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.

baby registry

need to buy a gift?

Find baby registries (at top retailers!) and websites with one easy search.

what's hot around the web

you asked...

Q&A: Nanny training basics?

Now that I've hired a nanny, what kind of instructions and training should I give her to make sure everything goes smoothly while I'm away?

Re: Now that I've hired a nanny, what kind of instructions and training should I give her to make sure everything goes smoothly while I'm away?

The Bump Expert

Properly training a nanny is one of the most important things you can do to protect your children and ensure their best care. When working with a new nanny, I always put together a Home Care Booklet which contains all important childcare and household information. In the binder there should be a few important documents for the nanny to read and be able to reference when you are not there. For example:

[  ] In-depth job description, including all aspects of the job

[  ] Daily schedules for what the nanny should do morning until night

[  ] Schedules for each child

[  ] Schedules for pet or household events (i.e. when the trash is to be taken out)

[  ] Directions to important places (local hospital, doctors, school, classes)

[  ] Emergency information on your child, including blood type, medical history, current medicines

[  ] Emergency contact information for parents, family, neighbors, etc.

[  ] Household information (how to work the alarm, the heating, AC, etc.)

 
By arming your nanny with as much information as possible, you are ensuring a smooth transition and less stress during an emergency. When emergencies occur, people often become stressed and do not think clearly. However, if you set up a home care booklet, the nanny will know exactly where to go to get the crucial information.

In the beginning of the working relationship, sit with your nanny and first establish how you would like the relationship to be maintained. For example, should you each check in once a week and perhaps then once a month after things are transitioned. Be direct and tell her how you would like her to communicate with you. Remember to work with your nanny as a partner. A successful and honest partnership between nanny and parents fosters greater care and comfort for the children.

Tammy Gold

Q&A: Nanny training basics?

FOR BABY: You may also try to be there too, during the first few times your nanny is home. Your child won't get scared or sad you're not there and there's a new person instead. He'll get used to the nanny being there and slowly, you can leave him for short periods of time. Eventually, the nanny will become another one of his friends and you won't have any problems.

charlieandcharlie |

Q&A: Nanny training basics?

I have been a Nanny for seven years now, and I would say to remember that your house is your Nanny's office, and remind her that her office is also your home. So, for example, don't leave your sink full of dirty dishes when you leave for work, and expect her to clean them up, or worse, just ignore them. And expect that she not leave her stuff from the day laying around when she leaves.

kuoppala13 |