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: Symptoms of ear infection?

How can I tell if baby has an ear infection?

Re: How can I tell if baby has an ear infection?

The Bump Expert

Ear infections are the most common reason children visit their pediatrician for a sick visit. The problem is these symptoms can include fever, irritability, and sometimes ear pulling. Symptoms can also be a sign of any viral infection -- or even teething (though teething doesn’t come with fever). Since most ear infections are caused by viruses, they usually clear up with fluids and time (of course, pain medication helps too!), but they don’t always require a visit to the doctor. In many cases, doctors wait on using antibiotics, so they may ask the parents to monitor the child and return to the office if symptoms progress.

Dr. Paula Prezioso

re: Q: Symptoms of ear infection?

hi i was wondering my daughter she's 16 months old and she has had a few ear infections yesterday we took her and they told me she has fluid on her right ear. they think because she sleeps with her bottle also i know! that is bad for her teeth. it's not bothering her or anything they gave me amox-clav-400mg she goes back in 2 more weeks. i'm just worried,

xomamato1girlxo |

Q&A: Symptoms of ear infection?

test

xuguanzong |