Newborn: primary care

The arrival of a baby brings us a lot of joy, but it is also a challenge, especially if we are new parents; anything our baby does makes us nervous and alert. Do not panic; this is the newborn primary care you must consider.

When our baby is born, everything is new. If he cries, we worry; if he doesn’t, we worry too. It is a stage full of doubts and fears. This is normal because it is a new experience in which you are getting to know your little one; however, you must consult your pediatrician frequently to monitor your baby.

Horacio Reyes Vázquez, a pediatrician at Hospital Español and a member of Top Doctors México, explained that the most important care for the newborn has to do with feeding him every three or four hours, cleaning his navel, and protecting his skin to prevent irritation.


Dr. Reyes Vázquez explained that food is essential for the newborn; he recommended breast milk.

“It is recommended to offer breast milk. Mom offers one breast for 10, 20, 30 minutes on one side, makes the baby burp, changes his diaper to wake him up, and then offers the other breast for 10, 20, or 30 minutes”.

Mom feeding her baby Photo: Pixabay
Mom feeding her baby. Photo: Pixabay

The specialist pointed out that at mealtime, do not overdress the baby because it makes the baby fall asleep and not finish eating, which results in constantly asking for food.

Ricardo Jaimes Jiménez, a pediatric surgeon, advised cleaning the breasts before and after breastfeeding to avoid fissures or infections. Feed the little one every three hours if the mother decides to use formula, slightly tilting the bottle.

Umbilical cord cleaning

Stanford Children’s Hospital recommends this care for the navel area:

  • Keep it dry.
  • Expose it to fresh air.
  • Give sponge baths (keeping the cord dry) until the cord falls off.

To keep the umbilical cord clean, Dr. Horacio Reyes Vázquez highlighted the importance of bathing using a mild soap. When you finish bathing your baby, dry the navel very well and apply white Merthiolate, which will prevent the umbilical cord from becoming infected.


The skin of newborns is super delicate, so we should avoid soaps, both for the body and laundry, and creams with fragrances, as they can irritate our baby.

As for clothing, we must use cotton garments to keep them cool and warm; it is crucial not to cover them in excess because we can cover their sweat glands causing the appearance of rashes, advised Rossana Llergo Valdez, president of the Mexican Foundation for Dermatology.

The skin of babies is very delicate.
The skin of babies is very delicate. Photo: Pixabay

It may interest you: Should I bathe my baby daily?


Babies can only communicate by crying. As parents, we must know when they cry because they show if they are cold, hot, or if something hurts.

“Little by little, parents must identify the baby’s crying; it is only a process of getting to know from the parents to the child and vice versa”.

Dr. Ricardo Jaimes Jiménez

We must know the cry of our baby.
We must know the cry of our baby. Photo: Pixabay

Warning signs

In addition to this care, the Mexican Institute of Social Security (IMSS) recommends that parents become aware of the following symptoms. If your baby presents any of them, visit your doctor.

  • Refusing food
  • Frequent vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Bleeding from any part of the body
  • Difficulty for breathing
  • Yellowish skin color
  • Discharge from the umbilical cord
  • Purple nails and lips
  • Fever

Don’t forget this primary care for your newborn, and periodically visit your pediatrician to monitor your baby’s development.

Translated by: Ligia M. Oliver Manrique de Lara

Spanish version: here