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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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Why Your Family's Birth Plan Needs a Hug Plan

Have you added a Hug Plan to your family's birth plan yet?

A Hug Plan enhances your birth plan by specifying your wishes for skin-to-skin, or kangaroo care, with baby at the hospital or birthing center. It provides a detailed plan for when and how you would like that special bonding time to happen.

More than 600 scientific studies have shown that touch helps a baby’s development and overall health in numerous ways. These benefits include everything from healthier brain development to a more stable heart rate, stronger attachment, and even less illness. Skin-to-skin contact between baby and mommy is not only powerful, but critical.

Hug Plans were created by Huggies® and a team of medical experts who believe in the amazing power of hugs. With a Hug Plan in place, you can ensure that every precious moment (and hug!) is enhanced on the day your baby is born. Read on to find out what your Hug Plan can include.

A Designated Alternate Hugger

It could be your partner, a friend or maybe even a grandparent. Your alternate hugger is someone that you love and trust who'll be in the delivery room with you. Their job is to help you provide your newborn with skin-to-skin hugs. They can even fill in for you and give your little one hugs if you're temporarily unable to provide them.

What to Wear

There are several garments that can help facilitate immediate skin-to-skin contact with your precious newborn. You can wear your hospital gown so it opens to the front, allowing for skin-to-skin contact without extra fabric getting in the way. You also may be able to bring your own birthing gown but check first with your doctor and hospital to make sure it's permitted. You can choose the style, comfort and modesty level that works best for you. There are also skin-to-skin tops specially designed for the kind of hugging your newborn needs from you.

Welcome-to-the-World Hug

In your Hug Plan, you or your partner can request to be the first person to hold your baby. This also includes your preference of holding and hugging your baby before or after the umbilical cord is cut and clamped. If you want to hold your baby right away, consider what that actually means to you. Do you want your baby before they're cleaned off with a towel or after? If you’re unsure, ask your doctor about the differences in waiting time for both options. At some hospitals, a baby may be measured, weighed and bathed before coming back to you clean and wrapped in a towel. Be sure to choose the option that best reflects your wishes for the timing of your skin-to-skin hugs. It's always best to review your Hug Plan with your doctor before the big day. 

Diapering Time

Science shows that diapering can be much more than a routine task by being engaged and present in the moment. By practicing “mindful diapering,” you can influence your child’s health, sense of well-being and overall growth and development. Through your soft voice, gentle touch, slow and careful movements and smiles, you can strengthen both your emotional and physical connection with your baby. Your touch and attention are what your baby needs to thrive, so don’t forget to begin and end each diaper change with a hug!

Leveraging the “Golden Hours”

What do you want to happen after your baby is diapered for the first time? If you want uninterrupted time to keep snuggling and hugging your baby during the magical “Golden Hours,” make your wishes known. Perhaps giving skin-to-skin contact until your baby’s first feeding is complete is what works best for you. Got another idea in mind? Make it happen with your very own Hug Plan.

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Get Your Camera Ready for a Big Family Moment

Human touch helps promote a baby’s healthy physical, emotional and social development to help them thrive. That’s why hugs are from mom and dad are so critical for infants, but don’t underestimate the power of hugs from a big sister or big brother. They can play a very important role, too!

After being born, a sibling’s embrace can be among the very first hugs a baby receives, so you want to make sure your eldest child is ready for this first special hug.

Here, parents of babies with siblings share their memories of what they did to ease the transition of bringing home the new baby to their families and that very meaningful moment when a newborn received their first hug from their big brother or big sister. 

My five-year-old seemed to have a strong connection to his baby sister right from the start. Tapping into his big-brother intuition, he actually predicted I was pregnant with a girl weeks before I even knew I was expecting! Our baby girl was one-day old when her big brother hugged her for the very first time. My son looked so shocked and surprised when he held her; it was as if he just couldn’t believe she was actually out of my belly. Both my husband and I were amazed at how gentle he was when he held his baby sister. First, he cradled her and supported her head and then he hugged her close and gave her a little kiss on the forehead. It was such a sweet and tender moment that I started to cry. I knew then and there that they would have a very special sibling bond.

Celeste Collins; Nashville, TN

Because my wife delivered at a birthing center, we returned to our house the same day my son was born, so my daughters (four and two years old) met their new brother at home. The girls sat next to each other on the couch with my wife and mom on either side. Our oldest daughter was immediately overcome with happiness and literally squealed with joy as she held and hugged her baby brother. But my two-year-old was indifferent at first; she got up and began playing with her toys. Slowly, she began to warm up to him and even managed to give him a half smile. Now, my two-year-old adores him. Our baby boy is getting plenty of hugs from both his sisters as their love for him continues to grow each day.

Alex Mustico; Lincoln University, PA

When my daughter was born, my little guy was only 15 months old and essentially still a baby himself. We had talked about being “gentle” A LOT with him throughout my pregnancy and had given him a baby doll to play with as practice for this big day, but I was still nervous. My son walked into my hospital room 12 hours after his sister was born wearing a “Big Brother” t-shirt. True to form, he asked me for a snack before coming closer to meet his new sister. When he saw her in my arms, he grinned from ear to ear and then softly patted his baby sister’s head. After that, he reached out to give her a kiss and her first big-brother hug. I was overwhelmed with love and also relieved that he didn’t squish her!

Becca Carnahan; Littleton, MA 

We had experienced two devastating losses prior to having our sweet baby boy, so it had been a very long nine-month wait to meet our precious newborn. My three-year-old daughter met her brother in the recovery room after my C-section. Her face immediately lit up when she saw him and she actually gasped when he was placed in her arms. Our little girl formally introduced herself to her baby brother and then told him that she loved him very much. As she gently hugged the baby and said that she needed to hold him all day long, tears started streaming down my face. I realized that I was witnessing an amazing moment, not only in my life, but also in her’s.

Nicole Gonzalez; Tampa, Florida

We spent a lot of time prepping our daughter. We got her a book that tells a great story about a sister waiting for her baby brother’s arrival. From the beginning, we would talk about everything as if her baby brother was already here. Everything was about the four of us, the places we would go and the things we do. She was talking about "baby brother" for months before she even met him. When our son was born, we took our daughter to the hospital and had our newborn give a gift to her. That made a big difference. The first day home, we let her hug our newborn in bed, she now wants to hold her baby brother all of the time!

Shafqat Islam; New York, NY

Image : Getty

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Nurture Starts With Skin-to-Skin Hugs

Hugging your baby is one of the great joys of parenting. Feeling their tiny heartbeat next to yours creates a bonding experience unlike any other. In addition though, the special act of skin-to-skin or kangaroo care isn’t just about enjoying the closeness with your baby, it has direct and far-reaching benefits on your baby’s health and development.

There have been over 600 medical studies showing how effective skin-to-skin care is for babies. The impact of hugs is so impressive that many hospitals even have special chairs and body wraps to make it easier for moms and dads to comfortably hold their baby against their bare skin.

The benefits of skin-to-skin care are both physical and mental. From improved sleep and more stable body temperature to less crying - skin-to-skin hugs can make for a happier baby and happier parents. But that's just the beginning. Kangaroo care also fosters stronger long-term parent/baby attachment, improved oxygen levels and healthier brain development. Hugging your baby gives them a sense of security that will last a lifetime.

The positive effects of a hug is especially pronounced for preemies that may be spending a lot of their time in a NICU. Huggies® believes deeply in the power of hugs to help babies thrive. That’s why the brand has launched its No Baby Unhugged program to ensure all babies get the hugs they need. As part of this effort, Huggies is awarding $10,000 grants to as many as 25 eligible hospitals throughout 2017 to enable them to launch a new volunteer hugging program or expand support for an existing program. You can help by providing a virtual hug when you become a Huggies member at Huggies.com. Every time somebody signs up, Huggies will donate $5 to support more hugging programs. You can learn more at https://www.huggieshealthcare.com/en-us/power-of-hugs/hospital-hugger-program

There's no such thing as snuggling too much with your baby. So enjoy the first days and weeks after your baby is born by creating quiet time where you can lie together, skin-to-skin. You'll foster well-being and strong bonding, while helping your baby thrive and strengthen your parenting skills at the same time. With so many positive outcomes, it’s easy to see why hugs are so powerful!

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Why Your Baby Needs Unrestricted Movement

Babies are completely dependent on their parents for food, shelter, and clothing, so it may seem counterintuitive to talk about giving them some independence. But that is exactly what newborns need when it comes to movement.

“The less you confine babies from being able to explore their environment safely, the better their development will ultimately be,” says Alana Kennedy-Nasser MD, pediatrician and founder of purePEDIATRICS in Bellaire, Texas.

Babies of any age definitely benefit from being given opportunities to move their bodies on their own time and in their own way. Read on for more things you should know about providing safe, uninhibited movement opportunities for your baby.

Give your newborn some back time

Yes, even newborns need to be given the time and space to move around freely. According to Dr. Kennedy-Nasser, the easiest way for your infant to explore their environment is by lying on their back. Put him or her down in a safe place and watch how they explore the world, looking around and initiating their own movements. Your newborn may move her arms and legs, arch his or her back or start examining their hands and feet. For safety reasons, keep toddlers, older kids, small objects and pets out of baby’s exploration space.

Rethink confining accessories

Although bouncy seats, walkers, jumpers and play saucers can definitely come in handy, they’re not the best things for baby to hang out in all the time. “When we restrain babies and put them in things like a bouncy chair or a swing for long periods of time, we’re really restricting their movement and control,” says Dr. Kennedy-Nasser. “These items put babies in an unnatural position, so I recommend parents limit the amount of time spent in accessories that constrain baby’s natural movement.” 

Ramp up safety at six months

Many babies start rolling over from front to back by the time they are six months and some are even crawling by seven months. As these movement milestones are achieved, safety becomes a growing concern. This is the time when babies start to explore their environment not only through movement but also by putting things into their mouth. When creating your safe space for baby to enjoy free but supervised movement, remove anything that could be a choking hazard (think small objects) or poisonous if ingested. 

Faster doesn’t mean better

It might seem logical to think that a baby who reaches a movement milestone earlier than most might be smarter, more advanced or have some other advantage, but that is simply not true, as stated by Dr. Kennedy-Nasser. Trying to speed up or rush a natural process such as standing or learning to walk won’t make a baby stronger, taller or a better athlete. So it's totally okay if your baby starts walking a little bit later than others.

Soft failures are a necessity

Even though it is easy to be overprotective when your little one starts toddling around, babies do benefit from having the freedom to discover things on their own. “We want our babies to be safe, protected and supervised when they are exploring and experiencing free movement, but we have to let them stumble their way through a few things,” advises Dr. Kennedy-Nasser. “They will learn a lot in the process.”

Outfit your baby in Huggies® Little Movers diapers with double grip strips and a contoured shape that’s specially designed to support and encourage your baby to move freely and comfortably while exploring.

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Baby Skin Care: The Info You Need Now

Caring for baby’s skin is an essential part of your daily routine as a new parent. Skin maintains body temperature, retains essential fluids, and protects the body from toxic agents, microorganisms, and harmful ultraviolet rays, perhaps making it our most versatile body part. 

Here’s the essential information you need to know about your little one’s delicate skin and how to care for it.

Diaper duty is proactive duty

“The best way to keep baby’s diaper area skin healthy is to change diapers frequently,” says Jaime Friedman, MD, a pediatrician with Children’s Primary Care Medical Group in San Diego, California. “It’s the warm and moist environment of a soiled diaper that can contribute to diaper rash.” Luckily, Huggies® Little Snugglers Diapers have a color-changing wetness indicator that lets you know when your baby needs to be changed. To clean your baby’s sensitive skin when diapering, use Huggies® Natural Care® Wipes—they’re hypoallergenic and paraben-, fragrance- and alcohol-free.

Have a bath time plan

A daily bath is actually not a necessity for your baby’s hygiene. If you do decide to make bath time a part of your little one’s evening routine each day, skip the soap to avoid drying out baby’s skin. When using soap it's best to start washing from the top down, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. This method helps keep the areas that were already rinsed from getting soapy again. 

What to reach for in case of a rash

Chances are your baby will develop diaper rash at some point, so it’s best to have what you’ll need to treat it on hand. “The most effective treatment for diaper rash is to use a product that contains zinc because it actually helps heal baby’s skin,” advises Friedman. 

Symptoms that warrant a call

"Is your baby super fussy? Do they have cracked skin, really red skin or lots of little red bumps in their diaper area? If so, it's time to call or visit the doctor if your baby’s diaper rash doesn’t heal after being treated with a zinc cream," says Dr. Friedman. 

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Clean and Protect Your Baby’s Skin With Our Wipes

It’s a fact: babies make messes, sometimes on themselves. It’s our job as parents to keep them clean and comfortable while at the same time protecting their delicate and often sensitive skin. 

Wipes are one of the essentials of life with baby. We use them to clean their bottoms with every diaper change, up to 10-12 times a day. That’s why choosing a soft and gentle wipe is so important. Huggies® Natural Care wipes are softer for sensitive skin to gently clean your baby's skin. 

Within a few days of birth, the pH of infant skin is slightly acidic (around 5), which protects skin from pathogens. Huggies® Natural Care® baby wipes are 99% purified water and specifically formulated to have a final pH of 4.5-5.5 to help maintain healthy skin pH levels. Tap water, on the other hand, can have a pH of up to 8.5. Distilled water can range from 6.5-7 which can disrupt natural skin pH. If the pH rises too high, it disrupts the skin's natural, healthy state. 

Huggies Natural Care® baby wipes are also paraben, fragrance, and alcohol-free, providing a gentle clean for your baby’s soft and delicate skin. This is important for all babies, especially those with fragrance sensitivities or any skin issues.

Huggies takes great care to develop its diapers and wipes. In fact, you can learn more about what goes into a wipe here: https://www.huggies.com/en-us/mommyanswers/diapering/the-anatomy-of-a-baby-wipe

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How to Care for Your Baby’s Delicate Skin

Your baby's skin is more sensitive than your own skin. To care for and nurture your baby’s skin, consider sticking to fragrance-free and dye-free soaps, lotions, laundry detergents and baby wipes. 

For the first few months, your new baby will spend most of their time sleeping, feeding and producing dirty diapers! Believe it or not, you will most likely be changing baby’s diaper up to 10-12 times a day. With so many diaper changes per day, it’s important that each one is as gentle as possible. Every diaper change calls for a fresh diaper and baby wipes to get baby’s bottom clean without irritation. Huggies® Natural Care® wipes are pH balanced to match your baby's skin to help keep it healthy and they provide a wide surface to make sure you get baby’s bottom completely clean. 

Protecting your baby’s skin also means taking it easy when it comes to bathing. While it seems like a normal part of a nighttime routine, babies don't need a bath every day. After all, they spend most of their time sleeping! You can use baby wipes to gently wipe spit up off a baby’s face, and clean their hands easily.

While cuddling your baby is key to their growth and development, one thing to remember is that their skin is much thinner than yours. It’s much more absorbent and likely to react to external irritants. During your baby’s first year, you may want to wash your entire family’s clothes in fragrance-free and dye-free laundry detergent to avoid any risk of a reaction when your baby is in loved ones’ arms.  Avoid using any scented lotions on your own skin, particularly if you are breastfeeding.

Having the right products on hand will make it easy to nurture and protect your baby’s developing skin giving you more time to snuggle and enjoy your sweet bundle.

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Mom outside with baby on her shoulders

Get Out! Places To Go With Your Newborn

An art museum.

“New babies are still developing their various senses, including eyesight—so things generally tend to be a blur for them,” says Wittenberg. But they can see items with high contrast, so make a beeline for the modern art section. It will also coax along your baby’s ability to see colors, which kicks in at around 2 months of age.

A restaurant.

Your baby won’t be enjoying the special of the day, but she will be exposed to new smells and new faces as you enjoy a well-deserved meal out.

The aquarium.

Zoos are more enticing once you have a curious toddler, but for newborns, this more contained and smaller environment—with its slow-moving, patterned fish—is just the right speed. It can encourage them to track movement with their eyes, which typically happens between 8 and 12 weeks.

An animal shelter.

Infants 2 months and older will enjoy watching the frolicking puppies and kittens. Caution: You may be tempted to add another mouth to feed.

Your old office.

Reconnect with the outside world by visiting the work gang. Hopefully, they’ll take a break from oohing and ahhing over the baby to give you the latest scoop on office gossip.

The farmer's market.

Stock up on fresh food and fresh air. “Outdoor activities are great for everyone,” points out Wittenberg. “Getting a little exercise gives you energy. And the motion and sunlight help parent and baby sleep more soundly.”

Public garden.

Babies can gaze at patterns and colors—or just snooze—as you relax in the tranquility of the place. Take time to stop and smell the roses.!

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Wrapped up sleeping baby

7 Tips to Make Life Easier with a Newborn

Being a mommy to a newborn was like nothing I’ve ever experienced. It was the most incredible feeling, knowing I brought a miracle into the world and I was entrusted to care for this tiny human being, to shower my baby with love and to watch him grow. I’ve been through it twice now, and while it is beautiful and exciting, it can also be stressful and sometimes challenging. I wanted to let you fellow parents in on my secrets to making life easier when you have a newborn.

1. Sleep when the baby sleeps

I didn’t listen when my mom told me this, over and over again. Looking back, I wish I would have left the dishes for later, or enlisted a little help with the housework so I could have gotten some more rest those first few months.

2. Pack extras in your trunk

Yes, you will have a diaper bag with you, but there are times you will forget items. So I always keep a bag in my trunk full of “just in case” items such as a blanket, diapers and wipes, a few extra outfits (including a set of pajamas for nights that go later than you planned), and an empty bottle. And pack an extra shirt and pair of pants for YOURSELF. I made the mistake of not having a change of clothes for myself in the car one day, when I brought my 1-month-old to a meeting. I proceeded to change him in the bathroom where he had what I call a “toot and shoot,” so I ended up having to leave the meeting covered in #2. Embarrassing, right? It’s all part of motherhood. Haha.

3. Remember: no one is perfect

I stressed myself out so much when I first became a mom because I didn’t want to do anything incorrectly or look like I couldn’t handle motherhood. I was afraid to let my emotions out because I thought it made me look weak. But the truth is, there is no such thing as the perfect parent. What your baby needs most is food, sleep and love! Focus on those three things and everything else will fall into place.

4. Ask as many questions as you want at the hospital and pediatrician appointments

Don’t feel like you need to seem like you know everything. The nurses in recovery are there for the exact purpose of helping you and your new bundle of joy. Fill up on knowledge before you head home with your little one and continue to ask questions when you take them to their doctor’s appointments. I actually made lists of questions as they came up so I could take them with me to the pediatrician’s office.

5. Always bring the elevated sleeper

I love this bright pink Minnie Mouse Bows and Butterflies sleeper. An item just like this was our best friend when we would head to a friend’s house for dinner. It gave us a place to let our little one rest while we ate or while we were hanging out.

6. Get a play yard with a newborn/bassinet insert

Consider this Geo Pooh Play Yard from Sears. You will be waking up every hour or two to feed your baby for the first few months of his/her life, so it helps to have them sleeping near you. And just as often as you wake up to feed your baby, you will be changing his/her diaper. When you get a play yard like this one, you can do all of those things in one spot and continue to use the play yard for years to come. Plus, it has ample storage. That’s a win-win for Mommy, Daddy and Baby!

7. Ask your OBGYN what items you need to buy for yourself for your at home care after giving birth

Trust me, you will want to have those things on hand when you get home. The hospital will supply you with some items, but they won’t be enough, and the last thing you will want to do when you get home with a newborn is need to go to the store for that sort of stuff.

8. One-piece outfits like rompers are a mommy’s best friend, so stock up on them!

These are the easiest little outfits to get on and off of your baby.

Loving your baby is the greatest gift you can give your child, so keep your head up and have confidence in your abilities. As you arrive home with your tiny blessing in your arms, I hope you can relax a little and use this list to help relieve some stress. Remember: Moments of stress are fleeting, but being a parent is a magical gift that lasts a lifetime! You can do it!

Image : Disney Baby

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Baby sleeping in parent's hands

A Thoughtful Gift Basket to Welcome Home Baby

If you know someone who will be welcoming a new baby into their life soon, this is the perfect gift idea for you! Help make baby’s first moments magical with a Disney Baby curated gift basket.

First, here’s the recipe for putting together the perfect newborn gift basket:

1. Find a basket or fabric storage cube to display your gifts — something that can be re-used for storage and matches baby’s nursery!

2. Arrange gifts in the basket with tissue paper for added love.

3. Pick out some of your favorite Disney Baby gifts to add to your basket!

Now, what should you include? Here are a few ideas!

Diapers & Wipes

Baby will need plenty of these! Help Mom and Dad stock up and encourage gentle diaper care with this Winnie the Pooh themed newborn starter kit that includes Little Snuggler diapers and wipes.

Huggies Little Snugglers Newborn Gift Set

Receiving Blankets

Of course, they'll love a cute blanket for baby to snuggle in!

4-Pack Receiving Blankets

Hat & Booties

Got to have something to keep baby warm and cozy!

It's a Small World Cap & Bootie Set

Cuddly Bodysuit

Help Mom and Dad build the perfect layette with an adorable, grow-with-baby bodysuit.

Disney Cuddly Bodysuit

Stuffed Lovie

Add to their collection with something classic to cuddle with.

Classic Pooh 14" Plush Toy

Pacifiers

You can never have enough! These will help soothe and comfort their little one.

NUK Pacifiers

Music

These classics will be music to their ears -- and they're perfect for soothing baby.

Disney Baby Lullaby Album

Image : Disney Baby

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