Before you’re a parent, you may think you’ll be overwhelmed in those first few days, weeks or months. You will likely be pleasantly surprised as you feel your instincts kick in and you know how to hold, feed and cuddle your newborn. Love your baby. Hug your baby. Listen closely to your baby and you can’t go wrong.
> Jay Gordon, M.D. pediatrician and author
treating a cold
“A cold is primarily a nuisance,” says Sue Mahle, M.D., a pediatrician in Minneapolis. The telltale sign that your baby is developing a cold is a runny nose with discharge that can range from clear and watery to thick and yellow to even greenish. Your baby also may be sneezing, running a slight fever and acting cranky.
Keep your baby comfortable by placing a humidifier in the nursery, increasing his fluids (breastfeeding is best, but if your baby is getting a bottle, you can dilute one or two feedings a day with water) and using saline drops to soften the mucus in his nose and then sucking it out with a rubber bulb syringe. Another trick: Let your baby sleep secured upright in his car seat (make sure to buckle him in) to let gravity help drain his nose.
If your baby has difficulty breathing, has a raspy cough or is wheezing, call the doctor. Your baby could have respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), a common virus that is usually harmless in older children and adults but can be serious in young babies.
Your baby is crying. You want to ease his discomfort, so you rock, you swaddle, you suckle—all to no avail. Or so it seems. You’re on the right track; you just haven’t been putting all the pieces together properly, says Harvey Karp, M.D., author of The Happiest Baby on the Block: The New Way to Calm Crying and Help Your Baby Sleep Longer. In his book and accompanying video (the latter from Starlight Home Entertainment), Karp outlines the five “S” steps which he has shown will turn on a baby’s “calming reflex” and soothe even the most distraught infant. Try these in order:
>> Swaddling tightly in a blanket
>> Side or stomach positioning, propped with a blanket
>> Shhh-ing (your voice, the vacuum, or other constant, white noise)
>> Swinging or jiggling (a number of specific techniques are described in the book and shown in the video)
>> Sucking (using breast or pacifier)
cutting the nails