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From tummy time to books & toys to playdates, Huggies has the how-to’s, go-to’s and what to-do’s you’ll need to make playtime a good time.

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Me-yow!

Your little crawler has suddenly taken a new interest in the cat – but your independent kitty would rather be left alone, thank you. Here are some suggestions for keeping the peace before something scratchy goes down.

Always supervise. Make it clear that playing with the cat’s tail or other parts is a no-no, and never leave your cat and your baby together unsupervised.

Protect food and litter. Keep your baby away from your cat’s water and food, and put the litter box somewhere the cat can reach but the baby can’t.

Make an escape hatch. Make sure your cat has places where it can escape. Try installing a baby gate to close off a private area, like a basement room, so your cat can retreat.

Rearrange furniture. Give your cat her own chair pushed against a wall so she can retreat from the baby either by perching on its back or by hiding underneath it.

Monitor vermin. Don’t forget to have your cat checked for worms and to give her regular, nontoxic flea and tick treatments. Wipe down eating surfaces if your cat walks across them, and remember to keep the litter box covered when not in use to prevent transmission of parasites from cat to child.

Treat bites and scratches. Cat scratches can be especially prone to infection because of the way a cat’s germy claws can hook into skin. Wash any bites or scratches with salt water, and report any scratches to your pediatrician that show signs of infection or don’t heal in a few days.

Sandy and Marcie Jones are the authors of Great Expectations: Your All-in-One Resource for Pregnancy & Childbirth. Order your copy from Barnes & Noble

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Top 5 Things That Change When Baby Starts to Move

My baby's first steps are the entrance to a world of new beginnings. What used to be so "far" is suddenly just a few wobbly steps away. As a dad, before my eyes, I get to watch my little guy start exploring, cause joyful mischief, and find a world of excitement all on his own.

In recent weeks, our house has been filled with "moving" moments that make a father proud-as well as make any parent realize they needed to prepare!

To help with that, here's a look at the top 5 things that change when baby starts to move.

  1. Your Home:
    Cupboards, ovens, drawers, laundry... it's all fair game now. If they hadn't been exploring before, with their newfound freedom, those baby latches better be on tight. Folded clean clothes will become a pile on the floor, placemats in the bottom drawer will be strewn across the kitchen floor, and everything becomes a destination. A place to celebrate the journey.

  2. Your Job Description:
    When those tiny toes start moving across the floor, I instantly turn into a cheerleader, motivator, and backseat driver. While we're still using a learning walker, I can't get enough watching him cruise the kitchen with me cheering him along! As I gently steer and direct from behind, he's ready to race into the outstretched arms of Mom, waiting for him. We try to keep him safe, while setting him free. Sounds of giggles and glee fill the house (and that's just from me).

  3. Your Memory:
    As a new parent, these first 11 months have been a whirlwind of exhaustion, excitement, and memories. We've filled phones, memory cards, and our minds with beautiful visual images of all his firsts. And his first steps will be like starting anew - a transition, a change, an exit from baby into toddler. Any parent can tell you when their kid started walking, it's a memory-making moment that stays with you forever.

  4. Your Baby:
    The feeling of freedom is something we as adults can often overlook. As babies take their first steps, it's a feeling they've never experienced. The look on their face, the excitement, and confidence they gain from those first steps forward may be forgotten by them, but will live on with you. Maybe even captured on camera? You'll never forget their look of experiencing freedom for the first time!

  5. You:
    Keeping up with a baby is hard when they're crawling. Now that they're walking, you're on the go with them at all times. Holding their hands to keep those unsteady feet sturdy and strong as they go. From this point on, you'll be chasing, wrangling, and loving every, nearly every moment of it. They're growing up, wanting to tackle new challenges, and ready to let you lead them (from behind) into the next steps of life.

As a parent, there's nothing quite like the feeling of those first few steps. They're conversation starters, office bragging material, and sentimental feelings that tug on your heartstrings as your baby grows up. With camera or phone in hand, you follow them around, waiting to document these first steps into a new stage.

And if you're like me, conflicted feelings may just wash over you. I'm elated for those first few steps... only to realize as my mini-me is moving forward, I'm taken back to all those cuddly moments after his birth.

Image: HUGGIES® Brand

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The Real Dirt On Baby Clean

When it comes to dropped pacifiers or food, forget the five-minute rule: Any transfer of germs, dirt or what-have-you happens on contact. But should you freak out if a pacifier or banana hits the floor? Depends on where it’s dropped.

The reality is that germs are everywhere. If someone with a cold sneezes or coughs, the germs can land on surfaces and be spread to baby’s nose, mouth or eyes by touch. The good news is you can protect your baby from infection by:

  • Washing your own hands often
  • Keeping shared toys and surfaces clean with a ten percent water-and-bleach solution or other disinfectant
  • Using sanitizing wipes or changing pads on public surfaces – for instance, on shopping-cart handles and public changing tables
If you’re at home, a quick rinse of the food or binky to wash off lint and germs is probably all you need to do. But if the pacifier falls on the floor of a rest-stop bathroom, you might want to take it out of circulation until you can fully sanitize it by boiling it for 15 minutes.

But don’t sweat the dog slobber: Your baby can’t catch any parasites from dog toys or a quick lick on the cheek or high chair tray. If you let your pooch clean your high chair or dishes after a meal, it doesn’t hurt to rinse the baby’s tray and dishes thoroughly in warm, soapy water or in the dishwasher, though.

An article from the HUGGIES® Brand

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The Daddy Way

Up in the air?
 
Dad’s lifting baby up toward the ceiling again. Your heart grips, but the baby’s gurgling happily away. You know it’s safe, but you still want to jump in. You’re not alone.
For lots of new moms, the feelings of love and protectiveness that you have for your baby can be truly overwhelming. Sometimes, when you see dad playing with the baby in a different way than you would, it can be hard to know the line between being overprotective and being just protective enough.
Fun sure. But safety first.
 
You do want to make sure anyone handling a baby under 4 months always keeps baby’s neck and head supported: no tossing in the air, shaking the baby’s shoulders, or putting her in a jumping gym or backpack carrier just yet. But baby can benefit from being exposed to lots of different styles. Different voices helps her learn language. Being held and carried by others will give her new perspectives on the world (and give mom’s arms a little rest, too).

Carrying the baby in a cradle hold, having tummy time on Dad’s chest or holding her draped over a forearm in a “football hold” with her head and neck supported are all safe and wonderful experiences dads and babies can share. Giving Dad his full share of baby-handling experience can help to strengthen his bond with the baby while boosting his fatherly confidence, too.

Go dad, go.
 
Letting baby have lots of dad time will enrich your baby’s repertoire of experiences, and who knows, Dad may even discover new soothing techniques or baby games that all three of you can enjoy.

Sandy and Marcie Jones are the authors of Great Expectations: Best Baby Gear. Order your copy from Barnes & Noble

An article from the HUGGIES® Brand

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Boo-boo bag to the rescue

Whether you are going on a family vacation or just to the playground, it's a good idea to pack a first-aid kit. If you have little ones, you’re going to need it sooner or later.

The organizational experts over at momAgenda suggest you make your own medical supply kit in a plastic zip bag and just keep it in your car. That way it will always be there when you need it.

Here's what to include in the bag:

  • Band-aids
  • Pain relievers (Children's TYLENOL or MOTRIN and some Advil for Mom)
  • Children's Benadryl (in case of an allergic reaction)
  • Neosporin (or other anti-bacterial cream)
  • Aloe (in case of a sunburn)
  • Thermometer

With a bag full of these supplies, you should be covered in the event of a mishap. But as we moms know, sometimes it just takes a kiss or a hug from mom or dad.

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