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: Playing with baby too much?

Is it healthy for me to spend a lot of time playing with baby? Should I let her play alone instead?

Re: Is it healthy for me to spend a lot of time playing with baby? Should I let her play alone instead?

The Bump Expert

Kimberly Cossar, OTR: Children need interaction, whether it's with other kids or with adults. If they are able to play with other babies, they can get a good deal of stimulation there -- but other children aren't always around, and it becomes necessary for a parent to step into that role. And even when playmates are around, they are going to need an adult to direct their play. It is crucial for adults to play and interact with kids of all ages, and it is a major responsibility of adults to foster children's play in order to enhance their development. During play, children are learning and developing skills (even though they just see it as fun). It is also important for small children to start learning some aspects of adults life (pretending to work, cook, drive...).

However, it is important for us as adults to remember to allow the child to direct the play by making choices. We are there to guide the play activities, not control them. It is our job to provide the appropriate toys, a safe and inviting environment, and plan play activities that are motivating for the child.

Erin van Vuuren


Crappy article.

Kecia007 |