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Newborn
Behavior
Bathing
Breathing & Choking
Color &
Temperature
Diapers &
Cord Care
Car Seat &
Safety
Bottle Feeding
Soothing &
Comforting
Baby
Wearing
Checklist

COLOR

Your baby’s skin should be pink.  It may the first weeks have a blue discoloration or duskiness to the extremities. This discoloration is normal as long as it is limited to the extremities only, anywhere else, face or trunk and your baby needs to be seen immediately.

Jaundice or yellow color is abnormal if it occurs in the first 24 hours and your baby should be seen immediately.  It is quite normal after that and occurs in at least 60% of healthy babies.  It should peak around day 3-4.  You can assess jaundice by blanching the skin to reveal the underlying color in a well lighted room or near a sunny window.  The jaundice color will start on the head and face and move downward to the trunk and extremities.  It is important to feed your baby frequently during the first days of life in order to promote the passage of meconium and keep the reabsorption of bilirubin from occurring. If your baby is lethargic, feeds poorly, has excessive weight loss, temperature instability, dark urine, light colored stools or persistent jaundice for more than 3 weeks a medical evaluation should be sought.

TEMPERATURE

An axillary (in armpit) temperature is the preferred method of taking your babies temperature.  A normal temperature is between 97.7 and 98.6.  Your new baby should be dressed with just one more layer of clothing as others. 
If the temperature remains cooler than normal, place the baby skin to skin with mom and allow it to warm, in addition place a hat on baby’s head to decrease heat loss.  Retake the temperature every half hour till normal.  If it still remains cool evaluate the infant for signs of illness and then call your health care provider.

If the baby’s temperature is elevated (skin is usually a deep rosy color) evaluate the room and temperature and if the baby is overdressed and correct.  Monitor temperature every 30 minutes until it returns to normal.  If it remains elevated evaluate for signs of illness and call your health care provider.