babies cry for a lot of different reasons—it’s their way of communicating.

“During the first weeks after their baby’s birth, most new parents start learning their newborn’s cries, and begin to understand what their baby is communicating,” explains Dr. Adham. “But sometimes babies cry for no apparent reason, so new parents shouldn’t feel bad if they don’t always understand what their baby is trying to say. However, if your baby is crying for prolonged periods of time and is unable to be consoled, you should see your pediatrician to make sure there is nothing else going on.”

3. Breastfeeding is easy.

East Bay mom breastfeeding her newborn baby MYTH: According to Dr. Adham: “Some mothers don’t produce milk, while others may be taking medications that can be passed on through their milk so they shouldn’t breastfeed. Although breast milk is best, formula is a great second option.”

Learn more by taking our breastfeeding quiz.

Or, join an East Bay breastfeeding class or group near you:

Oakland Breastfeeding Support Group

Antioch Preparing for Breastfeeding Class

Castro Valley Breast Feeding Basics Course

4. You won’t spoil your infant if you pick him or her up every time they cry.

Baby girl laying in crib (East Bay parenting)FACT:  “Be sure to check on your baby if he or she is crying,” says Dr. Adham, “to see what they need. You won’t spoil your baby by picking them up.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

5. Your baby will learn to walk faster if you keep him or her in a playpen or jumper.

Young Berkeley mom beside infant son, crawling on the floorMYTH:  “Your baby is going to develop at their own pace, whether they are in a playpen or jumper. Just be sure to give your baby opportunities to move around to encourage their development,” suggests Dr. Adham. “Also, make sure that the playpen or jumper you are using has not been recalled. I don’t suggest using walkers because these can tip over, causing babies to hit their heads.”

6. Using “baby talk” can help your newborn learn to speak sooner.

New East Bay mom sitting in rocking chair with her newbornMYTH: “Talk to your baby in any language—just make sure to talk to your baby,” urges Dr. Adham. “Your baby needs to hear your voice and interact with you. Make sure that when you are talking to your baby that you make constant eye contact, so you can bond.”

 

7. Don’t bathe your baby every day.

First time bath for new Oakland babyFACT:  “Most newborns don’t need to be bathed daily because it can dry out their skin,” says Dr. Adham. “Bathe your baby about two or three times a week, and give him or her a sponge bath in between.”

 

 

8. Vaccines are unnecessary and can cause autism.

East Bay baby doctor examining new babyMYTH: Several strong scientific studies have shown no causal relationship between vaccines and autism.

“Although we are diagnosing autism more frequently, we have yet to find a cause for it,” notes Dr. Adham. “However, the diseases caused by the viruses we are vaccinating against have been shown to cause deafness, severe illness and, sometimes, death. Given the information we have, I find it more prudent to vaccinate children when we have the opportunity.”

Be sure to discuss with your doctor what immunizations your baby should get. And keep up on your vaccinations, so you don’t unknowingly expose your child to an illness.

How much do you know about vaccines? Take our quiz.

9. Don’t give your baby water when he or she is sick.

Photo focusing on newborn's hand at Alta Bates Summit Medical Center in OaklandFACT: “During the first 3 to 4 months of life, don’t give your newborn water when he or she is sick. Too much water can dilute the sodium in your baby’s body and cause seizures. Give your infant breast milk or formula because he or she needs the extra calories and electrolytes,” advises Dr. Adham.

10. Be sure your newborn sleeps on his or her back.

Baby sleeping on his back in the San Francisco East Bay areaFACT: “Make sure that your baby sleeps on his or her back because it can prevent sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS),” states Dr. Adham. “Babies who sleep on their stomachs are at greater risk for SIDS.”

 

 

East Bay newborn specialists

“Remember,” shares Dr. Adham, “that you are the expert on your baby. We can give new parents general guidelines and advice, but each parent-baby bond is unique and takes time to develop. Don’t sweat the small stuff and be sure to call your pediatrician if you need help.”

We offer expert care to keep you and your baby healthy.

Find a pediatrician conveniently located near you in the San Francisco East Bay area: the doctorforyou. And check out our birthing centers at Sutter Delta in Antioch and Eden Medical Center in Castro Valley, and our neonatal intensive care unit at Alta Bates Summit Medical Center in Oakland.

 

Teal button with words, "Subscribe," on it Subscribe to our e-newsletter

 

Facebook Icon for Sutter Health Alta Bates Summit Medical Center Connect with Sutter Delta on Facebook

 

2 Comments

  1. This article was very helpful I just had my 6th grandson and my daughter in law was asking me all these same questions.
    Wow, thank you.

    • Thank you for your comment, Sarah.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *