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Healthy You

Newborn Care Chat

July 10, 2019 1:00 PM with Dr. Molly Antoniolli

Newborns do not come with a manual but we are here to help as much as we can. Dr. Molly Anroniolli, Pediatrician at NorthShore answers your questions about newborn care in our ongoing live chat series.  Ask your questions now about anything from breastfeeding questions, what your baby should be eating, or is poop supposed to be that color? Your participation and questions are welcomed. 

Newborn and Mother

Ben (Moderator) - 12:50 PM:
We are going to get started in about 10 minutes, make sure you get your questions in now so we can get to them.

Dr. Molly Antoniolli (NorthShore medical group- Lake Forest) - 12:59 PM:
Good Afternoon, My name is Molly Antoniolli, and I am one of the Pediatricians at NorthShore. I am looking forward to a great chat and happy to answer your questions! Let's get started!

  Suzie (Evanston) - 1:00 PM:
Where can I get help if I have any questions or issues about breastfeeding?
Dr. Molly Antoniolli
Hi Suzie, Great question!! Your pediatrician and obstetrician are often good resources to start, but if you are having issues, it is sometimes helpful to seek the care/expertise of a lactation consultant. NorthShore Evanston does have some outpatient services, and one of our nurses is a certified lactation consultant. Our nurse and I have started a lactation clinic to see mother-baby dyads and help triage issues. We do this at our Lake Forest location. You do not need to be a NorthShore patient and we will send a consult letter back to your pediatrician and/or OB. If you are interested in scheduling you can call our office 847-522-8900 and ask to speak with a nurse about our lactation services. Le Leche also has a list of local lactation consultants. Hope this helps! Updated to add that we recently did get a separate lactation voicemail - the number to call is 847 -522-8908. leave a voicemail and we will call you back with 48 hours.

  Tiara (beach park,IL) - 1:07 PM:
How to get my baby to sleep longer at night? Also, is daycare ok for my baby even though I am a stay at home mom for now
Dr. Molly Antoniolli
Hi Tiara! Sleep is one of the most common questions/concerns we discuss with our parents/patients and so you are not alone! It depends on the age of your baby. In the first several weeks and months, infant sleep can sometimes be unpredictable, but it is never too early to start good sleep habits. It is best to avoid breastfeeding or bottle-feeding the baby to sleep. I would try to separate these two events so that your baby does not associate the two. Try to put your baby down while he/she is still awake. It is ok to let them fuss a little bit and see if they can soothe themselves. Newborns likely will not be able to soothe themselves, but by the time babies are 4 months or older, they can learn to self soothe. I think that daycare is fine for your baby as long as your happy with the caretakers and policies!

  Ciara (Racine,WI) - 1:17 PM:
My 4-month-old is currently on Enfamil Soy because both while on regular Enfamil, and gentle Enfamil, she had symptoms of projectile vomiting, gas, fussiness, and a rash all over her body. All of the symptoms disappeared, but now she is constipated. She poops approximately once or twice a week. When she does, she cries and squeezes on to something. Should I change her formula again, or is there something I could give her to soften her bowel movements?
Dr. Molly Antoniolli
Glad that your baby is doing better with the soy, but sounds like now she is dealing with some constipation. The symptoms you described may be consistent with a milk protein intolerance, which is why the soy formula may be helping. The milk protein intolerance is something that infants often outgrow and the treatment is avoiding dairy/milk protein. Sometimes infants with this also have sensitivities to soy, and constipation could be a symptom. I would discuss with your pediatrician, but you may consider a hypoallergenic formula like nutramigen or alimentum. To help with the stooling, if really straining, you could try a glycerin suppository (over the counter), if eating solids - I would add prunes and/or pears and you can add 1-2 ounces of prune or white pear juice to her bottle to help soften stools. But it is probably worth messaging your ped since she knows your daughter best!

  Jillian (Mundelein) - 1:25 PM:
I recently had twins (now 6 months old), and am struggling with the logistics of bedtime. I understand getting them on the same schedule, and keeping a routine, but what about the logistics of caring for each baby at the same time? Do I rock one to sleep, while the other waits his turn? Take care of the fussy baby first? Sleep in the same crib? Lots of questions!
Dr. Molly Antoniolli
Taking care of twins is tough! There is only one of you and two of them and so often times one just needs to wait a little bit, and that is ok!! You are right in trying to keep them on the same schedule with feeding and sleeping. Now that they are a bit older I would try not to rock either to sleep. Instead, I would do your normal bedtime routine, feed one and then the other and try to put them down while still awake. It is recommended to have them in their own individual crib or sleep space, not together. It is ok to let them fuss. This will help them learn to put themselves to sleep. If you rock them to sleep, then they will wake up in between sleep cycles and want to be rocked back to sleep. If they are very fussy, then it is ok to soothe them, and yes I would console the fussy one first but then try to put them back down while still awake. has some resources for taking care of twins- search twins in the search bar. There is also a good book "Raising Twins".

  Beth (Evanston) - 1:35 PM:
Can you recommend the best options (or recipes) for which pureed foods to start on with my baby? Also, what's the best way to prepare it - blended, then heated or cold?
Dr. Molly Antoniolli
In general, when starting solids, it is ok with start with any fruit, vegetable, oatmeal or rice cereal. The most important part is to start with one new thing at a time and then continue that food for a few days to make sure there is no reaction (rash, vomiting or diarrhea). you can then continue with that food and add a new one in the same manner. For example, if you pick avocado - I would simply take an avocado and puree it in the food processor with some breastmilk or formula so that it is smooth in consistency at first. as your baby gets better at eating, it is ok for it to be a little thicker and less smooth and you could even just mash it up and then spoon-feed it. Babies are not used to eating anything cold, so I typically recommend room temperature or lukewarm (always test temp first). there are lots of baby food recipes on Pinterest or online sources. in general, babies do not need added salt or sugar, but spices are ok to use. no honey until at least 12 months old.

  Cindy (Glenview) - 1:44 PM:
Any advice for moving from swaddling to unswaddling your baby at night? My MD advised that we begin unswaddling our son (he recently rolled over), and we are struggling as he constantly wakes himself up throughout the night. Also, I'm scared when I see him on his stomach at night. Should I turn him over on his back?
Dr. Molly Antoniolli
Hi Cindy! Great question. Your pediatrician is right, once babies start to roll, it is time to get rid of the swaddle. It will be a transition, but something your son will get used to. I often recommend a sleep sack with the Velcro swaddle, and it is still ok to swaddle his body so he feels that tightness, but leave his arms out. If he rolls onto his belly himself and is happy sleeping that way, then there is no need to flip him back. Always start him out on his back, but if he does it himself and he is not swaddled, he is ok that way!! Some babies accidentally flip over and cry if they get stuck on their belly, in which case I would help him turn back, but if he is happy that way, leave him! Hope everyone gets some sleep soon!

  Holly (Vernon Hills) - 1:48 PM:
How do you feel about letting babies "cry it out" at nighttime? Is there a certain age this is appropriate? Is there a length of time to let them cry before soothing?
Dr. Molly Antoniolli
This is a hard question, and I think that the answer is different for different families. In general, I will recommend "cry it out" if the baby is growing well and developmentally old enough to do this -typically around 4 months. If there are growth concerns, then discuss with your ped first. If families are not comfortable with CIO, that is ok too, but consistency is the most important factor for any sleep training method. I always recommend putting down baby while he is awake - drowsy but awake is ok, but it works better if the baby is pretty awake when you put him down. try to separate feeding from bedtime -- sometimes it helps to feed in a different room. if you are going to do the "cry it out" method, you can go back in after 5-10 minutes if he is still crying but I would try not to lift him up. If you need to pick him up, I would calm them but put them down while still awake. slowly increase the amount of time before you go into the room - some babies will cry for an hour or more.

Ben (Moderator) - 2:00 PM:
That is the end of the chat. Thank you Dr. Antoniolli for all your expertise.

Dr. Molly Antoniolli - 2:00 PM:
Great talking with everyone today! I hope this was helpful. I had fun! The bottom line is that taking care of babies is hard stuff! I am sure I speak for all of your pediatricians when I say that we are happy to talk through any questions/concerns you have to help you through this and it is a learning curve for all of us. Have a healthy and happy summer!! Dr. Molly

This chat has ended.

Thank you very much for your participation.