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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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Pacifiers: Are They Good for Your Baby?

By Mayo Clinic Staff, Mayo Clinic

Most babies have a strong sucking reflex. Some babies even suck their thumbs or fingers before they're born. Beyond nutrition, sucking often has a soothing, calming effect. That's why many parents rank pacifiers as must haves, right up there with diaper wipes and baby swings. Are pacifiers really OK for your baby, though? Understand the benefits and risks of pacifier use, important safety tips and steps to help wean your baby from the pacifier.


The pros

For some babies, pacifiers are the key to contentment between feedings. Consider the advantages:

  • A pacifier might soothe a fussy baby. Some babies are happiest when they're sucking on something.
  • A pacifier offers temporary distraction. A pacifier might come in handy during shots, blood tests or other procedures.
  • A pacifier might help your baby fall asleep. If your baby has trouble settling down, a pacifier might do the trick.
  • A pacifier might ease discomfort during flights. Babies can't intentionally "pop" their ears by swallowing or yawning to relieve ear pain caused by air pressure changes. Sucking on a pacifier might help.
  • Pacifiers might help reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). Researchers have found an association between pacifier use during sleep and a reduced risk of SIDS.
  • Pacifiers are disposable. When it's time to stop using pacifiers, you can throw them away. If your child prefers to suck on his or her thumb or fingers, it might be more difficult to break the habit.

The cons

Of course, pacifiers have pitfalls as well. Consider the drawbacks:

  • Early pacifier use might interfere with breast-feeding.Sucking on a breast is different from sucking on a pacifier or bottle, and some babies are sensitive to those differences. Research suggests that early use of artificial nipples is associated with decreased exclusive breast-feeding and duration of breast-feeding - although it's not clear if artificial nipples cause breast-feeding problems or serve as a solution to an existing problem.
  • Your baby might become dependent on the pacifier. If your baby uses a pacifier to sleep, you might face frequent middle-of-the-night crying spells when the pacifier falls out of your baby's mouth.
  • Pacifier use might increase the risk of middle ear infections. However, rates of middle ear infections are generally lowest from birth to age 6 months - when the risk of SIDS is the highest and your baby might be most interested in a pacifier.
  • Prolonged pacifier use might lead to dental problems.Normal pacifier use during the first few years of life doesn't cause long-term dental problems. However, prolonged pacifier use might cause a child's top front teeth to slant outward or not come in properly.

Pacifier do's and don'ts

If you choose to offer your baby a pacifier, keep these tips in mind:

  • Wait until breast-feeding is well established. Be patient. It might take a few weeks or more to settle into a regular nursing routine. If you're breast-feeding, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends waiting to introduce a pacifier until four to six weeks after birth.
  • Don't use a pacifier as a first line of defense. Sometimes a change of position or a rocking session can calm a crying baby. Offer a pacifier to your baby only after or between feedings. Don't allow your child to use the pacifier all day.
  • Choose the silicone one-piece, dishwasher-safe variety. Pacifiers made of two pieces pose a choking hazard if they break. Once you've settled on a favorite pacifier, keep a few identical backups on hand.
  • Let your baby set the pace. If your baby's not interested in the pacifier, try again later - or skip it entirely. If the pacifier falls out of your baby's mouth while he or she is sleeping, don't pop it back in.
  • Keep it clean. Before you offer your baby a pacifier, clean it thoroughly. Until your baby is 6 months old and his or her immune system matures, frequently boil pacifiers or run them through the dishwasher. After age 6 months, simply wash pacifiers with soap and water. Resist the temptation to "rinse" the pacifier in your own mouth. You'll only spread more germs to your baby.
  • Don't sugar coat it. Don't put sweet substances on the pacifier.
  • Keep it safe. Replace pacifiers often, use the appropriate size for your baby's age, and watch for loose parts or signs of deterioration. Also use caution with pacifier clips. Never use a string or strap long enough to get caught around your baby's neck.

The bottom line

To reduce the risk of SIDS, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends offering a pacifier at naptime or bedtime until age 1. However, the risks of pacifier use begin to outweigh the benefits as your baby gets older. While most kids stop using pacifiers on their own between ages 2 and 4, others need help breaking the habit.

Depending on your child's age, consider these techniques to wean your child from the pacifier:

  • Younger infants. Swaddling, rocking, singing, playing soft music and infant massage can be effective alternatives to pacifier use.
  • Older infants and toddlers. Activities, toys or other objects of affection, such as a blanket with satin edging, might help distract your child from his or her desire for the pacifier.
  • Toddlers and older children. Consider holding a special ceremony to bury or otherwise discard the pacifier - or allow your child to trade in his or her pacifier for a special book or toy. Your child's dentist might also be able to help your child stop using the pacifier by explaining the potential impact of prolonged pacifier use on his or her teeth.

If you need additional help weaning your child from the pacifier, consult your child's doctor or dentist.

Image: Getty Images


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Baby Acne

Definition

Baby acne is acne that develops on a newborn's skin. Baby acne can occur anywhere on the face, but usually appears on the cheeks, nose and forehead. Baby acne is common — and temporary. There's little you can do to prevent baby acne. Baby acne usually clears up on its own, without scarring.

Baby acne is usually characterized by small red bumps on a baby's cheeks, chin and forehead.

Symptoms

Baby acne is usually characterized by small red or white bumps on a baby's cheeks, nose and forehead. It often develops within the first two to four weeks after birth.

Many babies also develop tiny white bumps on the nose, chin or cheeks. These are known as milia.

When to see a doctor?

Consult your baby's doctor if you're concerned about any aspect of your baby's complexion. Baby acne usually clears up within three to four months.

Baby acne is usually characterized by small red bumps on a baby's cheeks, chin and forehead.

Causes

It's not clear exactly what causes baby acne.

Preparing for your appointment

If you're following a standard well-baby exam schedule, your baby will likely visit with your family doctor or pediatrician soon. These regular appointments offer a good opportunity to discuss concerns about your baby's health. For baby acne, some basic questions to ask your doctor include:

  • Is my baby's condition likely temporary or long lasting?
  • What treatments are available?
  • Do I need to follow any skin care restrictions for my baby?
  • Will this acne scar my baby's face?

What to expect from your baby's doctor

In order to determine the seriousness of your baby's acne, your baby's doctor may ask you:

  • Do you have a family history of severe acne?
  • Has your baby come into contact with any medications that can cause acne, such as corticosteroids or iodine-containing drugs?

Tests and diagnosis

Baby acne can usually be diagnosed on sight. No specific testing is needed.

Treatments and drugs

Because baby acne typically disappears on its own within several months, no medical treatment is usually recommended. If your baby's acne lingers for much longer, your baby's doctor may recommend a medicated cream or other treatment. Don't try any over-the-counter medications without checking with your baby's doctor first. Some of these products may be damaging to a baby's delicate skin.

Lifestyle and home remedies

These tips are useful for caring for your baby's skin while he or she has acne:

  • Keep your baby's face clean. Wash your baby's face daily with warm water and mild baby soap.
  • Dry your baby's face gently. Simply pat your baby's skin dry.
  • Don't pinch or scrub the acne. You may cause more irritation or an infection.
  • Avoid using lotions or oils on your baby's face.

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5 Ways to Model Gratitude for Babies

There’s no doubt that gratitude is a life lesson that we all need constant brushing up on. But I truly believe that it’s one that can be taught early on — as young as 6 months old. While “thank yous” might be meaningless auto replies at first, the more practice a child has saying those words, the more likely they are to continue using them generously and with intent as they grow to understand their meaning and power.

Here are a few ways to model gratitude for Baby, in hopes that she will pick up your good behaviors in the same way she picks up your not-so-flattering ones. (Or is that just me?!)

Play the Thank You Game

Hand Baby a toy. Then ask her to hand it back to you. When she does, say an expressive, “Well, thank you.” Continue to hand it back and forth, saying a playful thank you each time. (This usually turns into a gigglefest at our house.) As Baby is old enough to make word-like sounds, you may even notice a two syllable grunt long before she can pronounce the actual words.

Give Baby a Chance to Give

Come holiday time, have Baby hand out the gifts. Seeing the look of surprise and thanks on the recipients’ faces will give her a thrill. This can also be done easily around the house. Mommy needs her shoes? Have Baby take them to her. Brother’s lunch box is packed? Have her hand it to him. Teaching Baby that being the giver is a special role too, will help her appreciate being on the receiving end even more in time.

Be Sure You’re Saying Your Pleases and Thank You's

Let Baby see you speaking with gratitude to the people you encounter together — family, friends, cashiers, etc. And if someone compliments Baby’s sweet smile or beautiful eyes, say thank you on her behalf. Once Baby is ready to speak for herself, remind her to look at the person and say thank you. While it may seem pushy at first, it will become second nature to Baby quickly with a bit of practice.

Openly Express Gratitude Throughout the Day

When you find yourself enjoying a moment, tell Baby. “Isn’t it great that we can be cuddled up on the couch reading this book together?” “I’m so happy to wake up in the morning to come in to your smiling face and wacky bed head!” “This beautiful day is giving me lots of energy and I really needed it.”

Pajama Chat

As the day comes to an end, and you’re getting Baby all snuggly in her PJs, list 5 things you’re grateful for that day. These things can be anything from the weather, to activities you did, to the people you love, to the fact that it’s finally bedtime. (Of course if you’re religious, this can also be done as a prayer.)

Try a few of these and I bet you’ll be surprised how quickly Baby picks up on this way of thinking. And, if you’re like me, you might also find that you feel happier when you take a gracious approach to the days as well.

How do you model gratitude for your baby?

Experience the comfort of Huggies Little Snugglers

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Get Ready for Your Fourth Trimester

The time between your baby's birth and her first three months of life is known as the fourth trimester. This special time is all about getting to know your little one during those precious first few months you will have together at home. The so-called fourth trimester is a time of change, discovery and bonding for both you and baby.

The desire to see babies thrive will never change. How families find their way has. That’s why Huggies teamed up with Medela Inc, to offer more moms the support they need to reach their breastfeeding goals. Breastfeeding doesn’t look the same for everyone. And that’s more than okay. There’s no perfect way to do it, and plenty of ways to get to your own version of perfect.

To help you with planning for your fourth trimester, check out these tips from Medela Inc.

 

Be supportive

Your little one is making a huge adjustment by transitioning to life outside of the womb. You can help baby cope by creating soothing everyday experiences for her. Things that remind baby of being in the womb can be especially comforting. Activities such as holding baby close so that she can hear your heartbeat can help provide familiar sounds and sensations.

Of course, new moms and dads need support too. Focus on practicing routines as you get to know your baby and don’t stress about sticking to a solid schedule. Consider simple comforts such as a rocking chair or glider for the nursery to help you get through late nights comfortably.

 

Bond with baby

Your body is designed to help you bond with your new little one. Both during and after your birthing experience, high levels of oxytocin (yep, the love hormone) are released by your brain to help you bond with baby.

Breastfeeding is another wonderful way to connect with your newborn. If possible, take advantage of the very special bonding time immediately after birth, which is known as the golden hour. This is the ideal time to start breastfeeding. Let your doctor and nurses know your wishes so that routine medical procedures don’t interfere with your precious bonding time.

 

Brush up on breastfeeding

A good latch is the secret to successfully breastfeeding your baby. Once baby is comfortably latched on to your breast, you can relax and enjoy feeding your little one. There are lots of different positioning styles that you can try when feeding too. When baby is latched on properly, you should be able to hear the sound of her swallowing milk.  Medela offers step-by-step instructions to help you with latching.

 

Help baby sleep

When babies are growing in the womb they experience plenty of motion. Many babies find motion comforting and can fall asleep more easily when they are moving. To help your baby sleep, you can try holding her on your chest as you walk quietly through your home. Pushing baby in her stroller or taking her for a ride in the car are other ways to provide the kind of soothing motion that could help your little one sleep.

 

Involve your partner

While you bond with your baby through breastfeeding, your partner can also connect with baby in other meaningful ways. Holding and burping baby after she nurses is a wonderful way for your partner to get involved with feedings. Bath time and nap time also offer other opportunities for your partner to play with baby and provide comfort by rocking or holding to help baby peacefully fall asleep.

 

Get more advice from Medela, Inc. at http://www.medelabreastfeedingus.com/

Medela, Inc. the #1 recommended breast pump brand*, is proud to provide moms with quality products that support their breast milk feeding goals – whatever their lifestyle. Medela will be adding new products to its collection later this year that were designed in direct response to customer feedback. We develop our products based on breastfeeding science, our own research, as well as user testing and feedback from moms. We teamed up with Huggies to offer more moms the support they need to reach their own breastfeeding goals.

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7 Things You Need to Know When Dressing Your Newborn

One of my favorite things about newborn babies is the cute, teeny clothes we can dress them in. We had piles of puppy dog sleepers and dinosaur onesies for my son and ladybugs, ruffles, and kitties for my daughter. Retailers know we moms like to dress our babies up in the cutest of cute; that’s why the infant clothes industry brings in $11 billion a year!

Newborn clothes are the cutest, but dressing them can be incredibly challenging. They are equally delicate and strong, and are filled with instincts and reflexes that make it difficult to actually get the clothes onto their tiny bodies (not to mention, you will be sleep-deprived and not thinking straight)!

Here are seven tips that can make it a little easier to dress your little one.

You may have spent the last few weeks of your pregnancy strolling through the baby section of Target with a wistful look on your face, lovingly admiring those teeny little baby jeans, tights with ruffles, or complicated outfits with way too many buttons, but when baby arrives, you’ll soon find that less is more. Babies poop a lot. Babies pee a lot. Babies throw up a lot. This means lots of diaper and clothing changes for you. Dressing your baby simply in a onesie or sleeper can drastically cut down on your clothing frustrations.

I don’t care who you are — if you can snap a baby sleeper on the first try, I don’t trust you. I’ve never been able to fasten a sleeper, and countless times have put my baby back to sleep with a wonky sleeper. Choose clothing pieces in the first few weeks that are easy to take on and off. One of my favorite baby items is a “baby bag”, essentially a sleeping bag with arms that keeps your baby warm, allows her to move her little legs, and is easy to unzip to change a diaper. Plus, it’s much safer than an actual blanket.

Baby shoes! Amiright? They are perhaps the most adorable baby item while also being the most useless. Babies can’t walk, so they don’t need anything to protect their feet, and while they are cute, I guarantee you’ll be putting them back on flailing little legs many, many times. Life is too short for doing shoe checks every 5 minutes to make sure you didn’t lose one. Opt for cute “shoe” socks instead if you want to complete the look for your baby’s outfit of the day.

Little baby fingernails are surprisingly sharp. Have you ever been sliced by a newborn baby finger? It’s like a razor. Many moms swear by the little mittens sold to protect your baby (and you) from accidental fingernail cuts, but my personal opinion is to skip this item on your registry. Most babies are accustomed to touching their face while safe in their mother’s womb, and when they are out in the big, bad world, holding little fingers to their face gives them a sense of comfort. Covering tiny fingers may keep them from this biological way to self-soothe, which could mean more fussiness. Pick up a tiny pair of nail clippers and steady your hand to give those little nails a trim.

Speaking of those little fingers (and toes!), they are very bendy. That’s one thing I didn’t expect when my little ones were born. When you’re pulling on t-shirts, onesies, and pants, flexible fingers and toes can easily get caught in the fabric and bend. Although it isn’t necessarily painful for your baby, it will probably catch her off guard and you’ll get an earful. Save her some annoyance (and save your eardrums) by bunching up the arms of her shirt or the legs of her pants first, then push the garment onto her arm or leg. She should slip her arm right into the sleeve.

If leg and crotch snaps are difficult, back snaps and buttons are nearly impossible — as well as uncomfortable. Back is best when your baby is sleeping, and snaps running down the back of his sleeper can be quite bothersome. Additionally, back snaps are very hard to manage since newborn heads are incredibly floppy!

Babies are sturdier than they appear — and also stronger. You may have an instinct to pick your baby up and hold him with one hand while you’re laying down the sleeper, but resist. Babies can wiggle or push at just the wrong time and make you lose your grip, especially if you’re just holding him with one arm. Instead, lay your baby on the changing table first, then roll him to the side, gently pushing the sleeper under his little body. Repeat on the other side.

What are your best tips for dressing a newborn?

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

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Cradle Cap

Overview

Cradle cap causes crusty or oily scaly patches on a baby's scalp. The condition isn't painful or itchy. But it can cause thick white or yellow scales that aren't easy to remove.

Cradle cap usually clears up on its own in a few months. Home-care measures include washing your baby's scalp daily with a mild shampoo. This can help loosen and remove the scales. Don't scratch cradle cap.

If cradle cap persists or seems severe, your doctor may suggest a medicated shampoo, lotion or other treatment.

Cradle cap is characterized by scaly patches on a baby's scalp. You may notice thick, yellow patches of skin. The patches may be crusty or greasy.

Cradle cap appears as patchy scaling or thick crusts on the scalp and greasy skin covered with flaky white or yellow scales. Cradle cap usually doesn't bother the infant.

Symptoms

Common signs of cradle cap include:

  • Patchy scaling or thick crusts on the scalp
  • Oily or dry skin covered with flaky white or yellow scales
  • Skin flakes
  • Possibly mild redness

Similar scales may also be present on the ears, eyelids, nose and groin.

Cradle cap is common in newborns. It usually isn't itchy.

Cradle cap is the common term for infantile seborrheic dermatitis. It's sometimes confused with another skin condition, infantile eczema. A major difference between these conditions is that eczema usually causes significant itching.

When to see a doctor

See your baby's doctor if:

  • You've tried treating it at home without success
  • The patches spread to your baby's face or body

Causes

The cause of cradle cap isn't known. One contributing factor may be hormones that pass from the mother to the baby before birth. These hormones can cause too much production of oil (sebum) in the oil glands and hair follicles.

Another factor may be a yeast (fungus) called malassezia (mal-uh-SEE-zhuh) that grows in the sebum along with bacteria. Antifungal treatments, such as ketoconazole, are often effective, supporting the idea that yeast is a contributing factor.

Cradle cap isn't contagious, and it's not caused by poor hygiene.

Treatment

Cradle cap usually doesn't require medical treatment. It clears up on its own within a few months. In the meantime, wash your baby's hair once a day with mild baby shampoo and brush the scalp lightly with a soft brush to loosen the scale.

If frequent shampooing doesn't help, consult your baby's doctor. He or she may recommend an adult dandruff shampoo, such as one containing 2 percent antifungal ketoconazole medication. Be sure the shampoo doesn't get in your baby's eyes, as it may cause irritation. Hydrocortisone cream is sometimes helpful to reduce redness and inflammation.

Don't use over-the-counter cortisone or antifungal creams without talking to your baby's doctor, because some of these products can be toxic when absorbed through a baby's skin. Dandruff shampoos that contain salicylic acid aren't recommended for use in babies either, because they can be absorbed through the skin.

Preparing for an appointment

If your baby's cradle cap doesn't improve with home-care measures or starts to spread, make an appointment with your baby's pediatrician. Here's some information to help you prepare for your visit.

What you can do

Your baby's doctor will want to know:

  • How long your baby has had cradle cap
  • What you've done to treat it
  • How often you shampoo your baby's hair
  • What products you've tried

Lifestyle and home remedies

The following over-the-counter treatments and home-care tips can help you control and manage cradle cap.

  • Gently rub your baby's scalp with your fingers or a washcloth to loosen the scales. Don't scratch.
  • Wash your baby's hair once a day with mild baby shampoo. Loosen the scales with a small, soft-bristled brush before rinsing off the shampoo.
  • If the scales don't loosen easily, rub petroleum jelly or a few drops of mineral oil onto your baby's scalp. Let it soak into the scales for a few minutes, or hours if needed. Then brush and shampoo your baby's hair as usual. If you leave the oil in your baby's hair, the cradle cap may get worse.
  • Once the scales are gone, wash your baby's hair every few days with a mild shampoo to prevent scale buildup.

Prevention

Shampooing your baby's hair every few days can help prevent cradle cap. Stick with a mild baby shampoo unless your baby's doctor recommends something stronger.


This article was from Mayo Clinic Health Information Library and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

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Real Mom Advice: Introducing Siblings to the New Baby

When I found out I was pregnant with my daughter, I was first overjoyed, then a little nervous about how her brother would react. He was my first baby, and we have always had a really great connection. I kiss his boo-boos, snuggle with him when he’s sick, and I rocked him to sleep the first two and a half years of his life. He’s a sensitive soul, my firstborn, so I wasn’t sure how a new sibling would fit into his life.

At 3 1/2, Luke’s attitude toward his new sibling could go either way: either he’ll love her dearly, or he’ll resent the breath she breathes. Luckily, he’s been pretty excited so far. He loves to kiss my belly and say goodnight to “little sister.” I am still pondering how he’ll react when he sees that squirming little pink bundle of joy in the hospital suite.

Adding a new sibling can be tricky, even for experienced parents. All kids are different, and no reaction will be the same. Preparing for a new sibling? These experienced moms can help you navigate the waters.

Tonya Wertman‘s son, Lucas, was 4 1/2 when she gave birth to her daughter, Lola, in January. She discovered that allowing him to experience ultrasounds helped make the idea of a sibling more concrete. “We talked about what it meant to have a baby a lot and found a sibling class through a local university that was very helpful. I also took him to ultrasound appointments with me so he could ‘see’ the baby.”

Courtney Adkins is mom to two sons, Garrett and Connor. She and her husband helped Garrett adapt by including him in a variety of new-baby tasks.

“Garrett was almost 4 when we had Connor. I showed him ultrasound pictures, let him listen to Connor’s heartbeat on our Doppler, and let him feel and watch my belly. The day I had Connor, Garrett stayed with my sister-in-law. She brought Garrett up after we were settled in the mother/baby unit. I had [my husband] Dave meet her out the hallway. When Dave brought Garrett in, it was just the four of us. I didn’t want Garrett to be overwhelmed by everyone there; I wanted him to take it all in without a bunch of people bombarding him about being a big brother. When we got home, we let him help with little things like getting diapers, powder–just enough to make him feel like he was really helping. We included him in tummy time and let him rock Connor in the recliner. He did so much better adjusting than we thought he would. He’s an awesome big brother!”

Karen Chavez‘s son Martin was 9 when little brother, William, was born. With an older child, Karen was able to let Martin experience the entire delivery. “Martin was pretty aware. We had planned for Martin to hang out with my mother at her house when I went to the hospital, but when the day came, Martin insisted on riding with us to the hospital and staying. We arrived at the hospital around 11 a.m., and William was born at 9:01 p.m. Martin stayed the whole time, was there when William was delivered, and was able to cut the cord. After we got home, Martin loved feeding and rocking William and couldn’t wait for his chance to rock him to sleep.When I’d put William to bed at the end of the day, Martin would get a blanket and pillow and fall asleep on the floor in William’s room. Sweet days.”

Tara Campioni’s first daughter, Hannah, was almost 4 when little sister Emily was born. To help Hannah prepare for big-sisterdom, Tara promised something very special.

“Hannah went with me to every appointment and talked a lot about the new baby. To make her feel special we promised her she could be the first to hold the baby. Other than the nurses and doctor, she held her before me or my husband. She still talks about it to this day about how she was the first to hold her.”

How did you prepare your little one for a new arrival? Share your tips in the comments!

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

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3 Questions You’ll Have in Baby’s First Week Home

No matter how much research you’ve done or how prepared you think you are, bringing your brand new baby home is likely to bring some stressful moments — especially during that first week.

In your first week home with your baby, you’ll probably spend hours staring down at your little one, amazed at how beautiful he or she is. You’ll also probably spend hours staring down at them with total fear and confusion, hoping you’re doing everything right.

In time, you’ll become a pro at all the day-to-day tasks of having a baby, but in those first few weeks, it’s totally normal for you to be surprised by what it means to actually have a baby. Click through to see answers to the questions almost all new parents find themselves asking soon after they bring their baby home.

Is it normal that they’re eating this often?

Newborns seem to eat with an almost impossible frequency. Most newborn babies will eat every two to three hours (that’s 8-12 feeds per day if you’re counting), but it’s not uncommon for them to eat even more frequently in their first few weeks.

Though it’s tough to keep up with their feedings in the early weeks of their lives, those feedings will start to space out as their tummies get bigger. Hang in there, Mama!

Is it normal that they’re crying this much?

When we’re hot, we turn on the air conditioning; when we’re cold, we get a blanket. If we’re hungry, we eat; if we’re tired, we go to bed. Not only are newborn babies totally incapable of doing those things themselves — they’re also experiencing the discomforts of human life for the very first time.

In the womb, they were never hungry or cold or tired — it’s no wonder, then, that babies tend to cry a lot early on. Crying is their only way to communicate with you, so try your best to keep your patience; however, don’t be afraid to reach out to your doctor if it seems like your baby is in pain.

Is it normal that they’re sleeping this much?

Though most new parents feel like they’re getting almost no sleep, newborn babies actually sleep an average of 16 hours per day. Newborns are often only awake long enough between naps to eat, look around for a little while, and get a diaper change before they drift off again.

The reason that new parents have trouble sleeping is that those 16 hours are broken up into tiny one- and two-hour segments throughout the day, leaving little time for parents to get a good stretch of sleep when their baby does.

What were your questions during those first few weeks?

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

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4 Tips for Cutting Your Newborn’s Fingernails

Newborn babies are perfect. Tiny ears, tiny noses, tiny wrists, and itty-bitty fingers and toes. The first time you lay eyes on your baby you’ll probably be overcome with just how little they are. You’ll be mesmerized. A few days or weeks later, though, you’ll likely begin to feel more puzzled than mesmerized when it comes time to cut your newborn’s fingernails. Just how exactly are you supposed to do something so delicate with someone so small? Most parents worry about hurting their baby when they cut their fingernails but follow the tips below and you’ll be giving fantastic mini-manicures in no time!

1. Consider using an emery board instead of traditional nail clippers

When babies are very young, you can usually use an emery board or traditional nail file as opposed to using nail clippers. Though most nail clippers are guarded, parents tend to feel nervous as they clip their babies nails. Using an emery board can reduce anxiety and ensure the job gets done without any tears.

2. Give it a try when they’re asleep

When newborns are awake they’re often surprisingly wiggly. Instead of trying to wrangle your baby into being still while they’re awake, consider cutting or filing their nails when they’re napping and still. 

3. Make it a team effort

Trying to clip your baby’s nails for the first time can be overwhelming. Instead of going it alone, ask your partner or another loved one to hold your baby as you take care of their nails. Doing something hard can feel much easier when you’re doing it with someone who supports you, so don’t hesitate to ask!

4. Remember that this to shall pass

Taking care of a newborn is hard. As you struggle through the first few nail sessions with your baby, remember that in time this (all of it) will begin to feel easier and more natural.

Good luck out there parents! 

Do you have any tips on caring for your newborn’s nails?

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

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Infant development: Birth to 3 months

A lot happens during your baby's first three months. Most babies reach certain milestones at similar ages, but infant development isn't an exact science. Expect your baby to grow and develop at his or her own pace. As you get to know your baby, consider these general infant development milestones.

What to expect

At first, caring for your baby might feel like an endless cycle of feeding, diapering and soothing. But soon, signs of your baby's growth and development will emerge.

  • Motor skills. Your newborn's head will be wobbly at first. But soon your baby will be able to lift his or her head and turn it from one side to the other while lying on his or her stomach. Your baby's stretching and kicking are likely to get more vigorous. If you offer a toy, your baby might grasp it and hold on tight for a few moments.
  • Hearing. Within a few weeks, your baby might respond to sounds by getting quiet or smiling. Expect your baby to respond to the sound of your voice.
  • Vision. Your baby will probably focus on your face during feedings. Soon your baby might begin to examine more-complex designs, along with various colors, sizes and shapes. You might notice your baby studying his or her hands and feet. By age 3 months, your baby might be easily distracted by an interesting sight or sound.
  • Communication. Newborns are sensitive to the way you hold, rock and feed them. By age 2 months, your baby might smile on purpose, blow bubbles and coo when you talk or gently play together. Your baby might even mimic your facial expressions. Soon your baby might reach for you when he or she needs attention, security or comfort.

Promoting your baby's development

Your relationship with your child is the foundation of his or her healthy development. Trust your ability to meet your baby's needs. You can:

  • Hold your baby. Gentle caresses and tender kisses can help your newborn feel safe, secure and loved. Hold and rock your baby. Allow him or her to study your face. Let your baby grasp your little finger and touch your face.
  • Speak freely. Simple conversation lays the groundwork for language development, even before your baby can understand a word. Ask questions and respond to your baby's coos and gurgles. Describe what you see, hear and smell around the house, outdoors, and when you're out and about. Use simple words that apply to your baby's everyday life. Remember that your tone of voice communicates ideas and emotions as well.
  • Change positions. Hold your baby facing outward. With close supervision, place your baby on his or her tummy to play. Hold a colorful toy or make an interesting noise to encourage your baby to pick up his or her head. Many newborns get fussy or frustrated on their tummies, so keep these sessions brief at first — just a few minutes at a time. If drowsiness sets in, place your baby on his or her back to sleep.
  • Respond quickly to tears. For most newborns, crying spells peak about six weeks after birth and then gradually decline. Whether your baby needs a diaper change, feeding session or simply warm contact, respond quickly. Your attention will help build a strong bond with your baby — and the confidence he or she will need to settle down without your help one day.

When something's not right

Your baby might reach some developmental milestones ahead of schedule and lag behind a bit on others. This is perfectly normal. There's typically no cause for concern. It's a good idea to be aware of the warning signs, however. Consult your baby's doctor if you're concerned about your baby's development or you notice any red flags by age 3 months:

  • Hasn't shown any improvement in head control
  • Doesn't respond to sounds or visual cues, such as loud noises or bright lights
  • Doesn't smile at people or the sound of your voice
  • Doesn't follow moving objects with his or her eyes
  • Doesn't notice his or her hands
  • Doesn't grasp and hold objects

Remember that every baby is unique — but your instincts are important, too. The earlier a problem is detected, the earlier it can be treated.


This article was from Mayo Clinic Health Information Library and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

Image : Getty

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