Every new year, I go back and review what I am passing on to my clients. This year I am concentrating on basic infant care because that seems to change so much from generation to generation.I have more and more grandparents joining my young folks to learn what's up with their skills as far as grandparenting is concerned.
So this is what I have produced for Baby Basics this year and I am happy to share:
Diapering is to keep the poops in. Diaper tightly and make sure that the elastic around the thigh is not tucked in. Diapering is used to provide a barrier between the baby’s butt and the poopy diaper. The goal is to prevent diaper rash; not cure it. So, grease ‘em up. Vaseline, Burt’s Bee’s, will work fine. So does Butt Paste, A&D, Desitin and list goes on. In a pinch, use Crisco. No powder.
Girls have a lot of folds that need to be separated and wiped from front to back. Not to be alarmed, the first few days girls may have mucousy, blood-tinged dicsharge from their vaginas. Boys who are circumcised need a tube of Vaseline and some gauze squares ( you can get those at the hospital ). Put a blob of jelly on that newly circed penis topped off with a gauze square so it won’t stick to the diaper. It heals in a few days. All diapers need to be tucked under the belly so the cord stays dry. Clean it with an alcohol wipe and keep it open to the air. It heals in about a week.
Babies need to be slept on their back to reduce the risk of SIDS. But that doesn’t mean flat. Try a 45 degree angle for more comfortable sleep and less reflux.
Babies need to burp a lot. More than you can believe. LOUDLY. If they don’t burp up their belly bubbles, they wake up screaming.
I like the ear and axillary thermometers. And light-suction bulbs. And gowns instead of onesies. A mosquito net and a receiving blanket over strollers in any weather. I like duckies that tell you when the temperature of the water is just right. And those little purses stuffed with essentials like safety clippers.
Let your kid get used to sleeping through anything. Run the vacuum, play the TV. Let the doorbells ring, Open the shades. Bark the dog. Dress them inside and out just like you would dress yourself and keep the temperature in your house comfortable for you and the baby will be comfortable too.
No pillows, blankies, stuffed animals, bumpers in the crib. Nothing but a sheet.
Even if you can’t get around to a bath ( not until the cord falls off, but sponge ) clean under the baby’s chin where he doesn’t have a neck. From ear to ear, twice. Lots of stuff gets caught under there.
Sick infants don’t exhibit adult sick symptoms. If you aren’t sure, if your baby doesn’t look right, if your baby isn’t acting like himself. Call the doctor. Report a temperature from where it was taken. Emergencies go to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.
This is your baby. You belong to it. You have to keep it. Learn how to slow down and watch and listen to it. They are gone before long. One day something may work and the next, not at all. Make mistakes. Make it up. Remember my absolute rule: You mst feed your baby.
And when that little stinker pushes you to your wits end, put the baby on the floor ( can’t fall off it ) and walk away from the scene. Remember to take a few deep breaths and