Lisa Buenger, MD, FAAP





New Parents—
Welcome to Parenthood!

Lisa Buenger, MD, FAAP
OakLeaf Pediatrics
Eau Claire

I love meeting a new parent’s little one(s)! Here are a few topics I discuss with new parents.

Newborns should always sleep on their backs to prevent SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome), but please give them daily “tummy time”. This prevents them from hating it later which may delay the desire to roll and crawl, as well as contributing to a flat head. A parent may like to snuggle her baby on her chest but it doesn’t ‘count’. Tummy time must be on the floor so that the baby becomes comfortable with the sensation of the hard floor.

Pacifiers help reduce SIDS, soothe infants and eventually can be removed (unlike a thumb). Pacifiers should be introduced once breastfeeding is “established”; not at a specific age. This might be at 2 days or 3 weeks old depending on the situation.

Stuffy noses: Babies commonly become congested by a couple months old. They start having more stomach reflux into the back of their mouth and nose, causing stuffiness. It generally doesn’t mean they have colds, allergies or that the air is too dry. Simply place a couple drops of infant saline (ex. Little Noses) in the nose and allow them to swallow or sneeze it out. If they are still plugged, a bulb syringe may help remove secretions.

Babies are not shy when they poop! Just like the rest of their muscles, their abdominal muscles aren’t fully developed and they must create pressure by straining (and often grunting) to pass a stool. As long as the stool is soft and doesn’t “roll” out of the diaper solid, the baby is not constipated and is just a “normal baby pooping”. Enjoy the performances!

Vitamin D is recommended for everyone. It is added to cow’s milk, formula and should also be given to breastfed infants. I don’t recommend the Poly-Vi-Sol multivitamin–it tastes awful, stains and isn’t needed. I recommend D-Vi-sol or Tri-Vi-Sol. They don’t require a prescription but are often kept behind the pharmacy counter.

Swaddling: Most babies are little Houdinis–I recommend blankets that come with velcro–like “SwaddleMe”.

Burping: A baby burps best when relaxed and positioned with her head forward at a 45 degree angle. This can be on a parent’s shoulder, sitting on a lap or leaning over a knee. Anticipate fussy time: Most babies are “good” the first 2 weeks. They generally sleep, eat, poop–repeat. If they are fussy or difficult to handle during this time, something isn’t quite right and needs to be discussed. Reasons may include under or over-feeding, overstimulation, reflux, postpartum depression, protein intolerance, infection etc. When I hear that “Little Johnny is such a good baby!” I am reassured he is doing well.

However, over the next few weeks nighttime crying, i.e. “fussy time” develops. This is a gradual increase in crying time up to 3 hours a day, generally peaking between 6 and 8 weeks old. People have heard of parents who had to “drive around town for 2 hours each night” or push the stroller each evening just to get their baby to settle down. This is normal “fussy time”. Lucky parents experience this in the evening but some of us experienced it routinely between 2 and 4 am in the morning. Be aware that fussy time may correspond to the time Dad gets home from work. He may blame himself needlessly for not being able to settle the baby. It’s not his fault, it just happens to be at the same time of day the baby is trying to let off steam, not unlike adults trying to relax after a long day.

Stress and fatigue: I remember pacing the floor for hours, trying to get my son to sleep. I had fed, burped and changed him yet he wouldn’t let me put him down without crying. It was on one of these evenings that I remember the frightening feeling of understanding why someone might hurt their child. I put my son down in his bed so he would be safe, but the feeling was scary. Many parents have shared with me the same feelings. They feel guilty, even though they wouldn’t dream of acting on it. New parents should know that is common to have extreme feelings, and be prepared to take a break or ask for help if needed. By just a couple months, this too shall pass and your new baby’s smile will melt your heart!

Recommended books and website for new parents:
Baby 411 by Denise Fields and Ari Brown MD,
TouchPoints by T. Barry Brazelton

Dr. Buenger — OakLeaf Pediatrics
For information or to schedule an appointment:
715.830.0732 |
Dr. Buenger sees patients in Eau Claire.