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Bathing a Newborn

September 26, 2013 | Leave a comment

Bathing a Newborn

Giving a newborn baby a bath can be tricky and cause a great deal of stress for new parents.  Safety is always at the top of the priority list when it comes to bathing a newborn.  There are many things new parents have to experiment with until they find a routine or system that works for them and their new baby.  Some tips follow that may help new parents as they try to safely bathe their newborns.

 

Sponge Baths

For the first week or two of the baby’s life, it is wise to give sponge baths.  A damp, warm washcloth is the perfect tool for a baby’s first few baths.  During the sponge bath, wash the baby’s hands and face thoroughly.  After each diaper change, it is a good idea to use a damp, warm washcloth in the genital areas as well.

 

Tub Baths

A good indicator of when a baby is ready for a tub bath is when the umbilical cord stump fully heals from drying up and falling off.  Rather than using the big tub in the bathroom, it is wise to start off with the kitchen sink or a small washtub.  When babies grow to be infants and can sit up independently, a standard tub is appropriate for baths.

 

When tubs are used for bathing newborns, there are a couple of things parents need to be aware of for their baby’s safety. 

1.     Make sure there is never more than two inches or five centimeters of water in the tub.  A baby’s head should never be able to be    fully submerged.

2.     Make sure there is no running water.  Bathe the baby after the tub is already filled, not while the water is filling.

3.     Place the baby into the tub feet first, supporting its neck and head during the entire bathing experience.

4.     Make sure all necessary supplies are within arm’s reach, as parents should never leave their babies unattended in any bathtubs.

 

Frequency

How often should parents bathe their newborns?  Before a baby begins to crawl around and explore on the floor, they do not need to have daily baths.  As long as they are still immobile, a sponge or tub bath two to three times a week would suffice as long as they remain clean after diaper changes.  In fact, bathing a newborn too often can cause dry skin.

 

Once the newborn starts crawling around on the floor and getting into messes, parents need to increase the frequency of baths.  Depending on the mess, it may be wise to bathe the baby nightly.  Some can get away with bathing every other day.

 

Bathing Products

When bathing a newborn, it is important to use mild soap sparingly.  It is not necessary to fully lather up a baby.  Moisturizing soap is a good choice as it is critical not to let a baby’s skin dry out.  Use a washcloth or hands to spread the soap around, from head to toe, both in front and back.  Use a cup to rinse the baby off when ready.  For safety reasons, running water from a tap should never be used to rinse of a baby.

 

It is not necessary for parents to use separate soaps, shampoos, and conditioners for their babies.  Usually, parents can find products that are combinations, using the same thing for both the baby’s hair and body.  Using one combined soap and shampoo for the entire body should suffice when bathing a newborn.

 

Squeaky Clean

Some babies love being in the warm water and find the experience extremely soothing; other babies cry through the entire bathing process.  Once the baby is squeaky clean, parents can pat dry them in a hooded towel.  If their skin is dry or still peeling from birthing, a mild baby lotion can be used. 

 

No matter how much the baby enjoys the bath, it is important for parents to bathe their newborns regularly.  Setting up a routine or calendar is a great idea at first until it becomes a habit.   At first, it is helpful to have another adult around for another pair of hands, but once the routine is down, one parent can usually handle the process alone.

 

Although bathing a newborn can be a scary experience at first, after a while, it can become an important bonding time between parent and child

by Duane VelasquezPosted in Babies, Baby must haves

Breastfeeding Basics for you and your baby

January 29, 2013 | Leave a comment

Breastfeeding Basics for you and your Baby

If you are a mother-to-be, you most likely have heard and are aware that breastfeeding your baby is one of the best gifts you can give your little one in terms of nutrition and bonding. However, despite the fact that breastfeeding is one of the most natural things a mother can do; it doesn’t come naturally for a lot of women. If you have decided that you want to breastfeed right after delivery, listed below are some breastfeeding basics for you and your baby to help you prepare while you are in your final stages of pregnancy.

Initial Preparation

Mothers should check with their local and nearby hospitals for lactation classes they can attend prior to the birth of their baby. In these classes, for example, they will be shown how a baby properly latches to the breast, what potential problems can occur and how to solve them and what lactating resources are available by phone.  In addition, pregnant women should take time while they are waiting for baby to arrive and read everything they can on breastfeeding. There are books, online articles and magazines that discuss every aspect of breastfeeding. It would also be wise to start a binder that includes any helpful articles, notes and handouts from breastfeeding classes taken and a place to eventually journal the baby’s breastfeeding times and amounts.

Setting up for Success

If a mother sets up her breastfeeding area correctly, she can maximize her amount of comfort and enjoyment during each breastfeeding session. For example, she should designate a large and comfy chair or rocking chair in the home that will be her breastfeeding “station”. It can be in the baby’s room, a section of the master bedroom or a quiet corner of the family or living room. Besides the comfy chair, she will need a side table with a lamp and a place to set down a glass of water, preferably in a tall plastic travel glass that has a straw. Nearby, she should place a large basket with current reading she wants to do when the baby falls asleep or is nursing for a long time. She should include a few energy bars or other healthy snacks in the basket as well. A nice addition is a CD player that she can play soothing music in the background particularly those for meditation and stress relief. Lastly, many women find a breastfeeding pillow to be the perfect tool in helping them stay comfortable while they are nourishing their baby.

Know what to expect

Once the baby arrives, mothers should allow themselves a ramping up period to get used to the initial awkwardness that occurs for many who start breastfeeding. They need to make sure the baby is properly latching on and getting enough milk throughout the day. Breastfeeding mothers should expect to feed their babies approximately 8-12 times per 24 hour time period and to know the signs when their babies are hungry. Typically a mother wants to look for their baby rooting and looking like they want to be fed but others wait a little longer until their baby is just about ready to cry or starts crying so they know their baby is really hungry and ready to take on a full meal of breast milk. A typical session will last around 40 minutes. Mothers need to be also aware that at first milk comes in drops and not gushes so they should not panic at first when they don’t see a lot of their milk coming in.

Know how to Problem Solve

If a mother prepares herself for a number of potential problems with breastfeeding, it should lesson her frustration should they occur. Some problems include engorgement of their breasts (when they are so full of milk they hurt), sore nipples or mastitis, an infection of the breast. For example, many nursing moms have found that using lanolin ointment in the morning and evening can help prevent sore nipples. For a mother who chooses to breastfeed her baby, preparation and knowledge of what to expect will help tremendously in easing her gently into the new world of motherhood.

by Duane VelasquezPosted in Babies, Mothers

Top Formula Brand Comparisons

January 22, 2013 | Leave a comment

Top Formula Brand Comparisons


For mothers who choose to feed their newborn babies formula from the start or others who breastfeed first and later transition their babies to formula, there are a variety of formula brands to choose from.  To help with that decision, we provided a comparison of four top infant formula brands currently on the market.

Similac

Manufactured by Abbott Laboratories, a company that focuses on children’s nutritional products, Similac is the number one brand used by hospitals nationwide to feed newborn babies. In fact, Similac and its competitors Enfamil and Nestle Good Start, make up 90 percent of the baby formula market. Similac’s special formula blend includes two fatty acids found in breast milk- docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and arachidonic acid (ARA). These fatty acids build up the baby’s immune system as well as promote growth and cell development particularly the brain, eye and bones. It comes in nine different types to address a variety of individual baby needs. These include:

  • EarlyShield –good for most babies with no medical conditions, allergies or sensitivities.
  • Expert Care Neosure -- includes extra calories, calcium and phosphorus that helps in developing bones and promoting overall growth
  • Similac Organic-- contains more natural ingredients
  • Similac Soy –good for babies with sensitive tummies

Enfamil

Manufactured by Mead Johnson, experts in the field of infant nutrition, the Enfamil brand offers 11 different types of formula to meet a variety of baby nutritional needs, especially those that help with allergies and digestive problems. Their formula blend also includes DHA and ARA, which helps with mental and visual development. They were the first brand to include in their formula blend a nutrient known as choline that helps with cell membrane development and support of muscle control. Some of the different types Enfamil offers include:

  • Enfamil Premium –this includes prebiotics, which has nutrients that provides good bacteria in the digestive systems that is used to help stimulate the immune response. It also has a probiotics version for toddlers called Enfagrow Premium.
  • Enfamil Enfacare—this help fragile premature babies gain weight with extra nutrients and build up their immune system
  • ProSobee—-this is a soy-based formula for babies with sensitive tummies
  • Progestimil—for babies with fat absorption problems

 

Nestle Good Start

Made of 100 percent whey protein, Nestle claims its Good Start formula brand more closely resembles breast milk and is easier to digest than other brands. They refer to the whey protein contained in their formula as “comfort proteins” because it doesn’t curd when it enters into a baby’s body and exits soon thereafter, which results in less spit up. Nestle Good Start comes in seven different types including both cow’s milk and soy formula variations. One of their offerings is called Protest Plus, which is made to help support the baby’s immune system.

Bright Beginnings

Bright Beginnings infant formula meets the proper nutrition levels as recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). According to the company, it has nucleotides at the same levels of breast milk to help baby’s immunity and because they don’t spend the same advertising dollars as Similac and Enfamil, they can offer their quality product at a less expensive price. Like their competitors, they offer a variety of formula types including premium, organic, gentle and soy.

by Duane VelasquezPosted in Babies, Mothers
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