Newborn Care: Parental Comfort Zones
By Michael Schoenwetter
When speaking with
parents in my practice, I can quickly assess a family’s stress level.
There are certain families that are more relaxed and calm when dealing
with concerns regarding their children. This is how the parental comfort
The zones are an illustration of a families level of comfort when
dealing with challenges and questions with regards to parental care of
their children. The zones are broken down into a spectrum of 4 main
colors, moving from white, yellow, orange to red (from left to right) –
See Illustration below.
The White Zone parent is one that is naïve and may not understand the
scope of their child’s issue. An example of this is a parent bringing in
their 3 day old for a
jaundice check and telling me that their newborn is
throughout the whole night. These parents did not understand that their
newborn should be feeding every 2-3 hours and were surprised at how much
weight their baby had lost, which is discussed on the
On the other end of the spectrum, the Red
Zone parent is one that is afraid and overwhelmed. This is the type of
parent that may call me throughout the night regarding their baby
hiccups, which is a normal behavior of a newborn. The healthier zones
are found in the middle of the spectrum, which include the Orange Zone
and Yellow Zone.
Doctors can use the zone classification to determine what type of
intervention is needed to get the family into a healthier zone. The
ultimate goal is to move a parent into the Yellow Zone which is
discussed much more in the
A parent who classifies themselves into one
of the more unhealthy zones (White Zone and Red Zone) can seek help from
their support network of family, friends and health care providers to
move them into a more healthy parental comfort zone. The newborn DVD
will help transition a new parent into a healthier zone by answering the
most frequently asked questions parents have for their pediatricians.
The DVD will also prepare a new parent by educating what is normal and
what is cause to visit a your pediatrician.
Newborn Care Site Map
Newborn Care DVD
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