Growth & Development

Bright Futures Parent Handout: First Week Visit (3 to 5 Days)

Print, Share, or View Spanish version of this article

Here are some suggestions from Bright Futures experts that may be of value to your family.

Parental Well-Being

How You Are Feeling

  • Call us for help if you feel sad, blue, or overwhelmed for more than a few days.

  • Try to sleep or rest when your baby sleeps.

  • Take help from family and friends.

  • Give your other children small, safe ways to help you with the baby.

  • Spend special time alone with each child.

  • Keep up family routines.

  • If you are offered advice that you do not want or do not agree with, smile, say thanks, and change the subject.

Nutritional Adequacy

Feeding Your Baby

  • Feed only breast milk or iron-fortified formula, no water, in the first 6 months.

  • Feed when your baby is hungry.

    • Puts hand to mouth

    • Sucks or roots

    • Fussing

  • End feeding when you see your baby is full.

    • Turns away

    • Closes mouth

    • Relaxes hands

      If Breastfeeding

    • Breastfeed 8-12 times per day.

    • Make sure your baby has 6-8 wet diapers a day.

    • Avoid foods you are allergic to.

    • Wait until your baby is 4-6 weeks old before using a pacifier.

    • A breastfeeding specialist can give you information and support on how to position your baby to make you more comfortable.

    • WIC has nursing supplies for mothers who breastfeed.

      If Formula Feeding

    • Offer your baby 2 oz every 2-3 hours, more if still hungry.

    • Hold your baby so you can look at each other while feeding

    • Do not prop the bottle.

    • Give your baby a pacifier when sleeping.

Newborn Care

Baby Care

  • Use a rectal thermometer, not an ear thermometer.

  • Check for fever, which is a rectal temperature of 100.4°F/38.0°C or higher.

  • In babies 3 months and younger, fevers are serious. Call us if your baby has a temperature of 100.4°F/38.0°C or higher.

  • Take a first aid and infant CPR class.

  • Have a list of phone numbers for emergencies.

  • Have everyone who touches the baby wash their hands first.

  • Wash your hands often.

  • Avoid crowds.

  • Keep your baby out of the sun; use sunscreen only if there is no shade.

  • Know that babies get many rashes from 4–8 weeks of age. Call us if you are worried.

Newborn Transition

Getting Used to Your Baby

  • Comfort your baby.

    • Gently touch baby's head.

    • Rocking baby.

  • Start routines for bathing, feeding, sleeping, and playing daily.

  • Help wake your baby for feedings by

    • Patting

    • Changing diaper

    • Undressing

  • Put your baby to sleep on his or her back.

    • In a crib, in your room, not in your bed.

    • In a crib that meets current safety standards, with no drop-side rail and slats no more than 23/8 inches apart.

      Find more information on the Consumer Product Safety Commission Web site at

    • If your crib has a drop-side rail, keep it up and locked at all times. Contact the crib company to see if there is a device to keep the drop-side rail from falling down.

    • Keep soft objects and loose bedding such as comforters, pillows, bumper pads, and toys out of the crib.



  • The car safety seat should be rear-facing in the back seat in all vehicles.

  • Your baby should never be in a seat with a passenger air bag.

  • Keep your car and home smoke free.

  • Keep your baby safe from hot water and hot drinks.

  • Do not drink hot liquids while holding your baby.

  • Make sure your water heater is set at lower than 120°F.

  • Test your baby's bathwater with your wrist.

  • Always wear a seat belt and never drink and drive.

What to Expect at Your Baby's 1 Month Visit

We will talk about

  • Any concerns you have about your baby

  • Feeding your baby and watching him or her grow

  • How your baby is doing with your whole family

  • Your health and recovery

  • Your plans to go back to school or work

  • Caring for and protecting your baby

  • Safety at home and in the car

© 2010 American Academy of Pediatrics