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After Your Baby Is Born

Your Baby’s Safety

Your baby’s safety is our priority from the moment of birth.

  • At birth, you, your baby and your partner/support person will be given identifications bands.  Please do not remove these while you are in hospital.
  • Your healthcare team will introduce themselves to you. Only allow staff with photo identification badges to provide care to you and your baby.
  • Never leave your baby alone. You or a support person must always watch your baby.
  • Ask your nurse about safe sleep practices.
  • While walking around the unit, please use a bassinet to transport your baby.

Where will my baby stay?

Once you and your baby are transferred and admitted to the Mother Baby/Obstetrics Unit, your baby will stay in your room all day and all night.  This helps you and your family get to know your baby, bond with your baby, and learn how to provide comfort and care, and establish feeding routines.

Your nurse and/or support person will help you care for yourself and your baby. Your nurse can also answer any questions you may have.

If your baby requires additional care, it may be admitted to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). Parents may visit their babies in the NICU. Your baby’s nurse in the NICU will explain to you what to expect while your baby is admitted there.

Registering your Baby

Every child born in Ontario must be registered with the province’s Office of the Registrar General.
Registration is required by Ontario law, and creates a permanent identity record for your baby.
There is no charge to register your baby.

Once you have registered your baby, you can then apply for other government services and documents such as:

  1. Birth Certificate
  2. Social Insurance Number
  3. Canada Child Benefits
  4. Ontario Health Card.

To register you will need information about your baby’s birth (date, time, delivering doctor’s name, etc.).
This information will be found on your discharge papers, which will be given to you when you leave the hospital.

You must register your baby’s birth with the Government of Ontario.

How to register:
Complete the Statement of Live Birth form online using Service Ontario’s Newborn Registration Service (
The hospital will provide you with instructions on how to do this.

Birth Certificate

  • You can apply for your baby’s birth certificate online, or you can get a hard copy of the “Request for Birth Certificate” form from any Canada Post outlet.
  • There is a fee for a birth certificate ($25-$75, depending on type), and it will be mailed to you.

Social Insurance Number (SIN) and Canada Child Benefits

  • You can apply for your baby’s SIN online when you register the birth, or get the “RC66 Canada Child Benefits Application Form” from the Canada Revenue Agency website, or by calling 1-800-959-2221
  • There is no fee for a SIN

Ontario Health Card (OHIP)

  • If your baby qualifies for OHIP coverage, you will be given a form while in hospital. Complete the top portion of the form and provide it to your nurse.  The bottom portion of the form will be your baby’s temporary health card until you receive the card in the mail.

Baby Care


Vitamin K
Newborns have very small amounts of Vitamin K stored in their bodies, which can lead to serious bleeding problems.  Within 6 hours of your baby’s birth, your baby will be given a Vitamin K injection in their thigh.  This Vitamin K injection is used to prevent bleeding in your baby.

The nurse will also talk to you about giving erythromycin, an antibiotic gel that is put in your baby’s eyes to prevent eye infections from gonorrhea. This medication is optional if you aren’t at risk for sexually transmitted infections.

Vitamin D
Breast milk does not have enough vitamin D. Vitamin D deficiency can cause rickets, which is the softening and weakening of bones.
Babies who are breastfed should get 400 International Units (IU) of vitamin D every day.
You can buy Vitamin D drops at any pharmacy, and follow the instructions on the bottle.


Skin-to-skin contact helps your baby get used to the outside world, improves bonding and helps with the feeding process.

You can perform skin-to-skin by removing your baby’s clothing, placing your baby facing you on your bare chest and covering their back with a blanket. Ensure that their mouth and nose are not covered.  You can perform skin-to-skin while in hospital and continue to do this when at home. This is something both you and your partner can do with your baby.

Your nursing staff will assist you in doing skin to skin care with your baby and answer any questions you may have.

Why do skin-to-skin?

  • Helps with breastfeeding and latching
  • Soothes baby
  • Keeps baby warm
  • Regulates heart rate and breathing
  • Strengthens the bond with your baby

Skin-to-skin can help your baby:

  • Feel less pain during a procedure (such as blood tests or injections)
  • Have a lower risk of infection
  • Feel more relaxed
  • Regulates the baby’s heart rate and breathing, helping them to better adapt to life outside the womb. ​​

What Will My Baby Be Screened For?​

Hearing Screening

Baby’s need to hear well to learn how to speak and understand.

You baby will have the opportunity to have their hearing tested before leaving the hospital.
A hearing screener will explain how the hearing test works and what the results mean.
If the hearing test shows possible signs of hearing loss, the hospital will refer you and your baby for follow up with Erin Oak Kids.

For more information visit Infant Hearing Services in Halton, Peel and Dufferin

Newborn Screening

Newborn Screening is a blood test taken at 24-48 hours of age to look for rare conditions that can cause health problems. Your nurse will perform a heel prick on your baby and place a small amount of blood on a filtered paper. The paper with the blood will be sent to the Newborn Screening Ontario Program Laboratory in Ottawa for testing.

A screening test is also done for Critical Congenital Heart Disease (CCHD) to help us find any potential heart problems, even if there are no signs or symptoms present. This test is painless and is done by placing a pulse oximeter on your baby’s hand and foot to measure the amount of oxygen in their blood. The results are available right away.

Please see Healthy Beginnings for more information or call the Ontario Newborn Screening Program 1877-627-8330 or visit site; and


Jaundice is a yellow colouring of the skin and the whites of the eyes. It is caused by extra bilirubin in the baby’s blood system. Bilirubin comes from the breakdown of red blood cells. Jaundice is fairly common and may be a part of your baby’s adjustment to life after birth.

Many babies become jaundiced at about 2 or 3 days after birth, reaching the highest level around 4 – 5 day of life and gradually decreasing by the end of the first week. While your baby is in hospital, your nurse will observe for signs of jaundice and at 24 hours your nurse will take a blood sample to screen for jaundice. The healthcare team will inform you before discharge if your baby needs treatment, or needs follow-up in our clinic.


Circumcision is not available during your hospital stay.

If you are thinking about circumcision, talk with your family doctor.
Circumcision is not covered by OHIP (Ontario Health Insurance Plan), and you will have to pay a fee for this procedure.

Car Seat Safety

Please purchase and install an infant car seat approved by the Canadian Motor Vehicles Safety Standards at least one month prior to the expected date of birth of your baby. All children less than 22 lbs. should be in a rear facing car seat.

How do I put baby in the car seat?

  • The harness strap must lay flat and fit snugly, allowing no more than 1 finger to slide under the strap.
  • The harness should be at or slightly below the shoulders with the baby’s back and bottom flat against the car seat.
  • There should be no snowsuits or baby blankets between the baby and the car seat.
  • The chest clip should be threaded properly and at armpit level.

Familiarize yourselves with your car seat and how to use it. Have it ready to use before you leave the hospital. Your nurse will check that you have the baby placed properly in the car seat before you go home.

Healthy Babies, Healthy Children

Healthy Babies, Healthy Children is a program provided by Public Health to support the Healthy Babies, Healthy Children is a program provided by Peel Public Health to support families’ well-being before and after the birth of a baby, and to help identify families who may benefit from parenting support through the Home Visiting Program.

The goal of the program is:
“To provide every family with a newborn in Ontario with the support they need to make healthy adjustment in the first few weeks of life as well as provide access to parenting support through community services.”

When you are in the hospital, you will be asked if you would like to be referred to this service. With your consent a Public Health nurse in your area will contact you within a few days after hospital discharge and provide you with information about available support services.

Safe Sleep

When putting your baby down to sleep always put your baby on their back to reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).  SIDS is the unexplained sudden death of a seemingly healthy infant of less than one year of age.  It is sometimes also referred to as crib death. To help prevent SIDS, we recommend:

  • Doing skin to skin with your baby
  • Placing your baby on their back when sleeping
  • Putting your baby on a firm surface (such as a mattress) in their own bed for the first 6 months of life
  • Removing any soft pillows, toys or loose bedding to prevent suffocation
  • Preventing your baby’s face from being covered
  • Leaving your baby’s hands free when swaddling
  • Alternating your baby’s position in the crib by placing their head near the foot of the crib one day, and the head of the crib the next day (babies tend to turn to look out of their crib)
  • Ensuring tour baby is in a smoke and/or drug free environment
  • Attending an infant safety and CPR session

Tummy Time for Play

Tummy time helps strengthen your baby’s muscles in the neck, back, shoulders and arms. It also helps your baby to learn large motor skills such as rolling, sitting and crawling and prevents “flat-head” (plagiocephaly).

To prevent “flat-head” you can place your baby on a flat surface on their stomach for short amounts of time 2 to 3 times a day. Here are a few ways you can encourage tummy time

  1. Place your baby down with a mirror or toy in front of them to look at.
  2. Lie on your back and put the baby’s tummy on your chest
  3. Use a rolled blanket or pillow under their chest to make it easier
  4. Place your baby on their stomach on your lap

For more information see the “Back to Sleep Tummy to Play Preventing SIDS & Baby Flat-Head” brochure provided in your discharge package at the hospital