Baby Care Basics:
5 Must-Know Tips for That First Week Home

1. Baby wipes
Most docs recommend avoiding premoistened diaper wipes for the first month of baby's life since some of their chemicals can irritate a newborn's tender skin. Instead, use cotton balls dipped in warm water. When baby’s ready for regular wipes, choose ones that are alcohol-free and unscented to prevent irritation.

2. Bath time
Until baby’s umbilical cord is off and healed, baby can only take sponge baths. Start by soaking your baby a little. Make sure to always keep one hand on baby, and remember that infants are especially slippery when wet. Start with his face–one area at a time since covering the whole face with a washcloth can be scary -- and work your way down. Make sure to thoroughly wash inside all the folds (under the arms, in the neck, the genital area, etc.) and save baby’s dirtiest parts -- aka the diaper area -- for last. Then, move back up and wash baby’s hair. And note: There’s no need to bathe more than every few days.

3. Newborn skin
At birth, baby's skin will probably appear to be dry. How come? It’s in the process of peeling off an entire waterproof layer of sorts. But in general, a baby's skin doesn’t need much specialized care -- just lots of TLC. A mild cleanser is safe, though many people recommend just plain water. Your baby's face takes a lot of abuse (just think of all that spitting!), so do your best to keep it clean. But if baby's skin seems excessively dry, irritated or itchy, or if you notice a rash or breakout, consult your pediatrician ASAP.

4. The umbilical cord get sucked into registering for cute toys or outfits Umbilical cord care has changed dramatically over the last 20 years; now, many hospitals recommend doing nothing but keeping the cord dry (read: sponge baths only). But some pediatricians still recommend using alcohol on the cord with each diaper change to speed up the healing process. That way you’ll be able to give your baby real baths, as opposed to sponge baths, sooner. So find out what your doctor recommends.

5. Fingernails and toenails
The safest way to keep a newborn’s nails short is to just file them and not cut them at all. Since the skin of the fingers is usually attached to the back of the nail, cutting the nails often results in nipping the fingertip too (ouch!). Even though the bleeding is minor and can be stopped quickly with a little pressure, it's very upsetting to the parent -- and always seems like a lot more blood than it really is! Once baby is a little older (18 months), you can cut their nails while they’re asleep.

baby registry

need to buy a gift?

Find baby registries (at top retailers!) and websites with one easy search.

what's hot around the web

you asked...

Q&A: Best parenting books?

There are so many books on parenting… what are the best ones?

Re: There are so many books on parenting… what are the best ones?

The Bump Expert

Some of our own personal favorites, along with recommendations from our users:
Baby Bargains, 9th Edition: Secrets to Saving 20% to 50% on baby furniture, gear, clothes, toys, maternity wear and much more! by Denise Fields
Lstaylor73: It's a must. It will answer so many questions.




The Happiest Baby on the Block: The New Way to Calm Crying and Help Your Newborn Baby Sleep Longer
by Dr. Harvey Karp
debbiej: a lifesaving baby book for DS's first few months. I buy it for all my expecting friends.




So That's What They're For!: The Definitive Breastfeeding Guide, 3rd edition
by Janet Tamaro
milfy1: totally approachable writing style; makes you feel good about what you are doing; gives really good tips for every nursing scenario (working, staying home, weaning)
BartsGirl: Wonderful breastfeeding reference! I know this is going to be a practice makes perfect skill, so I'll read anything that can make the learning fun and humorous.

Touchpoints: Your Child’s Emotional and Behavioral Development, Birth to 3, by T. Berry Brazelton, M.D.
Covers just about every issue and question you’ll have in the early years. Also check out Feeding Your Child: The Brazelton Way, Sleep: The Brazelton Way, and Discipline: The Brazelton Way, written with Joshua Sparrow.


Your Baby and Child , by Penelope Leach
This all-time classic takes a clear, common-sense approach to issues like feeding and growing, teeth and teething, everyday care, excreting, sleeping, and crying and comforting. Covers birth to five years.


The No-Cry Sleep Solution: Gentle Ways to Help Your Baby Sleep Through the Night , by Elizabeth Pantley
If the cry-it-out technique feels too cruel but you just can’t face another night of running to and from the nursery, try the approach laid out in this book. The easy, step-by-step instructions should make your nights a little less nightmarish.


Child Behavior: The Classic Childcare Manual from the Gesell Institute of Human Development , by Crances Ilg and Louise Bates Ames
The Gesell Institute is your best resource for any development issues. Their books (including volumes for every year of life, up through the teens) explain how to prevent and treat behavior problems, from the common to the serious.


The Baby Book by William Sears, M.D. an Martha Sears, R.N.
It's been dubbed the "baby bible." This book focuses on all the essentials from sleeping, development to health


The Wonder Weeks by Hetty Van Rijt and Frans Plooij
Your comprehensive guide to baby's development during the first 20 months of his life.

The Bump Editors

Q&A: Best parenting books?

The Babywise books by Gary Ezzo and Robert Bucknam. The series has been around for quite a while, go all the way up to parenting teenagers, and are concise and informative reads. I LOVE THEM!

koliver820 |