Skip to main content

 

Guide for the Care of Children Online Manual

Skip section navigation

Allina Health services

Related resources

Well checkup: 2 weeks

To schedule a checkup
or if you have a question
or concern between checkups,
call your clinic.
For clinic phone numbers, use our clinic finder.

For an emergency, call 911 or go to the nearest hospital.

Schedule or cancel appointments online with MyChart.

Development

At this age, your baby may:

  • raise her head slightly when lying on her stomach
  • fix on a face (prefers human) or object and follow movement
  • become quiet when she hears voices

Feeding tips

  • Feed your baby breast milk or formula with iron.
  • Never prop up a bottle to feed your baby.
  • Your baby does not need solid foods at this age.
  • The average baby eats every two to four hours.
  • Your baby may eat more or less often. She does not need to be "average" to be healthy and normal.
  • Give your baby 400 IU of a vitamin D supplement every day.

Stools

If you breastfeed:

  • Your baby's stools can vary from once every five days to once every feeding. Your baby's stool pattern may change as she grows.
  • Your baby's stools will be runny, yellow and "seedy."

SIDS prevention

To help prevent SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome):

  • Place your baby to sleep on her back.
  • Do not use bumper pads in the crib.
  • Do not use any loose bedding or place stuffed animals in the crib.
  • Select a firm, snug-fitting mattress.
  • Have your baby sleep with a pacifier if she takes one.
  • Have her sleep in her own crib in your room.
  • Never place your baby to sleep on a couch or sofa.
  • Never place your baby on a pillow, sheepskin, fluffy bedding, waterbed or other soft surfaces.
  • Don't allow smoking in your home.
  • Don't let your baby get overheated.

If you formula feed:

  • Your baby's stools will have a variety of colors, consistencies and odors.
  • Your baby may appear to strain during a bowel movement, even if the stools are soft. This can be normal.

Sleep

  • Put your baby to sleep on her back, not on her stomach. This can reduce the risk of your baby dying of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
  • Co-sleeping (sleeping in the same bed with your baby) is not recommended.
  • Your baby needs about 16 hours of sleep each day.
  • Your baby may sleep between three and 3 ½ hours in a row at night. This will vary. By the time your baby is 2 months old, she may sleep six to seven hours each night.
  • Talk to or play with your baby after daytime feedings. She will learn that daytime is for playing and staying awake while nighttime is for sleeping.

Safety

  • Use an approved car seat for the height and weight of your baby every time she rides in a vehicle. The car seat must be properly secured in the back seat.
  • According to state law, the car seat must be rear-facing (facing the rear window) until your baby is 1 year old. Safety studies suggest that babies should be rear-facing until age 2.
  • Be a good role model for your baby. Do not talk or text on your cellphone while driving.
  • Secure the car seat in the back seat of your vehicle. Make sure the car seat faces the rear window. This is the safest way for your baby to ride in a vehicle.
  • Make sure the slats in your baby’s crib are no more than 2 3/8 inches apart. Some old cribs are unsafe because a baby’s head can become stuck between the slats.
  • Keep your baby away from fires, hot water, stoves, wood burners and other hot objects.
  • Do not let anyone smoke in your house or car at any time. Exposure to smoke can increase the number of respiratory or ear infections your baby gets.
  • Use properly working smoke detectors in your house, including the nursery. Test your smoke detectors when daylight-saving time begins and ends.
  • Have a carbon monoxide detector near the furnace area.
  • Never leave your baby alone, even for a few seconds. Your baby may not be able to roll over, but assume she can.
  • Keep one hand on your baby at all times during diaper changes and while giving your baby a bath.
  • Never leave your baby alone in a car or with young siblings or pets.
  • Never place a string or necklace around your baby's neck. This also applies to attaching a pacifier to a string or cord.
  • Use a firm mattress. Do not use soft or fluffy bedding, mats, pillows, stuffed animals or toys.
  • Put a washcloth on the bottom of the bath tub to keep your baby from slipping.
  • Never shake your baby.
  • Keep your baby out of the sun. If you are outside, dress your baby in a hat, long-sleeved shirt and pants. Don't use sunscreen on your baby until she is 6 months old.

When to call your health care provider

Call your health care provider for an appointment if your baby:

  • has a rectal temperature higher than 100.4 degrees F
  • eats less than usual or has a weak suck at the nipple
  • vomits or has diarrhea
  • acts irritable or sluggish

What your baby needs

  • Give your baby lots of eye contact and talk to her often.
  • Hold, cradle and touch your baby a lot. Skin-to-skin contact is important. You cannot spoil her by holding or cuddling her.
  • Read to your baby every night.

What you can expect

  • You will likely be tired and busy. Rest and sleep when your baby sleeps. You and your partner need time together and time to relax.
  • If you and your partner are returning to work, you should think about child care.
  • You may feel overwhelmed, scared or exhausted. Ask family or friends for help. If you "feel blue" for more than two weeks, call your health care provider. You may have depression.
  • Being a parent is the biggest job you will ever have. Support and information are important. Reach out for help when you feel the need.

Dental care

  • Clean your baby's mouth with a clean cloth or a soft toothbrush and water.
  • Make regular dental appointments for cleanings and checkups starting at age 3 or earlier if there are questions or concerns. (Starting at the age of 6 months, your baby may need fluoride supplements if you have well water.)

 

Source: Allina Health's Patient Education Department, Guide for the Care of Children: Ages Birth to 5 Years Old, fifth edition

To avoid awkward sentences, instead of referring to your child as "he/she" or "him/her," this guide will alternate between "he" or she" and "him" or "her."

First published: 02/01/2010
Last updated: 01/01/2014

Reviewed by: Allina Health's Patient Education Department experts, including the Pediatric Department of Allina Health Coon Rapids Clinic