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: Flu shot for baby?

Should my baby get a flu shot?

Re: Should my baby get a flu shot?

The Bump Expert

If baby is at least six months old, the government's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) says yes. Children age six months to five years are in the high risk category for flu complications, so immunization could literally be a life-saver.

Worried about mercury? You can check out the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention site for info on which flu shots do (and don't) contain thimerosal (the preservative in some shots that contains ethlymercury). According to the CDC, "There is no convincing evidence of harm caused by the small amount of thimerosal in vaccines, except for minor effects like swelling and redness at the injection site due to sensitivity to thimerosal," so don't freak out if the shot you're looking for isn't available. But do your homework and ask your docs about your options -- the government anticipates plenty of thermerosal-free vaccines to go around for the under three set.

And, if your child is two-years-old or older, there's a new mercury-free alternative: the nasal spray vaccine, FluMist. The spray was previously only available to kids over five, but it has now been approved for younger tots! However, you should steer clear if baby has asthma or does a lot of wheezing -- this one is not for those with respiratory issues.

Important note: If your baby is less than six months or has an egg allergy (talk to your ped if you aren't sure), skip both forms of the vaccine!

Erin van Vuuren

Q&A: Flu shot for baby?

no

DeVriesK |

Q&A: Flu shot for baby?

I gave it to DD

kenitaw248 |

Q&A: Flu shot for baby?

I've never had the flu shot and am 28 years old. Never really believed in them and I don't feel comfortable giving it to my baby :(

almondjoysam |

Q&A: Flu shot for baby?

my pediatrician forced my daughter into it....i've never had one n she will never again if i can help it

geegee2118 |

Q&A: Flu shot for baby?

when i asked, my doc said "they don't use mercury in shots for kids anymore." my son (almost 9 months now) got it. it came in 2 parts, 3 weeks apart. i read what the center of disease control said and other sites and it seems the benefits far outweigh the risks. i don't want my infant getting the flu. i also don't want to live with the guilt of him having the flu becasue i was doubtful and listened to hearsay (which i did before i started reading.) just my two cents.

christeeprego |

Q&A: Flu shot for baby?

There is no guarantee that your baby will not get the flu if vaccinated...

futuremrs.cavallin |

Q&A: Flu shot for baby?

I didn't. I agree there is no guarantee that my baby wouldn't get the flu with the shot. Also, I stay home with him and he is not in a daycare setting where he would be more prone to catch it. geegee- It is your responsibility to make decisions for your daughter and if you don't want her to get the shot then say no and stand firm in your decision. It sounds like you need to find a new doctor.

Smithkr1688 |

Q&A: Flu shot for baby?

i have never had the shot in my life and never got the flu. My daughter got it from my sister working in the ER but she did really good. She was achy and sore throat for about 4 days and then was better than before. The doc said since she already got it we dont have to give her the flu vac. Then my job made me get it for the first time and then about a week later I got so sick . i think its a lose lose situation. I dont believe in them.

shasanin |

Q&A: Flu shot for baby?

New Moms crack me up. I love how not a single person who has responded does not cite themselves as a medical professional. More than likely, this is also their first child. Let me respond as an experienced mother of four. My children are fully vaccinated and will all receive the flu shot, including my seven-month-old, as will my husband and I. New Moms always think they know everything, even ignoring advice from experts, doctors, and the Center for Disease Control! Doctors will tell you their children get vaccinated. By not vaccinating your children, you make the risk of spreading the disease to others, thereby widening the pandemic, and making the flu more likely to mutate. To all you new Moms out there, the Bump provides expert opinions, as do your doctor and the CDC. Please don't make any decisions based on what you read on the message board from non-experts and their opinions. Get facts from medical professionals, please.

ginabear16 |

Q&A: Flu shot for baby?

...and before you ask, not a single one of my children has autism or developmental delays.

ginabear16 |

Q&A: Flu shot for baby?

Ginabear that was pretty rude to say. I am a first time mom and I don't think I know it all. That's why I come to these q and a's so I can get others OPINIONS not doctor advice. And it sounds like it's the other way around that you know everything. Everyone has to be a first time mom sometime and this stuff helps when there are moms on here that are positive and willing to give an opinion and not put everyone else's opinion down. I got my daughter her first half of flu shot and I am stay at home mom but I do take precautions. Not because I know it all but because I love her and have read both sides an believe this is best for my baby girl. Next time there is no need for you to be rude everyone just trying to help each other. I don't see how that makes new moms know-it-alls.

Amimorichelli |

Q&A: Flu shot for baby?

I actually agree with Ginabear16 and I am a first time mom myself. Until you have earned a degree and have done the physical research yourself then there is no need to downgrade vaccinations. The reactions are based upon family history and it is the parents responsibility to find out about that. I have had the flu shot my entire life and I've never had a problem with it. If you've never had the flu shot and end up getting then yes you will have a reaction to it. It's your body's way of building up the immunity. Not giving your child the shot or any other vaccine increases the risks for other individuals. Stop being liberal and start being smart. The CDC created vaccines for a reason. To prevent diseases/illnesses from spreading.

MommaV521 |

Q&A: Flu shot for baby?

Ginabear, I'm not sure how having four children makes you an expert on the efficacy and safety of the flu shot for babies. You do not cite yourself as a medical professional either, so what makes you more qualified to talk about this subject than anyone else. Having four kids means squat when it comes to being well versed in the pros and cons of vaccines. My qualifications? I have spent the last 2 years researching vaccines on both sides of the argument. I would encourage all moms, first timers or old pros, to actually read up about vaccines and their dangers and efficacy. Dr. Sears' vaccine book is excellent as he does not take a particular stance but instead gives you both sides of the argument. Oh, and he's an actual doctor. I have never received the flu shot and it was not common practice before the 90s and I have never had the flu. I don't believe it causes autism. What I do believe is that injecting a tiny body with mercury, formaldehyde and other toxic chemicals in levels that the CDC actually classifies as too high for adults is dangerous. I'm all for wiping out these deadly diseases but the government needs to work on making vaccines safe and not lining their pockets. Moms, do what you think is best but get educated first. Doctors do not know everything. Your friends with 17 kids don't know everything. Ginabear doesn't know everything. The CDC and even your pediatrician make A LOT of money from injecting your child with chemicals, chemicals that often times do not prevent the disease they are trying to prevent. Get educated! If you have any questions or would like me to send you scientific documentation, please contact me at raculara1@gmail.com.

raculara |

Q&A: Flu shot for baby?

I was on the fence on giving my 6 month old the flu shot but after MANY conversations with his Pedi I decided I would do it. My son had no negative reaction from the shot- not even swelling or soreness at the injection site. Recently the stomach flu spread like wildfire through his daycare and of course he got it. He threw up for an hour and a half in the middle of the night and was completely fine an hour later! He did spread it to myself and my husband (and all 4 grandparents and great-grandfather) but he was over it in less than 2 hours while we were all 24+ hrs. Coincidence or flu shot, I don't care- it was quick and painless for him and that's all that matters!! If this flu shot saves him from getting even 1 cold I will be happy! I completely understand being leery about it, I think it makes you normal, but all and all I think it's worth it! (He went back for his booster today so KNOCK ON WOOD, hopefully no reactions!!!)

CalliPeters |

Q&A: Flu shot for baby?

My daughter is 7 months old and did not get a flu shot. I have had one in my life and that year, I got sicker than I had ever been. That was 20 years ago and I have never had one again, and will not have one again. I did not get one while I was pregnant either. There are so many different strains of the flu, there is no way to vaccinate for them all. I am not a medical professional, but just speaking on personal experience. None of our family ever gets a flu shot.

aldillon16 |

Q&A: Flu shot for baby?

Most certainly. I never had one in my life until I had my baby. Now it makes no sense not to. He may get the flu, but if he gets a less severe version, if he can be more protected, I will make it happen. He's in day care and every virus under the sun goes around like wildfire. I'll take all the help I can get in keeping him healthy. I will also get one every year from now on. His health is just too important. Of course I can't save him from all the world's ills but I can try!

dianambegley |

Q&A: Flu shot for baby?

I choose to give it to my daughter and she ran a high fever for two days and the other shots she had in the past she never had a reaction and well that decided me for next year im never doing it again it made her sooo sad and hott i didnt like it at all

Shortylynn1549 |

Q&A: Flu shot for baby?

I would not do it. DH wanted to so dd got it and she didnt feel good for 2 days after getting it. I will not have her get it again.

Jacquelyne88 |

Q&A: Flu shot for baby?

Wow! I am reading all of these comments and I realize that some of them were over a year ago but, I wanted to give some advice from a medical professional. I actually work in an infectious disease clinic, as a medical professional, with a variety of physicians and nurses specializing in infectious diseases. I REALLY wish that parents would listen to their doctors and the CDC. Yes, pediatricians make money being doctors, BUT they are also paid to look out for the well being of your child! I think that is a totally ridiculous argument on why or why not you should get vaccines. Raculara-it scares me that you are letting people contact you for "correct" information and possibly pulling more people away from safely protecting their children. For everyone who had a reaction to the flu shot--this is normal--You will most likely have a reaction the first couple of times you get it because your body is building up the antibodies to fight the infection. The flu shot changes every year to include new strains that we see in the prior flu season. I have many friends who have chosen not to vaccinate their children and honestly I do not take my daughter around them. Please be sure to read accurate facts from the CDC and weigh the pros and cons. Please protect your children.

LizD328 |

Q&A: Flu shot for baby?

I find it interesting that not one person has brought up the fact that they are GUESSING as to which vaccine to make available each year, in hopes that they pick the correct one. Also, if you read the CDC's Table of Approved Influenza Vaccines for the U.S. 2012–2013 Season, you will find that some DO contain thimerosal. So please do NOT listen to anyone who says it has been removed from vaccines. Just not true. Now, I am not saying that thimerosal does or does not cause autism, but if you are a parent that is concerned about the prospect, do the proper research.

heyblondie |

Q&A: Flu shot for baby?

If your baby is 6 months or older, yes they can get the flu shot. I believe it has to be the shot and not the nasal spray form of vaccine. Since babies are in the high risk category for the flu and any complications from getting it, they do recommed babies getting the vaccine. It is totally your choice on if you want your baby to get the vaccine so don't let anyone on here or any where else make that choice for you. If your baby is very young(6 months to 1 year)they will need 2 different shots due to that they are getting a smaller dose of the vaccine at a time. I chose to give it to my daughter and my husband and myself also got the vaccine. We feel we would rather be safe than sorry. I know I would rather give my daughter the vaccine over her getting the flu and possibly getting even sicker from complications to the flu. So, yes, if you want to give your baby the vaccine, go for it, and if you have any questions or concerns about it, bring it up to your ped. They will answer anything you may have about it. Good luck.

kerrierageth |

Q&A: Flu shot for baby?

I do agree with ginabear16....my daughter has been vaccinated as well and will get all the vaccines that she will need in the future(she's10 months). I am a first time mom of a very healthy daughter who does not have autisim which I know some say comes from getting vaccines. I talk to my doc and get the info I need. I am a health professional myself and yes, don't let others try and persuade me in anyway on the desicions I make for my daughter. There is always a risk of still getting the flu from the flu shot since it doesn't protect against all the different strains of flu out there. Also, no, you CANT get the flu from the flu shot. You are getting a vaccine from a dead virus. If you get the flu after getting the vaccine, you were already exposed to it before getting the vaccine. So, just a wives tale for that one. Everyone on here needs to seek the help of a doctor if they ever have questions about their health or the health of their child.

kerrierageth |

Q&A: Flu shot for baby?

I agree with ginabear and kerrierageth. I am a new mom and I have to use my common sense when it comes to what is best for my baby. I have to trust my doctor as I know he has my sons best interest in mind. Also, He has MUCH more experience than any mother even if they do have several kids. He has dealt with hundreds or more. There are way too many opinions flying out there on the internet. It is too easy for people to get caught up in them. If you don't trust your doctor, get a new one. ***It is important for mothers to listen to their health professionals over message boards of baby.com.**

casheh |

flu-shot-for-baby

WOW - a lot of self-righteous people out there. Please don't read these things for advice. Listen to your doctor and if you don't trust them, get a new one.

kimschoppert |

Q&A: Flu shot for baby?

I have been reading the bump articles and message boards since I became a new mom 14 months ago. I actually officially joined so that I could respond to ginabear's comments which I agree were very rude. My baby is now 14 months old and my doctor has never asked me about my son getting a flu shot. If he would I would refuse. I'm not an expert and I don't claim to be. I simply don't trust the CDC or the FDA or any of these organizations to tell me what is safe. During Christmas this year my husband, myself, and my 14 month old, along with his grandparent, my sister, her husband, their 4 year old son, and their 24 month old daughter all got the flu. We all had chills and fever. The children all threw up. I about 2 days my son was fine. My sisters kids followed a couple days later. It is very rare that flus turn into horrible illnesses. I don't know of any family member or friend or anyone that had a child that was hospitalized for the flu. Medications are constantly being recalled and removed after being administered for years because they are all of a sudden deemed unsafe. At least with the flu you know what your getting. Who knows what kinds of chemicals are in the vaccines..?

Pen82 |

Q&A: Flu shot for baby?

To MommaV521, you should be aware that the CDC does NOT create vaccines. Big Pharmacy creates vaccines, for profit.

vickivail98 |

Q&A: Flu shot for baby?

While some people may enjoy making snide comments about "new moms" as though a) they were never in that position and b) as though it implies they are less intelligent for not just taking their doctor's word or "experts". As a mom we have the right to do what we conclude is best for our kids. But let's keep in mind who has special interests in the CDC schedule...and there are lots of $$$ behind it.

k2theizo |

Q&A: Flu shot for baby?

Not sure why some people feel the need to put down "new moms" because they seek information and don't just do as they are told by doctors and experts. It is a dangerous practice to just do as your told. Let's not forget where the vaccine schedule comes from and who has special interests in it...yes Big Pharma. Profit margins are what influence the "recommendations". That being said it is up to you as the mother to do what is best for your kids.

k2theizo |

Q&A: Flu shot for baby?

The flu shot is for the flu it doesn't stop a cold. Or strep. I will be giving my 8 month old the shot right before the season. I had the shot while pregnant and I never got sick. I am a new mom as well. I want to protect my baby from whatever I can. It's your child so you make a decision on what suits you and your family. No judgement here. And I don't think ginger ear was trying to be rude. Sometime things come across wrong on these threads. And if you think she's being rude don't stir the pot and make more drama.

Chapman1stTimeMom12 |

Q&A: Flu shot for baby?

agree with Raculara...doctors don't know everything!! They did CDC guideline basic can get away any of liability in case if its happened. Every baby is different, follow you common sense, research and talk to your family husband to analysis yourself make the decision.

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Q&A: Flu shot for baby?

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Q&A: Flu shot for baby?

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Q&A: Flu shot for baby?

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