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Finding Balance

Becoming a mom is a wonderful experience (of course!), but between working, cleaning, and caring for your baby, it can also be time-consuming. Huggies has some quick, easy ways to help give you a break.


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How Not To Spoil Your Child

At around 18 months, you can start gently sowing seeds of humility and gratitude, while leaving the "Me, me, mes!" behind. Here’s how:

DON’T buy, buy, buy

Gifts on special occasions are a virtual right of childhood. But if you bring home a trinket every time you work late or fill your daughter’s entire bedroom with Barbies just because you didn’t have them when you were a kid, your child will cross over from appreciating these gifts to expecting them, cautions Betsy Brown Braun, author of You’re Not the Boss of Me. In other words, exercise restraint.

DO delay gratification

If your child’s been begging for a certain toy, it’s OK to let her yearn for it for a while, says Brown Braun. You might say, "Yes, that ballerina doll is beautiful. You can draw a picture of it for the fridge, and we’ll put it on a list for your birthday."

DON’T drop everything to attend to her demands

When your baby was a newborn, one hearty wail would immediately get her whatever she needed—a new diaper, a bottle, a hug. Now that she’s a toddler, she needs to learn that the world will not spin out of control if she doesn’t get what she needs at that very moment. "Say to her, ‘I will get your milk as soon as I am finished putting the dishes away, Sweetie,’" says Brown Braun. As she learns that other people have needs that are just as important as her own, her me-first attitude will subside.

DO teach about giving as well as getting

Make charity and community service a natural part of your child’s life. Give her pennies every week to put in a jar to be donated to a cause she’ll understand, like an animal shelter or a school that needs books. She can also help you pack up a box of canned goods for a local food pantry. Not only will she learn about the joy of giving, she’ll come to appreciate what she has rather than focusing on what she wants.


Tips for Making Sure Your Baby has the Right Diaper

When my first baby came into the world, like most new parents, I was completely clueless about everything. I listened intently to the nurses after the birth, studied how they bathed my baby and left the hospital with whatever they put into that big plastic bag.

One of those items, of course, was that starter pack of diapers. Believe me, after changing 10 to 12 diapers a day, you get pretty comfortable after a week or so and you've logged about 100 changes.

I remember running out of that initial pack of diapers and standing in the aisle at my local pharmacy, gazing through a euphoric and sleep-deprived haze of all the diaper options out there. Wait, he's 8 pounds-do I go newborn or do I go size 1? And to add to the sizing confusion, I couldn't figure out why there were different types of diapers under the same brand. What were the differences? This was way before the age of the smartphone, when I could look things up in an instant.

For me, back in the day, it was through trial and error that I figured out what worked when it came to diaper sizing. And after three kids in diapers (one of whom is still in the diaper stage), I feel like I've become pretty well-versed in what works.

Here are my suggestions on how to find the right diaper:

  • Experimentation: There are lots of diaper styles out there. Get a few packs and see what works the best, what you like and what seems to make your baby the most comfortable.
  • Recommendation: Ask your friends what diapers they use. Why do they like them? I found that most of my friends ended up picking one brand and sticking with it.
  • Size of baby: Just like adults, no two babies are the same size. If your baby has super squishy legs or is more lean in the leg, you may want to consider sizing up or down accordingly.
  • Size of diaper: The weight recommendations are general guidelines, but again, based on fit and your baby's body, you might want to try different sizing. My baby doesn't quite meet the weight guidelines for the size diaper she wears, but I like that they're a little bigger on her and give her a little extra room.
  • Diaper features: Something I found very important, especially during those first few months when diaper changes were abundant, is having an elastic waistband. So many middle-of-the-night changes were spared from having a full head-to-toe clothing change because of that elastic band in the back.

Aside from your baby, your baby's diapers are something you become familiar with very quickly. You want to make sure that you find ones that you have faith in (no leaks!) and are comfortable with. And when you do, chances are you'll stick with them for years to come-or, at least until your little one is potty-trained.


Leaks. Rashes. Blowouts. Who Needs 'Em?

If you're not careful, there are lots of diaper mishaps that can happen. Luckily, with a little know-how, these common pitfalls can be avoided.

From birth to toddlerhood, your baby will spend most of her time wearing a diaper! So it makes perfect sense to pay attention to the finer points of diapers and diapering to make sure your little one is comfortable, protected and free to move about. Knowing the diaper basics will help you choose the right diaper and avoid diaper mishaps.

Choosing the right diaper

Shape and fit top the list when it comes to finding the right diaper for your baby. So we've got ideas to help you make sure you're giving your baby the snuggest, most comfy fit.

Start with the right size. Size can play a big role in finding the right fit. But how can you tell if your baby is wearing the right-sized diaper?

Leaks, red marks, gaps or a diaper that fits more like a "bikini" pant are all signs of an improper fit. Watch for these tell-tale signs and pay close attention to the weight chart on the package to help you choose the size that's best for your child's age and stage. If your baby is nearing the top of the weight range, it may be time to consider moving up a size for optimal diaper performance.

Then take some time to consider the shape of the diaper. It just makes sense that a diaper should be shaped more like your baby, not like a box. For instance, Huggies® Little Snugglers and Huggies® Little Movers® diapers have an hourglass shape that is contoured between the legs. It makes the diaper fit better and feel more natural and gives your baby that carefree comfort to move freely. Some moms say that a more natural-feeling diaper gives a baby the feeling of wearing her favorite thing-nothing at all!

"Our Abby is bursting with curiosity! If her diaper is bulky and boxy, I feel like I'm inhibiting her sense of wonder and discovery," explains Carrie. "We want a diaper that's shaped to fit her - not one of her blocks!"

Stretch can also play an important role in fit and leakage protection. That's why so many moms prefer a diaper that provides all-around stretch. That means stretchy side tabs, as well as a stretchy waistband in the back. It's this all-around stretchy combo that leads to a better fit and great leakage protection. Huggies® Snug & Dry Diapers have all-around stretch and unbeatable leakage protection.

Then consider what will be touching your baby's tender skin. Opt for soft and comfy materials, like Huggies® Little Snugglers. It's little details like these that offer added reassurance that your baby has a comfy secure feeling as she wears her diaper.

When you're looking for a diaper with a snug fit, consider these questions:

  • Do I have the right size for my baby?
  • Is the diaper shaped like my baby?
  • Does the diaper offer all-around stretch for a snug fit?
  • Is the material soft and comfy?

Avoiding Diaper Mishaps

If you've ever experienced a blowout or a leaky diaper, you know that it's something you want to try to avoid in the future. Your baby is uncomfortable and you can be mortified - clean-up on aisle 5!

When a blowout happens, your first thought may be to blame the diaper. But in reality, it might just be that you've bought the wrong-sized diaper for your baby. Size is one of the most common causes for a leak or blowout, followed by improper application (putting it on wrong), especially in those hurried instances.

"We started out thinking that it was a problem with the diaper. A leak here, another bigger one there. I was ready to switch diapers," explained Lisa, mother of 7-month-old Bethany. "But then someone at playgroup gave me the one tip I won't forget: size matters! Turns out it wasn't the diaper, she just was wearing the last of her size 3s. Once we moved up to size 4, leaks and diaper disasters were history."

Once you're sure about size, make sure you've put the diaper on in a way that will prevent leaks. If the diaper looks crooked or is riding up on your baby, it's probably not on right. After each change, you'll want to make sure you're covering all the right spots including the backside and hips. No coverage on these areas means leaks or an uncomfy baby. So check that the diaper is straight and symmetrical, front and back, side to side. Make sure the waistband is falling right at the waist - not too high in front or too low in back or vice versa.

Diaper rash happens - sometimes with even the most attentive diaper-changing schedule. And surprise! Despite its name, diaper rash isn't really caused by diapers. Irritant Diaper Dermatitis (the medical term for diaper rash) is caused by babies' skin being in contact with urine and stool. The acidity, frequency and consistency of the stool, as well as the pH of the urine, all play a role in the development of red, often painful areas on the skin.

Here are some helpful tips on how you can avoid diaper rash:

  • If your baby is prone to diaper rash, use hypo-allergenic/unscented baby wipes like Huggies® Simply Clean® Fragrance Free Wipes.
  • Let your baby "air dry" before putting the diaper back on.
  • Use cornstarch to help keep baby's bottom dryer. Note: Avoid baby powder or talc. It can cause a reaction with already-sore skin and can cause lung damage if inhaled.
  • Try a zinc oxide-based diaper cream. This helps prevent the irritants from coming in contact with the delicate skin.

And of course, be sure you change your baby's diapers at regular intervals so there's never prolonged exposure to a wet or soiled diaper.

You know the drill, but just as a reminder, some common change times include:

  • First thing every morning
  • After a nap
  • Before bedtime
  • After a bowel movement
  • It's a good idea to check your baby's diaper every two hours or so to see if it's time for a change.

And if your baby still develops diaper rash, talk to your baby's pediatrician. Some foods and medications can lead to diaper rash, so you'll want to inform her doctor of anything that might be contributing to her irritation.

If you're experiencing diaper mishaps like blowouts, leaks or rashes, consider these questions:

  • Do I have the right-sized diaper for my baby?
  • Does the diaper look symmetrical after I've changed her?
  • Am I changing the diaper as often as I should?
  • Do I need to add a zinc-oxide based diaper cream or ointment to our changing routine?

Your baby's diaper is a big part of her happy, healthy disposition. You KNOW this, by her reaction when it's clearly time for a change! Take some time to think about the basics now, so you can forget about diaper worries and focus on the big stuff as you learn and grow and play together with your little one.

An article from the Huggies® Brand


What Makes a Diaper Great?


Mom-Approved Diaper Bag Checklist


What’s Your Trick For Changing Diapers On The Go?

Stick to a three-diaper minimum.

“I always have at least three diapers in the bag—one for the change I anticipate, one for the change I don’t, and one as a ‘sacrifice’ diaper, when the change I didn’t anticipate turns into a blowout.”’ —Lori Rosen, Summit, New Jersey; mom of two. 

Prepare for change. 

“From watching the Food Network, I’ve learned that French chefs have a technique they call ‘mis èn place,’ which means ‘putting in place.’ They know that dicing and slicing before they cook helps everything go smoothly. I apply the same to diapering. I make sure I’m ready for action—with wipes, a plastic bag and a change of clothes—before the diaper’s off.” —Taylor Newman, Austin, Texas; mom of one.

Create a distraction.

“My smartphone is my secret to getting the job done quickly. I stream some children’s music, lay the phone on the changing table, and it mesmerizes my baby. It’s so much easier to change a calm baby than a wriggly one.” —Stephanie O’Hara, Long Island, New York; mom of one.

Keep it clean. 

“I have a mini bottle of hand sanitizer in my diaper bag that I refill from a big bottle at home. I use it after diaper changing to wipe my baby’s feet, hands, and whatever else got pooped on.” —Peggy Cheng, Oakland, California; mom of two. 

Pick up a portable changing pad. 

“I use something called the Skip Hop Pronto Changing Station. It's a clutch that folds out into a changing mat and has pockets for wipes, diapers and cream. It’s nice and flat, so I can put it on gross public changing tables, in the trunk of my car, or even on the ground.” —Nora McCarthy, Norwalk, Connecticut; mom of two. 

Go in style. 

“I bought a chic, oversize purse to fit diaper essentials and all my stuff. I have everything in easy reach for quick changes in restrooms and it helps me feel like a woman…not an overpacked mom!” —Pamela Yonkin, Portsmouth, New Hampshire; mom of two.


Good Poop? Bad Poop? Or Is It All Just Poop?

The first baby poop

Technically called meconium, this is the dark greenish black sticky stuff that you'll first see in diapers. It's not true poop but basically an elimination of a substance found in your baby's intestines while he's womb-bound.

Real newborn poop

This is a yellow, mustard, brownish poop that occurs early on. Usually this is less smelly than what's to come later. You may see small seed-like bits in this poop; no worries, that's normal.

Food poop:

Yuck, right? Once your babe starts on solids, his poop is going to get icky and smell way worse. Your baby's poop may be green, orange, or another food-like color, which is normal.

Formula poop

Babies who are fed formula have different poop than breastfed babies (commonly that mustard-looking stuff mentioned above). If your baby eats formula, his poop may be darker brown and can smell of iron vitamins. This is typical and nothing to worry about.


Secrets of a smart diaper bag

The essentials

  • 2-4 spare diapers (if using cloth, also add wraps or pins/covers)
  • Diaper wipes
  • Plastic bags for used diapers/dirty clothes
  • 1-2 changes of clothes for baby
  • Formula/bottles (if not nursing)
  • Any prescription medication

The extras

  • Extra formula (or powder and water)
  • Extra pacifier (keep clean in a baggie)
  • Burp cloth
  • Sweater or coat for baby
  • No-spill cup/bottle or a juice box
  • Pacifier and holder
  • Bib
  • Hat
  • Blanket (for warmth or nursing privacy)
  • Children's acetaminophen
  • Small package of facial tissues
  • Camera
  • Photos/brag book
  • Toys/books
  • Snacks (for baby and you)

Just for mom

  • Clean shirt (in case of poop explosions, spitup, etc.)
  • Breast pads
  • Bottle of water
  • Cell phone

Note: Of course, the contents of your diaper bag will vary depending on the age of your baby, whether or not you have other kids, and your parenting style. It will take you some time to figure out just what you need... and then your baby will grow up a little more, and everything will change again!


Clean-up Time: Bottom-up Basics

Bathing baby

Bath time can be a special bonding time for the two of you, but many new moms are too tentative with their wriggly, wet little creature to actually relax and enjoy it. But if you follow these simple tips, you'll be able to relish the moments you have with your "water baby."

As long as their faces and their bottoms are kept clean, most babies don't need a full bath more than once or twice a week. Just use a warm, wet washcloth to keep skin creases clean as necessary. Also remember — until the belly button is completely healed, you should stick with sponge baths to keep that area dry.

When you are going to bathe your newborn, it's important to have everything you need on hand, right by the sink or tub. Once the baby is in the water, you won't be able to walk away to retrieve a forgotten washcloth or bar of soap.

Scrub a dub dub — get these essentials in the tub:

  • A baby wash or soap, like Maclaren Beginning Baby Soothing Delicate Soap or Aveeno Calming Soap. Adult soaps are too drying for newborn skin.
  • A clean washcloth and sponge
  • Cotton balls
  • A baby shampoo, like Johnson's or Mustela
  • A towel — hooded towels make it easier to wrap baby (we love the Lion Hooded Towel by Mullins Square)
  • Q-Tips or other cotton swabs

For easiest cleaning, a tiny baby can be washed in the bathroom sink. As she gets bigger, a baby tub like the First Years Sure Comfort Tub by Learning Curve can be placed in your own tub to make bathing more manageable.

Make sure the bath water is warm, not hot, as babies are easily scalded. Some tubs, such as 4 Moms The Clean Water Infant Tub, come with built-in thermometers, or you can buy a floating bath tub thermometer such as Safety First's Floating Bath Pal. Bath water should be approximately 90 degrees, or warm and comfortable to your touch.

Use cotton balls to gently clean the baby's eyes before the bath. Put your baby into the water slowly, and use a cup to pour water over him so he doesn't get cold. Use soap sparingly, and gently clean the baby front to back, top to bottom. Rinse using the sponge or by wringing clean water from the washcloth over soapy areas.

Wash baby's head once or twice a week using baby soap or shampoo. Rub gently, then rinse using a clean washcloth. Then wrap baby in a towel and pat her dry.

Diapering baby

Of course, the genital area should be cleaned with each diapering. To properly diaper the baby — and keep this area clean — follow these simple steps:

  1. Gather your supplies. You will need your choice of diapers, a changing pad or cloth diaper (to keep surface clean), fasteners (if not using disposables), and diaper wipes or a clean wet washcloth. Some moms may also choose to use an ointment, such as A&D Ointment, or a petroleum jelly like Vaseline to treat or prevent diaper rashes.
  2. Place baby on diaper pad, and remove the dirty diaper. (Hint: the dirtier the diaper is, the further out of reach you should place it. Babies have been known to kick indiscriminately.)
  3. Using the diaper wipe or washcloth, clean your child's genitals from front to back. Lift the baby's legs by the ankles to reach all areas, and don't forget to clean those adorable chubby creases where — er — dirt can hide.
  4. After wiping, dry the baby. Then lift the baby by the legs again, and slip diaper beneath. (An alternative: place the diaper on the pad before putting baby down on it. This works best when changing doesn't involve a poopy diaper.)
  5. If desired, put ointment or Vaseline on the baby's bottom.
  6. Close diaper and fasten, using attached tape (if using disposables) or pins (if cloth).

Special side-note for mothers of boys — you may want to place a diaper or clean, dry washcloth over your son's penis before you begin the diapering process, or you may learn how appropriate the nickname of "little squirt" can be.


Smooth as a baby's bottom...or not

Parents may be concerned by their "bundle-of-joy's" less than perfect skin, but a dermatologist can evaluate and determine which conditions will resolve themselves and which may need additional treatment.

Recurrent diaper rash is the most common skin condition for which new parents seek a dermatologist's advice. This condition is caused by persistent wet, soiled diapers and the use of unnecessary baby products, such as powders, creams, lotions and oils. "When a baby has diaper rash, parents should remember to change diapers frequently, use a warm, wet washcloth instead of pre-moistened baby wipes on the bottom, and apply a barrier cream with zinc oxide to the affected area," stated Dr. Cambio. "Also, keeping the area open to the air as long as possible before putting a clean diaper on can help prevent the condition."

Atopic dermatitis or eczema, also is a common condition found in newborns and young children. This itchy, oozing, crusting rash occurs mainly on the face and scalp, but patches can appear anywhere. "This condition also can be confused with cradle cap, a common, red, scaly rash most commonly seen on the scalp, sides of the nose, eyebrows, eyelids and the skin behind the ears," said Dr. Cambio. "Eczema treatment can include the use of an over-the-counter or prescription topical, steroid-free antihistamine, while cradle cap usually clears without treatment by 8 to 12 months."

Baby acne, which can have the appearance of pimples and whiteheads along the nose and cheeks, is quite common in newborns as the hormones from the mother increase oil production in an infant's skin and the immature oil glands get clogged. This condition usually clears within three weeks without treatment.

The appearance of a birthmark on a newborn's body can be stressful for parents, but there are many treatments available to fade and even remove these skin conditions, especially from the face. The two most common types of birthmarks are hemangiomas and port-wine stains. Both types can grow as a child grows, but port-wine stains are present at birth, while hemangiomas may not immediately appear. Oral corticosteroids can be prescribed or a pulsed dye laser can be used to significantly improve the appearance of these birthmarks.

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