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: Kids sharing a room?

Our children share a room. How can we help our new baby learn to sleep through the night so he doesn’t wake up his older brother?

Re: Our children share a room. How can we help our new baby learn to sleep through the night so he doesn’t wake up his older brother?

The Bump Expert

First of all, you shouldn’t expect baby to sleep through the night until after four months or so. Since it can take awhile for baby to settle into a routine, you may want to temporarily move your older child out of the room.

Make sure you make the move fun for your older son. For example, make up a special bed in your room (using his mattress), let him decide where to put it in the room, and thank him for helping to teach his brother how to be a good sleeper. You can give him a special treat like stickers or a new pair of pajamas. You may also want to purchase or borrow a white noise machine for your older child’s new sleeping space. This will help him sleep through any crying or noises you and your husband may make during the night. Tell him that he may hear his little brother crying in the night but that he’s okay and you’re making sure he’s safe.

Even though true sleep training usually can’t be started until baby is at least four months old, our advice in the meantime is consistency, consistency, consistency. Before you start any sleep teaching program, however, make sure your son 1) is healthy, 2) hasn’t received shots within the past 48 hours, and 3) isn’t experiencing a major life transition (e.g., mom going back to work). Pick a regular bedtime, incorporate a calming bedtime routine, and follow our tips for creating a sleep sanctuary.

When it comes to the best sleep teaching approach to use, it’s really a personal decision. You’ll have the most success if you pick one you and your partner can BOTH commit to and stick with.

sleep experts conner herman and kira ryan Conner Herman and Kira Ryan, cofounders of Dream Team Baby

Q&A: Kids sharing a room?

...this is all good advice...but my situation is a little more complex......I have a 5 & 1/2 year old step-daughter, that we get every weekend. She has a nice bedroom, that opens up into the nursury (used to be her playroom, now it will be the nursury), she has JUST LEARNED to sleep on her own in her room on the weekends with us (during the week, she still sleeps with her mom, we don't like this arrangement...but have no choice, as it's her mothers doing...)...I am worried about how to get her to not get up when the baby cries etc...we plan on keeping the baby in our room in a cradle for the first 3 months..but after that..I don't know how it can work. We cannot take the above advice and "give her a special sleeping space in our room" or we will be losing the progress we have made getting her to sleep in her own bed (finally!!) Any tips? Also, do you think this will disrupt the babys "consistant schedule" with her sharing a room with him (the new baby) only on weekends? Any advice would be appreciated.

mybelly7 |

Q&A: Kids sharing a room?

When I decided to put my two children in the same room, I discussed with a New York interior designer to make the room as comfortable as can get. A girl and a boy living in the same room can usually lead to personality losses.

CheyanneEdith |

Q&A: Kids sharing a room?

Our kids (4.5 and 18mo) have shared a room since the little one was 5 months old and began sleeping through the night (until then she slept in our room). The key is getting their bedtime routines to match up in timing and honestly, when they do get up at night (and our younger daughter still does at least once a night), big sister never wakes up. The same thing happens in reverse. The funny part is that neither of them can go to sleep without the other anymore. If we are letting our older daughter stay up late as a treat, she has to "pretend" to sleep in her bed until her sister is asleep ;)

INDYdog20 |

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