New Babies

Some General Information

Good books to read
Many books have been written for parents of newborns. The first, and still possibly the best, was Dr. Spock’s. There are others that are also very good – take a look at Pantell, Vickery, and Fries, for instance, a great guide for when your baby is sick. Maybe go to a book store (they still exist!) and browse. Also, take a look at the books we recommend.

Do you have to read something to get ready? Not necessarily. If you try to read about baby care and your eyes glaze over, or if it just makes you more anxious, don’t do it! Lots of people don’t read guide books and they make great parents.

Choose a pediatrician
It can be very reassuring to know before your baby is born that you will have good medical support and guidance for your baby. Look for a Board Certified pediatrician whose advice you can rely on, and who is with a group you trust as backup when he or she is unavailable. Choose someone with whom you feel an emotional fit – someone you have good feelings about. 

What to Expect at Bayside

To see if Bayside is right for you, come to one of our prenatal classes -- these are very popular. Also, look over our clinician profiles to see if there is a clinician who you find particularly interesting. You can make an appointment for a prenatal interview with this clinician (it’s free).

What is Bayside's Philosophy?

Bayside is dedicated to helping and supporting parents and patients. Our job is to be on your side, and provide you with the medical information you need to make choices for your children and family. Sometimes parents think they have to "look good" to their child's doctor, and impress us with what a good job they are doing. But what we really want is for you to be honest with us about your fears and worries, so we can empathize and help. We are not here to give you an A or a C in child-rearing; and we are not here to order you to do this and that. We are here to discuss the care of your baby with you, and to give you advice in a supportive way – we are simply here to help.

What happens when the baby is born?

When you go into the hospital to have your baby, you will be asked to pick a doctor for the baby. Give them the name of the pediatrician you have chosen, or just say "Bayside." If everything goes without complications, when the baby is born the hospital will call us and we will see your baby and you at our morning or evening rounds.

If there are medical concerns (prematurity, or a Cesarean section, for example) a practitioner from the hospital will start the baby’s care. We will take over shortly thereafter. If you are going to have a scheduled Cesarean, please call our office and let us know when and where, so we can be prepared for you.

After the baby is born, a Bayside doctor will come to examine the baby every day and talk with you. Be prepared with any questions you might have! Since we pre-assign our doctors to hospital rounds duty, you might not see the clinician you have selected to be “your” doctor.

When should the baby first come to the office?

Make an appointment to see us shortly after discharge from the hospital. We like to see the babies early, so we can monitor the baby’s feeding, weight gain, and level of jaundice. Most parents also have questions at this time – don’t forget to write them down so you will remember them! Also bring any notes from the hospital, especially the yellow immunization record card they might give you.

If I am breast-feeding, should I seek lactation counseling?

We strongly support breast-feeding! Breast is best. Breast-feeding is natural, but this doesn’t mean it is easy. We find that an initial visit with one of our Lactation Counselors can smooth the breast-feeding course substantially. Just call our office and make an appointment, even before you leave the hospital. Health insurance will frequently cover these visits, subject to co-pays and deductibles.

What about bottle feeding and supplementing?

Breast may be best, but it is not always possible or appropriate. In addition, many families need the flexibility of supplemental bottle feeding. We have good information and support for you in bottle-feeding. Our role is to help you find the best way to feed your baby that fits you and the baby.

Which clinician will see my baby in the office?

Whenever you make an appointment, you will be asked for your choice of a clinician. Subject to availability, the choice is always yours.

  • Most parents choose their own clinician most of the time. We encourage this for continuity of care.
  • If your own clinician is not in the office when you would like to be seen, you are free to choose another clinician instead.
  • If your clinician happens to be in another office when you want to be seen, you are free to go to that other Bayside office.
  • In some offices we have drop-in visits; in this case, you get to see whoever is in the office.
  • Sometimes you might want a second opinion. You can get this opinion right here at Bayside – just make the appointment.

What about circumcision?

If you have a boy, one of your first decisions will be whether or not to have him circumcised. There are arguments for and against – check out our section on circumcisions in our Bayside Health Library. Many of our Bayside doctors perform newborn circumcisions, usually at an appointment in our offices. Many parents worry about the pain of the circumcision procedure – we use a local anesthetic and also give the baby sugar water, so the pain he experiences is not severe at all.

How often does the baby need a check-up?

The first two years of life are so chock-full of developmental milestones that we generally see babies frequently. Although there is a general pattern to well visits, we individualize the schedule based on the needs of the baby and the family.

Whom do I call when my child is sick?

Call your local Bayside office. It is Bayside policy that if you call about a sick child and need to be seen that day, we will see you, even if we have to stay late. That’s our job.

If you need help outside of office hours, go to After Hours Telephone Care here on our website, which will direct you to our nurse advice line, or call the office you generally go to and the telephone message will have the number for you to call. If you are afraid your child is very ill and can’t wait to talk to a nurse, call 911, or go directly to a hospital emergency department.

Is Bayside open on the weekends?

Our Oakland and Pleasanton offices are open for sick children on Saturday mornings. Please call early for an appointment.

What if I'm worried I'm going to be a nervous new parent?

We expect questions from new parents. In fact, we'd be more worried if you didn't have questions! Trust your common sense and keep your sense of humor. If you are worried about your baby, call the office and speak with one of our nurses or physicians. We're here to help.

What should I have in the medicine chest?

The only thing you absolutely need in the newborn medicine chest is a digital thermometer. Rectal temperatures are best, but you can also take an axillary (underarm) temperature. We have gotten away from using the old-fashioned glass thermometers because if they break, the mercury is hazardous.

A bulb syringe is also useful. The hospital will give you one at discharge. You can use it with or without salt water nose drops to clear mucus out of your baby’s nose.

It is also good to have some infant Tylenol (acetaminophen) drops, salt water nose drops, and an oral rehydration solution such as Pedialyte in your medicine chest. But we recommend that you check with us before giving any medicine to your newborn.

How does Bayside manage problems with your care at Bayside?

We suggest that if anything is going wrong with the office – for example, you can't get an appointment, or if someone is rude to you – please contact us directly. You can call our Patient Adovcate directly at (925) 587-2505. We take these calls very seriously. We are not a big and bulky bureaucracy, we are really a small group of people who want to serve you very well, and in a personal way. So please don't hesitate to let us know if something is not working right. We can't fix it if we don't know it's broken. We appreciate your suggestions so that we can meet your family's needs.