This section hopes to guide you through the first few weeks of your baby’s life. Tips on feeding, introducing solid foods, breastfeeding, sleep, safety, and more can be found here.

If your baby is premature, this information still applies, but your doctor can give you extra advice when required.

  • Fever in Infants and Children

    Please note: Babies YOUNGER THAN 3 MONTHS old need to be seen by a doctor when they have a fever. For complete info, please refer to CHEO’s pamphlet about fever in children

    Some Facts about Fever in Children (from the CHEO website)

    How do I know if my child has a fever?

    A temperature of 38C (100.4F) or higher means your child has a fever.

    Taking care of a child with a fever at home:

    • Fever medicine will lower the temperature a little and will make your child more comfortable.
    • Give extra fluids. Children need to drink more fluids when they have a fever.
    • Repeat the medicine as needed to keep your child comfortable and drinking.
    • Fever medicine does not remove all fever, and it won’t stop the fever from coming back.
    • Dress your child lightly in one layer of clothing. Don’t wrap your child up in blankets, even if they are shivering.

    You’ll need to see your family doctor if your child:

    • Has a fever for more than 4 days;
    • Is not getting better after 1 week of symptoms;
    • Develops an ear ache.

    When your child has a fever:

    • Try ibuprofen first, as it works better for most children.
    • If your child does not improve 1 hour after ibuprofen, you can try acetaminophen.
    • Use acetaminophen instead of ibuprofen if your child has a fever due to chicken pox.
    • Do not use Aspirin (ASA).

    Numbers to know:

    TeleHealth Ontario: 1-866-797-0000 TTY: 1-866-797-0007

    Health Information from Registered Nurses, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week

  • Breastfeeding

    The following Ottawa Public Health resources contain great information and resources to help with breastfeeding:

    Parenting in Ottawa: breastfeeding support, resources, and information

    Parenting in Ottawa: breastfeeding positions

    Parenting in Ottawa: feeding your baby

  • Post-partum Mood: Anxiety & Depression Community Resources

    If you feel you might be having issues with your post-partum mood, or your partner or other family members have concerns, please do not hesitate to reach out to your doctor.

    We are here to help you. If it is a crisis, please call 9-1-1 immediately.

    Mothers Offering Mothers Support (MOMS) – depression support groups 613.725.3601 x117

    Mental Health Crisis Line – support-line available 24/7 613.722.6914 / 1.866.996.0991

    Anxiety BC – great resource for moms-to-be, new moms and new dads

    Good websites on post-partum depression:

    The Parents Resource Centre – various locations around Ottawa 613.565.2467 x222

    Moodkit – app: mood-improving activities and thought modulation strategies

  • Books

    Behind the Smile: My Journey Out of Postpartum Depression Marie Osmond, Marcia Wilkie & Judith Moore

    Postpartum Depression and Anxiety: A Self-Help Guide for Mothers (available at the Parent Resource Centre)

    Pregnancy and Postpartum Anxiety Workbook Pamela Wiegartz

    When baby brings the blues: Solutions for Postpartum Depression Dr. A. Dalfen

    Coping with a crying baby – information pamphlet from CHEO

    Keeping your baby safe – information for parents from the Canadian Pediatric Society

  • Introducing Solid Foods to your Baby

    In April 2014, Health Canada, Dietitians of Canada, the Canadian Pediatric Society, and the Breastfeeding Committee for Canada together released updated guidelines for feeding infants aged 6-24 months.

    Below is a summary of the key points regarding introducing solids to your baby. You will find new recommendations in bold.

    • The best time to introduce solids may be a few weeks before or after 6 months, based on the readiness of your baby and recommendations from you health care provider.
    • Breastfeeding (or formula feeding) is the primary source of calories and nutrition for babies, so don’t stop!
    • Daily Vitamin D supplement (400IU) is recommended for infants and young children who are breastfed ONLY.
    • Introduction of solid food at around 6 months of age (or 6 month corrected age*) is recommended.
    • The first foods introduced to your baby should be iron rich foods; single-grain iron fortified infant cereal (oatmeal, rice, or barley) and well-cooked, pureed, minced, mashed, or shredded meat or poultry, low-mercury fish, legumes (beans, lentils, and peas), tofu, or eggs. (NOTE: If your baby was born prematurely, speak to your doctor as they may need an iron supplement). After iron rich foods are introduced and your baby is eating them on a regular and daily basis, you can then introduce fruit, vegetables, grain products and dairy products (with the exception of milk)
    • There is no recommended order for introducing foods after iron rich foods are introduced.
    • Offer one new food at a time.
    • Wait 3-5 days between offering new foods.
    • Foods can be introduced using a variety of soft textures. *Past advice was to start your baby on pureed food, however, at 6 months of age, babies are able to handle a variety of textures.
    • Potentially allergenic foods should be part of the first foods offered to babies; this includes eggs, milk, peanuts, seafood, sesame, soy, tree nuts, and wheat. *Contrary to past advice, in order to decrease the likelihood that your baby will develop and allergy, introduce the above foods early (as recommended) and serve them often.
    • This applies to all babies, including those with a family history of allergies.
      If you have a strong family history of food allergies, talk to your health care provider about introducing potentially allergenic foods in a safe manner.

    There are only 2 exceptions to the “try everything” approach:

    • MILK: homogenized milk can be introduced to breast or formula fed babies from 9-12 months.
    • HONEY: avoid honey and all products made with honey until at least one year of age due to risk of botulism.

    Toss the sippy cup!

    • The use of sippy cups is no longer recommended.
    • The use of regular “open” cups (at 6+ months) is now the gold standard.
    • The reasoning is that “open” cups support the development of feeding skills.

    *corrected age (used for premature babies) = actual age in weeks minus weeks premature.

    Car seat safety

    Babies and Sleep – resources from the National Sleep Foundation

    What you should know about the shape of your baby’s head