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: Safe solids for baby?

I know about the obvious choking hazards (grapes, candy, hot dogs) but are there others that I should be aware of to keep my baby safe?

Re: I know about the obvious choking hazards (grapes, candy, hot dogs) but are there others that I should be aware of to keep my baby safe?

The Bump Expert

Kids under age five can choke on food and small objects. Believe it or not, a lot of the choking prevention advice for babies still holds for children up to 4 to 7 years old!

[ ] Your baby should sit up while eating, and be supervised at all times

[ ] Don't hurry your child when eating -- allow plenty of time for meals

[ ] Only put a small amount of food on the tray at a time

[ ] Avoid peanut butter -- it’s a choking hazard

[ ] Avoid round, firm foods and chunks (hot dogs, nuts, meat/cheese chunks, whole grapes, hard or sticky candy, popcorn, raw carrots, other firm, raw fruit or vegetable chunks)

[ ] Avoid foods that are sharp or angular (tortilla chips, potato chips, bagel chips)

[ ] Avoid foods that are small enough to be accidentally inhaled instead of swallowed (seeds, shelled nuts, popcorn, raisins)

[ ] Avoid stringy foods like string beans and celery.

[ ] Do not offer your baby honey before one year of age due to risk of botulism

[ ] The size of the pieces of food that you offer your baby depends on their oral motor skills. Start small, and when you think they are ready to progress, make the pieces a little bit larger. If it appears that your baby is not able to manage it in their mouth, go back to the smaller size, and try again with the larger size in a couple of weeks.

Nicole Meadow, MPN, RD, nutritionist

Q&A: Safe solids for baby?

The information on peanut butter is highly debated in the medical field. Most allergists believe that avoiding certain foods when baby is little will actually increase the risk of allergy! So, feed baby a wide variety of foods (except honey under 1 year!) and if you notice: vomiting, rash, trouble breathing after a food exposure, contact your doctor! Best wishes and congrats!

MLeitch |

Q&A: Safe solids for baby?

My daughter is 9 months old and has no teeth but she highly enjoys eating "solids" she is also very good at taking only one bite and chewing completely before taking another. her breakfast for the last few days have consisted of pancakes and waffles. waffles broken into the squares are perfect finger food size for training baby to chew, just make sure the bites arent too crispy other wise it wont melt a little like it needs to for new or teethless chewers.

karylina92 |

Q&A: Safe solids for baby?

Giant Gold Fish graham crackers are a big hit with my little guy, but watch out, what a mess!

CitizenKane |

Q&A: Safe solids for baby?

I am afraid to give solid food to my baby, she is 6 months old and she loves frozen yoghurt bought from donper america frozen yogurt stores. My husband wanted to give her peanut butter but I told him that was not a good idea because I heard a lot of stories about babies eating peanut butter and having allergies.

amyabel68 |

Q&A: Safe solids for baby?

Peanut butter may or may not be an allergy issue. However, it is more of a choking issue in the early months of starting solids. It can get easily stuck in baby's mouth or throat and can be difficult to swallow without good tongue control. Also, certain fruits are best given through mesh food holders. Frozen bananas or melon are particularly nice when used in mesh holders for teething babies.

corduroy000 |

Q&A: Safe solids for baby?

Regardless of allergies, I am not sure if giving your baby peanut butter OR honey is a great idea since he or she could choke on it. I have a full mouth of teeth and years of experience of chewing and even i sometimes get choked up on PB. I think it takes common sense when feeding your baby.

casheh |

Q&A: Safe solids for baby?

i know some doctors discourage peanut butter due to allergies, but this is saying don't feed a baby peanut butter due to CHOKING hazard. Peanut butter is so sticky that it has the potential to get stuck in the airway. Also, nuts in general are hard and not able to be chewed properly by babies.

alasKATExas |

Q&A: Safe solids for baby?

There are many solids that are definitely not recommended for babies less then 1 year old. And this should be respected in order to avoid any risk with your baby. You can find here all the allergy risks, all the solids recommended for a certain age. I find it useful with the "introducing solids" part:

jessicariley810 |

Q&A: Safe solids for baby?

Ok, this article gives a lot of advice on what not to eat, but I could really use some ideas on what finger foods to try with my 7 month old. He has 4 teeth and has eaten Puffs and Cheerios, but other than that I have just been giving him baby food (and formula).

jillnoelschultz |

Q&A: Safe solids for baby?

I started giving my 6 month old sweet potatoes, carrots and has been eating cereal for awhile. I usually wait about 3 days in between each flavor to make sure she doesn't develop an allergy. Any other suggestions to give her?

taragayle13 |

Q&A: Safe solids for baby?

there are crackers called "baby mum mums" my little 8 month old loves them, they melt very easily

laurennickWed169212 |

Q&A: Safe solids for baby?

My baby is 8 months old and eats small pieces of banana's, the Gerber veggie/fruit pieces, avocado pieces, peas (I poke a whole in the REALLY round ones because my LO doesn't have teeth), puffs, sweet potato pieces, pretty much anything we eat that I can chew with my tongue. If I have to use my teeth, she doesn't get it. Meat is hard so I made my own "chicken nuggets" at home, she loves pieces of those. Basically anything you eat that you can make into soft pea sized bites is ok for baby. Just take your time, each child is different. My first hated combo textures (Gerber 3 foods), she got confused if she should swallow or chew, but she was great at finger foods.


Q&A: Safe solids for baby?

The advice given about size of pieces of food is incorrect. The smaller a baby is, the larger a piece of food they need to be able to pick it up and get it to their mouth. At 6 months, they need fairly large pieces to grab onto. As their fine motor skills develop further around 9 months, you can start to offer smaller pieces.

BootsOrHearts |