Common Questions About Newborn Care

Q. When can I give my newborn a bath?

You should wait until the umbilical cord falls off. Until then, just give your baby a sponge bath. Newborns don’t need to be bathed more than once or twice a week.

Q. How long until the umbilical cord falls off?

Usually, the cord will fall off within one to two weeks after birth.

Q. How do I care for my son’s circumcision?

Your doctor and/or nurse will give you specific instructions. It’s important to keep the penis well-lubricated with Vaseline and gauze. You should change this with every diaper changing.

Q. My baby seems to have acne. Is this normal?

About one-fifth of newborns develop pimples or have acne in the first month. These usually appear on the cheeks and forehead, and disappear within a few months. It is thought that maternal hormones cause these. Do not try to break open or squeeze the pimples, as this can lead to infection.

Q. How do I obtain my baby's birth certificate and social security card?

A birth certificate takes at least 2-4 weeks to be completed by the State of Missouri. Once the state has completed the birth certificate, they notify Social Security.\ This only happens if the parent(s) give permission on the worksheet that is completed at the hospital for Social Security. You can request a copy of your baby's birth certificate in one of three ways:
  • Send your completed green Birth Certificate Request form (provided in your baby's folder from Missouri Baptist) with a check or money order for $15 to:

Bureau of Vital Statistics
111 South Meramec Drive
Clayton, MO 63105
(314) 615-1686

  • In person, go directly to the address listed above.
  • Online for an additional fee at

You should receive your baby's Social Security number in about 8 weeks if you have given permission. Any questions or concerns regarding your baby's Social Security card, call (800) 772-1213. The Birth Certificate Office at MoBap Medical Center can be reached at (314) 996-5746.