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: Tips for flying with baby?

Flying with baby -- anything I need to know? Can I bring formula on the plane? Can I bring his infant seat as carry-on or will it have to be checked? What would you suggest I take or leave home? -MrsBalletStar05 

Re: Flying with baby -- anything I need to know? Can I bring formula on the plane? Can I bring his infant seat as carry-on or will it have to be checked? What would you suggest I take or leave home? -MrsBalletStar05 

The Bump Expert

Two weeks ago we took our 10-month-old son on his first flight to visit his grandmother in Rochester, NY. Even though the airtime was only an hour and our total trip was only three days, we still hauled what felt like a week's worth of gear through the airport -- the concept of "traveling light" simply doesn't exist when you're traveling with a baby.

We received some great tips ahead of time from BTDT moms, and developed some methods of our own. Here are some things you can do to make your next flight with baby a lot less turbulent:

Contact your airline ahead of time. Find out their policies on checking strollers and car seats, and how much extra baby-related baggage you're allowed. Our airline let us take a big diaper bag and didn't count it as part of our carry-ons.

Consolidate. Anything you can bring that is dual-purpose will make life simpler. I saw a few people using the Go-Go Kidz Travelmate (shown here), which easily attaches on to your carseat and converts it into a stroller. Brilliant!

A sling or carrier is great for going through security. Since we had to put our stroller on the x-ray conveyor belt (we brought our folding Maclaren Triumph), I wore Cooper in my beloved Ergo Carrier through the security area. Having two hands free made things much easier, especially when recollecting our belongings after passing through the checkpoint.

Don't necessarily board early. As a courtesy, airlines allow you to board the plane early if you're traveling with small children. Reconsider doing this. Remember it takes 30+ minutes for everyone else to board, and all of that is just extra time your child will be spending in a cramped seat getting antsy. You don't have to board early.

Sit in the window seat. I'm normally an aisle person, but since I was holding Cooper  on my lap, we wound up trading seats with the kind woman sitting next to us. Being in the window seat prevented his squirmy arms and legs from stretching out into the aisles where flight attendants and other passengers are constantly walking back and forth. (Yes, it's a harder seat to get out of, but we figured that was the trade-off).

Feed on take-off and landing. The changes in pressure bother those little ears so it's a good idea to nurse or bottle-feed your baby during the ascent and descent. This forces them to swallow and helps keep the ears open -- worked like a charm for us!

Bring entertainment! So they don't wind up trying to climb up the seat in front of you (as Cooper attempted several times), bring tons of books and toys to keep baby's attention. Remember to leave home anything that squeaks loudly or makes noises -- the passengers sans-baby will thank you.

Plan ahead and relax. Traveling with kids can be stressful. Make packing lists for yourself and tape them on the back of the front door so you won't forget anything on your way out. If you are visiting family, contact them ahead of time and ask them to pick up things like diapers and wipes -- this will prevent you from having to pack such bulky items in your luggage.

--Lori Richmond

Q&A: Tips for flying with baby?

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CoW2009 |

Q&A: Tips for flying with baby?

i spoke with a couple who had just moved to hawaii from the east coast, and they mentioned making goody bags for a few of the passengers with ear plugs, snack, and other small items to help them get thru the flight with their child more tolerable.

solnalujah2000 |

Q&A: Tips for flying with baby?

Great advises. But in my last two flights with my LO i was not allowed to wear the carrier whle walking through security. Thank God these guys were nice enough of holding the baby while i was taking the carrier off for checking..

elfi006 |

Q&A: Tips for flying with baby?

You are no longer allowed to feed baby during take off or landing. Now baby must be held in a burp position during those times.

cbruhier |

Q&A: Tips for flying with baby?

We just came back from an international flight and most of the ideas in the article worked great while flying. The only trouble I had was getting my LO to nurse while landing. On all the airlines I went on (United, Lufthansa, and ELAL) I was allowed to nurse even though my LO was required to wear a lab belt in Lufthansa which made it a little more challenging. But my baby is just more interested in seeing everything around her than sitting down to nurse unless really hungry. I found the pacifier to be a great help in this case. She could go through the descent without too much crying and could still see all the action.

ereiche |

tips-for-flying-with-baby

Just got back from a trip sea tac to Kansas city not only was I able to have his bottle of apple juice but a water bottle going threw security but the flight attendances were great about holding baby while I used the bathroom also asking if I need extra thing snacks drinks and making frequent trips to see if all was ok

moncadawife |

Q&A: Tips for flying with baby?

I just took my baby for a trip, you can bring juice/formula the TSA will just ask that you open the bottle and they do some kind of test on it. If you bring an empty bottle and just have the scoops of formula in there and purchase a bottle of water you won't have to do that. I suggest using a pacifier or feeding during takeoff and landing to help with the ear popping. If your baby isn't that big use a front pack instead of a stroller. Only bring necessities.

rhelft |

tips-for-flying-with-baby

I flew with my son when he was 6 weeks old then again when he was about 12 weeks. I was by myself and I only packed a large carry on bag between the both of us. I had the ergo carrier ad that did help a lot. Instead of a diaper bag, I used a backpack. It was easier to haul since I also had my stroller, carseat and carseat base. I fed my son when we were waiting to board and he fell asleep the entire flight. It was so nice. I liked the isle seat when I was flying however. My son loved watching all the people walk by and that were sitting behind us. I pre boarded and my son loved watching the people walk by. Plus I wanted to be the first one off the plane. It was easier for the both of us.

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Q&A: Tips for flying with baby?

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Q&A: Tips for flying with baby?

I thought using a carrier would be easier than a stroller, I was WRONG. You still need to put the carrier through the x-ray, and its rather difficult to unpack all your bottles, formula, liquids, shoes, belts, coats and so on while still needing to get your little one out of the carrier. I ended up using the kindness of the strangers next to me and had them hold my son for me. On the way back from New York since i was alone I was subjected to a pat down while holding my hot and irritated 7 month old ( you have to be able to go through the body scanners alone, and no one but the family can hold your child for this.) He was screaming by the end of it, and i was ready to give up. But I did learn, i loved the back of the plane, typical you get on last, and your right next to the bath room. Its louder so baby is drowned out, and it helps them sleep. Though it takes you longer to get off the benefits out way the trouble. As well flying as close to bed time as possible. On my flight out it was 2 hours past little guys bed time, and even though he slept the whole 2 hour car ride there, he slept the whole 4 hour flight as well. On the way home it was in the early afternoon, and i spent 31/2 of the 4 hours with a spinning jump angry baby in my arms.

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Q&A: Tips for flying with baby?

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Q&A: Tips for flying with baby?

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Q&A: Tips for flying with baby?

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Q&A: Tips for flying with baby?

Many airline or airport "rules" people are citing are not necessarily universal. Much depends on the airport and airline so look online or call ahead to ask about their protocol. One rule that IS fairly universal is for a lap-child under 2 years, you have to bring proof of age so make sure you bring along baby's birth certificate or passport. I flew alone with my 12 week baby recently. I packed one roller bag for the two of us and checked it and the car seat so I wouldn't have to worry about keeping track of extra stuff through security and boarding. I only carried on the diaper bag with essentials and a change of clothes for each of us. I carried baby in our k'aan carrier and at security was allowed to go through the metal detector with baby in the carrier instead of the body scanner. Then they swabbed my hands for chemicals and that was it! I dressed simply in yoga pants, t-shirt, and slip on sandals so no need to remove any accessories; taking shoes off and slipping back on was a cinch. I purposely sat near the back of the plane so I didn't hold up other passengers while we settled into our seat. After landing I let everyone else depart ahead of me so I again I wouldn't hold anyone up and I could take my time gathering the bag and placing baby back in the carrier. Mercifully, my baby slept the whole departure flight and most of the return flight so most passengers didn't even realize they were sitting near a baby.

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Q&A: Tips for flying with baby?

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