Your Questions About Baby Care

Joseph asks…

Question about stains on baby clothes?

Okay my son is 1 1/2 and I am expecting another boy in February and I kept all of his clothes, blankets and stuff like that. Well I started looking through all his newborn stuff and a lot of them have stains around the neck where he may have spit up. The thing is I didn’t notice these stains when putting them away and he was breastfed and I heard that breast milk doesn’t stain. Could temperature change or something discolored is clothes or something? They weren’t stored in the best bag… it actually has two holes in it. Do you think if I use stain remover it will work? Any other advice would be greatly appreciated. It just sucks really bad because A LOT of those clothes my son barely wore because he was born in the spring and he had a lot of winter clothes so this baby will get a lot of use out of them.

The Expert answers:

Stain remover might work. I use OxyClean Baby to clean poop and spit-up stains from clothes. Sometimes, I miss the stain and put the clothes through the washer and dryer, but a little OxyClean Baby does the trick.

John asks…

What yarns (weight & fiber) are the best type of yarn to use for clothing in the Winter?

What yarns (weight & fiber) are the best type of yarn to use for clothing for children (5-10), toddlers, newborns and babies in the winter? I’m trying to figure this out, I don’t want my children to be cold for the Winter. Also, what type of yarns should be used for seasons like fall and spring and/or summer? Thanks so much, I appreciate it!

The Expert answers:

The answer to that question depends entirely on where you live.

If you live in North Dakota or similar climate, use 100% wool or a blend such as wool and alpaca, wool and silk, or other animal fibers blended together. You’d want the warmest outdoor garments you can get. Bulky yarns, Lopi (which is my favorite yarn for outdoor jackets and sweaters), and yarns that are designed to hold in warmth are preferred.

If you live where I live, you’d use cotton, linen, lightweight wool, or synthetic fibers all year–because it’s too warm most of the time for heavy woolens. If it gets cool, we just switch to long sleeves and add a layer. Tightly spun yarn that “breathes” is preferred.

Basically, if you’re comfortable in garments made from the yarn, your kids are going to be comfortable as well.

Nancy asks…

We are having our first baby. What should we buy for our baby?

I have a cot, change thing and couple of winter jumpsuit. What else do we need? How many nappies and change of clothes does a newborn baby goes through a day? We are on a budget.

The Expert answers:

As little as possible. I mean, obviously you’ll need things but I found out early that even if you don’t have friends with babies – people will seem to appear out of the woodwork tossing baby things at you to get them out of their closets. I had EVERYTHING I needed for a baby before I even got pregnant and now that I have one I have FIVE of everything I needed. Get your list and then figure out what other people have for you!

Now…as for what you’ll NEED.

I am fond of Bub Hub’s nursery checklist which is more or less what I used when I was pregnant.

Now, there’s always going to be a lot of things that people tell you you’ll need that you don’t really end up needing (or at least I didn’t).

Bottle Warmer – Despite everyone telling me to never, ever, ever, ever microwave bottles to warm them, I eventually got tired of waiting the 8 minutes a bottle warmer took to work and chose the microwave’s 40 seconds. We tended to err on the side of caution and intentionally left the bottles a little cool. I have never burned my baby using this method, despite warnings.

Sunhat – I dare you to find one that will even fit your baby before they’re 6 months old. Unless you do happen upon a truly tiny one, don’t bother getting one until around that age.

Socks – Never stay on. There are some varieties that have a little strap on them to keep them on and those are great (though a little funny looking) but for the most part they just fall right off. When it’s cold enough for them your baby will probably be in a suit with feet anyway and when it’s too warm for those your baby won’t really need socks. I hardly ever use them.

Shoes – Shoes aren’t actually recommended for babies until they’re walking. Sometimes, however, they’re just too absurdly cute to resist.

Newborn babies tend to go through 10 – 12 nappies in a day. Clothes will vary significantly. Some babies will make it through an entire day in one outfit. If you have the misfortune of a refluxy baby – you might go through ten in a day.

To save money on nappies, consider using cloth nappies. The up-front cost is significant (I think I paid around $600 for 30 nappies) but if you do the math, you end up saving a bundle. I recommend Monk ‘N Bear cloth nappies. They are very good AIOs (all-in-one) that fit the baby up to 2 years old (or so) and are on the lower end of the cost scale.

Large, LARGE wraps. I never found ANY of the wraps or receiving blankets you could get at the shops to be anywhere near big enough to swaddle my very average-sized baby. They were always just a little too small. To avoid this – try going to a discount shop like Dimmey’s or the clearance aisles of Lincraft or Spotlight and finding fabric offcuts that are roughly a metre long. All you need to do is hem or zig-zag the edges and you have a very cheap wrap that is big enough to swaddle your baby.

You can get swaddling wraps with velcro or buckles to hold the baby securely. By the time I discovered this, my baby was flipping himself over and too old to be swaddled. I haven’t tried them but have heard excellent things about them.

People will tell you that babies don’t need toys until they’re 6 months old or so – even so – a good play gym (a mat with hanging toys above) goes a long way with babies as young as 3-4 weeks. Go for ones that encourage baby to kick and convert to different stages to suit their needs.

Bumbo seats (and the like) are great but they’re ABSURDLY expensive and despite all of the wonderful things you’ll hear about them – some babies ABSOLUTELY hate them. If you’re keen on getting one, wait until your baby is old enough and then try someone else’s first – then see if you can get one used.

Lizzie asks…

What did your July/August baby wear home from the hospital?

Our other kids were born in the winter. I planned on a long sleeve typical baby outfit with feet that buttons up and no blanket. My husband says short sleeve, no legged onesie with light blanket. I don’t believe in taking newborns outside with bare skin like that. My mom says the more clothes the better because he is a newborn baby. I have no freaking idea. I don’t want him sweating but I also don’t want too much exposure. Any ideas?

The Expert answers:

It all depends on where you live. Texas summers are REAL hot. So we had our girls in a onesie and a blanket over their legs. That’s not really bare skin here. But if you live in, say, Minnesota, a newborn would probably do better in a onesie with pants over it, and some socks.

Mandy asks…

SIL having 2nd baby shower?

My SIL has a 4 year old daughter and is well into her 2nd trimester with her 2nd daughter. She is having a baby shower coming up and I was wondering if that was the norm? From my understanding people normally only have one baby shower ever, especially if it’s the same sex. Is there some kind of rule if the children are 4 years apart?

Any way, my husband and I have already given her most on our daughter’s baby clothes (newborn up to 9 months) and have even bought her some new clothes. We’re also currently expecting our 2nd together and in the process of buying a house. Money is extremely tight until winter really hits, which is when my husband’s work hours pick up.

What is the average that people spend on gifts for a baby shower? Would is be in bad taste if we only spent a few bucks?

I’d like to get her something that wouldn’t be wasted (like too many clothes) and that is a decent buy.

My husband and I decided that we wouldn’t be having another shower even if this one is a boy.
I plan on attending, but I just thought it was kind of weird that she was throwing a shower for herself when she already has one daughter. She has pretty much everything except for a car seat and small items like bottles, but I think she’s going to try to breastfeed.

The Expert answers:

There is no “rule” for this. We had a second baby shower for our second girl, but we had moved across the country in between kids and had gotten rid of many of our first daughter’s things. Since you’ve given her so much already, I don’t think it would be in bad taste to just get her diapers. Maybe take the time (if you have it) to make a diaper cake. It could be a really cute gift idea and wouldn’t cost more than the diapers themselves.

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