Tips and Tricks

Childproofing

  • On average, babies begin to crawl at 8 months. It’s important to prepare the house with some of these tips to keep baby safe!
  • Don’t hold your baby while cooking at the stove. Turn pot handles toward the back of the stove. Secure the oven door with an appliance latch.
  • Put safety plugs or outlet covers over unused outlets or block with furniture.
  • Hide electrical cords behind furniture or use hide-a-cord device.
  • Keep blow dryers, toasters, and other appliances unplugged and out of reach. 
  • Keep knives, breakables, heavy pots, and other dangerous items locked up or out of reach.
  • Control access to unsafe areas with safety gates, door locks, and knob covers.
  • Put locks or latches on accessible cabinets and drawers that contain unsafe items.
  • Keep trash cans in inaccessible cupboards or use cans with child-resistant covers.
  • Attach corner and edge guards to tables.
  • Secure furniture that can topple (bookcases, chests of drawers) to the walls.
  • Anchor flat-screen TVs with safety straps so they can’t fall on your baby.

Sleepy time

  • Don’t make eye contact
  • Try a white-noise machine or turn the radio to static
  • If you’re breastfeeding, try cutting out caffeine, which may keep baby awake

Feeding

  • Babies tend to swallow air during feeding, causing them to spit up or become fussy if they’re not burped frequently. Try these three common burping methods.
  • Using one arm, hold your baby upright against your shoulder. Gently pat his back with your other hand.
  • Sit the baby upright on your lap, support his chest and head and pat his back.

Selecting Childcare

  • Pay attention to how your potential nanny, sitter or childcare provider interacts with other children
  • Check their policies for misbehavior, television, sleeping, feeding, etc. to see how well they match your own personal preferences
  • Make sure you feel comfortable with the childcare provider – they will be telling you a lot of information about your child so you need to be able to communicate well with them
  • Trust your gut! If a potential provider doesn’t “feel” right, keep looking!

Baby Care

Cradle Cap

  • Use your fingers or a brush with very soft bristles to gently rub your child’s scalp each day. This will boost circulation and help scaly patches of skin fall off easily.
  • Wash your baby's head each day with a gentle soap until cradle cap subsides. Then shampoo about twice weekly.
  • Be sure to rinse away all traces of soap.
  • Before shampooing, rub a bit of mineral oil into baby's scalp and cover it with a moist, warm washcloth to encourage scaly patches to fall off. Leave it on for up to an hour, making sure the cloth stays warm.
  • If cradle cap doesn't improve or baby continues to react to scalp itchiness, see your pediatrician about a topical lotion or cream.

Cutting nails

  • The best time to do this is while she's sleeping. Another good time is right after a bath, when your baby's nails are softest.
  • Make sure you have enough light to see what you're doing. Use a pair of baby scissors or clippers made especially to use on tiny fingers. Press the finger pad away from the nail to avoid nicking the skin, and keep a firm hold on your baby's hand as you clip.
  • Cut fingernails along the curve of the finger. Cut toenails straight across. Then use an emery board to smooth out rough edges.
  • Doctors recommend using only an emery board in the first few weeks of a new baby's life because nails are very soft. 

Diaper Rash

  • Change diaper more frequently
  • Let your child go diaper free
  • Try switching your baby lotion or baby powder
  • Liberally apply ointments that contain either zinc oxide or petroleum that will create a barrier against moisture

Changing

  • Be prepared. Start a diaper change with everything you need. Otherwise, you may spread germs or just plain create a tough situation for yourself. 
  • Wipe carefully. With a girl, always wipe from front to back to prevent infections. Although that’s not an issue with a boy, you should always put a cloth over his penis to prevent a spray of urine during the diaper change. 
  • Roll up the diaper carefully - you’ll have a ball that’s relative germ-free, at least on the outside 
  • Get a diaper pail. These can really aid in helping the house smell less!
  • Use distractions. Changing a squirming baby can be a real struggle, but a distraction with toys can lessen the squirming and help you get the job done in a shorter amount of time! Once the diaper change is over, make sure to wash off or disinfect the toys afterward. 
  • Wash your own hands right away. If you’re not near a sink, you can use alcohol-based gel instead -- just make sure to keep the bottle out of your baby’s reach.

Calming

  • What to do when your baby is crying and you don’t know what’s wrong? Try these tips and tricks to calm a fretful child!
  • Burp your baby frequently, even if she shows no discomfort. If you nurse, burp her each time after you switch breasts. If you bottle-feed, burp her after she consumes two or three ounces of formula. Stop feeding if she’s fussy or turns her head away from the nipple or bottle.
  • Rock or sway your baby in your arms from side to side. Singing, talking or playing soft music can also help to stop crying.
  • Take your baby for a ride in the car or stroller. Motion often has a calming effect on newborns.
  • Give your baby a warm, short bath. Beware, too many baths, especially during the winter months, can dry out a baby’s sensitive skin and lead to chapping and diaper rash.