Skip to main content

The Baby’s First Test website makes it easier to navigate the newborn stage

Having a newborn is nothing easy. Luckily, there are a trove of online resources that are designed to make the newborn stage at least a little bit easier on new parents. One of these is the Baby’s First Test website. This helpful hub of information helps new parents learn about newborn screening, what to expect during the newborn screening process and what steps to take depending on what that screening process reveals. And if you thought you didn’t need to worry about newborn screening until after you had the baby, think again. This is something you should consider before the baby is born, as it usually impacts your baby during the first few days of life. 

Here’s everything you need to know, and what the Baby’s First Test website can do for you. 

mom holding baby
Image used with permission by copyright holder

What is newborn screening?

First things first — what is newborn screening? If you’ve yet to learn about this state-ran public health service, it’s essentially a testing process that begins while your baby is still in the hospital. Using a small blood sample and typically a hearing test, the screening process looks for certain diseases and conditions that are identifiable in newborns, to give your baby the best chance at the healthiest life possible. Newborn screening differs from state to state, but most states screen for more than 30 different conditions, and screening occurs automatically in United States hospitals when you give birth unless you choose to opt-out of the process for religious reasons. 

The Baby’s First Test website breaks down the entire screening process for you, so you know exactly what to expect and what will happen to your baby during the process, as well as what happens to the procured samples. 

What happens after a screening?

After a screening, your baby’s results will only be reported back to you if there’s something abnormal about the results. So, if you don’t hear anything back, don’t worry. Your baby showed no signs of any of the tested-for conditions. If you do receive a positive or out-of-range test result, it means that your baby is at high risk for having one of the tested-for conditions. It’s not a 100% positive guarantee that he does have that condition, however, and so follow-up testing is necessary. 

In the event that your baby is diagnosed with a health condition based on her newborn screening, the Baby’s First Test website can provide you with resources for living with certain conditions, finding advocacy and support, talking to health care providers, finding specialists, planning for the future, and working with your insurance provider as needed.

How else can the Baby’s First Test website help me?

Beyond walking you through the newborn screening process, from knowing about the process ahead of time to knowing what to do after the screening process, the Baby’s First Test website can help you in other ways, too. 

If you have a question about newborn screening, for example, that’s not covered through the website’s various resources, you can use the handy Ask an Expert feature to send a question their way. 

You can also use the state search feature to see what your individual state offers during its screening process. For example, a quick look at New York’s newborn screening policies shows that the state currently screens for 60 conditions, ranging from maple syrup urine disease to hemoglobin disorders, endocrine disorders to cystic fibrosis, and hearing loss. Searching for your state also allows you to learn what exactly your state does with the procured blood samples. 

The website likewise offers more resources for parents who may want to pursue additional newborn screening services to supplement the state-provided screening service. 

mother and newborn baby
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Newborn screening is the first step toward your baby’s best, healthy life

Newborn screening is required in all 50 states for an excellent reason — it can help make sure your baby lives their best life, and help you to take the right steps, soonest, to keep your baby healthy. Learning everything you can about the process and being equipped with the right resources you need, in the event your screening comes back with an abnormal result, can further ensure you’re prepared for your baby’s first test. 

Need more information about protecting your newborn’s health? Check out our articles on the best wraps to keep newborns safe and how to safely introduce your newborn to the family pup.

Editors' Recommendations

Holly Riddle
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Holly Riddle is a freelance food, travel and lifestyle journalist, who also dabbles in copywriting, ghostwriting and fiction…
Need to move things along? You can actually make prune juice for babies
Prune juice works for adults, but is it good for babies, too?
Mother comforting a crying baby

Prunes act as a natural laxative. The fruit is often used when adults and kids have difficulty going to the bathroom. As a parent, constipation is a major source of concern especially when it comes to babies. When babies get constipated parents often feel helpless, not knowing what to do to provide relief.
If you need some help to move things along, you may want to try a homemade remedy like prune juice for babies. Prune juice is a natural solution that's quick and easy to make at home. The important question to ask before heading to the blender though is prune juice safe for babies?

Signs of constipation in babies
Prune juice for babies is an option when little ones are constipated, but it's a good idea to know what you're dealing with before considering using prunes as a laxative for your kiddo. As an adult, it's simple to recognize when you're constipated, but what are the symptoms when a baby has difficulty pooping?

Read more
What to expect at every ultrasound and how many you may have
What happens when you have an ultrasound at 8 weeks pregnant? Here's what to expect
An ultrasound on a screen

Pregnancy is such an exciting time for any expectant parent. One of the most exciting moments is going for an ultrasound when you finally get that first glimpse at your bundle of joy. As your baby grows, you'll an ultrasound will allow you to see your baby as it develops. You may begin to notice facial features or even see your little one already sucking on their thumb or blowing bubbles. Those tiny feet kicking you? They’ll start to appear, too.

It’s amazing how quickly (but slowly) these soon-to-be humans develop. Your 8-week ultrasound may show a small blob-like photo, whereas an ultrasound done just a few weeks later will reveal a forming head and even cheekbones. As you progress in your pregnancy, you’ll see more and more development.

Read more
When should a baby sleep in their own room? The best time to make the switch
How to tell if your baby is ready to sleep in their own room
Baby sleeping on their back.

Babies grow and develop so much during the first year of their life and with that comes a constantly evolving sleep schedule. Many parents choose to either co-sleep or have a bassinet near their bed to provide as little sleep disruption as possible, especially for newborns. But as the baby gets a little older and begins to sleep longer, many parents find themselves wondering when to move their baby to their own room. From official recommendations to your own gut instinct, we'll take you through how to make these choices.

When to move from a bassinet to a crib
You should move your baby out of their bassinet once they reach its weight limit, which will likely be between 10 and 20 pounds. Additionally, if your baby begins to roll over or sit up, you should move them to a crib. Even if neither of these factors applies, and if you see your baby becoming cramped with its head touching the wall of the bassinet, it's time to move to a crib. You don't have to move from a bassinet to a crib and from your room to their own room at the same time, but it is most convenient for many.

Read more