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: Resistance to crib at naptime?

My 11-month-old daughter won't take a nap in her crib, and she never has. She goes to sleep at night just fine but won’t nap in her crib. What can I do?

Re: My 11-month-old daughter won't take a nap in her crib, and she never has. She goes to sleep at night just fine but won’t nap in her crib. What can I do?

The Bump Expert

We hear this complaint from many parents. The simple answer is that getting daytime sleep is a different animal than getting nighttime sleep. This is particularly true if your child is light sensitive or has a hard time winding down and/or making transitions.

At your daughter’s age, she still needs two naps a day (ideally one hour in the morning and two hours in the afternoon). After you have her nap schedule ironed out, the trick is communicating, “You can do this! It’s just the same as nighttime.”

Help make this point by doing an abbreviated version of your usual bedtime routine. This could be as simple as changing her diaper, putting her in more comfortable sleeping clothes, and singing the song you sing before bed. Also, we advise parents facing nap challenges to make sure their child’s room is as dark as possible by installing room-darkening curtains. This visual indication that it’s sleep time can really help them settle down quickly.

With these changes, your baby should make the leap to loving daytime crib sleep too. It might take up to two weeks for her to learn, but if you’re consistent and give her a chance, she’ll eventually catch on.

Plus, More from The Bump:

Tricky Ways to Help Baby Sleep

When Should Baby Drop a Nap?

Hot Topic: Letting Baby Cry it Out

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

re: Q: Resistance to crib at naptime?

Thats why DS naps in a pack n play thats located in a different room. He knows thats for naptime, and the crib/nursery is for night time. He still sometimes resists naptime, but at least, I don't confuse him that he thinks its already bedtime.

ylimebride |

Q&A: Resistance to crib at naptime?

My 3 month old is the same, she will not sleep in the basinette in our bedroom unless its for the nighttime sleep. She will however sleep in arms, or in her rocker in the lounge happily..but not in the bedroom.

arnette146 |

Q&A: Resistance to crib at naptime?

My 11 month old protests naptime by standing up in her crib. Okay, that's not so unique. Problem is, she falls asleep that way--slumped over the railing. We're afraid she's going to fall down in her sleep and bonk her head. When we try to physically lay her down, she wakes up and the whole process starts over again. I've started rocking her to sleep to avoid this but I know that's ultimately not a good idea. Anyone have any advice?

clandersny |

Q&A: Resistance to crib at naptime?

Pack and Play or the swing is used for daytime naps in our home, and crib sleeping is for the all nighter ;) He does well with this.

selbara |

Q&A: Resistance to crib at naptime?

My 9 month old is way worse! She refuses to sleep in anything but her swing EVER! Ive tried weaning her into her crib and she screams and cries for hours, i thought well just let her cry herself to sleep but after hours and not falling asleep i give in! Its so hard to get her to lay or sleep in her crib. Any help please?!

sammyanthea |

Q&A: Resistance to crib at naptime?

One thing that someone suggested to me (since my son (3 months at the time) had surgery to repair a cleft lip and was under Dr.'s orders not to have a pacifier for 6 weeks which made going to sleep at all next to impossible for him) was to lay him in is bed, but on top of a shirt that's clean, but one you've worn long enough to have your scent on it. It helped a little bit. He would snuggle into the shirt, thus staying in his bed. He's 9 months now, and getting him to sleep in his bed isn't nearly as hard. Also, your baby may have a specific ritual that helps calm him/her down. I stumbled upon my son's one day. Give him his paci and something to hold (I.e. a receiving blankie) and he'd be out like a light in no time. A friend's son wouldn't sleep unless he had a blankie (or shirt or clean burp cloth in a pinch) covered over his head. Try different things like that. Maybe a stuffed animal might do the trick. You never know what baby may think is comfy enough to sleep with.

QuinlansPhoto |

Q&A: Resistance to crib at naptime?

I have noticed that you do know a lot about cribs for little children. I have a question for you: how do you feel about using a temper pedic mattress for your the kid's crib? Do you know people who do that?

PandaMorning |

Q&A: Resistance to crib at naptime?

My daughter is now almost 5 months. She has slept in her crib throughout the daynwi no problems. Within the last week I have not been able to put her down for a nap. As soon as her head touches the mattress she is wide awake. I don't know what to do. I need the time she usually spent napping (2-3 hours at a time) to start packing and getting other things done around the house. I am going to try sme the ideas I saw above, but any other suggestions would be appreciated

jlh0324 |

Q&A: Resistance to crib at naptime?

I have a 6 month old that did that a few months ago. I had curtains that block the light that goes into her room, and I put the music on the CD player that I use for at night. She never misses a nap now!

angelrabekah |


My 9 month old will not sleep in her crib at all. When I put her in there she cries bloody murder. I've tried just going out of the room in hopes she'd cry herself to sleep, but it never works. Is it too late for her to learn to sleep in her crib at this stage?

DomBruno2012 |

Q&A: Resistance to crib at naptime?

My daughter is the complete opposite. Naps with no problems for 2-3 hours but night time she cries and fights being her crib. She gets up every 2 hrs or so. Any suggestion??

nhaughn00 |

Q&A: Resistance to crib at naptime?

my son is 10 months old now... he used to only sleep in the swing which was great until he was too long for it... so then I was able to transition him to the crib for naps pretty easily since he slept in the crib from 2 weeks old.... Then one day at about 9 months - I couldn't put him down for a nap anymore - he can be out cold on me and he touches down and WIDE AWAKE screaming.... I saw he slept in a stroller at my MIL and I tried it at home... 4 weeks later - he naps 2 solid naps every day strapped in... he needs his bottle and his blanket touching his face and he is OUT - good luck mom's!

maltaballa |

Q&A: Resistance to crib at naptime?

My 11 mo DD (1 year in 2 weeks!) will not sleep in her crib at all. She used to sleep through the night just fine, but then we were all sick for about a week and I had to let her sleep in our room so we could clean her nose and mouth every so often.... We were so ill we stumbled and nearly fell every time we got up at night, it wasn't safe to leave her in a crib and try to keep lifting/carrying her to the changing table..... Now she only sleeps on the floor on a couch cushion or very firm pillow. She won't sleep on a bed or in her crib, if we put her in it after she's asleep she just wakes and screams. The walls are thin and at 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 am (plus every half hour or 15 mins in between) this just is not practical. I don't mind that she sleeps on the floor, especially since it is actually warmer than her crib, I just do not understand the sudden fear/rage that she has for her bed she used to like so much.....

meque183 |

Q&A: Resistance to crib at naptime?

my daughter co-sleeps at night with me which we have been doing for 7 months. She just wasn't sleeping in her crib. And she would nap on her feeding pillow when she was young. So we started putting her to sleep in her bouncer chair. We would rock the chair and she would fall right to sleep. Around 6 months I told my boyfriend its time to get her in the crib. She would sleep in it for an hour and sometimes and hour and a half. but she moves around so much she wakes herself up now. I know I could leave her there to go back to sleep but she doesn't fall asleep if I put her in the crib, we have to bounce around the room in a circle holding her until she falls asleep. So lately she has only been sleeping 10 minutes and then she wakes up. its so frustrating because she was doing so well and i can't seem to get a break since my bf is away working until the beginning of April. any advice?

Graicelynn |

Q&A: Resistance to crib at naptime?

I swaddle my 9 month old son ( with his arms out) making sure to have a corner of his fluffy blankie under his head. That way when we lay him down he doesn't feel the cold sheet on the back of his head. I also make sure to keep the room cool so he doesn't get overheated.

demouri2623 |

Q&A: Resistance to crib at naptime?

I am having similar issues with my 10 mo baby girl. She sleeps great in her crib at night but not for naps during the day. I will sometimes put her in the carseat and drive around just to get her to sleep! I started putting her in the carseat for a nap in her room with a blanket in it to make it soft, and she will drop right off most of the time. I don't know what I am going to do when she outgrows this carseat!!

gemmaloo633 |

Q&A: Resistance to crib at naptime?

I am having issues with getting my 9mth old dd to sleep in her crib at all! The only way i can get her to sleep in it is if i purt her down while sleeping already. She will last a few hours then shes up and if i dont get in her room quick enough to put her binky back in her mouth then she will not go back to sleep in their. At night she sleeps in a pack and play next to my bed but by 3-4am she wants to be in my bed with me and my husband. I don't real;ly mind but my husband does. I don't know how else i can get her into her crib besides putting her in while sleeping being i am not a fan of CIO. Any advice for me ladies?????

dkny155 |