Newborn Babies

Spend time with your new baby to get to know them, and as you develop a bond they get to know you too. This lets your baby feel safe and free to learn and explore, and helps them to form relationships throughout their life. Check this section for advice about caring for your newborn baby. You could also check our section on breastfeeding

Face of a newborn baby

If a premature baby has apnoea of prematurity, it means they stop breathing at times for 15-20 seconds. 

Crying is your baby's way of communicating. Babies often need a lot of calming, soothing and holding when they are upset.

Some premature babies need eye checks to screen for a condition called retinopathy of prematurity. Find out what happens when your premature baby has an eye check to look at the back of the eye.

Your baby's eyes should be checked soon after birth. If you have concerns about your baby's vision or hearing at any time, take your baby for an assessment.

Some babies will need home oxygen to help with their breathing.

Immunisation on time is the most effective way to protect hapū māmā, pēpi and tamariki from preventable disease.

Iron is important for brain development and making new red blood cells to prevent a low red blood cell count.

The heel prick test is a blood test - it involves collecting a sample of blood from your baby's heel 48 hours after their birth. 

Immunisation protects against rotavirus - a common tummy bug that children catch easily. Rotavirus causes vomiting and diarrhoea (runny, watery poo/tūtae).

Every year, too many New Zealand babies die suddenly during sleep. Find out about the best ways to reduce the risk. Make every sleep a safe sleep for your baby.

Tongue tie is a condition that involves a small piece of tissue connecting the tongue to the bottom of the mouth. This is called the frenulum. When a baby's frenulum is short or tight it can stop their tongue from moving properly. This is called a tongue tie. Tongue tie may cause a problem with breastfeeding for some babies.

Whooping cough can make pēpi very sick and some pēpi can die. Having whooping cough immunisation in pregnancy protects pēpi in their first weeks of life. Immunising pēpi the day they turn 6 weeks old is the best way to continue to protect them.

Vitamin D helps your baby use calcium to build and maintain strong bones.

Babies have low levels of vitamin K in their bodies at birth. Without vitamin K, babies are at risk of getting a rare bleeding disorder. A single vitamin K injection at birth is the most effective way of preventing this.