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: How often will baby go to the pediatrician?

How often will my baby see the doctor in the first year? What will happen at the checkups, and what questions should I ask?

Re: How often will my baby see the doctor in the first year? What will happen at the checkups, and what questions should I ask?

The Bump Expert

Every pediatrician has a slightly difference schedule for well child visits, of course. The American Academy of Pediatrics has a minimum standard of being seen at birth, two to four days after birth, and then at two, four, six, nine and twelve months, though many doctors do see the babies a bit more frequently.

The purpose of well child visits is to monitor your baby's growth and development, and for you to get any questions answered. Some people think immunizations are the whole reason for well child visits, and this is a part of it, the shots are definitely not the only reason you go. Your doctor is there to help you monitor growth, health, nutrition, safety and development. Don't be shy about bringing a list of questions! You know your own baby best, so it's important that you feel comfortable bringing up concerns. If your doctor doesn't want a list of questions... change doctors!

Dr. Vicki Papadeas

Q&A: How often will baby go to the pediatrician?

I was confused too but now with your answer all seems to be clear for me. Tomorrow I'll the pediatrician to make an appointment. Oferte cazare munte

gabrielaela |