Parenting in KFL&A
Adult holding baby.
We hope your first week with your baby went well. Can you believe your baby is now a week old?

Everyone wants to meet your new bundle of joy! Ask family and friends to check to ensure their vaccines are up to date and to stay away if they are sick. Remind anyone holding your baby to wash their hands, and not to kiss your baby’s cute face.
Adult holding baby. Baby has hearing test sensor in ear and on forehead.
Appointment alert!
Did you know that two out of 1000 babies have hearing loss at birth?

A free hearing screening is provided for all newborns in Ontario. The tests are quick and comfortable. Some babies are tested at the hospital and others are tested in the community. Sometimes a second test is needed.

Hearing screening is only offered to newborns up to 8 weeks old. Call us if your infant has missed the screening: 613-549-1232, ext. 1145.
Find more information at
Adult using damp cloth to wipe baby's gums.
Taking care of baby's mouth
Your baby might not have teeth yet, but it’s a good time to start healthy dental habits. Clean your baby’s mouth daily using a clean, damp cloth to wipe their gums.
If your baby drinks from a bottle, never put your baby to bed with their bottle. It can cause tooth decay.

Did you know?
Breastfed babies need a daily vitamin D supplement of 10 µg (400 IU). This can be found at your local pharmacy.
Baby sleeping on their back in a crib.
Sleep for your baby
Babies under 3 months of age:
  • normally sleep between 14 and 17 hours a day,
  • usually wake every 2 to 3 hours to eat,
  • may sleep at any time of the day or night, and
  • may move, grunt, and twitch during sleep. You don’t need to respond to these movements unless your baby wakes up.

Try these tips to help your baby sleep:
  • Allow sunlight into the home during the day and keep the lights low at night.
  • Start a calming bedtime routine with your baby, including things such as reading a story, bath time, baby massage, singing, or rocking.
  • Try feeding, rocking, singing, shushing, or patting to help soothe your baby.

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is when a healthy baby dies when sleeping for no known reason. There are things you can do that lower the risk of your baby dying or getting hurt while sleeping.

Everyone who cares for your baby should be aware of these guidelines. They should follow them each time your baby is placed to sleep for naptime and bedtime.

Where should my baby sleep?
  • Place your baby to sleep alone in a crib, cradle, or bassinet that meets Health Canada’s safety regulations. Products such as sleep positioners, side-car cribs and cots, baby hammocks, playpens and infant swings are not recommended for infant sleep.
  • Place your baby on their back for every sleep.
  • Use a firm mattress with a tight fitted sheet. Remove all items that could cover your baby’s face, like pillows, blankets, bumper pads, or toys.
  • Keep your baby in the same room with you during the first 6 months of their life.
  • Keep the room at a comfortable temperature.

What should my baby wear?
  • Babies should wear a fitted one-piece sleeper.
  • Don’t swaddle your baby. The blanket can come loose and cover your baby’s face, or if the swaddle is too tight it could hurt your baby’s hips. Instead, use an extra one-piece sleeper.
  • Being too warm can increase the risk of SIDS. Babies have cold hands, so feel your baby’s back to check their temperature.
  • If you choose to use a sleep sac, read the instructions, and use the correct size so your baby’s face doesn’t get covered.

What else can I do to keep my baby safe while sleeping?
  • Keep smoke away from your baby, including fabrics that have been touched by tobacco or cannabis (“marijuana”, “pot”, “weed”) smoke (like clothing or furniture) as they still have the chemicals on them.
  • Breastfeed your baby.

What about bedsharing?
The safest place for your baby to sleep is alone in a crib, cradle, or bassinet that meets the Health Canada safety regulations. Bed-sharing can increase your baby’s risk of dying or getting hurt.

Some things make sharing a bed with your baby more dangerous.
Do not share a bed with your baby if:
  • You or your partner smokes tobacco or cannabis (“marijuana”, “pot”, “weed”).
    • If you smoked tobacco or cannabis during pregnancy.
    • You or your partner are under the influence of drugs, alcohol, or sedatives.
    • Your baby was born early (before 37 weeks)
    • Your baby had a low birth weight (less than 5 pounds, 8 ounces or 2500 grams)

If you think you might share a bed with your baby, or might fall asleep with your baby, take the following steps to make the bed as safe as possible:
  • Never sleep with your baby on a surface such as a couch, sofa, armchair, waterbed, or air mattress.
    • Make sure the mattress is firm and covered with a fitted sheet.
    • Clear the bed of blankets, pillows, toys and all other objects.
    • Only have parents and the baby in the bed.
    • Make sure your partner and other household members know the baby is in bed with you.
    • Move the bed away from the wall, so your baby cannot get trapped.
    • Continue to follow the general safe sleep guidelines in this e-mail.
Adult sleeping in bed with mouth open.
Parent sleep (or lack of)
Getting enough sleep is tough when you have little ones. Here are some tips to help sleep happen more easily:
  • Make sleep a priority over chores
  • Start a relaxing bedtime routine
  • Avoid caffeine, alcohol, and screen-use before bed
  • Spend some time outside during the day
Two adults looking at baby.
Healthy Babies Healthy Children (HBHC)
A free, confidential, and voluntary home visiting program. A public health nurse can support you and your family with:
  • Becoming parents
  • Your mental and physical health
  • Feeding your baby
  • Finding helpful services in your community

If you would like a public health nurse to contact you to see if HBHC is a good fit, complete the online form at or call 613-549-1232, ext. 1524 or e-mail
We are all crossing our fingers and hoping that you get some rest this week! Enjoy the snuggles with your baby. We will be in touch with you next week.
KFL&A Public Health, 221 Portsmouth Avenue, Kingston, Ontario K7M 1V5