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: Musical toys for baby?

What are good musical toys for tots?

Re: What are good musical toys for tots?

The Bump Expert

Ali Wing: For babies, it's all about percussion. While lots of everyday kitchen items can be utilized as a percussion instrument, musical toys are designed with safety in mind (and will prevent your kitchen from becoming a playpen). Here are my top choices for kid-friendly instruments:

Mini maracas or egg shakers
Maracas have a handle and egg shakers don't, but both are easy for little hands to hold onto and are easy to play. Babies as young as 10 months old can enjoy shaking them back and forth like a rattle, encouraging early rhythm and motor skills, but toddlers love them too., $18

These are also incredibly easy to play and instantly create delightful sounds with no skill required. Some have drumheads in the middle and some don't, but the most important feature is that they're junior-sized so they won't be too hard to hold onto., $19

Train whistles
Anyone can have fun with a train whistle. And it's more versatile than you’d think: Even the simplest train whistles change in pitch with different breaths. (They're also a great way to get a little boy who’s otherwise more interested in trains and cars focused on music class.), $7

A fun, simple tool for learning rhythm -- and you might just create a little flamenco dancer in the process. Grown-up versions are complicated, but these kid-friendly castanets come in cool animal shapes and are a snap to play. Music Together, $5

Drums and mallets
Kids love the gratification of banging on drums. The best versions have cloth heads for safety. I love this drum set that incorporates multiple surfaces for a variety of sounds. It's great for teaching rhythm and a lot more fun than a single surface. One Step Ahead, $30.

*All prices are subject to change.

Ali Wing, founder and CEO of Giggle stores

Q&A: Musical toys for baby?

I notice a reviewer called that tambourine "fragile and dangerous".

CNelson |

Q&A: Musical toys for baby?

I was thrilled to see this topic and sooo disappointed in the answer. Why in the world would it be "all about percussion" for babies? As an early childhood music specialist, I am deeply offended that this information would be presented as researched fact- it seems to be more like "here are the top 5 search results I got when I typed in 'baby fun music toys' in google". Music can have such a tremendous positive impact on brain development, and for it to be reduced to plastic toys to bang is such a shame. Please, if you are a new mother, find a local music teacher and ask their advice- it can provide your child with so many advantages, not to mention fun!!

besu-chan |

Q&A: Musical toys for baby?

Sorry Besu-Chan, Percussion is the best starting point for infants and toddlers when it comes to musical toys they can USE. Realizing that they make the sound by their actions triggers the brain connections. Don't get upset if baby can't match a beat (some parents can't either). That will come in time. I have found that Singamajigs are great for infants and toddlers. They create tones that harmonize when played together. They do vocal exercises that baby can imitate to develope the use of the voice high and low, and they sing American Folk Songs (something that has been sadly dissappearing from the American music classroom). Learn the songs yourself and sing along or create a vocalizing chorus of Singamajigs. -NJ Music Teacher

tubateach |

Q&A: Musical toys for baby?

I have a crib toy (ties to the side or you can lay it in the floor for tummy time) that is a fabric piano keyboard, in the crib she loves to kick and of course you can set it to play full songs or single notes or even animal sounds (different animal picture on each key) my daughter loved it so much I kept it for six years waiting on number two!

CindyBrimmer |

Q&A: Musical toys for baby?

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cherrin15 |

Q&A: Musical toys for baby?

Cindy I have a piano crib toy too, and my son LOVES IT. It's made my Chicco, I would really recommend it. He loves to kick and kick it!

jfeuerman |

Q&A: Musical toys for baby?

A toy containing smooth and slow music like flute and piano is a good for baby. Joey Atlas Review

kathleenadams88 |

Q&A: Musical toys for baby?

I love music for babies, especially my Tiny Love mobile, it keeps my Alexandra occupied and focused not only on the music she hears but the slow motion of the characters. She has the Starry Night mobile from Babies R Us.

mari852 |

Q&A: Musical toys for baby?

Fisher Price makes a great musical Table

Pammy66 |

Q&A: Musical toys for baby?

I have prepared a lot of toys at home.hublot replica

helleneddy |

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