Learning to Diaper Your New Baby

While it might be one of the most basic baby care activities, diapering your new baby isn’t necessarily the simplest. Deciding between disposable diapers and cloth, mastering the skill of changing a baby without a mess, and dealing with diaper rash all add to the complexity of this universal baby care task.

Disposable vs. Cloth

Since disposable diapers became widely available, they have been the popular choice for new moms. Quick disposal of stinky messes, no diapers to wash, and no difficult pins to deal with are just some of the reasons moms reach for disposables. Today’s disposable diapers are highly absorbent and contain leaks very well. The downside to disposable diapers is that they are expensive and not exactly good for the environment. Because they are made of materials that don’t break down easily, disposable diapers will spend a long, long time in landfills.

Cloth diapers, once the only choice, have recently seen a resurgence in popularity due to both growing environmental concerns and the production of new, easier to use cloth designs. No more pins or folding – cloth diapers now come ready to use with advanced fasteners that won’t poke you or your baby if your fingers slip. Cloth diapers require a little more work for parents, as they need to be washed. While they will save you money in the long run, they do require an up-front expenditure that can be quite pricey, especially for some of the fancier new types of cloth diapers on the market.

Recently, some hybrid choices have appeared that combine a reusable diaper cover with a disposable liner. The G Diaper brand offers both convenience and environmental friendliness with a flushable, biodegradable liner that is used with a washable diaper.

Changing a Diaper

On the surface, it’s an easy task, but any new parent will tell you it’s not quite as simple as it sounds. Especially as your baby grows older and starts to wiggle around, changing a diaper can be a challenge. Before you start to remove the old diaper, be sure to slip a new one underneath. That way you will have it ready to put on quickly when the old one is removed. Make sure everything you need is within your reach – never walk away from a baby on a changing table, even one you don’t think can roll over yet!

There are a number of gimmicky items on the market intended to prevent accidents from getting all over the place. A simple washcloth draped over baby while you change him will serve the same purpose. After wiping baby clean, you can also use the washcloth to gently pat him dry before putting the clean diaper on.

As baby gets older, you will want to keep a few small toys in the changing area to occupy him while you get his diaper changed. It will prevent him from wiggling too much or trying to get his hands in the dirty diaper.

Diaper Rash

If your baby develops a diaper rash, you can treat it with over the counter ointments. Try to let his bottom air out as much as possible to keep the rash dry. Be sure to change his diaper frequently, and if regular wipes seem to hurt him try a warm, damp washcloth instead. If the rash does not improve with this treatment, contact your child’s pediatrician, as it could be a sign of a yeast infection that requires further care.

Changing your baby’s diaper will become easier with practice, and you will find that you can accomplish the task more quickly and will less mess the more you do it.

Choices for Feeding Your Baby

One of the most important decisions you will need to make when preparing for the arrival of your new baby is how you plan to feed her. This can be a difficult and emotional topic for many new mothers, but making the decision is a little easier when you know the facts about both breast and formula feeding.

The Benefits of Breastfeeding

The American Academy of Pediatrics along with countless other medical associations all make the same recommendation: breastfeeding is the best choice for newborns. Human breast milk contains everything your baby needs to stay healthy and grow strong, including many compounds that can not be imitated by any commercial formula available today. Colostrum, the earliest breast milk that is produced in the first days after your baby’s birth, is rich in nutrients and antibodies that can’t be found anywhere else. These antibodies are crucial to strengthening your baby’s immune system.

Every mother’s breast milk is unique, and tailored precisely to the baby’s needs. Studies have shown that the composition of breast milk changes over time as your baby grows and her nutritional needs change. A mother’s body is also capable of compensating for premature birth by producing breast milk specific to the needs of a preterm infant.

Breast fed babies have a lower risk of a long list of problems later in life, including obesity, heart disease, diabetes, respiratory problems, and allergies. Because of the antibodies in breast milk, breast fed infants will catch fewer colds in the first years and generally maintain better health overall.

Breastfeeding has other benefits as well. It costs significantly less than formula feeding, you won’t spend a lot of time on washing and sanitizing bottles, and you won’t have to worry about bringing a lot of gear with you everywhere you go. Recent research has also shown that mothers who breastfeed have a lower risk of breast and ovarian cancer.

While some mothers are concerned that breastfeeding will leave the new dad out of the feeding process, a breast pump can easily solve this problem. This way, dad can take on some of the night feedings while you get some much-needed rest.

Formula Feeding

There are a number of reasons for choosing formula feeding for your newborn. Some mothers may have difficulty with milk supply or illnesses which could be transferred to the baby through breast milk. Mothers of adopted infants will not have the necessary hormones from pregnancy to produce breast milk. Working mothers may find pumping at work difficult or in some cases nearly impossible.

Formula feeding also offers the benefit of making the new dad an equal partner in the feeding process, without the extra work of having to pump breast milk for him to use. Dads can mix a bottle and feed the baby without ever having to disturb your much-needed sleep.

Today’s formulas offer better nutrition than ever before, and there are a number of formula choices on the market in case your baby’s stomach is sensitive and you need to try a different brand.

The Third Choice: Compromise

Many new mothers see the breast or formula feeding choice as an all or nothing proposition, but there is plenty of room for compromise. A combination of breast and formula feeding will ensure your baby reaps some of the benefits of breast milk while taking some of the pressure off of an already exhausted mom.

You may wish to breastfeed while you are on maternity leave, and then switch to formula when you return to work. Your baby will still have received many of the important antibodies provided by the early milk.

Whatever your choice, remember that a relaxed, happy mom is important to baby’s health and happiness too. Don’t let your feeding choice become a source of major stress in your life at a time when you need all your strength to care for your new baby.

Preparing Your Older Children for the New Baby

Bringing a new baby home doesn’t just change your life; it also changes the lives of your older children. Especially if your firstborn was an only child prior to the new arrival, it can be a time of upheaval and confusion. Preparing your child for the new role of older sibling is important to a smooth transition into life with a new addition.

And Then There Were Two

When you are preparing for a second child, your firstborn will be getting ready to lose his comfortable number one position in your hearts. Sharing mom and dad’s attention is not something he is used to, and it will take some effort to help him to understand that while the new baby is going to need a lot of love and attention, you still have plenty for him.

How you explain the impending arrival to your first born will depend on his age. Very young children may not fully understand what you are trying to say; toddlers and preschoolers may understand better if you get a few books about becoming a sibling. The pictures in the book and simple text will make it easier to explain what it means that a new baby will be joining the family.

Getting Siblings Involved

A great way to get your older children excited about their soon to arrive sibling is to get them involved in the preparations for the baby’s arrival. Let them help to pick out items for the baby, and help you to decorate the nursery. Involve them in the process of choosing a name for the baby. Young children may have some strange suggestions, but there is no reason not to put “SpongeBob” on the name list, even if it’s not really under consideration.

If you have a much older child, consider asking if she would like to take a babysitting course. She will learn a lot about how to help care for her sibling, and that knowledge will make her feel more confident in the position of big sister as well as a great help to you.

When Baby Comes

As your due date approaches, you should make arrangements for the care of younger children during your hospital stay. Make sure they know what is going to happen and aren’t surprised to wake up to Grandma’s face instead of yours. If you will need to send them to a friend or family member’s house for a few days, help them to pack a bag ahead of time and keep it with your prepared hospital bag so you can head out the door quickly. Make sure they don’t leave home without any comfort items they are used to having, such as a blanket or a stuffed animal.

Young children may find the idea of mommy going to the hospital a little frightening, so be sure they know that you aren’t sick and will be home in a few days. If you plan to have your children visit you with the new baby, check hospital regulations on young visitors ahead of time, and make sure that sick kids stay home as newborns are very susceptible to illness.

The arrival of a new baby is a source of upheaval for everyone in the home, but perhaps most for the older children. You may see some behavior that is out of character for your kids, a result of jealousy or simply an attempt to get your attention. As trying as it can be, cut your older kids a little slack in those first weeks. They are going through an adjustment period too, and will soon get used to the changes.

Baby’s Bed: Purchasing and Preparing a Crib

Of all the things you will need for your new baby, the crib is one of the most important. Your baby will be spending a lot of time in his crib, and you will want to make sure he is both safe and comfortable.

Choosing a Crib

With the recent increase in crib recalls, choosing a crib should be undertaken with caution. While recalled cribs should be pulled from stores, mistakes can happen, so be sure to check any crib you are considering against recall lists. The Consumer Product Safety Commission offers up to date recall information on their website at http://www.cpsc.gov. You can save money by buying a used crib, but be extra cautious. In addition to ensuring that the crib hasn’t been recalled, check it over carefully for any signs of damage or wear. Also, older cribs may not be up to current safety standards, so check with CPSC standards before buying.

There are three basic types of cribs: standard solid cribs, drop-side cribs, and convertible cribs. Standard cribs are solid and do not have moving parts. Drop-side cribs have one side that slides down to make it easier to get baby in and out. Convertible cribs are often drop-side cribs as well, but also convert to a toddler bed and sometimes also to a full sized bed. These cribs sometimes require the purchase of separate kits for the conversion.

Most of the crib recalls in recent years have involved drop-side and convertible cribs, which has led major retailers such as Toys R Us to remove drop-side cribs from their stores entirely. If you are certain you wish to purchase a drop-side or convertible crib, be careful choosing one. Stick to higher-end, well made models, and register your crib so that you will be notified immediately of any recall.

Setting Up a Safe Crib

In order to reduce the risk of SIDS, it is recommended that you keep the crib free of loose blankets, stuffed animals and other items that could cause suffocation. You should not use a standard crib bumper as they present a suffocation risk to your baby; however, a breathable mesh bumper is considered a safe choice for keeping baby’s arms and legs from getting caught in the rails. Remember that until your baby starts to roll over, there is really very little danger of this happening, so a bumper isn’t necessary. Aside from this type of bumper, the only things that should be in the crib are a securely fitted mattress cover and sheet.

Look for a firm crib mattress that fits snugly inside the crib. Although mattresses and cribs come in standard sizes these days, there is always room for error. Try to push a finger in between the mattress and the side of the crib. If you can fit more than one finger, the mattress isn’t snug enough.

When putting your crib together, follow the directions carefully. You should check all screws and bolts regularly to ensure everything is still tight.

Mobiles are a popular crib decoration, but make sure they are securely fastened. As soon as your baby is able to sit up on her own, the mobile should be removed as she may be able to reach it.

When you place your baby in her crib to sleep, you want to know she is safe. Follow all of these precautions when purchasing and setting up the crib, and you will have the peace of mind of knowing you have done everything possible to provide your baby with a safe place to rest her little head.

How to Swaddle Your Baby

When your baby was brought to you shortly after birth, she was likely wrapped tightly in a blanket, arms inside so that only her head was visible. You may have watched in amazement as the nurses took a small square blanket and created a cocoon from it for your little one. The practice of swaddling babies is very common in hospitals, and with good reason. The tightly wound blanket mimics the closeness of the womb, which is a comfort to a newborn who has suddenly emerged into a new and frightening world.

Swaddling and Sleep

Babies who are swaddled tend to sleep better than those who are not, both because of the comforting feeling and also because the startle reflex common to newborns is less likely to wake them. Swaddled babies are also at a lower risk of SIDS as they are not in danger of suffocation due to loose blankets; however, be sure to use a lightweight blanket when swaddling to prevent baby from overheating, a risk factor for SIDS. If your baby’s face appears flushed or she feels sweaty when you unwrap her, the blanket may be too warm.

Learning to Swaddle

If you find yourself frustrated by attempts to create that perfect swaddle that appeared so easy when the nurses did it, you are not alone. Many parents find themselves stumped by how to manipulate a blanket for effective swaddling. While there are many different swaddling techniques, here is a step-by-step method for a very simple swaddle.

  1. Choose a light, thin blanket made of a fabric that is not slippery. Make sure the blanket is neither too small nor too large. Both excess fabric and not quite enough can make swaddling difficult.
  2. Lay the blanket out on a flat surface. The floor is often the easiest place to learn the technique.
  3. Take one corner of the blanket and fold it down to create a small triangle.
  4. Lay the baby on the blanket so that his shoulders line up just below the folded edge.
  5. Take the pointed piece of the blanket that is below the baby’s feet, and fold it upwards so that it points towards his chin.
  6. Take one side of the blanket and fold it over the baby’s body, then tuck it tightly underneath him so that his arms are held at his sides.
  7. Finally, pull the other side over and tuck it under baby’s body. When you lay him down to sleep, ensure this end is beneath him to keep him swaddled.

Make sure that the baby is swaddled tightly enough to keep the blankets from coming loose and to create the feeling of security, but be careful not to swaddle too tightly to avoid compressing the baby’s chest and making breathing difficult. If your baby is fighting the swaddle, it may be too tight.

Making it Easier

If despite your best efforts you just can’t seem to master swaddling, don’t sweat it. There are now a number of products available to make swaddling easier and faster. They use fasteners such as Velcro to keep the blanket in place, and are so easy to use you will probably be able to re-swaddle your baby half asleep and in the dark after that midnight diaper change.

Swaddling is a very old practice and still popular for good reason; it comforts baby, helps him sleep, and also keeps him warm without the danger of loose blankets. With a little practice you can learn to swaddle your baby safely and effectively.

How to Trim Your Baby’s Nails

Babies have tiny, sharp little nails that grow incredibly fast. Keeping them trimmed is often a challenge for new parents, and can be a little scary. It’s important however to do it regularly, as babies can scratch their faces and even their eyes; not to mention they can scratch you as well. With the right tools and a few easy tips, you can make sure it goes smoothly every time.

Selecting Nail Clippers and Files

When choosing tools for trimming your baby’s nails, you will want to keep a few things in mind. Pick clippers with a comfortable, easy to hold non-slip grip. Some clippers even have a small magnifying glass or a built-in light to allow you to better see those tiny nails. There are nail files available specifically for baby nails, and they are probably the best choice. Make sure the file isn’t too rough that it might damage the skin on baby’s delicate fingertips.

Choose the Time and Place

The best time to trim your baby’s nails is when she is sleepy or relaxed. She will be less likely to wiggle or squirm when she isn’t too active. Some parents even find it easiest to get the job done when the baby is asleep; however, you do run the risk of waking the baby. A good time is after a meal or play time when she is feeling tired, but also calm and happy.

You should always trim your baby’s nails in a well-lit room where you can really see what you are doing. If she dislikes having her nails trimmed, enlist the help of a second person to keep her distracted by talking to her or showing her a fun toy.

Nail Trimming Procedure

Sit comfortably with baby in your lap, facing out, which gives the best access to baby’s fingernails. Hold his hand in yours with the finger you are working on between the thumb and forefinger of one hand, while the other operates the clippers. Make sure that your grip is firm enough that any sudden motion the baby makes won’t cause you to lose control and accidentally clip his skin, but not too tight that it is uncomfortable for him. Take your time, and take a break between hands if your baby won’t sit still long enough.

Toenails don’t need trimming quite as often, as they don’t tend to grow as fast and are worn down by contact with socks. They also aren’t as likely to scratch your baby or anyone else. Still, it needs to be done on a regular basis. To get at those little toenails, try lying baby across your lap, or lying him down on the floor or couch with his feet on your lap. Again hold each toe between thumb and forefinger as you trim.

After clipping, gently file down any sharp corners the clippers may have left behind. Run your finger over the nail to ensure it’s completely smooth.

If the nail clippers make you nervous, you can do the entire job with the file. It might take a little longer, so be sure your baby is in the right mood to be patient. Gently file in the same direction as a slight angle until the nail is short enough and smooth.

After you have been trimming baby’s nails for a while, you will find it goes faster and becomes easier. As his little hands get bigger, you will be able to see the nails better, and with time you will become more confident.

The First Days with Your New Baby

There is nothing like the magical moment when you see your long-awaited baby for the first time. The first few days of life with baby are both the most wonderful and some of the most challenging for new parents. Suddenly everything has changed, and your world revolves around this tiny little person whose health and well-being are entirely in your hands.

What Your Baby Looks Like

Years of seeing babies being “born” on television and in movies have ill prepared new parents for the reality of a newborn. Your baby might not be the perfect bundle of joy you were expecting. The process of birth can be difficult on a baby, especially with a long vaginal birth. You might see things like a cone-shaped head, squished nose, and red marks on baby’s face and body.

Babies often have blotchy skin and still have some of the waxy white coating on their skin known as vernix, which covers a baby’s skin in the uterus to protect it from the long exposure to amniotic fluid. It is not uncommon for babies to be born with a little extra hair on their bodies as well. Both of these will soon be gone.

Your baby will also have a piece of the umbilical cord still attached, which will be clamped off at first. This usually falls off within the first few weeks of life. You may notice that your baby’s genitals appear swollen – this is a normal reaction to hormones passed from the mother, and will recede over time.

What Your Baby Needs

In the first days of life, what your baby will do most is eat and sleep. It is not unusual for baby to fall asleep not long after birth; after all, it has been a long and trying day. While it is tempting to stay awake and watch this sleeping miracle you have waited so long to see, new moms should take advantage of their newborn’s naps to get some much needed rest as well. Sleep in the first days will be erratic, so get it while you can!

If you are breastfeeding your baby, you may put her to the breast immediately following birth, but don’t expect much. She may be tired and has not yet mastered latching on, although the sucking reflex is well developed in full-term infants. When she is awake, you can try again. The first few days are a time for mom and baby to learn the ropes of nursing. Don’t be concerned if your baby doesn’t seem to be eating a lot at first. She is still being sustained by nutrients passed through the umbilical cord, and her appetite will soon grow.

It is entirely normal for a newborn to lose up to 10% of her birth weight within the first few days of life. Your doctor will monitor her weight to ensure it starts to climb again.

Bringing Baby Home

Depending on whether you had a vaginal birth or a caesarean section, you will likely be in the hospital for the first 2-4 days of your baby’s life. During this time you will have the assistance of the nurses in caring for your baby. Don’t be surprised if going home, that much anticipated event, feels a bit overwhelming or even frightening. This is a normal reaction to the realization of the monumental task before you.

In these early days, focus on caring for your new baby and yourself. Don’t worry about the housework, and if you have offers of help don’t be afraid to accept. The first days with a newborn are exhausting and challenging, especially for moms recovering from a difficult birth or from a c-section.

Remember that both you and your newborn are making a major adjustment to a whole new life, and there are bound to be some bumps in the road. You will soon settle into a new routine, and things will smooth out again.

Tips for Choosing a Great Name

From the time people find out you are expecting, you will hear the same question regularly: “Have you chosen a name yet?” Selecting a name for your baby might just be one of the hardest decisions you will have to make in the nine months of your pregnancy. Choosing a name to suit a person you have never met is a difficult challenge, and adding to that the pressure to be unique, honor family members, and avoid a name that could result in teasing makes it even harder.

A Name with History

A great place to start your search for the right name is in your own family history. Make a list of the names of your parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents as far back as you can go. Include other relatives too, especially those with whom you are particularly close.

Chances are some of the names may be too old-fashioned for modern use, but you might be able to find a more modern version of the same name. Be imaginative as well; a male name doesn’t need to be crossed off the list simply because you are having a girl. Look for a female name that is similar. For example, Clarence could become Clara, Gabriel changed to Gabriella, or Larry to Lara.

Finding the Meaning

A lovely name can quickly lose its appeal when you find out it has a meaning that isn’t quite what you were going for. Luckily, finding the meaning of a name is easy with dozens of books on the market and even more websites available for free.

Looking for a name by starting with the meaning you would like it to convey is a different and helpful way of approaching the task. Think of possible meanings you might like for your baby’s name, and then search for names that fit. One way to approach it is to make a list of the attributes you want your baby to have, like honesty, kindness, and generosity, and search for names with similar meanings. You will find that searching for names by meaning can bring options to your attention that you might not otherwise have considered.

Other Things to Consider

When choosing a name for your child, there are a few important considerations you should keep in mind as you make up a short list of possibilities. The first name should go well with your last name. If you have a long last name with multiple syllables, you may want to consider shorter names for your baby and vice versa for a short last name. Be sure to say the full name out loud to really get a feel for how it rolls off the tongue.

Watch out for rhyming names or overdoing alliteration if you are using multiple middle names. And of course, be aware of the possible ways your chosen name might be twisted; you don’t want a name that will leave your child vulnerable to teasing. You might also want to consider the connotations a name might have; for example, if it is the name of a famous person, do you want your child to be associated with that person?

Finally, while unusual spellings for common names are a popular way to make a name unique, bear in mind that your child will likely spend a good deal of time correcting the spelling!

Whatever name you settle on, remember that in the end, the choice belongs to you and no one else. Don’t let friends or family sway you from a name you really love, or let their opinions bother you if they disagree with your choice. The name you choose is the first gift you will give to your child, so give it from the heart.

Simple Tricks to Comfort Your Baby

There is nothing worse than listening to the sound of your baby crying and feeling helpless to soothe him. Sometimes figuring out what exactly a newborn wants can be a challenge. If you have ruled out hunger and a dirty diaper as sources of the problem, then in all likelihood your baby just needs to be comforted. Fortunately there are some easy tricks you can use to comfort your baby.

Tone Down the Environment

A baby can become over-stimulated easily. Remember, he is used to the peace of the womb; noise, light and activity can all overwhelm him very quickly. Try turning off the TV, dimming the lights, and keeping other people out of the room while you try to calm your baby.

Swaddling

Used to the confines of the womb, newborns find it very comforting to be tightly wrapped in a blanket. It offers both warmth and a feeling of security, and can both calm your baby as well as help him to sleep better. Swaddling can be a bit tricky to learn at first; it’s a good idea to watch the nurses at the hospital when your baby is born to pick up their tricks, as they are professionals. If you weren’t quite in the state of mind to pick up such details during your hospital stay, you can still learn with a little practice. However, if you find it difficult or frustrating, you can pick up one of the various blankets designed to make swaddling easier.

White Noise

Many new mothers find it odd that their baby doesn’t seem at all disturbed by the sound of the vacuum. The sound made by a vacuum is white noise, and babies find this monotonous type of sound very soothing. The instinct to make a “Shhhhh” sound to soothe baby is a good one; though you may not realize it, you are creating white noise. There are a number of white noise machines on the market that you can purchase for the nursery; however, a simple fan will do the same job and using a fan in baby’s room was recently linked with a significant reduction of the risk of SIDS.

Gentle Motion

The image of a mother gently rocking her baby is well-known for a good reason. Gentle motion such as rocking and vibration are also soothing to newborns. The soft swaying may remind them of the motion inside the womb. An infant swing or rocking bassinet are also good options to provide the same comforting motion, but you may find it more effective if you hold baby and rock her yourself. There is nothing quite like being held in mom’s arms while gently rocking to calm an upset baby quickly.

When Nothing Seems to Work

If you have tried every trick in the book and your baby still won’t be comforted, there might be something else going on. You may have a colicky baby, which is not a dangerous condition although quite difficult for the new mom and dad to deal with. Or it could be that something else is bothering your baby, such as reflux. If your baby is crying for more than 3 hours at a time and you can’t seem to comfort her, or starts crying during feedings and seems to be in pain, it’s time to call your pediatrician. Follow your instincts; if you feel your baby’s crying is not normal, put a call into the doctor’s office.

All babies cry; it’s their main method of communication. Fortunately, most reasons for crying can be solved by ruling out obvious culprits and using these simple tricks to make baby feel safe, secure, and loved.

Tub Time: Baby’s First Real Bath

About two weeks or so after birth, your baby’s umbilical cord stump will fall off, and you will be cleared to begin bathing him in a tub. Giving your baby a bath can be a special time of relaxation and bonding, but don’t be surprised if he doesn’t seem to like it at first. Properly preparing for bathing your baby can help to make it pleasant for everyone. Just keep a few things in mind.

Newborns Don’t Like Being Cold!

Many babies will cry due to the cold when they are being undressed, whether for a diaper change or a bath. Try to keep your baby as warm as possible at bath time. Turn up the heat a little in the room where you are bathing him, and don’t remove his clothes until the last possible second. Make sure that his bathwater is comfortably warm – not too hot but not cool either. You should make a habit of checking the temperature every time to avoid burns.

To prevent the risk of drowning, you should always use the minimum amount of water necessary for a bath. Unfortunately this safety precaution means a good portion of baby’s body will be above the water level and at risk of getting cold. When you place your newborn in the tub, soak a washcloth in the warm water, and lay it across his chest and stomach to keep him warm. Bathe him gently but quickly, and have a warm towel standing by.

After moving him to the towel, wrap him up warmly and securely, and hold him for a while before getting him dressed. Waiting until your baby is thoroughly dried before removing the towel will keep cool air off his wet skin.

Keep Bath Time Safe

In addition to carefully monitoring the temperature and level of the bathwater, there are some other safety precautions to keep in mind when preparing for tub bathing. If you are using an infant tub set in a kitchen sink as many new parents do, make certain that the tub is secure and will not slip.

Since bathing items aren’t usually kept in the kitchen, double check that you have everything you need before placing your baby in the tub. Never leave a baby in the tub unattended! Drowning can happen incredibly fast, so keep your baby within arm’s reach. For her first tub bath and those to follow in the early weeks of life, it’s a good idea to keep one hand on her at all times.

Use caution when lifting your baby out of the tub, she will be very slippery and potentially wiggly too! Get her into a towel as quickly as possible.

Getting Baby clean

Newborns don’t really get all that dirty, so bathing won’t be necessary every day. In fact, bathing too frequently can dry out your newborn’s sensitive skin. Use a gentle, tearless baby wash formula, never soap or anything intended for adult use. Pay the most attention to the diaper area, underarms, and under the chin where spit-up may accumulate. A small amount of baby wash on a soft washcloth will do the trick.

Although you may think your baby’s ears need regular cleaning with cotton swabs, it is actually not recommended by otolaryngologists. A gentle cleaning with a wash cloth is all that is required.

From that first tub bathing, you will soon come to treasure the peaceful time of gently cleansing your newborn’s soft skin. By keeping baby as warm as possible and taking the right precautions, you can ensure it is a happy and safe time every time your baby has a bath.

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