The early weeks of pregnancy are fragile—and confusing. Here, the answers to your questions.
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By the time your child is 5, more than 30 percent of his classmates will have tooth decay, which can be well advanced even by age 3. “Early preventative care is the key to keeping your baby cavity-free,” says Elizabeth a. Shick, D.D.S., M.P.H., assistant professor of pediatric dentistry at the University of Colorado, Denver School of Dental Medicine.
Because the bacteria that cause cavities are transmitted to babies’ mouths via the saliva of caregivers, parents and siblings, you should avoid sharing utensils and cups with your baby, and never “clean” a pacifier with your mouth.
This morning, my son greeted me with only a T-shirt on. His slim little legs sticking out from underneath his still slightly rounded toddler belly. He looked up at me with a huge toothy grin and said, “Mama, you awake!” as if seeing me with my sleepy eyes was the most exciting thing that had ever happened. Then, he turned around and ran down the hall, tiny butt cheeks and all.
With the right gear and these expert tips, you can bathe your baby with ease. These tub-time essentials make a splash. You may also find this newborn advice helpful: • How to Calm a Colicky Baby
As I wrote in my previous post, the unpredictable schedule of a newborn had me reeling. Before going on maternity leave, I had worked every year since my college graduation: 15 years of full-time, two-weeks-of-paid-vacation-per-year, work. Needless to say, I was really used to being on some sort of regular schedule that also included the occasional after work cocktail (or two) with co-workers. That all changed the week my son came home.
Did I say I was apprehensive about Florida? Trust your gut, is all I have to say. Tucker acted like a newborn until the final two nights of the trip, up every few hours and screaming bloody murder every time we tried to put him down. Some nights he literally would not let us stop holding him, even lie between us in bed. We finally had to just let him cry it out (in the crib) *in a hotel,* can you imagine? We actually gave a bottle of wine to the people in the next room. Ugh.
Wow. How do you ever get anything done once they’re *crawling*? I can’t get away with leaving Tucker in the swing at all anymore; unless I’m sitting in front of it playing with him. Since he still only naps in 30-50 minute chunks (with some wake-ups in the middle) during the day, it’s harder and harder to get work done and also jump in the shower.
Of course, he slept 12 hours last night. So there’s that.
You’ve no doubt been dreaming about your baby for months: what he’ll look like, whether he’ll be laid-back like his dad or a Type A like you. But chances are, if it’s your first child, you don’t know much about taking care of a newborn.
Well, we’ve been there, and we’re here for you, with everything you need to know to care for yourself as well as your baby in those exciting but often frustrating first weeks. Let’s get started!
How to get motherhood off to a great start while you’re still in the hospital.
Well! Talk about final count-down time... We’ve gotten to the point when an email to Ben asking if he can think of anything else I should add to the registry completion order elicits “A Baby!” in reply. And while I’m still not at that “get this child out of me, stat” phase, I’m certainly getting more uncomfortable by the day. I blame the return of nasty humidity, though I’m grateful that we celebrated our joint-birthday weekend with fabulous weather reminiscent of my home state, Oregon.
Here’s one part of new motherhood you might not have thought about: what to do if your baby poops in the tub. As unpleasant as the prospect may be, it’s wise to have a game plan, says Atlanta pediatrician Jennifer Shu, M.D. “It’s common for babies, especially newborns, to have a bowel movement in the bath,” she says. “The water is warm and soothing, which causes the intestinal muscles to relax.”
I once asked my favorite child psychologist, the great Dr. Fay Levinson, for her advice on this fairly common situation. “Top and tail,” she told me. In other words, keep it simple and keep it brief: Wash her bottom and hair and forget the rest. Also bathe her only when necessary.
Rub a dub dub, make sure to watch your kids in the tub. A new study from researchers in Ohio found that U.S. children 4 and younger make up more than half of all bathtub- and shower-related injuries, The Los Angeles Times reports. The study, which will appear in the August issue of the journal Pediatrics, adds another worry to parents' list of household dangers.
Used to be, a new mom spent several days in the hospital after giving birth learning how to take care of her baby. But today, many mothers go home exhausted 48 hours after delivery.
“The teaching that used to take place during those longer hospital stays isn’t getting done, and mothers are too tired to read the discharge instructions the hospital gives them,” says Suzanne Corrigan, M.D., clinical associate professor at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas. “If it’s just you, your husband and the baby at home, you need all the help you can get.”