Pediatric Associates of Richmond

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Interactions with Others

Siblings, Fathers, and Pets

Young siblings of a newborn will feel some resentment toward the new arrival. Not only does mom fix her attention on the baby and expect an older child to take care of himself, but there is the fear of being replaced by the baby. It is important to bring the older child in to help with the newborn so that he feels part of the team and gets to bond with the baby. It is also crucial for parents to spend time alone with the older child away from the baby to let him know that he is still important and not being replaced.

Dad can also feel left out at times. It is important to bring Dad in as much as possible to feed, change diapers and hold the baby. His help will also allow mom some time to rest or be with the older child.

Pets can act very much like older siblings when a new baby comes home. However, they adjust rapidly and soon accept the baby and can become very protective.

Clothing and Getting Out of the House

It is okay to take the baby outside in reasonable weather. Babies do not always need to be bundled heavily, inside or out; however, their heads should be covered when outside. If you need heavier clothing when going outside, the baby does also.

Generally speaking, a baby needs one layer of clothing more than what you need as an adult.

Too many people handling the baby exposes him unnecessarily to many germs and viruses. Those who do handle the baby should wash their hands frequently as viruses are passed by fingertips more than by coughing or breathing on the baby.

To minimize exposure to germs if you decide to go out to a coffee shop, restaurant or store, keep your baby in their car seat and loosely drape a blanket over top so that you can still see and check on them.

Smoking Around Babies