Your Questions About Baby Care

Lisa asks…

What detergent do you use to wash your baby clothes with?

I use Tide Free of dyes and perfumes – dermatologist tested with cold water for all of our family clothes. Do I need a specific type of detergent for washing newborn/baby clothes or is that good?

Thank you!

The Expert answers:

Tide Free should work just fine for your baby. It just eneds to be dye and perfume free.
You should still wash the baby’s clothes separately from yours though.
I use Dreft. The plan was to use Tide Free, but my son got a rash all over his body, so I switched to Dreft. It could have just been a newborn rash but I freaked out and changed the detergent anyway. LOL

I use cloth diapers which I was daily, and I wash his clothes about once a week since he doesn’t ever spit up on them and it takes that long to build a load. It doesn’t take that much detergent, so the fact that Dreft is twice as much as Tide doesn’t bother me so much.

Maria asks…

baby clothes–how much, what kinds, & what sizes do you *really* need?

okay, so i’m going to assume from the trend so far (in my family & during this pregnancy) that my baby will be above “average” size… if that makes a difference

so what kinds of clothes does she need?
how many outfits in each size does a newborn really need?
can you break it down for me, 0-3 M, 3-6 M, 6-9 M ?
(she’ll be born at the end of Feb.)

The Expert answers:

Uh Oh! What are you going to do next?

…relax, that’s what! From the moment you learn you’re pregnant and a new baby is coming your way, the daydreams begin. Boy or girl? Blue eyes or brown? Maestro or math whiz? You just can’t wait to meet your new baby for the first time, but there’s still some time before the new baby arrives. In the meantime, you can put your excitement and anticipation to good use by choosing your new baby’s first wardrobe, creating your nursery and coming up with a new baby name! To view another wonderful web site with baby ornaments, unique Baby Gifts and Christmas Decorations please see – Baby Christmas Ornaments!

The first wardrobe (layette) for your new baby should be about comfort and function. A new born baby may be small but they can make a big mess, so you’ll want clothing that is easy to get on and off for frequent diaper changes and spit-up accidents. You’ll also want fabric that is soft on tender new baby skin yet durable enough to withstand repeated washings. Finally, although frilly dresses and little cowboy outfits are adorable, they don’t work for day-to-day life with a new baby. Above all, a layette should be practical.

That doesn’t mean you have to stick to white cotton, however. There are plenty of functional new born baby clothes that are colorful and stylish, too. Keep in mind that new babys grow out of their clothes quickly, so don’t be afraid to buy a size or two bigger. Ultimately, what you buy depends on personal style and how often you plan to do the laundry. The following items are handy to have when you bring your new baby home: One-piece bodysuits. The staple of new baby dressing, one-piece cotton bodysuits are easy to take on and off, thanks to snaps at the crotch and expandable necks. Have four to seven of them, since you’ll be using them daily. These are also a great item for a new baby gift.

Gowns. In the early months with a new baby, gowns with an elastic bottom means you won’t have to fuss with snaps during nighttime changes. Have four to seven of these ready to use.

Sleepers. These footed items will keep your new baby toasty warm at night. Have three to four.

Baby Undershirts. These simple cotton shirts protect your baby’s sensitive skin from outer layers of clothing and keep her warm as well. Have four to seven.

Fleeces or snowsuits. When you take your new born baby outside in cold weather, dress her warmly in layers, topped off with one of these. One or two should be enough.

Socks or booties. To keep those tiny new baby toes warm, you’ll want to have lots of socks or booties. Four to seven pair are a good start.

Caps or bonnets. Never take your new baby outside without a hat or head covering — for warmth in winter, sun protection in summer. Have one to three on hand for all occasions. Receiving blankets. These shower-gift favorites will come in handy. For one thing, you’ll use them to swaddle your new baby. The high-quality ones will get softer with every wash. Four to seven will suffice, though you’ll certainly find uses for more.

Hooded towels. These will keep your new baby’s head warm when you get her out of the bath. Have two to three. These also make a wonderful new baby gift, especially since new moms rarely think to buy these for their own baby.

Bibs. First teeth mean lots of drooling, and a bib will protect the new baby’s clothing. It will also be useful when she starts experimenting with solid foods. Have at least seven handy.

At last, you’re home with your new born baby. You love watching her sleep — there isn’t a sight in the world that can match it. Yet there are times when your new baby just won’t drift off into dreamland, and as a new parent you will want to know how to help her get the rest she needs. The secret is to introduce good sleep habits right from the start. With a few simple strategies and plenty of patience from you, your new baby can learn to rest easy — and so can you.

New born babys sleep a lot — from 16 to 18 hours a day during the first couple of months and 15 hours a day by the third month. At this early age, however, they almost never sleep for more than two to four hours at a stretch, day or night. This means that your clock will go topsy-turvy: You’ll be feeding and changing your new baby by night, and doing all that plus keeping her happy by day.

After a few weeks or months of getting up at all hours, you’re no doubt eager and ready for your new baby to start sleeping through the night. Relief, thankfully, may be in sight. Some babies start sleeping through the night beginning around eight weeks; others hold out until age six months or older. To help your new baby reach that milestone sooner, you’ll need to teach her good sleep habits from the get-go, according to pediatric sleep expert Jodi A. Mindell, Ph.D., author of Sleeping Through the Night: How Infants, Toddlers, and Their Parents Can Get a Good Night’s Sleep.

Here’s how you can help your new baby develop good sleep habits:

Distinguish between day and night. Like all new babys, your baby doesn’t pay attention to time of day — she just sleeps and eats round the clock. But you can start teaching her the difference between morning and evening, naptime and bedtime, when she’s just a few weeks old. During the day, play with her, talk to her, and wake her for feedings, keeping daytime noises at the normal level and the house, including her room, sunny and bright. At night, turn the lights, noises, and conversation down when you feed and change her. Eventually, she’ll begin to understand that day is for play and night is to sleep tight.

Learn your new baby’s signs of fatigue. As you two get better acquainted, you’ll know your baby’s signs and patterns inside and out. For example, is she rubbing her eyes, tugging at her hair, pulling on her ear, or developing circles under her eyes? If you see these or any other signs of sleepiness, head directly for bed.

Always put your baby to sleep on her back. Recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics, this sleeping position greatly reduces the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.

Place your new baby in bed awake and give her time to fall asleep on her own. When your baby is six to eight weeks old, start putting her to bed when she’s sleepy but awake. If you enjoy feeding or rocking before bed, you can do so as long as she keeps her eyes open.

Establish a bedtime routine. Performing one or more simple steps — whether it’s singing, rocking, reading your new baby poems or just cuddling — every night signals to your new baby that it’s time to settle down and doze off.

All new babies cry. It’s the way they communicate with their new world. Some may cry longer or louder than others, but all babies, especially new born babys, will spend a certain portion of their day in tears.

Though of course you want your new baby to communicate her needs, a lot of crying can be hard on even the most relaxed parent. The trick is to figure out what you can do to keep her comfortable and happy. If you’ve exhausted the obvious — feeding, diaper changing, rocking, singing, and walking — then it’s time to get creative.

Every new baby’s temperament is different, and it will take some time for you to learn your little one’s. She may like loud noises, or she may prefer peace and quiet. She may enjoy bright lights and lots of overhead stimulation or feel more at ease in darkness with little distraction. You may have to experiment with a variety of soothing strategies before you find one or more that work. Here are some tear-calming techniques to try with a new baby, gathered from experienced parents who’ve been there.

Sit your new baby in a bouncy chair and place her on top of the washer or dryer while you do your laundry. The constant vibration of the machine may do the trick. Note: Never leave your baby unattended, not even for a second.

Put your new baby in a front pack and go about your day, talking, singing, and humming to her along the way. Close contact with your body will make her feel warm and safe.

Take her for a ride in the car.

Place new baby on her stomach over an inflatable beach ball and, supporting her with one hand on her back, gently roll the ball back and forth. This may feel great on her tummy.

Hold your new baby tight in your arms and dance in front of a large mirror so she can see herself.

Get a change of scenery: If you’re inside, go out, and if you’re outside, head in. Similarly, if you’re in a light room, go into a dark one and vice versa.

Set your new baby in a bouncy chair or on her back and swing a receiving blanket or burp cloth in front of her face.

Lay new baby on her back on a comfortable surface for some gentle workout. Hold one leg in each arm and work each leg up and down in a bicycling motion for five to 10 minutes.

Set your new baby in her car seat or bouncy chair and have her watch you while you vacuum the living room carpet.

Turn on a fan and place your new baby so she can watch the blades turn and feel the cool air ripple over her body. Never put the fan close enough for the baby to touch.

Run tap water, the dishwasher, hair dryer or vacum and let your new baby listen to the soothing sounds. To save water and energy, record the sounds and then play the tape thereafter.

Turn on a wave or white noise machine and listen to crickets, the ocean, a heartbeat, or spring rain.

Try a massage. Remove your new baby’s clothes, rub baby oil all over your hands, and gently caress her body from head to toe.

Stroke new baby’s eyebrows or ear lobes with your thumb and hum a tune at the same time. Then stroke her forehead lightly, right down the middle, to the bridge of her nose. She may stop crying and even close her eyes for a few minutes.

Lay your new baby on your chest for skin-to-skin contact.

Undress new baby and blow lightly on her face, feet, hands, and tummy.

Warm a swaddling blanket in the dryer and swaddle your new baby. Make sure the blanket is warm, not hot.

Hold her in the football position: Put your new baby face-down on your forearm, with her legs straddling your elbow and her chin supported by your hand. In this hold, you can pat her back with your free hand or gently bounce her up and down.

Bathing your new baby for the first time is one of the tender milestones of parenthood. Although you may be nervous at first, you’ll soon grow confident, especially when you see how much your baby enjoys this time with you.

Since your new baby isn’t doing much more than sleeping, nursing, and fussing, chances are he’s just not getting that dirty. That means there’s no need to bathe your new born every day. Two or three times a week is perfectly adequate at this age, as long as you wash his hands and face several times a day and keep his diaper area clean.

Doctors do not recommend giving your new born baby a true bath until his umbilical cord stump falls off and his circumcision is healed. But go ahead and give your baby a sponge bath in these early weeks. This style of bathing allows you to thoroughly wash your new baby without immersing him in water. Once the cord and circumcision have healed, you can give your baby a bath in a small tub or a sink.

Bath time should be calm and focused, so choose a time that’s relaxing for both you and your new baby. If your baby isn’t too hungry, it’s best to bathe him before a meal, since too soon after a feeding could upset his stomach. Young infants lose heat quickly, so make sure the room is warm (around 75 degrees F, 24 degrees C) before you undress your new baby. Check the warmth of the water with the inside of your wrist or elbow — these places are more sensitive to heat than your hand. Make sure the water is warm, but not hot. Remember, your new born baby’s tender skin is far more sensitive to heat than yours.

First, fill a small basin with warm water and set your supplies within easy reach.

Select a safe, flat surface on which to work, and make it comfortable for your new baby by putting down a soft, clean towel. Always keep one hand on your baby for his safety. Next, remove your new baby’s clothing except for his diaper, and wrap him warmly in a towel. Newborns don’t usually like to be naked, and you don’t want a diaper accident while you’re bathing him!

With a soft washcloth, wipe around your baby’s mouth, nose, forehead, cheeks, and chin. Pay special attention to behind his ears and around his neck, where debris tends to accumulate. Use warm water or a mild baby cleanser to wipe your new baby’s skin clean.

If your newborn has enough hair to wash, you’ll need to wash it only once or twice a week. Wrap your new baby in a towel. Put your arm under his back, and support his head with your hand. With your free hand, lightly wet his hair with a wash cloth. Apply a small amount of baby shampoo, and gently massage over his whole head. Rinse with warm water, taking special care not to get any into his eyes. Dry new baby’s head and then cover it with the hood of his towel to keep him warm. A baby bath set would come in handy here! These also make a great new baby gift.

Uncover your new baby limb by limb as you wash the rest of his body, covering the part you just washed to keep him warm. Remember to check and clean all those adorable little folds and crevices.

Cord Care
Gently clean around the base of the cord with warm water, then let it air dry. When re-diapering your baby, fold the diaper down so it doesn’t cover this area. When the stump dries out, anytime between one and four weeks after birth, you will be able to give your new baby a tub bath.

Diaper and Circumcision Areas
Now remove your baby’s diaper. Gently lift up both feet and clean the area, paying attention to folds and creases. Wipe from front to back for both girl and boy babies. If your son is circumcised, he may still be healing, and all you need to do is put a fresh piece of gauze over the wound. Otherwise, clean this area with warm water and mild cleanser. Dry thoroughly and put a fresh diaper on your new born baby.

Do not bathe new baby in a tub or sink until his umbilical cord has fallen off. Keep the area dry and exposed to air. Use warm water to clean around the navel.

Always support your newborn’s head while bathing him.

Check the temperature of the water before putting your new baby in the tub. The water should feel warm — but not hot — to the inside of your wrist or elbow.

Never, ever leave a new baby alone in the bath — even for a minute. A baby can drown in two inches of water.

Few things are as important as the health of your new baby. And thanks to modern science, we now know more than ever about how to keep kids healthy — everything from optimum nutrition for infants to preventing accidents and diseases, even reducing the risk of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome). But that’s a lot of information — enough to make any parent’s head spin. To help you sort it all out, we’ve mapped out five key points to keep in mind so you can feel confident that you’re giving your new baby the very best care during the first year of her life.

Think of your baby’s doctor as one of your partners in parenting — someone you can trust to give sound medical advice and help you keep your infant healthy. At the heart of this partnership are well-baby visits. These are important because the first year is critical in terms of growth and development. Frequent checkups help the doctor make sure everything’s all right and enable him or her to detect little problems before they turn into big ones.

How often? Your new baby’s first checkup should take place before she leaves the hospital. After that, she should have a well-baby visit between 2 and 4 weeks, and again at 2, 4, 6, 9, and 12 months.

What to expect. At each visit the doctor will check your new baby’s growth by measuring her height, weight, and head. He’ll also examine all her body parts and ask about eating, sleeping, and general development. Finally, he may order blood, urine, or lead-screening tests.

Which shots? Perhaps the single most important step you can take to ensure your baby’s health is to have her immunized against dangerous diseases — illnesses that can in some cases lead to serious complications, including brain injury, deafness, blindness, paralysis, and even death. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends the following vaccinations during the first year (many vaccines require multiple doses, for example, at 2, 4, and 6 months): hepatitis B, DTaP (diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis or whooping cough), Haemophilus influenzae type b, polio, MMR (measles, mumps, rubella), and chicken pox.

When your new baby is born, and for several months afterward, the only food he needs is breast milk or formula. When the time comes to introduce your baby to solids, however, you face a host of new questions. Here, you’ll find all the answers you’ll need to make the transition to solid foods, with the knowledge that you’re giving your child exactly what he needs at a time that’s right for him. Relax and savor this exciting development in the life of your new baby.

The nutritional sources for your new baby are broken down into many groups. Proteins are responsible for growth, repair, and replacement of tissue. Good sources of protein are eggs, breast milk or formula, legumes, meat and poultry. Carbohydrates provide energy for maintaining body functions for the new baby and for powering activity. Good sources are beans and legumes, fresh fruit, whole grains, pasta and potatoes. Fats store energy for the growing child and provide valuable insulating properties for the nerves in the brain, spinal cord, and body. Breast milk or formula, vegetable oils, and avocado provide a good source of fat.. Vitamins vitalize the body, aid the immune system, and help the body absorb the food your baby eats and use it effectively. Fresh fruits and vegetables are good sources of vitamins. And minerals help the vital organs function properly and regulate water balance. Breast milk or formula, fortified cereals and flours, green leafy vegetables, meat and eggs are good sources of minerals.

Every youngster is different. Most kids develop the necessary physical and cognitive abilities to begin using a potty between 18 and 24 months — but many are not emotionally ready and willing until they’re 3 or even 4 years old. You’ll know your child is ready when he or she…

1. Expresses interest in coming into the bathroom with you to find out what goes on there and perhaps even sits on the toilet herself.

2. Understands what the toilet is for and what it means to have a wet or dirty diaper. If she also shows a preference for being clean and dry — fussing when she’s wet, pulling off a dirty diaper, or asking to be changed — all the better!

3. Knows the words for urinating and having a bowel movement (such as “going potty” or whatever words your family chooses).

4. Can stay dry for at least two hours at a time.

5. Has regular bowel movements with soft, formed stools.

6. Can and will follow simple directions, such as those for washing hands.

7. Can help pull pants up and down.

8. Seems to recognize at least a few seconds ahead of time that she’s about to go, and can tell you before it happens. (Many youngsters will squat, leave the room, or get “the look” before having a bowel movement.)

9. Is in a willing, receptive mood and isn’t going through any major transitions (like adjusting to a new sibling or school).

10. Demonstrates a desire for independence (for example, wants to be a “big girl” and do things for herself) — or, better yet, shows a specific desire to use the toilet like mommy and daddy do!

If your child meets most of these criteria, she’s ready to try. If not, wait a month or two and reevaluate.

At this time, your new baby will have transformed into a child and your relationship will continue to expand. You may not have that tiny little one anymore, but you will forever have those new baby memories!

Sharon asks…

What baby clothes do I need?

Hey Ladies:

I”ve been gifted with a ton of baby clothes… About how many newborn and 0-3 months clothes did you go thru? I currently have about 24 onesis and 12 footed onesis and 4 sleep sacks for 0-3 months… I was wondering if that was enough? Or do I need more…

I don’t want to have everything for 0-3 months and then nothing for later on.. I know babies don’t stay in these sizes for long is the reason why i’m asking… My church is giving me a baby shower on Nov 16th. So i was wondering if I should open up the new things if I get newborn and 0-3 months and wash them or should I hold off???

Thanks for your input
I know that I need to wash them before I put them on the newborn 🙂

Thanks Ladies!!! That is what I was thinking… My church loves to buy outfits for babies so I think i’m going to be pretty good and my SIL just had a baby girl about 8 months ago, so i’ll be getting some of her clothes as well 🙂 Which will be good b/c I”m going to try to quit work after baby is born 🙂

The Expert answers:

I think that sounds good, but maybe get a couple little outfits too. You will want to dress her up cute when you are showing her off and leave the onesies and foo ties for when you are home or just out and about. You will need some little pants, but I would skip newborn and go for 0-3 months – and maybe a sweater or 2 also. Other than that you sound all set. I would start stocking up on bigger clothes, exchange for different sizes if you get them for gifts! Good luck.

Joseph asks…

How much clothes do I need for winter baby and how to keep them warm in the night?

Im going to be having my baby in December so yup a winter baby. I’ve posted up a similiar question but I have another one about dressing your newborn in the winter. Did you put an onesie underneath their clothing during the day and night? What is the best way to dress your infant in the night so hes not cold or overheated. Or what should the room temperature be? And much clothes what I really need?

The Expert answers:

My 3 month old sleeps in a onsie sleeper (with feet), usually the ones with zippers but we have some with the buttons. Her room is about 75 degrees at night and she sleeps just fine. If she is asleep in her bouncer then ill put a blanket over her chest and feet. I never put a blanket by her neck and arms unless we are outside and its chilly and i can keep a close eye on her. If we are outside and its chilly i also put a hat on her head and a warm blanket. If she’s not wearing a sleeper then i make sure shes got socks on and a long sleeve shirt/onsie top and of course her pants on. Remember that if you over dress your baby at night and anyother time…if they get too hot, that can cause them to get sick as well as being too cold. (pediatrician’s advice to me). Also you cant determine if the baby is too cold by touching it’s feet or hands b/c when they are first born they cant control their body temperature

Carol asks…

do i need to get newborn clothes for my newborn or is 0-3 fine?!?

i asked my doc when she would tell me what she thought the weight would be – she said 36 weeks!!!!!! I dont want to wait that long to get clothes ready for the baby!! what did you get for your baby? do they need newborns or are 0-3 fine?

The Expert answers:

I wouldnt get newborns. I hardly got a chance to wear them on her. Expecially if they were 100 % cotton they ended up looking like premee outfits. I would stock up on about 5 outfits of 0-3 and the rest do 3-6. Especially if you have a bigger baby.

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