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Everyday Baby Care Tips

by Dr.Mike Boucher

posted in Home and Family : Babies Toddler

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Caring for a new baby can be overwhelming at first. Just keep these essentials in mind as you learn to meet herneeds:

1.    Give your baby sponge baths until her umbilical cord falls off.

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2.    Bathe her every two or three days unless she really needs or likes a daily bath.

3.    Help to prevent diaper rashes by changing diapers frequently and soon after she has a wet or soiled diaper.

4.    Wait to use a pacifier until your baby is breastfeeding well.

5.    Expect your baby's stools to change within the first week from large, black, tarry meconium to green/yellow transitional stools to the more regular yellow bowel movements of an older baby.

6.    Trim your baby's fingernails when needed with a baby nail clipper or a nail file, so that she doesn't scratch her face or eye.

7.    Don't prepare baby formula using hot water from the tap. Instead, run the water for 15 to 30 seconds first; using cold water will reduce your baby's exposure to lead from tap water.

8.    Be prepared to cope with a crying baby for two or three hours a day, which is how long the average baby cries.

Baby Health Tips

1.    Keeping your baby healthy is a priority -- start with these tips:

2.    Choose a pediatrician before your baby is born.

3.    Plan your first visit to the pediatrician to be within your baby's first three to five days and then again when he is two weeks old.

4.    Expect your baby to lose between five to ten percent of his birth weight during his first week; he should return to his birth weight by the time he is two weeks old.

5.    Watch for common newborn problems such as jaundice, thrush, reflux, cradle cap, heat rashes, and baby acne.

6.    Avoid letting your baby stay in the same position for too long when on his back to avoid getting a flat head (positional plagiocephaly) and learn about the importance of tummy time.

7.    Don't expose your baby to second hand smoke.

8.    Until your baby's immune system is stronger (at least two to three months old) it is probably best to keep him from large groups of people (including daycare, malls, sporting events, etc.) or other sick children to minimize his exposure to infections.

9.    Know the signs and symptoms of illness: fever (Call your pediatrician right away if your baby has a temperature at or above 100.4 before he is 2 to 3 months old), decreased appetite, vomiting, irritability, and lethargy.

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