But it may have even more benefits: Proponents say that just five to 10 minutes of gentle touch daily can stimulate your baby’s digestion, boost immunity and prepare her for deeper, more restful sleep. Convinced? Here are some do’s and don’ts from Teresa Kirkpatrick-Ramsey, founder of Baby’s First Massage, a certification program in Dayton, Ohio.
Painful, cracked nipples are most often caused by an incorrect latch, Morton says. So when you breastfeed, make sure your baby is positioned properly: on her side, with your bellies touching. Also ensure that she takes your entire nipple and a good portion of the areola in her mouth. If adjusting your nursing style doesn’t help, consult a lactation expert ASAP; visit the International Lactation Consultant Association at ilca.org for a referral.
My mom just came for a visit, and I feel like I’ve just been on vacation. When she’s here, my mother does the bulk of what I normally do around the house (and then some)—she cooks; she cleans; she unloads the dishwasher, then loads it back up again; she does the laundry; she changes diapers; she gives the kids baths; she babysits; she tells me to put my feet up and then waits on me, too. We try to convince her to relax and take it easy, but she’s not easily persuaded.
Parents tend to overtreat kids under 6 with anti-fever medications such as acetaminophen and ibuprofen, giving too much too often and putting their children at risk for liver damage, according to a survey conducted at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.
As soon as your babe makes her entrance, you’ll put her to your breast, she’ll suckle contentedly and all will be good with the world, right? That’s the hope—but not always the reality. Alas, while nursing may be the most natural act, it isn’t always easy.
Eyes: Some babies have a yellowish discharge or crusting in the eye or on the lid, which is usually caused by a blocked tear duct. This condition can last several months, but take heart—it’s probably more distressing to you than to your baby. Care tip: Wipe the eyes with a cotton ball moistened with warm water or breast milk.
Nose: Babies’ narrow nasal passages tend to fill with mucus. Care tip: Gently unclog nostrils with a nasal bulb syringe.
Some of the biggest thrills for parents come in their baby’s first year of life: the first smile, first “ba ba,” first steps. But after reading the baby books, most new parents know what should be happening when, and many are disappointed, or begin to worry, if their children seem to be behind the curve. Such anxiety generally is misplaced.
As a new parent, you will get advice on everything from how to get your baby to sleep through the night to when she needs her first pair of shoes. It might not all be constructive counsel, however. “There is so much information out there, so many people telling parents about the right and wrong ways to do everything, but in most cases, if parents just trust their instincts, things are fine,” says David S. Geller, M.D., a pediatrician in Bedford, Mass., and a clinical professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School.
Floppy legs, a rubbery neck, flailing arms … the thought of bathing your newborn or taking her temperature may scare you, but tasks like these actually aren’t as hard as they look. Here are expert tips on caring for your baby with ease.
Despite the recent flurry of unique celebrity-baby names like Banjo and Pilot Inspektor, last year, most Americans gave their offspring traditional names. But parents drawn to the less tried-and-true may wonder how (or if) a child’s name might shape his identity and future. According to Los Angeles therapist Deborah McMahon, M.F.T., there’s plenty of power in a name. For example, she says, “having a difficult name to say adds difficulty to a person’s life. Names are one of the biggest causes of harassment of children.”
For Kelly and Mike Copeland, learning the gender of their baby was a long-anticipated moment, one they had chosen to save for delivery day. When that moment finally came, the proud father announced, “It’s a boy!”
Diapering your baby may seem like a no-brainer: Off with the old, toss it, and on with the new. But considering that newborns typically need six to 10 diaper changes a day—more, if you’re using cloth diapers—the decision about what type of diapers to use is an important one. Cost, convenience and your baby’s needs are issues to consider when making the decision.
Every new parent is in the same boat. You wait longingly and perhaps impatiently for your baby to be born. Then he arrives—a soft, helpless bundle—dependent on you for everything. And you, no doubt,
have moments of sheer panic. Whether you have had a slew of nieces and nephews or have never seen a newborn before, it doesn’t matter—this is your baby, and you’re in charge. Here are some basics to get you through those first weeks at home; before you know it, you’ll be a pro.