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Questions to ask your doctor about going home with your baby

You and your baby were being taken care of at the hospital right after you gave birth. Now it's time to go home with your newborn. Here are some questions you can ask to help you be ready to care for your baby on your own.


Is there anything I need to do before I take my baby home?

  • When is my baby's first visit with their health care provider scheduled?
  • What is my baby's checkup schedule?
  • What vaccines will my baby need?
  • Can I schedule a visit with a lactation consultant?
  • How do I reach the doctor if I have questions?
  • Who should I contact if an emergency occurs?
  • What vaccinations should close family members receive?

What skills do I need to care for my baby?

  • How do I comfort and settle my baby?
  • What is the best way to hold my baby?
  • What are the signs of my baby being hungry, tired, or ill?
  • How do I take my baby's temperature?
  • What over-the-counter medicines are safe to give my baby?
  • How should I give the medicines to my baby?
  • How do I care for my baby if my baby has jaundice?

What do I need to know to care for my baby day-to-day?

  • What should I know about my baby's bowel movements?
  • How often will my baby urinate?
  • How often should I feed my baby?
  • What should I feed my baby?
  • How should I bathe my baby? How often?
  • What soaps or cleansers should I use for my baby?
  • How should I take care of the umbilical cord while bathing my baby?
  • How should I take care of my baby's circumcision?
  • How should I swaddle my baby? Is swaddling safe while my baby is sleeping?
  • How can I tell if my baby is too hot or too cold?
  • How much will my baby sleep?
  • How can I get my baby to start to sleep more at night?
  • What should I do if my baby cries a lot or won't stop crying?
  • What is the benefit of breastmilk vs. formula?
  • What signs or symptoms should I bring my baby in for a checkup?


Centers for disease control and prevention website. After the baby arrives. www.cdc.gov/pregnancy/after.html. Updated July 11, 2022. Accessed August 23, 2022.

March of Dimes website. Caring for your baby. www.marchofdimes.org/baby/caring-for-your-baby.aspx. Accessed August 23, 2022.

Wesley SE, Allen E, Bartsch H. Care of the newborn. In: Rakel RE, Rakel DP, eds. Textbook of Family Medicine. 9th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2016:chap 21.

Review Date 4/19/2022

Updated by: John D. Jacobson, MD, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Loma Linda University School of Medicine, Loma Linda, CA. Also reviewed by David C. Dugdale, MD, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

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