Newborn Wellness & Prevention

Primary Care Partners of South Bend is now welcoming new newborn patients. If you are currently pregnant, we recommend contacting us at least 3 months before your due date to ensure that we can provide you with the necessary support if your baby comes early. Additionally, we encourage you to come in for a prenatal appointment to see our office and get to know our care philosophy and personalities. We have a commitment to providing you and your baby with support, respect, and high-quality care. We look forward to joining you in newborn wellness and prevention for your new baby!

Whether this is a parent’s first baby or their tenth, Primary Care Partners of South bend is a place for babies to grow with high-quality, gentle care. A baby is an infant from 0-12 months and a toddler from 12-30 months. The first three years of a baby’s life are full of growth and development. Because of this, we are here to ensure your baby stays on track to grow and live healthily.

First Visits

For your newborn’s first visit, we recommend he or she is seen by our doctors 2-3 days after discharge. We ask that soon-to-be parents call our office before the baby is born, so we can be ready to take care of your little one. During this appointment, we will check the baby’s weight and do an important heel stick blood test. Throughout a baby’s first years of life, we would like to see them fairly regularly. We recommend check-ups at 1, 2, 4, 6, 9, 12, 15, 18, 24, and 30 months. These visits are important for monitoring growth, reflexes, weight gain, and ensuring babies are hitting developmental milestones. It is important for parents to voice all their concerns during these appointments. If you have a concern about your baby, contact us online or call us at (574) 251-1200 to schedule additional appointments.

Brain Development

During the first 1000 days of life, babies’ brains grow at one of the fastest rates in their lives. During these key developmental years, it is important to read, sing, and talk to your baby while making eye contact. Additionally, responding quickly to their needs is essential for newborn wellness and healthy brain development. 

These interactions seem simple but are the foundation for babies’ brains. They will continue making the connections they learn during this time throughout their lives. Make these early days count!

Staying Healthy

Newborns and toddlers grow and change rapidly, so they need well-child visits more often. These visits are very important parts of staying healthy in children’s early years. During these visits, we focus on growth, sleep, play, nutrition, and literacy. We will also give any necessary vaccines to prevent potentially fatal diseases. For more general information regarding newborn health, visit the CDC’s maternal and infant health page.

Nutrition

For babies, the best nutrition comes from breastfeeding. If breastfeeding is not an option, speak with your doctor at Primary Care Partners of South Bend about alternatives and formula recommendations. Solid foods can be introduced around 5 months, but it is not necessary to rush into this if your baby is not ready. We encourage you to always voice your questions and concerns about newborn wellness and diet to your doctor.

Sleep

For the first 6 months of life, babies should sleep in a crib on their backs and in the room with their parents. There should not be any blankets, toys, or bumpers in the crib with them. This is the safest way to avoid SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome). Babies and toddlers need lots of sleep to grow properly. As a general rule, babies need 12-15 hours of sleep each day, and toddlers and preschoolers need about 10-13 hours. If your child is not sleeping enough or too much, or you cannot get them on a sleep schedule, set up an appointment, or ask questions during their well-child visits.

Play

Babies play in unconventional ways. As you sing and talk to your baby, they will begin responding with eye contact, cooing, and smiling. As babies grow into toddlers, they will begin babbling and exploring the world around them.

As toddlers begin exploring, safety becomes very important. Because toddlers do not know what is good and bad for them, it is your job as parents to protect them. Child-proofing cabinets and stairs, keeping a first-aid kit handy, and having an emergency plan are all important measures. In case of emergency, the poison control center is available at (800) 222-1222.

Literacy

Parents can begin reading to their babies while pregnant. Once they are born, it becomes even more important to read to them for 5-10 minutes per day. As your baby grows older into a toddler, you should read to them as often as possible. Reading to babies and toddlers stimulates the parts of their brains that understand language and social skills. If your child is not hitting key milestones, it is important to schedule an appointment with Primary Care Partners of South Bend as we are trained in evaluating these behaviors. Request a newborn wellness appointment online or give us a call at (574) 251-1200.

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