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.

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Where do birthmarks come from?

Why does baby have birthmarks? Should I be worried about them?


Why does baby have birthmarks? Should I be worried about them?

The Bump Expert

Birthmarks can’t be prevented and they aren’t caused by any problems in pregnancy -- so no, there’s nothing you did to cause baby to have birthmarks. Most birthmarks that baby gets when she comes out of the womb or that develop after birth are permanent, but some of them eventually fade as baby gets older. Birthmarks can be genetic or spontaneous. They can look flat or raised, and the borders can look regular or irregular. Birthmarks can be different shades -- everything from brown and tan to pink or purple.

You’ll want to be careful about some birthmarks -- sometimes they may be a sign of an underlying condition. The location of the birthmarks can clue you into whether you should take baby to the doctor. It’s important to look into ones along the midline of the spine or near areas of the central nervous system -- those birthmarks may be a sign of a condition called neurofibromatosis, which affects the development and growth of nerve cell tissues. More random birthmarks, like ones on baby’s legs or butt, are less important and sometimes go away.

The other different types of birthmarks are:

Cafe Au Lait: These are coffee-colored and can show up anywhere on baby’s body. A single or pair of these spots is normal, but if baby has multiple birthmarks that are coffee-colored and speckled (especially under baby’s arms), it could be a sign of a genetic condition.

Congenital Nevus: These birthmarks are large moles. They can be as small as a couple of millimeters or as big as a few centimeters in diameter. Babies with these birthmarks may be more susceptible to skin cancer, so you should have baby’s doctor monitor any marks at checkups.

Slate Gray Nevus, aka Mongolian Blue Spot: These birthmarks are large and bluish-gray in color -- they might look like a bruise. They’re common in dark-skinned and Asian babies. They usually fade when baby gets older, so they’re pretty harmless.

Port-Wine Stain: These birthmarks typically appear on the face and neck, and are pink but turn darker as baby gets older. They may also be bumpy or raised. They’re normal, but sometimes are connected with Klippel-Trenaunay syndrome or Sturge-Weber syndrome, so you might want to get your doctor to check just in case. The birthmarks are permanent and can be removed with laser therapy.

Stork Bites or Salmon Patches: These birthmarks are pink and flat, and are found on the back of the neck above baby’s hairline or on baby’s eyelids. They’re caused by capillary blood vessels near the skin, but don’t worry -- they’re nothing to worry about. They usually fade, and the ones that don’t are normally covered by hair, so no cosmetic removal would be necessary.

Hemangioma: These birthmarks are raised pink or red marks that grow during baby’s first year and then shrink as baby gets older. They can be removed with a laser, and some fast-growing marks may need medication or laser treatments. If baby has three or more, has one on the middle of her face, neck or scalp, or has a large one that covers part of her face, you should take baby to the doctor to look for internal ones. Internal birthmarks are called visceral hemangiomas and can occur in the liver, intestines, airways and brain. They can cause problems in those areas, so an ultrasound will be needed to check for them.

Plus, more from The Bump:

How to Care for Your Newborn's Skin

10 Totally Weird but Totally Normal Things About Your Newborn

Dealing with Soft Spots on Your Newborn

Alanna Levine, MD, pediatrician at Orangetown Pediatric Associates in Tappan, New York

Where do birthmarks come from?

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Doremon |

Where do birthmarks come from?

If you want a more mystical response, I've understood birthmarks come from a mother's theft while she was pregnant, because she lecherous. Of course, you'll never find this answer on serious health websites like Evolv Health, but it doesn't hurt knowing nice stories, as well.

LindsaySkye |

Where do birthmarks come from?

I shouldn't be too worried if I were you, if those birthmarks aren't near areas of the nervous system, as described here, then they don't represent any real danger. I have one on the cheek and although it hasn't faded away with time, I usually go to a beauty salon and they cover it really nicely.

CheyanneEdith |

Where do birthmarks come from?

I used to hate my birthmark until a discussion with my friend Trey White made me feel better about it. It's about accepting your body as it is, because it's your strongest weapon. I don't want to remove it or hide it or anything, because it's a part of who I am. I wish more people would feel the same.

Christian Guillaume |

Where do birthmarks come from?

All these genetic predispositions scare me. I don't know how many of them are true, but I want to believe that not all of them. The father of a friend of mine was at an alcohol rehab clinic. He is terrified that he may inherit this bad habit from his father.

RonAbner56 |

Where do birthmarks come from?

Don't be too worried about them, they define a person. If your baby will later decide he doesn't like it, he can easily go to the Baker cosmetic surgery clinic and get it removed. But usually, people keep them.

jessicanaoko |

Where do birthmarks come from?

I think you could make a call to Kovak Laser Institute and you will surely find answers to your questions. Try this out and write the answers we got.

Norrah |

Where do birthmarks come from?

One can come to know the fact by reading Narconon Fresh Start Reviews that during entire rehabilitation program all the clients are treated as students. They are not told that they are suffering from any disease rather cognitive therapy for mind modification is used to treat them because addiction is an avoidable habit related to the mind. Narconon believes that only need is to modify one’s life and environment with innovative approach in order to eventually rehab the addiction problem.

Allenwood |

Where do birthmarks come from?

All these genetic predispositions scare me.

Knottie08209572 |