How to Bathe an Infant

Baby care is not always common sense.

New parents rightly want to be extremely careful when taking care of their new infant.

One task that often eludes new parents is how to bathe a newborn or baby.

It is therefore essential that the parents be aware of how to clean their newborn.

While this is something many people take for granted, there is a right way and a wrong way to do it.

How to Bathe an Infant

Here’s how:

Warm or cold water

Infants should be bathed daily.

The idea is to keep them clean at all times and not to give bacteria and germs an opportunity to accumulate.

In order to achieve this, warm water has to be used.

Most parents prefer to bathe their newborns in the evening.

This is is perfectly okay.

Some parents use slightly cold water with the view of making the newborn become accustomed to their environment.

Very cold water is not recommended.

All in all, regular warm baths are a sure guard against disease-causing bacteria and germs.

While warm water is recommended in the initial days of the newborn, it is okay to lower the temperature after a few months have elapsed and the child is more acclimatized.

It is however good to still continue using sponge baths.

Some parents even let the child take warm baths inside a mini-tub especially in the summers when the weather permits.

Bathes should be well monitored and regulated.

It is prohibited to leave a newborn in a cold water tub for extended periods.

The newborn’s skin

Care should be taken to wash the newborn’s skin with the right shower apparatus.

Soft sponges are ideal as well as towels and clothes which are approved for showers.

Hard and gritty sponges are forbidden as these can be rough on a newborn’s delicate skin.

Some newborns have a lot of fatty tissue and some parents attempt to get to the dirt that is lodged inside the folds.

Care should be taken when doing this.

When bathing a newborn, special care should be exercised especially when washing such sensitive areas as the eyes, armpits and genitals.

Soap should not be allowed inside a newborn’s eyes and caution should be exercised when scrubbing the groin area.

Gels, soaps and shampoos

Sometimes because of economic hardship, parents may use their own shower gels and shampoos with a newborn.

While no research has been able to prove that this in itself is harmful, it is recommended that you gels and shampoos that are approved for newborns.

If you bath your baby more frequent, it will only cause rashes and damages to her skin.

Remember also that as long as the leftover of the umbilical cord remains intact, you should only bath your newborn with sponge.

When should you bath your baby?

Well, basically you can do it any time of the day, but if you want her to sleep better, you might want to bath your newborn just before bedtime.

You don’t want to rush for those items in the middle of the bathing process!

This is vital, because you must not leave your baby neglected even for a glance.

You should always at least one hand on your newborn.

When is your baby ready for a tub bath?

Well, after sponge baths (that means after the umbilical cord leftover is healed), you can bath your baby in a sink, or a plastic tub lined with a clean towel.

If your newborn’s been circumcised, then you should wait until it heals, then a tub bath is OK for her.

When you first get over that initial scare of bathing your infant you will find that it can be fun and enjoyable for the both of you.

There are some arguments over how fast you should give the baby a full bath after it is born.

Having had children overseas where this belief is not followed you know that it is perfectly fine to give your child a full bath from the very beginning and that the cord is nothing to worry about when it comes to giving your baby a bath.

The decision on how to give your baby its first few baths is completely up to you and what you feel the most comfortable doing.

In order to make it easier for you, getting a small baby tub may be a good idea since many of these tubs can be placed in the kitchen sink, on the counter or on a table.

This way you don’t have to lie on your knees next to your bathtub plus it gives you a little more secure position to handle the baby.

Many of the infant tubs also provide some sort of back support and are not very deep.

Regardless of where you give your baby a bath you should not have too much water in the tub. Maximum 3 inches is recommended.

Before putting the baby in the tub make sure the water is not to hot and whatever you do fill the water in the tub before placing baby in it.
If there are sudden changes in the water temperature it can easily leave burn marks on a little baby.

If you find that your baby cries every time you give him a bath don’t be alarmed.
it can take months before your baby actually starts to enjoy the water and having a bath.

Prior to giving your baby a bath, be sure to have everything you need at hand, things such as soap, shampoo, sponge, washcloths and towels.

For no reason should you have to take your child out of the tub to go and grab something you forgot.

You probably don’t like to get out of the tub until you are done either?

It goes without saying that you never take both hands of your baby as long as he is in the water.

It does not take much water for a baby to drown.

Crucial Tips to Remember

Finally, here are some extra points you should consider during your baby shower:

  • Make sure the room where you bath your newborn is free from wind breeze.
  • Make sure the bath water is warm. Not too hot, nor too cold.
  • Feel the water first with the inside of your wrist.
  • Wrap your baby in a towel instantly after pulling her out of the water, so she won’t slip from you.

When all of this is said, get over your worries and just enjoy the bath time with your baby and when you feel comfortable enough you can even take a bath together with your baby.

Have a merry baby shower!

The Ultimate Guide on How to Take Care of a Baby

First and foremost, congratulations on your baby!

You have brought a new life on this planet who we’re sure is already the centre of your world.

Every new parent or a parent-to-be search for a guide that can help them understand their baby’s wants.

Sometimes you may feel lost and not know what to do, but that’s okay!

Parenting is serious business and you need to know everything there is.

After all, it is the duty of the folks to ensure that their little bundle of joy stays healthy, happy and safe.

Now, get ready for the ride of your life!

Knowledge 101

The hospitals have doctors, nurses and lactation consultants to answer each and every query of yours regarding baby care.

Nurses are really helpful and teach you a lot of things – how to hold, how to feed, how to burp, etc.

They can really help you understand the correct manner of handling and caring for babies.

When you return home, you can opt for in-home help too.

It’ll give you an extra set of hands until you get a better grasp on things, as they can betedious at first.

You will have family members giving you advice and even if you don’t agree with what they tellyou, don’t dismiss them.

They talk from experience.

Feeding 101

Babies need milk every 2- 3 hours.

Yes, that is very frequent but you have to ensure that your baby is well fed, usually every 4 hours.

Crying, putting fingers in their mouth and sucking, etc., are all indicative of the fact that your baby’s tummy needs to be filled.

If you’re breastfeeding, then it should take around 15-18 minutes at each breast.

If using formula, 2-3 ounces should be enough for your baby.

Set up a meeting with your doctorif you need to wake your baby every time before a feed as it isn’t a good indication.

Monitoring whether your baby is eating sufficiently is tricky when you’re breastfeeding.

If he/ she is sleeping well, producing 5-6 wet diapers and several stools, consistently gaining weight, is overall a happy baby and your breasts feel lighter after feeding the baby, then you can relax.

After every feed, making them burp is mandatory otherwise there’ll vomit whatever they’ve consumed.

Lay your baby down on your lap, face- first.

Hold your baby’s head a little higher than his/ her chest and give gentle pats on the back.

You can also hold your baby upright, placing his head on your shoulder supporting it with one hand.

Use the other hand to give gentle pats on this back.

These steps will help release air by making the baby burp.

Holding 101

Newborns are fragile little humans and need to be handled with utmost care which can be a little intimidating at first.

They have a weak immune system and as such it becomes even more important to protect them from germs.

Washing your hands or using a hand sanitizer can help solve this problem.

Avoid shaking or jiggling as it can cause trauma and can prove to be fatal for your baby.

Always support their head and neck when you’re carrying or cradling them.

This is a great way to keep them safe and steady.

There is a reason why car seats are important for your baby.

By fastening them securely, you can limit extra movement due to rough or bumpy roads.

Lastly, don’t indulge in rough play with your baby.

Wait for them to grow a little bigger which will give them the capacity to handle it.

Sleeping 101

Your baby should be asleep for at least 15 hours in an entire day.

Expecting them to remain asleep the entire night would be too much to ask for.

A baby usually sleeps at intervals of 2-3 hours, waking from which they’ll be charged and ready to play.

It’s important to always ensure that your baby sleeps on their back, as this will reduce the chances of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).

Avoid keeping blankets, stuffed tops, heavy clothing, etc., near the baby.

Keep alternating your baby’s head positions from night to night because this will help to prevent flat spots.

Many newborns can have their days and nights jumbled up.

They may sleep during the day, and remain awake during the night.

You can slowly change this habit by ensuring that the baby stays up longer during daytime and sleeps in the night due to exhaustion.

Keep in mind that different baby’s have different schedules, so it’s okay if your baby doesn’t adhere to standard rules.

Bathing 101

Sponging should be your go- to option until the umbilical cord falls off and the circumcision, if performed, heals.

Frequent bathing can dry your baby’s soft skin and as such you should limit the baths to three times a week.

When you’re bathing or giving sponge baths to your baby, take care that the water is warm but never hot.

Wipe your baby’s face with a soft wash- towel and use gentle, chemical free soap.

Gently lather your baby’s head using little shampoo and take care to thoroughly wash him/her with water.

When you’re placing him/her into the tub, ensure that its only 3 inches deep and always guide them feet-first into the water.

Never leaving your baby in the tub unattended is the most important rule and one you should never forget.

Diapering 101

You can use disposable diapers or cloth, whichever you prefer, but the former is a more hygienic option.

On an average, the baby should dirty his/her diaper ten times a day or around 65-70 times a week.

Lay the baby down on his/her back and remove the diaper.

Use a soft washcloth or wet tissues, to gently wipe the genital area and then fasten a new one.

In case of a girl, wipe her bottom from front to back as this can help prevent urinary tract infection.

Diaper rashes are quite common, can occur due to the skin becoming irritated, making it really uncomfortable for the little life.

Applying ointment on the irritated area and frequent changing of the diaper can help heal and prevent these red bumps.

Also, let the baby be diaper- free for some part of the day in order to help the skin breath.

Ready, Set, Go

Now, we trust you know everything there is to take the best care of your baby.

Initially it’ll be hard and all-consuming, but you’ll slowly develop a routine and everything will become easy for you.

Bond and enjoy with your child, this time is precious and will never come back.

The bond between a child and the parent is natural, you’ll see that in the end, everything will work out.

Check out the CDC’s guides on infant care for more info.

How to Change a Baby’s Diaper Properly

If you are a first-time parent, or you are expecting a baby soon then you may be in for a big shock.

Babies need to be changed about ten times per day, and in the lifetime of your child, you will need to change their diaper about 2500 times.

If you want to change a diaper then you should start learning now. It comes to more than just learning the proper technique. Diaper changes are a very ugly business.

Even if your baby is one of the most co-operative babies on the planet, it is still going to be gross. A diaper change also has the ability to get very messy, very fast.

The first thing you need to consider is your babies safety, even though they are just little, they are still flexible and like to squirm.

Make sure you have a safe place to change your baby, and never take your eyes off of them, in fact never take a handoff of them.

This is a good way to ensure the baby will stay on the table at all times and not fall to the ground.

Here are important considerations for perfectly changing baby diaper.

Location

You need to have a good location for your diaper. Without a good location, the whole thing could go south very quickly. You should also consider getting a charging station like the BEBE Designer ‘Cosmopolitan’ portable diaper changing the station. This will make it easier to use any changing station you find and is very easy to transport as well. If you don’t have any option, you can even use the changing station on the floor as a last resort. Is it much better than letting your baby stay with a soiled diaper right?

Prepared

It is very important for you to always be prepared when it comes to diaper changes. You need to ensure you have everything that you need within reach and in one place. You can’t stop mid-way during a diaper change and start looking for the talcum powder now, can you?

Being prepared doesn’t just mean having everything ready to go through. It means packing up everything correctly in case you need to use it again before you get home. You never know what can happen. It’s always better to be prepared than to be caught unaware.

Distractions

The easiest way to make a diaper change go smoothly is by distracting your kid while you do your business. Instead of wrestling with your kid while trying to pull off their dirty diaper, it makes much more sense for you to distract them with a few of their favorite toys. Diverting their attention is the easiest way of ensuring they make your job easier. Once you are done with the change, make sure you disinfect any toy that you gave them. You wouldn’t want the germs to spread all over now, would you?

Double checking

Once you are done with a change, it is essential that you double check everything to ensure it has all gone smoothly. Your baby may have put their hand in the poop by mistake. They may have even rubbed it on their clothes. What about their feet? Make sure you double check every single thing so that there is nothing which you have skipped during the changing. You wouldn’t want to find any nasty surprises, later on, would you?

Steps to follow when changing baby diaper.

Now that you know what you need to consider, here are the steps to follow or which order to do them so this is a helpful little guide.

  1. Make sure you have everything you need close by. I recommend buying a diaper caddy that you can take from room to room in your home and it holds all your supplies like diapers, wipes, baby powder, Neosporin for circumcision, diaper rash cream and so forth.
  2. Gently lay your baby down on their back on the changing table. Use the straps for safety because babies tend to be a little squirmy when they get their diaper changed.
  3. Undo the sides of the diapers and look to see what it inside. If your baby has had a bowel movement you can use the top of the diaper to help wipe excess but always remember to wipe from front to back when cleaning your baby especially if you have a little girl.
  4. If your child has had a really messy diaper it can take 4-6 wipes to properly clean them. Put the soiled wipes inside the dirty diaper.
  5. Fold up the dirty diaper including the wipes and use the sides to hold the diaper closed. Put it in a diaper pail or the trash.
  6. Next, lay a new diaper flat underneath your baby and slowly lower them down on to it.
  7. Lift the front of the diaper and fasten it at the waist with the tabs. Make sure that it isn’t too tight around the waist and also make sure that the legs are done properly so you don’t have extra leaks.
  8. You can now put clean clothing on your child.
  9. If you need to clean up the changing table make sure you place your baby safely in the crib, bassinet or on the floor so they do not run the risk of falling while you put items away.
  10. Thoroughly wash your hands and enjoy your baby until the next change. Note: Avoid over-tightening diapers – too-tight diapers prevent airflow into the diaper area, creating a damp environment that makes skin susceptible to rashes. Over-tight diapers also rub against your baby’s waist and thighs which irritate his skin.
  11. If you can keep these simple tips in mind, you will find your entire diaper changing experience going off a lot smoother. There is nothing easier than changing a baby’s diaper if you know how to do it right. So if you are sick and tired of breaking your head trying to get things done without making a mess, keep the above tips in mind and see how effortlessly your next diaper change goes.

The Detailed Guide to Infant Nutrition

During the first year of infants, proper nutrition plays an essential role in their development and growth.

When fed the proper amounts and types of food, they would obtain a sufficient amount of essential nutrients to promote their health significantly.

Therefore, it is crucial for a mother to have a good understanding of nutritional needs for infants to create the right diet for their babies.

In the next sections, we’ll show you all the information on the essential nutrients for infants, along with their functions, and food sources.

1. Energy

Infants require energy from foods for healthy development, growth, and daily activities.

Energy mainly comes from those sources containing fat, protein, or carbohydrate, and can be measured in kilocalories or calories.

The caloric or energy requirement of an infant might depend on several factors, including body composition and size, metabolic rate, medical conditions, energy intake, genetic factors, sex, age, size at birth, physical activity, growth rate, and ambient temperature.

Infants are able to regulate their food intake and consume the necessary amount of calories.

Thus, moms or caregivers should watch for their infants’ satiety and hunger cues to make the right decisions about how much and when to feed.

2. Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates are the main source of energy to fuel most bodily activities while fat and protein are necessary for other functions in your baby’s body like repairing and building tissues.

This nutrient can be classified into 3 major types: monosaccharides or simple sugars (glucose, mannose, fructose, and galactose), disaccharides or double sugars (maltose, lactose, and sucrose), and polysaccharides or complex carbohydrates (glycogen, dextrins, starch, cellulose, gums, lignin, and pectin).

The major kind of carbohydrate often taken by developing babies is lactose, which can be found in cow’s milk and breast milk.

Lactose-free formulas like soy-based products provide carbs in the form of sucrose.

These formulas are often prescribed to those infants who could not metabolize galactose or lactose.
The recommended amount of carbohydrates is 60 grams per day for infants at 0 to 6 months, and 95 grams per day for infants at 7 to 12 months.

3. Fiber

Dietary fiber is available in most legumes, fruits, wholegrain foods, and veggies.

There is no dietary fiber breast milk, so infants basically do not consume this nutrient during the first 6 months of their life.

After the introduction of complementary foods to the diet, the intake of fiber will increase.

It is recommended that infant at the age of 6 to 12 months should be introduced gradually with 5 grams of dietary fiber each day.

4. Protein

Infants require an adequate amount of high-quality protein from complementary foods, infant formulas, and breast milk.

This nutrient plays an essential role in building, maintaining, and repairing new tissues of the eyes, skin, heart, muscles, brains, and lungs.

Also, protein manufactures important antibodies, hormones, and enzymes to ensure a good regulation of all process in the body.

Just like the energy needs, the needed amount of protein for growth each weight unit is basically high in the first stage and then gradually decreases with ages when the growth rate lowers.

If taken in necessary amounts to meet the energy needs, infant formulas and breast milk would provide adequate protein for your infant’s needs.

In later stages, you can provide this nutrient in other foods such as poultry, meat, egg yolks, fish, yogurt, cheese, cereals, grain products, and legumes.

The recommended amount of protein is 9.1 grams per day for infants at 0 to 6 months, and 11 grams per day for infants at 7 to 12 months.

5. Fatty acid and fats

Quality fats are necessary during the infancy to provide your children with the required amount of energy for their liver, heart, and brain, while fatty acids can facilitate in the building of immunity and cells as well as the absorption of essential nutrients.

Regular breastfed babies can consume the needed amount of fats easily during the first year, but those kids who are on formulas might need to take some essential fatty acids that contain omega-3.

This vital component supports the neurological development and visual acuity in young infants, and you should be offered about 1 to 2 grams per day.

In addition to infant formulas and breast milk, you can find fats and fatty acids in some common foods such as meats, egg yolks, yoghurt, milk, and other dairy products, ground flaxseeds, walnut halves, salmon, as well as halibut.

6. Vitamins

The last group of nutrients that should be included in the diet of your babies is vitamins.

In general, these micronutrients play an essential role in boosting your infant from bottom to top, enhancing nerve development and healthy brain, as well as proper functioning and growth of the immune system, skin, and eyes.

Even Gerber thinks that a lot of babies don’t get enough iron.

Vitamin A, which can be found in cow’s milk, infant formulas, breast milk, and other carotene-rich veggies and fruits such as broccoli, sweet potatoes, or carrots, allows for healthy skin and proper vision.

Vitamin B, including folic acid, promotes the nervous and immune system, regulates metabolism, enhances cell growth, and maintain muscle tone as well as healthy skin.

This component is high in whole grains such as brown rice and other foods like fish, poultry, meat, eggs, beans, and bananas.

Vitamin C helps to improve the absorption of iron and prevent scurvy and can be found in potatoes, cantaloupe, strawberries, tomatoes, and citrus.

Vitamin D is only available in several food sources, including fish, egg yolks, and cow’s milk.

This is the reason why many doctors recommend a daily intake for breastfed babies to meet the essential needs of vitamin D, which can increase calcium absorption and help with bone growth.

A recent study has shown that nearly 50% of toddlers and infants have a low level of vitamin D, which might weaken their bones.

Thus, make sure to have a talk with your pediatrician or expert about starting on a vitamin D supplement for your infant, especially when you are currently breastfeeding.

The antioxidant powers of Vitamin E make it an essential component to facilitate the growth of your baby nervous system as well as cell growth, while vitamin K can be helpful in blood clotting.

What Is A Miscarriage And How To Prevent It

The term miscarriage is used when a woman is unable to maintain her pregnancy and it is terminated at an early stage.

It may be intentional or accidental. For an intentional miscarriage, the term “abortion” is used.

The term “miscarriage” is used when a pregnancy is terminated without an intention of the mother.

Many women have miscarriages in their lives. Some experience this situation again and again. This can have many reasons. First, we will discuss the reasons for spontaneous abortion and then we will see how to prevent a miscarriage.

Reasons for Miscarriage:

Incompatibility of Blood/Opposite RH Factor:

The blood of the fetus does not match with that of the mother.

It is called “RH factor incompatibility”. In this case, RH factor of the fetus does not match with that of the mother. For example, the RH factor of the fetus may be positive whereas the RH factor of the mother is negative.

In this case, the immune system of the mother recognizes the fetus as a foreign body. The immune system of the mother throws the fetus out of the body. This factor is, however, rarely a cause of miscarriage due to the advancement in the health science.

Fallopian Tube Pregnancy:

The fertilized egg does not fit in the uterine cavity, a space specified for this purpose. Instead, it is embedded somewhere in the Fallopian tube.

The fertilized egg must be implanted in the proper place (uterine cavity) to maintain the pregnancy, otherwise, a miscarriage will occur. It is termed as “Fallopian tube pregnancy” or “tubal pregnancy”.

Injury To The Abdominal Area:

While pregnant, if a woman meets an accident and bears a jerk of a steering wheel on her belly, a miscarriage will occur.

Any severe pressure or blunt force to the abdominal area may cause a miscarriage. Sudden falling from the staircase may also cause miscarriage. Slipping and falling with a force may also cause miscarriage.

Consumption of Illegal Drugs:

If a pregnant woman takes recreational or illegal drugs, she may face a high risk of miscarriage.

The reason is that these drugs pass through the bloodstream of the mother into the bloodstream of the fetus.

At this developmental stage, the organs of the fetus are unable to filter the harmful contents present in these drugs. The harmful substances become toxic to the fetus.

When the toxic level is increased, the fetus may die. Some prescribed drugs may also play the same role, leading to a miscarriage.

Previous Miscarriages:

If a woman has a miscarriage in the past or she had gone through an abortion, the risk of miscarriages in her future pregnancies may be increased.

Abortions cause the cervix to become irritable or incompetent, and it results in the miscarriage.

Prevention of Miscarriage

Since most spontaneous abortions occur because of chromosomal abnormalities, not much can be done to prevent this.

But precautions or preventive measures can be taken to prevent a miscarriage. The following preventive measures are helpful to prevent spontaneous abortions.

  • Eat healthy foods and avoid dieting during this period.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Manage stress.
  • Keep your weight within the limits.
  • Keep your abdomen safe.
  • Avoid wearing high heel shoes.
  • Avoid smoking and try not be around smoke.
  • Avoid drinking alcohol.
  • Eliminate or limit caffeine.
  • Avoid taking over the counter medicine without your doctor’s consultancy.
  • Avoid hazards, like radiations, infectious diseases, and X-rays.

Coping with a Miscarriage

Dealing with a miscarriage is a personal experience that different women cope with differently.

After a miscarriage, the grief of a woman may be so overwhelming that some women even wonder if they could ever be happy again. Some of them never truly get over their loss.

Grief can be more manageable over time if only these women realize that the feelings that they feel are valid and accept that they need some time to work on it.

After a miscarriage, women may feel extremely sad and even depressed.

The body’s hormonal levels fall, magnifying the feelings and turning them into depression. But this can normally fade after a few weeks.

Some women also feel angry at themselves for losing the baby especially if they have wanted the baby for a long time. They can even feel guilty for what happened.

Life After the Miscarriage

After the incident, many women would feel jealous of other pregnant women and mothers with new babies.

These feelings are normal, but they will certainly not make grieving women feel better.

Women who have just experienced miscarriage need some time on their own; they need to grieve for their loss.

They will most likely undergo the five stages of grief, which are denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. Some families and friends may provide comfort.

Some of them may never relate to the feelings of the mother, especially those who have never experienced a loss and they can cause additional stress.

They may say some hurtful and unintentional things even if they just want to help.

The loss of a child can either bring couples together again, or it can cause a strain in the relationship.

Men and women react differently to this kind of loss.

Men talk less of their feelings even if they are feeling the same intensity of grief and they move past the emotional part more quickly than women.

Women often interpret this action as uncaring on the part of the men. Men often respond by believing that women dwell too much on the loss of their child.

Many couples need to share what they feel and support each other during the experience.

Men and women cope differently with a miscarriage, but here’s what they can do to help in this painful experience:

Honor your baby.

Keep a journal to write your feelings down.

Find a support group that has undergone the same experience

Take time off and get away for a while.

Pick up a new hobby as a distraction.

Seek professional help to help you get through the loss. It is advised to seek the help of a mental health professional so that the grief will not affect you in your daily routine and work.

Try to conceive again after the miscarriage. Many find it therapeutic to try again for a new pregnancy after the miscarriage, but you need to have medical clearance first. Once your physician informs you that you are physically able, try to have a baby again. If it is your first time losing a baby, follow what the doctor advised.