Posts for tag: Baby Care
While most experts will agree that breastfeeding is best, most will also agree that the right choice is ultimately the one that is best for the individual family. After all, no two families or situations are the same. Here are a few pros and cons of breastfeeding and bottle feeding that you will want to consider as you make the decision for yourself.
- Healthier for Baby: Breast milk is the perfect food for babies of all ages. It even adapts over time and mid-feeding to accommodate baby's age and changing nutritional needs.
- Inexpensive: Breast milk is free!
- Convenient: Head out for an errand or an outing without having to pack extra bottles or find a way to prepare them once you arrive. You always have everything you need.
- Can be Difficult or Painful: Breastfeeding can be tricky get the hang of it. Teething can be painful as well.
- Mom Doesn't Get a Break: If you are exclusively breastfeeding on demand, you may feel constantly tied to baby with no hope of any time to yourself.
- Nearly Impossible if Mother Returns to Work: Many women are unable to continue breastfeeding while at work due to time and storage constraints. They may still nurse at night and on the weekend, but they risk their milk drying out if they don't nurse frequently enough.
- Others Can Bond with Baby: With a bottle, anyone can feed the baby.
- Gives Mother Greater Flexibility: With others feeding the baby, you are free to enjoy a nap or an errand by yourself.
- Convenient: When out and about with baby, you don't have to worry about finding a secluded spot or a way to cover up. Simply grab a bottle and feed the baby right away.
- Nutritionally Incomplete: No matter how scientists try, formula simply doesn't have all of the personalized nutrients that breast milk does. This can, of course, be circumvented by pumping and storing breast milk for bottle feeding.
- You Risk Running Out: If you run out of formula or pumped breastmilk in the middle of the night, you're in trouble.
- Preparing Bottles Can Be a Hassle: While making a bottle only takes a minute, it can seem like an eternity at 3 a.m. when you have a crying baby on your hands. Washing all of the bottles can become very old very quickly as well.
Ultimately, the choice of bottle or breast is one only you can make. Research your options, get advice from trusted friends who have been there, and make the choice that is right for you and your family.
After hearing horror stories of children being suffocated while co-sleeping, many parents, concerned about the safety risks that bed-sharing entails, wrongly believe that bed-sharing is dangerous. Thankfully, the truth is that bed-sharing can be just as safe - if not more safe - than putting baby in his or her own crib to sleep, provided that certain conditions are met.
The problem with many of the studies that have been done on bed-sharing is that they didn't take all of the factors into account. There is a huge difference between a family who intentionally and attentively sleeps with baby in the bed out of concern for baby's well-being or a desire to bond and a mother who accidentally falls asleep with baby on the couch or who brings baby into her own bed simply because she cannot afford to purchase a crib.
For parents who want to share a bed with their babies and who are aware of the guidelines and risks, co-sleeping can be a safe choice. Here are a few of the guidelines that must be followed in order for co-sleeping to be considered safe.
- Both parents must be non-smokers, light sleepers, of a healthy weight and not taking any medications, drugs or alcohol.
- Baby should sleep in between the mother and a mesh guardrail only - not next to the father, other siblings or pets who don't have the same instincts mothers do.
- The bed should not have any loose or thick blankets which could find themselves near baby's face.
- There should be no cracks or crevices where baby could get stuck.
- The mattress must be large, flat and smooth - no pillow-top mattresses, waterbeds,couches or armchairs.
- Avoid pajamas with strings or ribbons, which pose a suffocation risk. If the mother has long hair, she should tie it back with a hair tie.
- It is recommended that the mother breastfeeds.
- The baby should lie on his or her side or back - never on his or her stomach.
If you have your heart set on co-sleeping and you are able and determined to follow all of the safety guidelines, rest assured that co-sleeping can be a safe and wonderful choice for your family. Families all over the world bond in a family bed every night; yours can too!
As a new parent, discovering a rash on your baby's skin can be quite frightening. After all, most new parents simply aren't familiar with the different types of rashes that infants commonly get or how to treat them.
Thankfully, the majority of rashes really aren't serious at all. Here are four common infant rashes you may find on your baby.
Caused by prolonged exposure to urine or feces or to extra acidic feces, diaper rash can range from slightly pink to fiery red. It is not serious, though it can be quite painful for baby, and it usually goes away quickly with treatment. For a slight case of diaper rash, diaper rash cream is extremely effective. For a more advanced and painful case of diaper rash, a bath, some diaper- free time, a quality diaper rash cream and more frequent diaper changes will usually do the trick.
Heat rash, also known as prickly heat, is a small prickly rash that occurs when baby gets overheated. Again, it is not dangerous and treatment is easy. Simply remove a layer of baby's clothes if baby is overdressed or move baby to a cooler area, such as inside in the air conditioning, in the basement or in front of a fan, if it's a hot day. A bath can help too.
Commonly appearing on baby's legs, arms, chest and face, eczema presents as red, itchy patches of dry skin. Eczema is most commonly found in the winter, when the air is dry. It can also appear as the result of allergies too. Treatments include lotion, switching to fragrance and dye free soaps and detergents, and avoiding long, hot baths. It is common for eczema to come and go.
Thrush is a fungal infection that can occur inside baby's mouth. It looks like dried milk, but it can't be wiped off. Thrush isn't usually serious, and in many cases, no treatment is necessary. If baby seems especially bothered by it or if it doesn't go away on its own within a couple of weeks, your baby's pediatrician can prescribe medication.
If your baby begins to develop a rash, don't panic. It's probably not serious. If you can identify the rash, simply treat at home as directed. Otherwise, feel free to call your baby's doctor for an official diagnosis and treatment plan.
Most parents recognize that small children need more sleep than adults do, but the question of exactly how much sleep children need is often still a mystery. Many parents worry that their children aren't sleeping enough or that they are sleeping too much.
Thankfully, there are guidelines that let parents know about how much sleep their little ones should be getting. While sleep needs will vary from individual to individual, here are the usual amounts of sleep children need by age.
Newborn to 2 Months: Being outside of the womb comes as a huge change to infants. There is so much to see and take in! This is why newborns need an impressive 15 to 18 hours of sleep a day. Infants generally do not sleep more than a couple hours at a stretch during the night, and they often take three to five naps during the day.
2 to 4 Months: Babies ages two to four months still need a great deal of sleep, but not quite as much as newborns. Babies this age generally sleep 14 to 16 hours total, which includes three daytime naps. Some babies sleep through the night at this age, but many do not.
4 to 6 Months: By the time babies reach half a year old, they typically sleep anywhere from 14 to 15 hours a day, which includes two to three naps.
6 Months to 1 Year: At this age, babies typically need 14 hours of sleep, which includes two naps.
1 Year to 2 Years: Once babies reach a year old, they typically only need 13 to 14 hours of sleep a day. They also generally switch from two daily naps to one.
2 Years to 3 Years: At this age, little ones typically need about 12 to 14 hours of sleep. Most two and three year olds still nap once during the day, though some may fight nap time or give it up altogether around this age.
3 Year to 5 Years: Preschoolers generally need only 11 to 13 hours of sleep each night, all of which they get overnight, as children usually stop napping sometime within this range.
If your child gets a little more or less than the guidelines that's okay! These guidelines are justto give you an idea of what you should expect. The goal isn't to meet the guidelines, but to raise a child who is well-rested, active and ready for the day!
One very common question nearly all new moms ask is: "What type of diaper brand is best?" Unfortunately, there is no one good answer to this question. All babies are shaped slightly differently, and therefore, different diapers will work better for some babies than for others. A diaper that one mom swears by may be completely ineffective for another mom.
Thankfully, this doesn't mean that you have to choose blindly! Here are a few factors you might consider when purchasing diapers.
Diapers can vary widely in terms of cost. Don't assume that a more expensive diaper is automatically higher quality. If money is tight, start with less expensive diapers first and switch if they don't work.
If you consistently have problems with the tabs breaking off or the diapers leaking, switch brands.
While you usually can't tell how soft a diaper is until you open the package, if you buy some that feel like cardboard, you might want to try a different brand next time.
Boys and girls wet in different places in a diaper, as do crawlers and runners. Unfortunately, this means you may have to switch things up as baby grows.
5. Wetness Indicator
For new moms and dads just getting the hang of things, newborn diapers with wetness indicators can be a real lifesaver. These usually aren't necessary as baby grows, however.
6. Extra Protection
Is your baby a heavy wetter? You might want to invest in overnight diapers or diapers that are made to last several hours.
Unfortunately, choosing the right brand of diapers is usually best achieved by old fashioned trial and error. Thankfully, this trial and error can be kind of fun! Choose a diaper brand, and if it doesn't work well, choose a different one next time. You'll never know what works best for your baby until you try a few kinds and find one you love.