When you arrive home with your baby, there’s suddenly so much to do—and to know. You'll continue to get help from Cedars-Sinai. Resources available to new mothers include breastfeeding support, parenting classes, baby immunizations, car seat safety and more. Build your confidence as a new parent by being well informed.
Feeding Your Baby
Breastfeeding gives your baby the healthiest start, but you may face challenges or have questions: What if I don’t produce enough milk? What if baby doesn’t want to nurse? Get the answers through our Lactation Program.
- After delivering your baby at Cedars-Sinai, you'll learn breastfeeding basics and have ongoing support from a board-certified lactation educator.
- Get breastfeeding information, support or supplies by phone. Call Cedars-Sinai's 24-hour breastfeeding information line at 800-972-6003, or the Lactation Education Center at 310-423-5312.
- Take our class, Breastfeeding: Birth & Beyond.
What If You've Decided on Bottle-Feeding?
If formula is the best option for you and your baby, follow these guidelines.
- The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that you use iron-fortified formula.
- Follow product instructions to mix the formula, and prepare only the amount your baby takes in one feeding.
- Throw away leftover formula after one hour.
- Never microwave stored formula (or breast milk), because it’s heated unevenly and the hot spots may burn a baby’s mouth.
- Instead, warm formula or milk under warm running water, in a bowl or cup of warm water or in a bottle warmer.
- Hold your baby in a semi-sitting position while feeding. The closeness helps build a bond between mom and baby, and it also helps keep air from going into the baby’s stomach.
- Always hold the bottle when your baby is eating—don’t prop it on anything.
- It’s normal for your baby to spit up after feeding. But if there’s more than a small amount of spittle, consult your doctor.
- Be sure to burp your baby in the middle and at the end of a feeding by gently patting them on the back.
Newborn Hearing Screening
Hearing loss is the most commonly diagnosed condition among infants in the U.S., and affects 2 to 3 out of every 1,000 newborns. Your newborn should be tested for hearing loss while still in the hospital, or no later than at 1 month old. The screening is easy and painless—some babies even sleep through it.
If your baby doesn't pass this screening, schedule a full hearing test as soon as possible, and no later than 3 months. When babies are diagnosed with hearing loss, early intervention is important both for their health and their ability to develop communication skills.
You can help protect your baby from diseases by getting them the vaccinations they need, as recommended by the American Academic of Pediatrics and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Hepatitis B (1st dose)
Hepatitis B (2nd dose) given at 1-2 months
Rotavirus (1st dose)
DTaP (diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis) (1st dose)
Hib (1st dose)
Pneumococcal (1st dose)
Polio (1st dose)
Rotavirus (2nd dose)
DTaP (2nd dose)
Hib (2nd dose)
Pneumococcal (2nd dose)
Polio (2nd dose)
Hepatitis B (3rd dose) given at 6-18 months
Rotavirus (3rd dose)
DTaP (3rd dose)
Hib (3rd dose)
Pneumococcal (3rd dose)
Polio (3rd dose) given at 6-18 months
Influenza (during the flu season)
Hib (4th dose) given at 12-15 months
Pneumococcal (4th dose) given at 12-15 months
MMR (measles, mumps and rubella)
Hepatitis A given at 1-2 years
When to Call the Doctor
Your newborn's first 5 checkups should occur at the following times: Birth, 3-5 days, and then 1, 2 and 4 months, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. (Individual pediatricians' schedules may vary.) You may also need a pediatrician's advice between checkups. Here are examples of when to call your baby's doctor:
- A temperature over 100.4° F (38° C)
- Feeding less than 8 times in 24 hours
- At 5 days old, wetting the diaper less than 6 times in 24 hours
- Yellowish skin or whites of eyes
Call 911 if your baby's skin looks blue, or if you have any reason to think you need emergency help.
Car safety seats reduce the risk of serious or fatal injury to your baby, but they need to be used correctly. Follow these tips for the proper use of child-restraint systems. (Child passenger safety laws vary from state to state, so check regulations in your area.)
- Before taking your baby home from the hospital, install a rear-facing, infant-only safety seat in your vehicle.
- As your child grows, you’ll need to adjust the safety seat. As a general rule, a child should only ride in a rear-facing seat until age 2, or until they reach the seat’s upper weight or height limit.
- Safety seats should always go in the vehicle’s backseat—never the front passenger seat, which is dangerously close to the airbag. (If there is no backseat, such as in a pickup truck, make sure the airbag is deactivated.)
- Make sure the seat is properly installed—either secured tightly with the vehicle seat belt or using a Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children (LATCH) system.
- Before using a seat for the first time, make sure you’ve read and understood all of the instructions.
- Test the fit of the seat’s harness by pinching it at your child’s shoulders from top to bottom. If you can’t make a vertical fold in the harness, then it’s fitting correctly. Readjust the harness according to the thickness of your child’s clothing.
Get parenthood off to a great start by taking courses at Cedars-Sinai. Women are encouraged to register for classes during the fifth month of pregnancy and attend them during the seventh or eighth month—but if that isn't convenient, you can take them any time space is available.