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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Which Cleaning Products Are Harmful to Baby?

Are there cleaners, stains or other products I should be avoiding around baby?


Are there cleaners, stains or other products I should be avoiding around baby?

The Bump Expert

Unfortunately, there are few scientific studies to guide us on this issue. But if it's not natural, it probably shouldn't be used around baby. "The precautions I recommend are generally common sense. Read the labels of your products carefully and avoid anything labeled as toxic," says Dr. Ashley Roman. "You may also want to consider using or making alternative cleaning products with baking soda or vinegar."

Try replacing your usual brands with Babyganics, a brand that makes exclusively non-toxic, baby-friendly products, from detergents to diapers and sanitizing wipes.

Dr. Cheryl Wu reminds parents to carefully store potentially dangerous products. "You should be careful with basically anything that could be drunk by a curious toddler." she says. "Of course, that includes locking away all alcohol and medications -- over-the-counter as well as vitamins and supplements."

The Bump Editors

Q&A: Cleaning products harmful to baby?

Many of the chemicals in cleaners are toxic and/or carcinogenic. I started cleaning with vinegar and found that it works way better than storebought cleaners. For an all purpose cleaner, a 50/50 mix of water and distilled white vinegar is awesome. I mop with hot water with about a cup of vinegar and a splash of rubbing alcohol, and found that I got stains off the floor that I'd been scrubbing at for months with floor cleaner! The vinegar smell goes away within about 20 minutes of drying, even less if the windows are open. Give it a try, it's definitely safe and saves money too!

krissyg2010 |

Q&A: Cleaning products harmful to baby?

Some cleaning products can have harmful substances for little children. If you want more information about this matter you can talk to one of my friends from trash removal nj. He will probably offer you very useful information. Good luck and take care!!

DanielF |

Q&A: Cleaning products harmful to baby?

Every time when I have something to do in the house, I have with me a flashlight and some uniross rechargeable batteries. All you have to do is to enjoy working in a safer and greener environment and build your place with a big smile on your face.

lionking44 |

Q&A: Cleaning products harmful to baby?

I saw an interesting documentary about this issue, and I got scared. I didn't know that the usual cleaning products can be harmful not only for your baby but also for you. So I've searched for the advantages of using the ecological cleaning products instead of the usual ones. I don't want to get sick because of this matter.

marta8080 |