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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Q&A: Dealing with teething?

My six-month-old is super fussy.  How can I tell if it’s teething or something else?  What can I do to help him?  

Re: My six-month-old is super fussy.  How can I tell if it’s teething or something else?  What can I do to help him?  

The Bump Expert

When your little angel turns into a cranky devil, there's a good chance he's teething. Is he drooling a lot? Rubbing his mouth or ears? Trying to gnaw anything he can get his lips on? Does he have an unusual amount of diaper rash? Is he running a mild fever? (101 or less -- anything more isn't from teething and merits a call to the pediatrician.) Run a finger along his gums to feel for hard raised bumps or sharp bits. The two front bottom teeth are usually the first to come in, followed by the two front top ones.

You can help by giving him something cool and hard to gnaw on (like a spoon or teething toy you’ve popped in the freezer). Acetaminophen can help with pain relief, but check with the doctor for the right dosage. And even if your little guy shows no real evidence that teeth are about to make an appearance, feel free to use “He’s teething!” as an all-purpose excuse when he bursts into tears at the sight of your mother or tries to chomp another baby’s finger during play group.

Plus, more from The Bump:

Do Teething Tablets Work?

Baby Teething Chart

When Teething Affects Baby's Sleep

Paula Kashtan

re: Q: Dealing With Teething?

My pedi said the teething tablets have an ingredient in them that in high doses can cause hallucinations, and since it isn't regulated by the FDA, a bottle of them could have a high concentration of that ingredient. Therefore, causing your child to have hallucinations. Has anyone ever heard of this? Or experienced it?

Lacey&Connor'sMom |

re: Q: Dealing With Teething?

My son has gotten 4 teeth in the past 3 weeks, then today I looked in his mouth, and he has two more coming in. He's been throwing up, running a temp (right around 102 degrees, and is fussier than he has ever been in his whole life. I feel like I've tried everything. I give him frozen teething rings, but he doesn't seem interested, I give him Tylenol, and baby Orajel, still nothing. A month of this and I'm starting to lose it! Any suggestions on what I should do? Both for him and me? I'm almost tempted to take him to the doctor.

inspireddesigns |

re: Q: Dealing with teething?

my daughter is almost 9 months and still she doesn't have her first set of teeth but she drools all the time. I keep wondering when is her going to come in

tonassity |

re: Q: Dealing with teething?

you can also use vanilla. you rub it on their gums and thy likeit and it has no ill affects to it it is all natural. we use mexican vanilla extract had he loves it .

tammiyates |

Q: Dealing with teething?

My son is constantily chewing on my fingers and drooling a lot but no teeth yet

ejzmama |

re: Q: Dealing with teething?

DS is about to be eight months old and has been teething for months but not a single one has come out yet. How long do I have to wait till I get worried?

sarahmonster07 |

Q&A: Dealing with teething?

I have 7-month-old twins. One has been teething for 4 months and just in the past 3 weeks got his first two teeth. The other has been teething for 3 months and finally has had a tiny white spot on his lower gum for a bit but no progress yet. It can definitely take a while! As for Hyland's Teething Tablets, I mentioned to my pedi that we were using them and she wasn't concerned, so I haven't heard about the research LaceyandConnor's mom asked about.

macchiatto |

Q&A: Dealing with teething?

Hi my 6 month old has been teething as well but no teeth have come through just yet. I use washcloths I wet them in the sink and put them in the freezer then I take them out when they are frozen and give them to her. She seems to like that much better then the teething rings since the washcloths bend and move a little more easier then the teething ring plastics' do. Just a suggestion that I use oh and when the little ones are fussy for weeks because of it remember to take a deep breath and know that it will end and will not carry on forever! :)

kimmi_22 |

Q&A: Dealing with teething?

The best to use is Biorin's Camilia. It is homeopathic and works wonders. I only give it to my daughter when teething keeps her from sleeping. I usually have to give her just one. It's a small liquid capsule. She doesn't love the taste, but feels way better after having one. I get it from Wegmans. You can search for it online. I see it for under $6 for 20 doses. So worth it!

mrsrecon1126 |

Q&A: Dealing with teething?

To laceyandconnor'smom: Yes, the ingredients that the pedi is talking about is belladonna. It is a plant compound used to make atropine which is a cardiac drug which is used to increase the heart rate. That being said, if you any specifics about homeopathy, you will know that the amounts of actual belladonna in the teething tablets is diluted out A LOT. Basically, the amount of belladonna in the tablets is 0.0003% which amounts to 0.002mg of belladonna. Actual atropine dose is 0.2 to 0.5mg. So a kid would have to eat truckloads literally of teething tablets to even hope to reach the adult dosage amount. Also, always use a reputable company like Hyland's or Boiron because their content is regulated by the Homeopathic Pharmacopeia of United States(or HPUS), which you should see written on their labels. So, you see, it really is not an issue. I am a pediatrician so I've researched this but you can also look on the Hyland's website. I give Boiron's formulation Camillia to my son. Hope that helps!

jackandmarie |

Q&A: Dealing with teething?

I give my daughter a washcloth that I soak in cold water. I just let her hold on to it and carry it around with us for her to gnaw on. It seems to work and keeps her happy.

MeganJack1 |

Q&A: Dealing with teething?

Biorin's Camilia it's the best! And... my baby girl loves the taste too!

Chenani |

Q&A: Dealing with teething?

my daughter is 7 months been teething for 3 just got her 1st tooth 2 weeks ago she likes chewin on her blanket n shes not that fussy only at night time

dallas110 |

Q&A: Dealing with teething?

my 5mo old really likes my home-made baby juice pops, its the baby juice (gerbers) diluted 50/50 with water... perfect for a teething baby on those summer nights.

smilinincali |

Q&A: Dealing with teething?

teething tablets have been recalled ... http://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/ucm230761.htm?sms_ss=facebook&at_xt=4cc4feb9589d0fd6%2C0

debkev |

Q&A: Dealing with teething?

Yes the highlands teething tablets were recalled because when parents give the child much more than recommended there can be reactions. I've started using teething liquid by boiron which us also homeopathic. My son is 6 mo and cut his first two a couple weeks ago with hardly any fussing!!

Dukprincess |

Q&A: Dealing with teething?

i just bought these teething toys called RazBaby RazBerry :) MY SON LOVES THEM!! his poor little mouth is popping out 3 teeth at once! talk about a cranky baby. im also using natural teething tabs. so far so good AND he is sleeping through the night!!!

tink8601 |

Q&A: Dealing with teething?

When helping with my brothers and when working with children in state's custody, we often used Orajel. Based on what I have read in recent years, though, I have been reluctant to use this with my own child (first baby). What I have found to be a LIFESAVER are these little self feeders with the mesh bag and handles like the Nuby Nibbler (http://www.amazon.com/Nuby-Nibbler-Food-Vegetable-Colors/dp/B0018EHTH4/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&s=baby-products&qid=1298393443&sr=1-3). I use a different brand, but have thrown away packaging and don't know actual name, sorry. In any event, when I make up baby food, I usually freeze some of it in cube form (any tray or baby food storage will work). When my LO is really struggling, I cut up a cube and put it in a self-feeder bag. This allows him to get the vitamins in the frozen pureed carrots or sweet potatoes or peas while chewing on the frozen yumminess. Because he had teeth before I introduced solid food, I used to put crushed breastmilk ice in the bags to chew. It makes a mess, it's true, but it really seems to be a great relief to him, and I don't have to worry about chemicals, leaking teething rings, or any kind of toxic interactions. While I was pg, I asked several moms to write down 3 must-haves. One mom contributed this one, and I am sooooo thankful. I hope this helps someone else!

brettski73 |

Q&A: Dealing with teething?

i have a 6 month old myself and he's been teething since 3 months. He's super fussy, but i found a way to soothe his gummies. I usually get the saline filled teething rings (the softer kind) and place it in the fridge for like an hr. Once I hand it to my baby he starts chewing on it and seems to calm him down. Someone told me the coolness of the ring helps minimize the pain. I also bought some "orajel naturals" it's called- and i rub it once a day where i can tell is swollen on the gum area.His first tooth on the bottom just started erupting so i can see a little white piece of the tooth and so I rub the orajel directly in that surrounding area. This really helps too. Also when I feed him his puree's i make sure they've been in the fridge at least 40 mins so it's nice and fresh and that soothes the gums as well. Besides that I don't do anything else cuz I'd rather not give him any other type of medicine. I work for a dentist so the doctor said there's really not much u can do for them other than give him the teething rings and rub a little orajel and also u can buy one of those little plastic brushes u can put on your finger, they have little tiny plastic bristles, and run the little brush on his gums- that REALLY helps. Don't worry,he'll get through it soon. I'm pretty sure it's the teething that makes him so fussy, cuz right about now is when they start. I also had my baby fussy like this for almost 3 months and his first tooth is just coming out now. We just have to be patient :)

pds4582 |

Q&A: Dealing with teething?

I use the same thing as brettski73 only I fill the mesh bag with crushed ice...only problem is they melt fast so I have to have a second one ready to go to keep the relief going...luckily they come in packs of two

leighallen |

Q&A: Dealing with teething?

My son got his lower 2 teeth a week before he turned 4 months! I was very surprised! He has not been fussy however when I bought this http://www.toysrus.com/product/index.jsp?productId=3476181&prodFindSrc=search my goodness he goes to town with it !! no teething toys for us! We totally love this!

Laissa55 |

Q&A: Dealing with teething?

My three-month-old is also teething. I talked to our pediatrician about it, and she suggested cinnamon sticks. They don't break, and they have a natural analgesic. I have found that my son, **MONITORED CAREFULLY**, enjoys frozen jumbo marshmallows. You have to be careful, because pieces can break off and become a choking hazard. The sugar also makes his poop stinky, but it keeps him quiet and happy.

FrogPunkin |

Q&A: Dealing with teething?

Try the amber teething necklace...i so was not a believer in these but now that i have experienced a baby wearing the necklace during teething i will forever swear by it. There has been minimal fussiness, no fever, no vomiting..nothing! I was given this necklace at my baby shower and the directions say it is to touch bay's skin at all times. Something in the amber stone is suppose to take the pain away. Just google amber teething necklace. My son gets TONS of comments on how cool/cute his necklace is and i am continually telling people its for teething (sometimes gets tiring) but i will continue to tell people all day long if i have to because it truly works!

roxyco339 |

Q&A: Dealing with teething?

Camillia is fantastic! Whoever mentioned the vanilla, I would be careful about that because, doesn't real vanilla have alcohol in it? I don't know much about it, but I'd check it out!

Val3G |

Q&A: Dealing with teething?

I use 3 pellets diluted in water of Humphreys 3 for teething and also put a ice cube inside a clean sock so she can suck on it and not made a mess...

klinete |

Q&A: Dealing with teething?

my 6 1/2 month baby boy has 5 teeth coming in all at the same time. his first tooth broke through last night. poor little guy. we use ice in a sock.

candidcandi |

Q&A: Dealing with teething?

my daughter just turned 5 months old a week ago and already has her to bottom teeth halfyway through and now her back molars are coming in, im not sure if thats normal or not but i have found babys react differently to orajel due to the unsual sensation. I bought the CVS brand infant tylenol, i give it to her when she seems fussy followed by a bottle and shes out like a light! only to wake up back to her happy self! for a few hours that is :)

babymcg1712 |

Q&A: Dealing with teething?

My 6 month old has 2 teeth and another coming up. I find the best thing to give him is an ice cube(in a Nubby, a hand-held device with a mesh covering, this way he doesnt eat the cube). I have also frozen my puree (carrot, sweet potato) and put those in there so he gets used to eating(he doesnt like food just yet). I also find he loves gnawing on my fingers. Hope this helps

kbellofiore |

Q&A: Dealing with teething?

Try Chewbeads we got some in our July box from citurs lane and they are a real life saver!!! http://www.citruslane.com/invitedby/Audrey.Albinger

Pipsicle |

Q&A: Dealing with teething?

I have stayed away from orajel just because I was told that it can harden the gums and make it more painful for teeth to come through when it wears off. I was told to use pickle spears for my daughter and she loves them, sometimes she even is contented with the pickle juice being rubbed on her gums with my finger. I have however started to cut the very inside out of the pickle because i worry about her choking on that part. Teething biscuits have been great too.

stephcham87 |

Q&A: Dealing with teething?

In response to the question about the teething tabs we used Hylands and havent had any issues with them and they seem to help. We only give the suggested dose on the bottle.

mikey_sieanna |

Q&A: Dealing with teething?

It's a belladonna in the teething tablets that is dangerous. It's a poison... in the nightshade family and it's common name is deadly nightshade. I was given teething tablets as a baby shower gift and when I read the ingredients, I couldn't believe they would even put it in. It's really not good for anyone let alone babies. My baby's nurse said I could give him a frozen or cold wash cloth or frozen bagel but as far as medicine, she only suggested Tylenol but only if necessary. Only 1/2 a teaspoon or 2.5mL.

smokeyangel |

Q&A: Dealing with teething?

I nursed my kids all the way through their teething, which I think helped to soothe them a lot.

nikkibs |

Q&A: Dealing with teething?

gumomile at natural shops, try them, rub in gums carefully so that it doesnt just slide off, it numbs the gums superbly but tastes yuck, tried on me, I know why she spits it out, 3 mins later she's happier though

monikatommy |

Q&A: Dealing with teething?

Frozen breast milk cubes in a mesh feeder. Viola!!!

Misssarah31 |

Q&A: Dealing with teething?

For those choosing to use vanilla, be warned that natural and artificial vanilla flavors, extracts, etc do contain alcohol unless they specify otherwise.

alainalynn |

Q&A: Dealing with teething?

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Q&A: Dealing with teething?

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Q&A: Dealing with teething?

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Q&A: Dealing with teething?

what i do , is first i try to feed him , something they just wanna little snack if he turn his face then i know its not that , next i gave him a toy or play with them sometime babies jus wanna feel like there loved but if you noitce his biteing down on his toy and wines while his doing it then its his teeth , sometimes as a mom its really hard to know what your baby wants cuz they cant talk but once thing u can noitce is the different in there cry so look out for that and youll be fine

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Q&A: Dealing with teething?

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