Wow, big job! What are you supposed to do with your baby now that it's home?
- Breastfeeding: It really is the best for you and for your baby. If you've read our other guides, we know you're tired of hearing about breastfeeding. But hear us out--not only does it make your baby healthier, but it costs less than formula. And you can stay on WIC longer! Click here for breastfeeding help and resources.
- Solid Foods: If you're breastfeeding, try to only feed your baby breastmilk for the first 6 months. At around months of age, you can start giving your baby solid food. Believe it or not, babies can handle all sorts of interesting food well before age 1. Click here for info on introducing solids.
- Doctor Visits: Make sure you have a doctor for your baby and take your baby for regular check-ups to make sure he or she is growing fine. LaCHIP or your Medicaid plan can help you find an affordable doctor in your area.
- Care: First of all, make sure your baby is safe - this includes having a car seat, but also childproofing your home. There is a lot to think about, from how you are bathing your baby, to where you change diapers, to things that could be poisonous to your baby. Check out the Safe Kids website for safety tips for your baby.
- Sleeping: To reduce your baby's chances of SIDS and suffocation there are a lot of things you need to think about and do. Babies need to sleep alone in a crib or pack-n-play, on their back. There should be no toys, stuffed animals, pillows, blankets, or bumper pads in the crib. For more information, Give Your Baby Space.
- What's normal? Your baby is going to grow really fast. You'll probably wonder what's normal for your baby (from crying to crawling to colic). Here is a website that helps you see what to expect month to month. Remember, even if you sometimes feel frustrated with your new baby, never ever shake or hit your baby.
- Lead poisoning prevention: When your baby is around 6 months old, ask your doctor about getting your baby tested for lead levels in his or her blood. Learn more about how to keep your child safe from lead and don't worry - lead poisoning is preventable when you take the right steps!
- Hurricanes: They're part of living in Louisiana. Now that you have someone else to take care of, it's really important to have a plan. For help figuring that out, Get a Game Plan. Also remember our helpline: 1-800-251-BABY(2229). They will be standing by to help you.
- Shots: Babies need shots to keep them healthy and safe--your baby's doctor will make sure he or she has them. If you have questions about shots and when they should happen, check out Shots for Tots.
- LaCHIP: If you don't have health insurance for your child, you can get insurance through the Louisiana Children's Health Insurance Program (LaCHIP). In the meantime, visit a doctor at a Parish Health Unit (PHU) or a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC).
- Tips and Tricks: Here are a few pretty good websites with lots of tips on how to care for your baby, even how to make changing diapers easy.
- Strapped for groceries? Click here to learn more about WIC eligibility. There is also the Louisiana Commodity Supplemental Food Program (LA CSFP). Check it out.
- Doctor Visits: Make sure you have a doctor for your toddler and take him or her for regular check-ups to make sure he or she is growing fine. For help finding a doctor near you that takes LaCHIP or Medicaid, go here, choose "Physician Services" under Provider Groups, then "OB/GYN" under Provider Specialities.
- Shots: Don’t forget, you still need to get shots for your little one. Check with your doctor, but the usual schedule is: 2 months, 4 months, 6 months, 12-15 months, 4 years.
- Child Proofing: Your toddler is getting into more and more stuff as he or she starts walking. Safe Kids USA offers information about child safety to help you prevent accidents and create a safe environment for your child at home or at play
- Car Seats: Make sure you have and properly use and install a car seat. The Louisiana Highway Safety Commission offers safety checks for car seats and provides information about child passenger safety.
- Emergency Numbers: You never know when you need to call your doctor, the fire department or poison control. Make a list and keep it somewhere really visible (like the refrigerator). If your friends or family or a sitter will be watching your toddler, make sure to include your own numbers and the numbers of close relatives.
- Lead poisoning prevention: When your child is between 6 months and 6 years old, ask your doctor about getting your child tested for lead levels in his or her blood. Learn more about how to keep your child safe from lead and don't worry - lead poisoning is preventable when you take the right steps!
- Hurricanes: They’re part of living in Louisiana. Now that you have someone else to take care of, it’s really important to have a plan. For help figuring it all out, visit Get a Game Plan. Also remember our helpline, 1-800-251-Baby (2229). They will be standing by to help you.
- LaCHIP: If you don’t
have health insurance for your child, you can get insurance through
the Louisiana Children's Health Insurance
Program (LaCHIP). In the meantime, visit a doctor at a Parish Health Unit (PHU) or a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC).
- Figuring it all out: Lot’s of milestones! Lot to think about- from feeding to your toddler to tooth care to potty training to playtime and learning. Here are a few websites we found that might help you out with all of that:
- Poison Control: Just in case--you should have this phone number nearby now that your kid is old enough to open cabinets: 1(800)222-2222.
- Remember our helpline 1-800-251-Baby (2229). They are standing by to help you.
Our support staff if standing by 24/7 to answer questions and to link you to resources in your area. All calls are confidential
Our support staff is standing by 24/7 to answer questions and to link you to resources in your area.