The first day of your baby's life will be a flurry of activity. You will want to spend as much time as possible getting to know your son or daughter, while the baby undergoes a battery of health tests and you make several decisions that affect his or her care. This article will help guide you through these critical hours, including:

  • The Apgar Test The first few minutes of your baby's life are a critical time. The doctor must check his or her breathing, muscle movement, and other vital signs. All these checks are part of the Apgar test, administered twice -- one minute and five minutes -- after birth. Make sure to ask your doctor about the test score, and find out what it all means on this page.
  • You will want to get to know your new baby right away. But you'll also want to make sure he or she is healthy. After a few hours of time alone with your newborn, the hospital will give him or her a thorough examination. A nurse or doctor will check eyes, ears, nose, size, breathing, organ function, and everything else from head to toe. Find out what they're looking for on this page.
  • Circumcision If your baby is a boy, you will make a decision that will affect him much later in life: whether to have him circumcised. Some experts believe there are health benefits for adult males; others aren't so sure. In either case, if you decide to have the circumcision, it should be on your son's second day. This page will tell you how to care for a newborn's circumcised penis.
  • Postpartum Care of the Umbilical Cord For a few weeks after birth, your baby will have a stump of umbilical cord where the belly button will be. You don't have to worry about this, but you can't ignore it, either. Caring for the cord is an easy thing to do until it dries up and falls off on its own. Learn how on this page. 

This information is solely for informational purposes. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. Neither the Editors of Consumer Guide (R), Publications International, Ltd., the author nor publisher take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading or following the information contained in this information. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Before undertaking any course of treatment, the reader must seek the advice of their physician or other health care provider.