Read these 58 Baby Care Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Parent tips and hundreds of other topics.
Carrying home a plastic bag full of baby food jars can be very troublesome and wasteful if the jars bang against each other and break. To prevent this, bring along a cardboard six-pack container. Slide the jars into the container, and it easily and safely holds up to 18 jars. As an extra bonus, it comes with its' own handle.
For an easy and practical gift for a new baby boy, simpy buy a colorful toy dump truck and place a flowering plant inside it. New parents enjoy the flowers, and can use the truck to decorate their son's room until he is old enough to play with it. And, you don't have to wrap it!
Remember to place your infant on their back to go to sleep. Around 6 months they'll find a comfortable position and are at less of a risk of SIDS. You can also buy a sleep positioner to keep them sleeping on their backs. SIDS usually affects babies 0-6 months so doctors recommend babies sleep on their backs until then.
Breastfed babies are so portable! You can go anywear with just an extra diaper in your pocket. Practice nursing in public. If you feel uncomfortable, just put a receiving blanket over the baby. Everyone will assume she's asleep. If you're in a mall you can grab a dress and go to the ladies changing rooms and pretend you're trying on clothes.
Most doctors do not recommend giving your baby water until he/she is eating solids. Healthy infants who are fed exclusively on breast milk or formula do not need additional water under ordinary circumstances. Babies may fill up on water and not meet their nutritional needs from nursing or feeding since they do not feel hungry.
Do not give your newborn a bath until her umbilical cord has fallen off and the scab has healed (usually about two weeks).
After that, daily baths are not required, but also will not be harmful. Two or three times a week is enough, but if you and your baby enjoy the ritual, it is a great time for bonding, and feel free to indulge.
To decide if your baby is ready to start solids, check for the following points, and check with your doctor. (Most babies start between 4 and 6 months of age.)
- Your baby can hold her head up well on her own, to prevent choking.
- Baby is able to draw the lower lip in so that food can be taken from a spoon.
- Baby shows an interest in and reaches for table foods from other members of the family.
- The tongue thrust reflex has disappeared. (This is a reflex that causes young infants to push foreign materials out of their mouths. To test, try placing some thinned out cereal in your baby's mouth with your finger to see if it gets pushed back out or swallowed. If it gets pushed back out, the reflex remains.)
NOTE: If allergies are present in your family, most doctors recommend waiting until the end of the first year to introduce solids.
If your baby is reluctant to try solid food, and you think he is ready, these ideas might help.
1) Let him watch other people eat, especially other babies.
2) Let him dip his hands in the food and suck on them.
3) Offer the food at his normal feeding time, when he is the hungriest.
4) If you're breastfeeding, have someone else feed him, so he won't be thinking of nursing.
Most doctors recommend feeding a baby formula or breast milk until at least 12 months of age. This ensures that your baby is getting all necessary nutrients, and lessen the chances of your baby developing milk allergies. When you do switch, be sure to use whole milk until age two. If you have more specific questions, be sure to check with your doctor to know exactly what is right for your baby.
Cradle cap is common in babies. A good way to rid your baby's scalp of this dry flaky skin is to use a gentle baby shampoo and conditioner and while his scalp is lathered up take a soft bristled baby brush and gentley brush his scalp in a circular motion. For extreme cases you may want to add a small amount of baby oil or lotion to his scalp after his bath to keep skin from drying out.
A lot of parents wonder if they have over or underdressed their child. One thing I've learned is to dress my son the same way I am and to keep lighter or heavier articles of clothing in the car. It helps when you're on the road so you don't have to keep running back and forth to the house for wardrobe changes.
Surprise! This is a great way to calm your infant down. You can buy feeder goldfish for$.12-$.25 and keep a little goldfish bowl. Infants love to watch them swim and will usually sit there for a while. My son and niece are about 11 months old and can sit there all day long. They are low maintence and inexpensive if you stick to goldfish.
You've just had a baby and you're exhausted. How do you get some sleep? Take the baby into bed with you! The baby will go to sleep easy and sleep longer if you nurse him to sleep in bed with you. The sound of your heartbeat will make him feel secure and your body will keep him warm.
Newborn babies tend to need several clothing changes each day (and night). To make it easier to put together an outfit when needed, try using an over-the-door shoe holder. When you are folding your baby's laundry, simply place a complete outfit in each pocket (shirt, pants, undershirt, etc.). You won't have to search through drawers with an infant in your arms, and it's helpful for anyone else who might change your baby.
To know how often to change your baby's diaper, check for wetness every hour or so. Do this by pinching the diaper to see if it feels thick and bumpy (this is a sign that urine is being absorbed). If you are not sure, a quick peek will usually tell. To prevent rash, always clean the skin in your baby's diaper area thoroughly.
Early detection of hearing impairments is vital for corrective treatment in children. Be sure to contact your pediatrician immediately if your child shows any of the following symptoms:
- responds to speech only when he can see the speaker's face.
- is not speaking or making sounds appropriate to his age level.
- does not respond to sudden loud noises while awake.
If you are having trouble tying a bib onto a squirming infant, simply thread the bib ties through a plastic cord stop (the kind you see on sleeping bags and windbreakers). Now you can simply slip on the bib and slide the cord to the right length. (The stops can be purchased at fabric stores.)
To cut down on pacifier use, start setting limits as to where your child can use the pacifier. For example, start by only allowing it in your house, then limit it to certain rooms, ending with your child's room. Then start limiting the time your child can use it. To make the pacifier less appealing, poke holes in the end or clip the end off it. Your child may just toss it if it doesn't provide any pleasure. If all else fails, lose it, and explain that he/she is too big now to buy a new one. Also, you can try having your dentist or doctor talking to your child and telling him why he should stop, perhaps to prevent getting crooked teeth.
To a sick or upset child, there is nothing more soothing than the familiar tones of a mother's voice. Here is a few tips to help soothe your child. Sing calm, slow songs such as lullibies, read to your child with soft music in the back ground, or if you are going to be away make a recording of yourself singing or reading in a soft, consoling tone.
Try to avoid severe engorgement because it can damage the milk ducts and reduce your ability to breastfeed successfully in the future. To treat severe engorgement use cold, raw, green cabbage leaves in the bra, and change as soon as they become wilted. And call a La Leche League leader or an IBCLC lactation consultant to help you.
Let your baby stay on the breast for as long as they want. When they are done they will let go on their own or just fall asleep. Most babies will need to stay on the breast *actively swallowing* for at least ten minutes to get a good feed. Your baby should look like a "drunken sailor" - happy, satisfied and asleep.
Parents of newborns often have a tendency to overdress their babies in cold weather. It is best to dress babies in layers so it is easy to add on or take off if necessary. A quick way to check if your baby is too cold is to feel his tummy and his toes. It's normal for his toes to be slightly cooler than his tummy. If both are cool, add another layer.
No special care is needed for an uncircumcised penis. Simply wash the outside with soap and water - the same as you would the rest of the body. It is not only unnecessary to forcibly retract the foreskin, or clean under it with antiseptics, cotton swabs, etc., but it can be harmful. By the age of puberty most foreskins will be retractable, and at that time your son can learn to retract his and clean under it himself.
Young babies are designed to be chubby for a good reason. In the first days of life, the baby can live off his extra fat until his mother´s milk supply is steady. A fatter trunk also helps to keep the baby´s body warm. Those chunky babies younger than 1 year can be very cute, but making comments about a child's weight isn't productive. This very well could be normal for the child's growth and development. If the pediatrician or health care provider says the child is on track, no worries.
By the time a child is 3, the weight will be more evenly distributed and the cuddly layer of baby fat will disappear. The child starts to grow taller and stretches out.
Between the ages of 4-7 years, the child should be the skinniest he/she will be in their entire life. Parents often complain that they can see their child's ribs and that means they are too thin. Again, if the child's growth on the growth curve per the pediatrician is good, then don't worry. Understand, there is a big difference between a (normal) skinny kid and an unhealthy one.
For a useful gift at a first-time mom's baby shower, provide each guest with a 3X5 index card in the invitation. Ask everyone to write a piece of advice on the card. Alphabetize the cards according to subject, and place in a recipe box. The new mom now has easy-to-access "recipes for life" and a wonderful keepsake.
For a baby, swallowing water is a common instinctive response whenever they place their face in water. Although babies instinctively hold their breath under water, they continue to swallow. For this reason, it is important to prevent her from ever having her face submerged until she grows out of this. Swallowing large quantities of water, which babies do during water play, can dilute the blood, leading to water intoxication and illness. Also, if she is getting her ears under the water, it can increase chances of ear infections.
"Stork bite" is a common condition in newborns which is simply red mark caused by a group of tiny blood vessels visible throught the skin. It appears on the back of the neck where the skin is thin, and therefore the mark is more noticeable, particularly at times of stress. As a child's skin thickens, the stork bite will fade. By the age of 4 or 5 the mark will not likely be noticeable.
To make your life easier at weaning time, ensure right from the start that you never use your baby's bottle as a comfort or pacifier. Do not let your baby take it to bed. This way, it is simply a source of food, not comfort, and the switch to a cup as another source of food will go much smoother. This also prevents your baby from associating food with comfort, which can lead to many eating disorders.