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: Outdoor fun with baby?

It's gorgeous outside today! Any ideas for fun ways to enjoy it with baby?

Re: It's gorgeous outside today! Any ideas for fun ways to enjoy it with baby?

The Bump Expert

Yes! Warm weather and sunshine means lots of fun outdoor firsts for baby. Here are a few simple ways to make the most of a summery day:

Play with bubbles! Not only is it fun to watch the suds raining down, this activity is great for baby’s sensory development. Bubbles popping on skin is a new sensation that can help your little one get used to new textures. If baby is big enough, make a game of popping bubbles using different parts of the body (poking with fingers, stomping with feet, etc.) -- this fun bonding activity exercises gross motor skills.

Fly a kite! Ok. So maybe baby’s about a tenth of the size of the thing… still, this can be a fun family activity. Pack a picnic, spread out a blanket, plop down baby (don’t forget the sun protection!), and take to the skies with your spouse. Baby will love watching the colorful fabric dancing in the air, and it never hurts to see the parents playing together!

Find the music! Forget the Wiggles soundtrack for once and check out local music festivals and outdoor concerts for some grown up tunes. The outdoor setting allows you to protect baby’s ears by keeping far from the speakers -- lay out a blanket, dance with baby in the grass, and relax to your favorite grooves. Nothing going on near you? Bring out the CD player, grab a blanket and umbrella, and have a backyard picnic/private music fest.

Pick some berries! Many local farms will let you come in and pick your own fruits and veggies (usually at market price). This is a great way to show baby where her food comes from, and she’ll love eating her own pickings.

The Bump Editors

re: Q: Outdoor Fun?

Grab your stroller and go for a run! I have a BOB Stroller to take my two kids out in the fresh air. The Ironman glides on the road and even with two kids I can move quickly along without feeling like I'm pushing an elephant :)My kids love to see everything going on outside. My youngest even falls asleep sometimes because of the methodic movements. I can let him sleep with the strollers reclining seat. Give it a try. I'm sure other kids will love it too!

mamoll08 |

Q&A: Outdoor fun with baby?

If you would like more answers from a variety of moms, you could post this question in the free classified ads. Lots of moms will probably provide many options that you could have never imagined:))

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Q&A: Outdoor fun with baby?

My baby is very hard to entertain and it took a while to find what he likes. When we're going to the park I hang a couple balloons to his stroller. When I noticed that he's preoccupied I start to learn a couple of psychic readings I've bought earlier.

LenBrannon |

Q&A: Outdoor fun with baby?

I think you can do a lot of things in order to have fun with your family. We planned to visit Spain because my wife love those places. I would like to see beaches clean of North Spain and it seems that our son loves it.

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Q&A: Outdoor fun with baby?

When he got a little older I bought a jukebox hire Newcastle machine and we started to sing at karaoke. Soon, my husband was caught in this activity as well. Later, at my son's birthday, all my family singed Nancy Sinatra.

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