Caring for your baby

We understand that all of the advice you receive as a new parent can be overwhelming. The information and resources on this page are here to support you as you get to know your new baby and tune-in to their needs.

Every parent’s journey through the first years of their child’s life is different, and it is important to remember that what works for other parents may not work for you and your baby. Whether this is your first or fourth baby, there is always something new to be learned to help you care for their individual needs.

Becoming confident in caring for your baby takes time, patience and practice, but developing that special bond with them makes it all worthwhile.

Support for parents


This helpful guide will assist expectant parents in getting ready for the arrival of their baby.
As a new parent it is normal to have a lot of questions about your baby’s health and wellbeing.  The links below will guide you through answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about new babies and how to care for them.

What do I do if my baby has reflux?

What do I do if my baby has Jaundice?

What should my baby’s bowel movements and wet nappies look like (is my baby getting enough breast milk)?

How will I know if my baby can hear me?

When does my baby need to be immunised?

Why is my baby crying?

Good nutrition is essential to give your baby the best possible start in life. During the first six months, breast milk provides all the nutrition your baby needs and even helps protect them against different types of infection. Breast feeding does not always come easily however, and it is completely normal for some mothers to need the support of their hospital care team to get the hang of it. The resources below are designed to help you and your new baby breastfeed successfully.

Information about when you should consider alternative feeding methods such as bottle feeding and introducing solid foods is also available below.

Baby’s first foods – helpful resources about feeding your baby

The Baby’s first foods consumer resource series offers parents and carers advice on infant nutrition, the importance of exclusive breastfeeding to around six-months-of-age and when to introduce complementary foods.

How do I know my baby is ready for food?

When and how do I feed my baby?

What drinks do I give my baby?

What foods do I avoid giving my baby?

How do I keep my baby’s food safe?

What about allergies?


Breastfeeding

Blocked milk ducts and mastitis

Expressing breast milk for your baby

Increasing your breast milk supply

Is my baby getting enough breast milk

Nipple shields for breastfeeding

Suppressing lactation

Tongue-tie in babies


Bottlefeeding

Bottle feeding safety tips


Solids

Baby’s first foods poster


The Good Start Program

The Good Start Program aims to improve the health and wellbeing of Maori and Pacific Islander families. The resources below are designed to help you nourish your baby with the foods they need from conception through to their first year of life.

Your baby relies on you to care for their hygiene. Below are some tips for bathing and caring for your baby’s umbilical cord.

Caring for your baby’s umbilical cord and belly button

Safe sleeping

Babies need to be specially positioned when put down to sleep. This is because they can’t roll or move themselves around freely yet. The resources below will help you make sure your baby sleeps in a safe position that reduces their risk of Sudden Unexpected Death in Infants (SUDI) including Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).

Sids and Kids – Tummy Time

Sids and Kids – Baby’s head shape information sheet

Safe sleeping for babies

Rednose.com.au


Settling your baby

Once you know how to put your baby down to sleep safely it is important to introduce consistent sleep and settling patterns. The Ellen Barron Family Centre has developed a video series that will walk you through, ‘responsive settling’ strategies you can use to help send your baby off to sleep while introducing a bedtime routine. View the responsive settling video series here.

Your baby is like a sponge, soaking up all of the sounds, imagery, tastes and touch sensations in their new world. These experiences help your baby to develop and grow. As a parent you play an important role in your baby’s development and can help them understand their new world by creating routine. It is usually best to take cues from your baby about when they need to feed, play and sleep. Trying to do each of these activities at similar times throughout the day, and in a predictable order can help your baby feel settled and secure. Below are some tips about building routine and stimulating your baby to help with their development.

Ages and Stages – Development activities for infants

Personal health record (red book)

Your guide to the first 12 months

Music and my baby at home

first5forever – Tips for parents

With all of the emphasis on making sure your baby is getting the physical care and nourishment they need, your emotional and mental wellbeing can often take a backseat. As a parent it is important to seek support if the emotional experience of childbirth and caring for your new baby is taking a toll on your mental health. You should also seek support for your baby if you notice they are having difficulty experiencing, expressing or managing their emotions. Find out more about caring for your own mental health as well as your baby’s below.

Queensland Centre for Perinatal and Infant Mental Health – Information

A guide to emotional health and wellbeing during pregnancy and early parenthood

It is beneficial to find your local child health centre and take your new baby for regular key health checks. Children’s Health Queensland also offers a range of services within the community to help you care for your new baby and build confidence in parenting. The resources below will help you care for your baby as they grow and develop.

Key health checks and advice

Child Health Service

Newborn hearing screening

Personal health record (red book)

13 HEALTH (13 432 585)


Parenting support (sleeping, feeding and general development)

Ellen Barron Family Centre


Immunisation

Being on time with your baby’s scheduled immunisations is extremely important to protect them from serious and often life-threatening diseases. Visit our immunisation page for more information and useful resources like the VacciDate app.

When you have a sick baby, it is not uncommon to feel like your role as a parent changes. Along with all the stress and worry about having a sick baby, you may also feel helpless and overwhelmed. The book below will help you to best support your baby – and yourself – while they are in hospital.

Caring for your sick baby – how to support and interact with your baby when they are in hospital (book)


Baby business – Hospital support group

Baby business is a resource group for parents of babies from 0-6 weeks receiving care at the Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital. Come along and talk to Lactation Consultants, an Occupational Therapist, the Babies Nurse Specialist and other parents about what to expect in the first six weeks with your new baby, both in hospital and after going home.

When: Every Monday from 2-3pm

Where: Meet at 9B reception desk (Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital)

Drop-ins welcome – no appointment is necessary.


Fact sheets

If your baby needs to spend time in hospital due to illness or because they need to have surgery it is natural to want to know all you can about what’s happening. The resources below can help you understand more about the treatments and surgical procedures your baby may have to undergo while they’re in hospital.

Disclaimer:

This information is intended to support – not replace – discussion with doctors and other healthcare professionals. Always seek medical advice about any health concerns you have about your child. Children’s Health Queensland Hospital and Health Service accepts no responsibility for any inaccuracies, information perceived as misleading, or the success of any treatment regimen detailed in these fact sheets. These facts sheets are updated regularly, so please ensure you have the most recent version.

Useful links and websites

If you have any concerns about your baby’s health, contact 13 HEALTH (13 43 2584) for advice from a registered nurse 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Children’s cancer website

CPR for children and babies