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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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Baby Development: The Steps to Baby’s First Steps

It’s baby’s first big move to becoming an independent little person: her first steps! Here are the five gross motor milestones that precede baby’s ability to walk.

It’s what every parent waits for with impatience: Those first camera-worthy steps. Despite all of the many concerns accompany raising a child (Am I feeding baby enough? Is her development on track? Will I ever sleep again?), you’ll be delighted to watch as your baby hits each big gross motor developmental milestone on the path to walking, from lifting her head to standing. Keep in mind that the pace and order of these milestones can vary a lot from baby to baby — and for the vast majority of infants, differences in developmental timelines are normal and healthy. So if you’re already a mom, don’t be surprised if your second (or third) child seems to be developing some skills slower (or faster!). Here are the five exciting gross motor milestones you can expect your baby to achieve within the first 12 to 18 months of life that lead to your baby’s first momentous steps.

Lifting her head and rolling over

Lifting her head and rolling over After nine months scrunched up in your womb, your baby’s first big job will be gaining the muscle control required to control and lift her head (to 90 degrees by 4 months) and then roll over from tummy to back and back to tummy (usually by about 6 months). Both skills are helped by plenty of “tummy time,” or practice mini-pushups to develop necessary muscles. Once your baby does start rolling over, try encouraging rolling in both directions to help build up balanced muscles on both sides that your baby will rely on when it’s time to start sitting up and crawling.

Sitting Up

Once your baby’s got the hang of lifting her head, she’ll likely be ready for a change of scenery — at which point, she’ll start sitting up. Your baby will likely be ready to sit up with support by about 3 to 4 months old, and by 6 to 9 months your baby will have developed the muscle support to do so without support. Encourage your baby to explore sitting by propping her up in her stroller or your lap.

Life changes for everyone once your little one learns to move on her own! Get ready for some exercise, because baby has exploring to do. You may be amazed by just how fast a baby can crawl — and how quickly time passes, because soon your little one will be standing and then walking. This time of life calls for a diaper that can keep up. Huggies Little Movers give your baby a more comfortable fit as they set off to explore the world.
Little Movers Diapers have double grip strips and a unique contoured shape so baby can explore more with a comfy fit that lasts.

Crawling

While you might have imagined your crawling baby traveling on her hands and feet, babies have a variety of crawling styles: Some move around on their bellies, some crawl backwards or sideways, some scoot. Most don’t begin until close to 9 months or later — although some skip crawling altogether and move straight to standing up. If your baby doesn’t crawl, in fact, she may end up walking even earlier.

Standing

Though babies don’t start standing until about 7 months at the earliest, most begin building the muscles they need to stand by extending their legs and bouncing on your lap. Your baby will start to pull herself up by holding onto your leg or a piece of furniture. In the early months, she may get stuck in the standing position — a situation which can quickly become frustrating, especially if it results in a lot of falling down. You can help by gently lowering your baby into a sitting position until sitting becomes more natural. Most babies get the hang of standing (and sitting back down) by 14 months.

Walking

Break out your phone — the moment has finally arrived: Baby’s first steps! Learning to walk takes strength, coordination and plenty of practice. Standing, bouncing and eventually “cruising” around by holding onto one piece of furniture to the next helps your baby hone the skills she needs. Some babies start walking around 9 months, but many don't start walking well until 14 months or later; up to 18 months is rarely a cause for concern. When your baby walks often has to do with genetics, as early and late walking tends to run in families, as well as her weight, build and personality. So relax, mom, your baby’s time to walk will come.

WhatToExpect.com

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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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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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