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First Weeks Home

When it’s time to bring your baby home, Huggies is here to lend a hand during those first few weeks. We’ve put together everything you need to make you and your baby feel right at home.

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4 Creative Ways to Document Baby's First Year

document your baby's first year By EverydayFamily

The changes that happen to a baby in a year are amazing! Sometimes, I get my daughter out of her crib in the morning, and I swear she's changed overnight! We most certainly don't want to miss documenting their growth. There are some really cool ways to do it, too! It's not just photo albums anymore. Here are four adorable and creative ways to document your baby's first year:

1. Personalized Photo Projects:

I have seen so many cute ideas of different ways to document your baby in photos! A lot of weekly or monthly photos with baby's stats like this or this, but the most original idea I've seen so far is this series of photos, where they played on the funny little newborn movements and yawns and stretches. I really appreciated how much thought went into each one to make it look organic, yet comic strip-ish, at the same time! What a cute way to remember the way your baby moves.

2. Video Tributes:

I mean, at my high school graduation, I had a VHS tape with old photos scrolling to some music, and I thought that was 'da bomb.' Well, these put that to old school shame. The videos that parents are creating to honor their baby's first year, their pregnancy, and their deliveries are simply incredible. Just take a look at this or this or this for examples. They are simply remarkable and extremely touching. You can tell just by the sheer amount of time and dedication that these parents took to create the videos at how much they love and adore their babies. I'll wait for you to dry your watery eyes before you click to see the next idea.

3. Etsy Inspired:

Wow, there are so many awesome homemade ideas for documenting your baby. If you're like me, and have no "crafty" talent, Etsy is an awesome answer to find some adorable handmade photo books to display your baby's first year photos. I loved this idea that plays up the idea of the onsies that the baby's are often photographed in. This little flip book would be a great place to showcase the weekly or yearly photo ideas that we talked about in idea #1. I also really loved a lot of the "smash book" ideas for baby books. This one caught my eye as a really easy and fun way to show your baby some love. Each book will be given that unique touch to make it feel special and just for you. 

4. Display Worthy:

One of the downsides to the previous three ideas is that they're something that you'll look at or see every once in a while, but most often put away and only bring out on special occasions. I love this idea by Brooke Bryand Photography because it was an easy way to display your first-year photos every day-in a beautiful canvas that will surely be the talking point of whatever room it's displayed in. I could picture it above a changing table in a nursery or on a shelf or mantle among other cherished items.

Whatever way you choose to document your baby's first year, be sure to include a personal touch-something that makes it uniquely you! 

How have you documented your baby's firsts? Be sure to post a link to your projects in the comments so we can all take a look!  


Image: Getty Images


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Moments that Make Any New Parent Feel Like a Superhero

The first few weeks (okay, months) with a new baby can be grueling for first time parents. No matter how many books you read, documentaries you watch or classes you take, actually having the baby in your arms can come with some pretty massive shockers (this is what nursing is SUPPOSED to feel like?!). I spent the first few weeks of my son’s life wearing maternity sweatpants and an unclipped nursing bra and trying, desperately, to get him to complete the most basic tasks of life — eating and sleeping. Most of the time in those early days I felt both physically and emotionally drained but, along the way, even in those first few weeks there were moments that made my heart and confidence soar. These twenty-six milestones and moments from the first few months are guaranteed to make any new parent feel like a true superhero!

  1. Slipping your baby into their carrier and taking that first long walk around the neighborhood.
  2. Rattling off your baby’s newborn stats like a boss- “21 1/2 inches, 9lbs 9 oz’s, yeah I did it vaginally – so what?”
  3. The day you no longer need the poop-log to make reassure you that they’re doing okay.
  4. The first time you leave the house with baby in a real outfit instead of just a footed sleeper.
  5. Seeing your baby’s weight begin to shoot up at their weekly appointments and realizing that they’re already growing up.
  6. The first time your baby cries in someone else’s arms and is comforted immediately just by being put back in yours.
  7. Realizing that you now have the ability to swaddle your babe with your eyes half-closed.
  8. The first time you nurse the baby in public without any major nip-slip.
  9. Anytime you received a compliment on your baby’s name (don’t lie, everyone wants other people to think their baby’s name is cool).
  10. Becoming an expert at the car-seat to bassinet transfer.
  11. Seeing the first smile flicker across your baby’s lips and knowing that it’s there because of something you did.
  12. The first time you recognize your baby’s different cries and know right away what they need.
  13. Following (okay, even close to following) your old beauty routine for the first time since the baby was born.
  14. When you manage to remember to write anything at all in that “dear baby” journal you got at your baby shower.
  15. The first time your baby rolls over and you realize that tummy time (despite the cries) is really paying off.
  16. The first time you put on pants WITH A ZIPPER.
  17. Anytime your baby meets a milestone even a day earlier that the book says he will.
  18. When you manage to fold laundry and do dishes in the same day (!!!)
  19. Getting into a groove with your partner around who does what baby chores.
  20. When a nosey relative finally admits that maybe baby care advice has changed in the past 25 years.
  21. Successfully clipping your sleeping baby’s fingernails for the first time.
  22. Seeing a parent with a baby newer than yours and finally being the one who gets to give advice.
  23. Cooking a meal, any meal, with more than four ingredients.
  24. When, just as you think you can’t take any more sleepless nights, you start to notice a definite pattern of longer stretches between wake-ups.
  25. Realizing that this parenting thing, no matter how hard it is, is the best thing that’s ever happened to you.
  26. Good luck out there new parents!

This article was written by EverydayFamily from Everyday Family and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

Image: Getty

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baby crawling with toy in mouth and mom behind her

Baby Milestones: Growth & Development

Your baby’s growth and development in the first couple years of life is an amazing journey to witness. From first smiles to first words to first steps and more — there’s a host of physical, social and sensory changes your child is experiencing and mastering. Find out more about what you can expect from your growing baby — and when.

“Because (children) develops at (their) own particular pace, it’s impossible to tell exactly when yours will perfect a given skill,” advises the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). So it can often be difficult to predict specific growth and development milestones. Your pediatrician is your best resource for determining whether your baby is on track in growth and development. If you have concerns, talk to your child's doctor.

There are, however, some baseline physical, social and sensory milestones your little one will reach from birth to age 2. The AAP outlines these as a general.

YOUR BABY

Birth-3 months

Your baby will most likely:

  • Be able to raise her head and chest when on her stomach.
  • Stretch and kick when on her back.
  • Open and close her hands.
  • Be able to grasp and shake objects and bring them to her mouth.
  • Begin to smile.
  • Enjoy being around and playing with other people.
  • Be expressive and communicative with her face and body.
  • Imitate some movements and expressions.
  • Follow moving objects with her gaze.
  • Recognize familiar objects and people, even at a distance.
  • Begin using eye-hand coordination.

4-7 months

Milestones at this stage include:

  • Being able to roll right and left.
  • Sitting up, with and without the support of her hands.
  • Supporting her weight on her legs.
  • Reaching out with just one hand.
  • Transferring object from one hand to another.
  • Using a raking grasp.
  • Enjoying play.
  • Showing an interest in mirror images.
  • Responding to expressions of emotions and appearing happy often.
  • Finding partly hidden objects.
  • Exploring surroundings with hands and mouth.
  • Showing interest in and struggling to grasp out-of-reach objects.

8 months-1 year

Your little one is most likely mobile now and at this stage should be able to:

  • Get herself into a sitting position without your help.
  • Crawl forward on her belly.
  • Assume hands-and-knees position and rock back and forth.
  • Go from sitting down to crawling.
  • Pull herself up to stand.
  • Walk around holding onto furniture.
  • Show preference for specific people and toys.
  • Finger-feed herself.
  • Explore objects in different ways.
  • Find hidden objects easily.
  • Look at correct picture when image is named.
  • Imitate your gestures.
  • Begin using objects like spoons and cups correctly.

Note: Some babies at this stage might be shy around strangers, experience separation anxiety and cry when you leave the room.

What to watch for:

Babies all develop in their own ways and on their own schedules. If you believe that your child is not reaching certain milestones, be sure to speak with your doctor.

Some things to look by the end of baby’s first year include:

  1. Is your child able to crawl?
  2. Does she drag one side of her body when crawling?
  3. Does she have trouble standing when you support her?
  4. Does she speak any single words yet like “mama” or “papa”?
  5. Does she use gestures and point at objects or pictures?

YOUR TODDLER

1-2 years

Your little one may now be walking (and running!) around your home, exploring the environment. Physical growth and development continue to blossom, and now your child is testing and learning more and more every day.

  • Physical, social and sensory development at this stage includes:
  • Walking unaided and possibly enjoy pulling a toy behind while in motion.
  • Running.
  • Standing on tiptoes.
  • Kicking a ball and other objects.
  • Awareness of self as being separate from you and others.
  • Enjoying being around other children and playing — sometimes in “parallel”, rather than together with another child.
  • Sorting objects by shape and color.
  • Enjoying make-believe.
  • Using simple language in short phrases.

What to watch for:

Again, all children develop at their own pace. Be sure to speak with your pediatrician if you have any concerns about your little one not hitting certain milestones.

Some things that could indicate signs of developmental delay in your toddler include:

  • Your baby can’t walk by 18 months, or push a wheeled toy by age 2.
  • Your toddler walks exclusively on her toes after being able to walk for several months.
  • If your child doesn’t have a roughly 15-word vocabulary by 18 months and can’t use 2-word sentences by age 2.
  • Doesn’t grasp the intended function of common household objects such as a brush, cellphone or spoon by 15 months.
  • Does not imitate actions or words or follow simple instructions by age 2.

Look out, mom and dad! Your toddler will be a preschooler in no time. Your little one’s physical growth and motor development will start to slow down a bit in the coming years, but she’ll continue to undergo amazing changes to her mind and body.

image: ThinkStock

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baby plays with cat

Introducing Your Newborn to Your Pet

Before the arrival of your newborn, try our tips to help your pet make a happy and safe transition and better welcome your new baby.

As a pet parent, you’ve spent lots of time loving and caring for your pets. To help your animal companions transition happily to life with a new baby, here are several things you can do to help them welcome your newest family member.

  • Introduce new smells and sounds.
    Allow your pet to sniff items the baby has used, such as an undershirt or blanket. “That way the dog will become familiar with the baby’s smell and be less curious when the newcomer arrives,” advises Debra Holtzman, a nationally recognized child safety and health expert (www.TheSafetyExpert.com). She also suggests finding a recording of baby cries and other voices from the Web and then playing these sounds for your pet.

  • Get a checkup.
    Before baby’s arrival, it’s a good idea to take your pet to the veterinarian for a routine exam and any necessary vaccinations. If your pet hasn’t been spayed or neutered, this is a good time to schedule the procedure. “These pets typically have fewer reproductive-related health problems and are also calmer and less likely to bite,” says Dr. Jeff Werber, an Emmy-award winning veterinarian and pet-parenting specialist in the Los Angeles area. Werber also recommends making sure your pet is accustomed to having its nails trimmed.

  • Give your pet a pedicure.
    Cats in particular should have their nails trimmed at least five days before the baby comes home, “so that if the cat reaches out to gently touch the baby, there won't be sharp nails which may unintentionally scratch the baby,” advises Werber.

  • Do a test run.
    Consider using a toy baby doll to help your pet, especially a dog, get accustomed to a real baby. Holtzman recommends engaging in routine activities, such as feeding, diaper changing, and holding the “baby.” “Take the dog out for a walk with the doll in a stroller to find out how it will react.” Also, you might want to enroll your dog in an obedience training class. (Ask your veterinarian for recommendations.)

  • Establish boundaries.
    It’s a good idea to make your nursery a pet-free zone, even before your baby arrives. Work on conditioning your pet to stay away from this specific area. “Parents-to-be should purchase and install necessary gates for the areas in the house you would like to keep private a month or two in advance of the baby’s arrival,” adds Werber.

  • Prepare for the transition.
    “Since your pet is used to getting all the attention, it is a good idea to slowly spend a little less time with your pet right before the baby comes home from the hospital,” suggests Werber. That way, your pet will get used to sharing your attention.

  • Give treats and praise.
    Does your pet have a favorite treat? Before your baby arrives, reserve this extra-special treat and instead use a replacement. “Take those reserved treats and use them only for rewarding behavior that is related to the new baby,” Werber advises.

  • Include your pet.
    A big mistake pet parents make is that when their baby is asleep, many shower their pet with extra attention because they feel guilty. “This builds up more and more resentment toward the newborn because a dog will feel that life without the baby is better for the dog,” says Werber. Instead, it is important to ignore your pet for a bit when the baby is asleep and include your pet in fun activities with you and your newborn.

  • Be patient.
    Finally, the most important thing is to have patience with your pet and offer lots of love during this very special time. “If you are relaxed and loving during this transitional time, your pet will pick up on this and will certainly follow your lead,” says Werber.

Image: ThinkStock.com

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5 Parenting Hacks for Introducing A New Sibling

Introducing a new child into a family can be such an exciting experience! Whether that new child is coming to your family biologically or through adoption, it is a momentous occasion that will be remembered with fondness for years to come.

However, there can sometimes be some trepidation when it comes to planning for new sibling introductions. Change can be difficult for little ones; it can be easy for them to feel overwhelmed and like their place in the family has been upturned by this new little being.

Luckily, there are plenty of things you can do to prepare your little one (and yourself!) for the sibling introductions that are around the corner.

Here are a few simple ways to ease the transition when a new baby comes along.

1. Give older siblings ownership.

From the time the new baby is still in utero (or waiting to be adopted), begin encouraging your child to take ownership of their important role as an older sibling. Refer to the baby as “their baby” and talk about how much you’ll need their help and how important their job will be as the big brother or sister. If you can help instill in them the value that they have as an older sibling, they will hopefully be more excited about taking on this new role.

2. Read all the big sibling books.

There are so many wonderful books available about new babies and siblings. A quick online search or a trip to your local library will provide you with plenty of great options for presenting the idea of a brother or sister to your child. Books are a great way to prepare and transition children in various circumstances, especially when it comes to adding a new person to the family.

3. Tell “big & little sibling” stories.

This was a favorite for my own daughter. In the last months leading up to the birth of her little brother, I started a bedtime ritual where I would tell her “Fernie and Clive stories” (those are their names). She would choose the adventure for each story — sometimes a trip to the zoo, the beach, or even the moon — and I would weave a tale for her about the adventures she was going to have with her little brother. She adored the stories and it got her very excited about her little brother. Of course it is also important to remind older siblings that babies won’t be all that lively for the first little while, but after a bit they will be able to have so much fun together!

4. Woo them with gifts.

This technique is a classic when it comes to introducing children to a new baby. Choose a gift ahead of time that you know your child will love and when they meet the new baby, present them with said gift. My own daughter received an Elsa dress from her new brother and was beyond thrilled. The gift definitely helped him to get into her good graces early. Likewise, let your older child(ren) choose a special going home outfit or a gift for the new baby. They will feel so proud and excited of whatever they choose. Matching big sibling/little sibling t-shirts might be a fun gift option too!

5. Make a big deal about how important the older sibling is.

One of the biggest challenges about introducing a new baby into the family is that the older child(ren) can begin to feel like the baby is getting all the special attention. Be sure to make a big deal about all the special privileges that your little one does have as a result of being the older sibling. Things like, “Isn’t it so fun that you get to stay up later, because you’re a big sister?” o​r “​I bet your little brother wishes he could enjoy popsicles too, but babies only get milk when they’re small!”​ This can help remind your older child that it’s not all bad being the big sibling. In turn, be sure to go out of your way (to the best of your ability) to be intentional in creating quality time for your older child(ren). It can be something fun like a parent/child date to go get frozen yogurt, or it can be something much simpler like 15 minutes of undivided time building with blocks or playing with dolls. Find little ways to speak to your child’s heart and let them know just how special they are!

Image: Disney Baby

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Everything You Need For Baby’s First Wardrobe

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4 Ways to Help Older Siblings Adjust to a New Baby

Nothing shakes up a family like the arrival of a new baby! Sleep becomes elusive, tired parents lose their patience, and jealous older siblings like to make their feelings known. Bringing home a new baby can cause some upheaval, that’s for sure.

Older siblings are likely to display regressed behavior during this transition, which can be frustrating for parents. Bed wetting, baby talk, and an increase in temper tantrums are all to be expected.

4 Ways to Help Big Siblings Adjust:

Be patient

  • No matter how much you prepared your child for the arrival of the new baby, nothing compares to the actual arrival. Older siblings can’t conceptualize what it will really feel like to have that new little bundle of joy around. And with everyone telling them how great it will be, they are in for a bit of a shock when the baby actually comes home.
  • Be patient with your older children. It’s important to remember that their lives are directly affected by the arrival of the new baby. While it’s fun and exciting some of the time, it’s also stressful. Chances are they feel like they’re getting less time with mom and dad and feeling left out. Try not to react to regressed behaviors in frustration. Regressed behavior is often a child’s way of saying, “I need help.”

Empathize

  • Is the new baby keeping you up all night? Are you exhausted and covered in spit up? Have you remembered to eat today? No? So you definitely can understand how a new arrival isn’t necessarily a bundle of happiness every second of every day.
  • Empathize with your child. Ask your child what’s hard about having the new baby around. Talk about what’s hard for you. Maybe even throw in a few jokes. Kids need to feel heard and understood. When you take the time to acknowledge their feelings and listen with understanding, you show them that their feelings matter.

Get them involved

  • Babies require a lot of attention, and older kids often feel left behind. Conversations and playtime are interrupted in favor of diaper changes and feedings, and chances are the nighttime routine even shifts a bit.
  • Instead of running off to attend to the baby each time the baby needs help, consider getting your older child involved. Toddlers and preschoolers often respond well to having their own baby-changing station nearby to mimic mom, but they can also help restock diapers, get wipes, and distract the baby with a toy while mom does the dirty work.
  • Find little ways to put your older child in a helping role, and suddenly, that older child won’t feel so left behind.

Schedule one-on-one time

  • Even though your big kid probably has friends, classes, school, and toys galore, she still needs you. One-on-one time with each parent provides crucial parent-child bonding opportunities, and it’s important to make time for it.
  • Let the dishes sit in the sink and try to stop worrying about the laundry and cleaning. Use those precious naps to engage in art, play, or other relaxing activities with your child. You might even want to create a “special-time box” full of fun little toys and activities that only get pulled out during your one-on-one time.

Everybody needs a little extra love and attention to ease the transition when the new baby arrives. How has your older child adjusted to the new arrival?

This article was written by EverydayFamily from Everyday Family and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

Image: Getty

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Colic FAQs & Answers from the Experts

Your crying baby just can’t seem to calm down; and no matter how much you offer him an opportunity to nurse or bottle feed — he’s just not happy. What is wrong? Could he have colic? We asked experts to weigh in on what you can do to better understand, manage, and possibly prevent colic. (Please note: Always speak with your pediatrician if you have any questions or concerns about your child’s health or behavior.)

For parents of colicky babies, the struggle to find information and ways to comfort their crying little ones can be overwhelming. Feelings of helplessness, frustration and concern weigh heavily on moms and dads of babes who seemingly cannot be calmed. We spoke with experts to find out more about this often misunderstood issue — and have tips to help you better manage the condition.

What Is Colic?

Colic is described as crying episodes that occur in usually healthy, well-fed babies,” says Eileen DiFrisco, MA, RN, IBCLC, LCCE. says Eileen DiFrisco, a registered nurse, Lamaze International’s President Elect and Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator. “(Colic) occurs at predictable times for about three hours a day and can last three weeks or longer.”

“About 15-25 percent of all newborns may experience colic,” DiFrisco adds. “Most babies will have a fussy period during the day and for many it is at the end of the day. Colic usually occurs between 2 weeks, peaks around 6 weeks, and resolves at 3-4 months.

How Do I Know If My Baby Has Colic?

Be sure to check with your child’s pediatrician if you have any concerns about your baby’s health. He or she can help you assess potential colic symptoms and rule out anything potentially serious.

Be sure to discuss any of the following symptoms with your doctor, as they may indicate your baby has colic:

  • Extending legs while crying.
  • Doesn't want to be consoled and cries uncontrollably for no apparent reason
  • Has evening-focused crying bouts
  • Constant clenching of fists
  • Has a hard, distended stomach
  • Spits up often
  • Is very gassy

What Causes Colic?

The cause of colic is unknown,” reports DiFrisco. “Researchers have explored a number of possibilities, including allergies, lactose intolerance, changes in the normal bacteria found in the digestive system, a digestive system that hasn't fully developed, anxious parents, and differences in the way a baby is fed or comforted. Yet it's still unclear why some babies have colic and others don’t.”

Can I Help Prevent Colic?

No one knows where colic comes from, but babies who are breastfed seem to experience it less and it’s usually more common in first-time parents,” says DiFrisco. Salerno suggests that breastfeeding, if possible, may help. Additionally, she recommends looking at the food you and Baby are eating. Gently massaging your little one may also help disperse gas and prevent colic.

How Can I Help Comfort My Baby?

Calming your baby, putting your baby skin-to-skin, and minimizing stimulation may help decrease the episode,” says DiFrisco.

“Wearing your baby while walking or rocking” can help too, adds Beth Salerno, a New Jersey-based postpartum doula and mother of three..

Some other things you can do to comfort your baby include:

  • New environments or sounds. A simple change can help baby break out of a crying spell. Taking your child outside or running baby's feet under lukewarm water might help.
  • Check with your pediatrician to see if probiotics might be of benefit in helping your baby improve digestion and lessen discomfort.
  • Review your diet. Certain foods for breastfeeding mothers may irritate their babies. Try elimination diets under doctor supervision to try identifying irritants.
  • Switch formulas. Trying a different or more easily digestible formula may help baby. Speak with your pediatrician for advice.

Where Can I Find Help?

Make sure you’re getting support from your community, family and friends,” says Salerno. “Depending on where you live, a postpartum doula may be able to help you and give you a break. It’s really important that you make some time to take care of your needs so that you can gently and patiently respond to your baby's needs.”

Don’t worry, Mom: This too shall pass! Colic resolves itself on its own and is “done by three months and will usually not re-occur,” reassures DiFrisco.

Image: ThinkstockPhotos.com

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Baby care products

The Baby Care Products You Really Need

From the super-small scissors to the baby-friendly sunscreen, here's what you'll want to have on hand when you bring your bundle home.

Part of the fun of getting ready for your baby’s arrival is shopping for all the little things you’ll need. There are those super-tiny socks and petite pom-pom caps, adorable onesies and too-cute burping cloths, tiny undershirts and (of course) diapers by the bagful. But don’t stop there. Being prepared for baby means you’ll need to stock up on a few baby care products, too.

What should you fill your shopping cart with? Happily, not much. When it comes to your baby’s grooming needs, less is best. Forget the fragrant lotions, shampoos and soaps. Once you get a whiff of that sweet new-baby scent, you’ll realize there’s no need to mask it. A gentle baby wash will do for now. And while you’ll want to have some diaper-changing supplies at the ready, definitely don’t overstock your changing table until you know what works best on your baby’s tender bottom. Lastly, you’ll want to add a few basic infant medical supplies to your shopping list. After all, you really don’t want to be making 2 a.m. drugstore runs the first time your little one gets sick.

Here are the baby-care essentials to have on hand when your brand-new bundle arrives.

Baby Grooming Gotta-Gets

Cotton balls.
For the first few weeks, a cotton ball dipped in plain water is the gentlest way to clean your newborn’s tender tush. But that’s not the only reason to keep a bag of sterile cotton balls around. They’re also terrific to wipe those beautiful baby-blue (or brown or gray) eyes.

Baby oil.
Your doctor may suggest baby oil as a way of getting rid of cradle cap — a crusty (but harmless) scalp condition. Baby oil on a cotton ball is also a gentle method to wipe away a particularly sticky poop from your baby’s skin.

Baby wipes.
After a few weeks of cotton-ball-and-plain-water cleanups, your baby will graduate to diaper wipes. Look for the hypoallergenic ones that are alcohol- and fragrance-free. Wipes are also great for hand washing on the go and for cleaning up leaky diaper spills and spit-up on clothes.

Baby bath liquid or soap.
When it comes to baby soap, the shorter the ingredients list, the better — look for labels without too many additives and fragrances. Or ask the pediatrician to recommend a brand.

Baby shampoo.
A tear-free formula’s the best, since infants don’t always keep their eyes tightly closed when they’re being bathed.

Skincare ointments.
It’s best to get the pediatrician’s recommendation — at least to start. Then you can experiment to find the cream that works best for your baby.

Petroleum jelly.
Slathering a bit of jelly on the thermometer to lubricate it before you take your baby’s temperature rectally will make the experience easier all around.

Baby nail clippers or scissors.
Wielding a pair of scissors near those teeny-tiny fingers is daunting enough, so you want the right-sized tools — not the adult kind, which are larger and sharper. Look for a pair with rounded tips.

A wide-toothed baby-sized comb and a soft baby brush.
If your baby is a baldie, these hair-styling tools will stay in the drawer for a couple of months (at least!). If your baby is a little fuzz-head, use the comb to detangle wet hair.

Baby Medicine Must-Haves

A digital thermometer.
Most digital thermometers are fast, accurate and inexpensive, so any brand will do (and you could decide whether to take your infant’s temperature rectally or under the armpit).

A nasal aspirator.
Your stuffed-up sweetie can’t use tissues yet, so you’ll be using this baby care product (shaped like a mini turkey baster) to clear congestion. Squeeze the bulb first, then insert the tip into your infant’s teeny nostril and release it to collect mucus.

Liquid pain reliever for infants.
Babies over 12 weeks of age can take only liquid acetaminophen to bring down a fever(the one exception is when a baby has a fever caused by immunization and he or she is 8 weeks or older). When your baby hits six months old, you can also use ibuprofen. (Remember, children under the age of 16 should never take aspirin unless advised to by a doctor.) The liquid pain reliever you buy should come with a calibrated medicine dropper to be sure you give the right dose.

A rehydrating fluid for infants
to be used at your doctor’s say if your baby has diarrhea or is sick and isn’t taking enough fluids.

Rubbing alcohol or alcohol wipes.
You’ll want a bottle or box on hand to sterilize the thermometer.

Hydrocortisone cream or calamine lotion.
You’ll want a stash for rashes and itchy bug bites.

Baby-friendly sunscreen.
A floppy hat goes only so far in protecting your baby’s sensitive skin from the sun, so apply sunscreen to areas that can’t easily be covered with clothes (yes, even on a baby younger than 6 months).

Remember to keep these and all grooming and medical supplies on a high shelf or bin so your little one won’t be tempted to grab and mouth them once mobile (your tot will be crawling and cruising sooner than you think!).

WhatToExpect.com

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Apples and applejuice

Infant Constipation: How Is It Treated?

By Jay L. Hoecker, M.D., Mayo Clinic

The normal amount of bowel movements an infant passes varies depending on his or her age and what he or she is eating.

Your baby might have infant constipation if he or she has hard or pellet-like bowel movements. He or she might also appear to be in pain while trying to have bowel movements or have them less frequently than before. Infants experiencing painful bowel movements might arch their backs, tighten their buttocks or cry. Keep in mind that infants have weak abdominal muscles and often strain during bowel movements. Infant constipation is unlikely if your baby passes a soft bowel movement after a few minutes of straining.

If your newborn seems constipated, contact his or her doctor for advice.

Infant constipation often begins when a baby begins eating solid foods. If your older baby seems to be constipated, you might try simple dietary changes:

  • Water or fruit juice. Offer your baby a small daily serving of water in addition to usual feedings. If water doesn't seem to help, offer your baby a daily serving of 100 percent apple, prune or pear juice in addition to usual feedings. Start with 2 to 4 ounces (about 60 to 120 milliliters), and experiment to determine whether your baby needs more or less.
  • Baby food. If your baby is eating solid foods, try pureed pea or prunes. Offer barley cereal instead of rice cereal.

If your baby is struggling and it's been a few days since his or her last bowel movement, it might help to place an infant glycerin suppository into your baby's anus. Glycerin suppositories are only meant for occasional use, however, if dietary changes aren't effective. Don't use mineral oil, stimulant laxatives or enemas to treat infant constipation.

Rarely, infant constipation is caused by an underlying condition, such as Hirschsprung's disease, hypothyroidism or cystic fibrosis. If infant constipation persists despite dietary changes or is accompanied by other signs or symptoms - such as vomiting or rectal bleeding - contact your baby's doctor.

Image: Getty Images


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