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TIME TO GO HOME WITH YOUR BABY:
CAR SEAT: This should be covered by the nurses before you head out the door, but incase they missed it: Your baby needs to face backwards in the car seat until they are 2 years old. At 1 year they will need be in a bigger car seat that will face backwards until 2 years and then be able to turn forward until 4 years old when they should be ready to be in a booster seat. For other info AAA can help with fitting and so can your local fire dept, usually. You can go onto www.mass.gov search for car seats or go to AAP.org
USE YOUR FRIENDS!!! When people call up and say can I come over, can I do anything for you; say yes! Can you pick up XYZ for me? Can you make a casserole for me? Lasagna would be great, bottle of wine, salad, garlic bread, LOL.
VISITORS: If anyone shows up with a cold, ask him or her to stay away, blame it on me if you have to! Be sure that anyone who comes washes their hands or uses a hand-gel before they hold the baby. Cut out some eyes in paper bags and put if over their heads, JUST KIDDING.
GOING OUTSIDE: On a nice day take a walk outside, stroller, etc. They will sleep better with some fresh air and exercise. Layers in cold weather, so you can add or subtract if hot or cold. If they are too hot their face will turn red and seat and they will cry. If they are cold, they will cry.
AVOID CROWDED AREAS for as long as you can manage: People are wacko about new babies, you will have total strangers coming up to you and saying, “What a beautiful baby … cough, cough … soon you will have a sick baby. Grocery stores, malls, houses of worship, etc. I don’t have an exact date, but as long as you can manage keep them out, but some day you will need take them with you.
HICCUPS: are normal and will go away in a few minutes on their own. There is this old wives tale about giving sugar water to babies to help get rid of them. No Need.
This brings up the next topic:
NO HONEY FOR ONE YEAR: This is an ‘au naturel’ thing. If you are an ‘au naturel’ you do not want to give table sugar to your baby. What is more natural that honey? Problem is honey is a wild product that does not get sterilized, so there can be bacteria in it. If there is this one bacteria in it, it is able to grow in their gut and as it grows it releases a toxin that paralyzes them. Not a good thing. They believe that as much as 10% of the SIDS in California in the 70’s was due to infant botulism.
CRYING: All babies cry. There are many reasons. You will soon learn the what the different cries are for: Are they hungry, they ate too much, they have a wet or dirty diaper, they want some attention, they had too much attention, clothing is too tight (had a baby whose clothing was too tight and left a mark on its wrist), a hair wrapped around a toe (or something else), sometimes if they are crying unrelenting you have to undress them. They have a bad diaper rash or a fissure in their anus so take a close look, if so lots of zinc oxide cream. There are even more and you will figure them out.
DIAPER RASH: I like to keep a coating of Vaseline or A&D on their bottom, lets face it, poop is full of bacteria and it is irritating to the skin. When they do get a rash I like zinc oxide cream. If it is not getting better then we should take a look.
MOISTURIZING: There skin is not really dry, but they have built up layer upon layer of dead skin being inside you and it has to peel off. The worst is their ankles and wrists, which will dry and crack. Anything white and unscented is fine: and one I learned while up in Maine: don’t get grossed out, but Crisco, that’s right vegetable shortening; in actuality if you read the ingredients a lot of these products have this as their base: ‘yadayada’ stearate or ‘blahblah’ stearate are simply vegetable oils.
LAUNDRY: Dreft or Ivory Snow, Dreft is supposedly the best because it doesn’t wash out the flame retardant from the clothing. But no matter what it should be unscented or fragrance free usually without fabric softener. If you are using these things so they smell better or for the softness, it is okay, but if they get a rash the first things to do is get rid of them.
EARS: Do not use Q-Tips. You may get some wax on it, but you are packing most of the wax it. If you think about it, ear wax is an incredible thing, you have these few cells in your ear canal and their job is to make wax, dry wax, wet wax, orange wax, brown wax. It must have evolved for a reason. Anyway: when bathing get a some soapy water, then clear water, then after use a tissue to get all the water out you can, that will keep the wax soft and coming out. If they have a lot wax we can get it out.
FINGERNAILS: I know three ways to trim nails. The little rounded scissors, I used those until I cut my daughter’s nails too close and made her bleed. Then I used sanding boards. Use their grasp reflex to curve their fingers around your finger. I am not crazy about the baby one’s, I think they are too small. I have even know some people who would bite off the nails. LOL It goes for toenails, but they grow a lot slower.
HOW TO TAKE A TEMP: For accurate, reliable temperatures in a baby use a digital thermometer and it is recommended to use Lubifax or K-Y jelly. Vaseline if you have to. Put the baby on its back, with its legs pulled up on its belly and insert the lubricated thermometer into the anus about an inch and wait for it to beep. Ear and temporal thermometers are not reliable enough due to error factors. The baby may cry but it really doesn’t hurt, it just feels funny.
FEVERS: A real fever is a rectal temp of 100.4. 100.3 is not a fever. It is black and white. The infections disease people have beaten that into us for years. A baby under the age of 3 months who has a temp of 100.4 must be evaluated no matter what the time of the day or night.
UMBILICUS: Keep the belly button and stump dry. Moisture promotes bacterial growth. It will usually fall off in about 2 weeks. Still keep it dry. New skin should he over it in 4-5 days, then you can give the baby a bath in a basin. Until then just sponge baths. It may bleed a little when it falls off, this is normal, blood has been going in and out of there for the past 9 months. If continues to ooze call for an appt we will probably cauterize it.
BATHING: Babies do not need a bath every day. They do not smell (like teenagers), by the time you clean them up from spitting and dirty diapers they get washed pretty well. At first it needs to be a sponge bath. Room should be warm (a cold baby will always cry) a warm wet soapy wash cloth and then some clean warm water: go over their body quickly; and then dry well and dress in clean clothes. It will be awkward at first but you will get the hang of it quickly.
PRICKLY HEAT RASH: Usually caused from heat and sweating, but chemicals, scents, lotions, fabric softeners will block up the pores. When they are blocked and they sweat, the sweat cannot get out, so the channel of the pore ruptures and leaks. The rash will pop up overnight. And take several days to go away. Another reason to use white or clear and unscented soaps and lotions or creams to moisturize.
URI: Runny and/or stuffy nose, a cold, an upper respiratory infection: There is not a lot you can do for this: 1. elevate the head of the mattress a little, only a little otherwise they will slide down. 2. Saline and Suction: saline is a dilute salt solution and there are many brands: Ocean, Ayr, Pedi-mist, Little Noses, Little Remedies, store brands. Suction: Blue bulb from hospital, nasal aspirator and nose-frida,: you can only use the blue bulb for a little while until the babies nostrils get too big, the nasal aspirator will work but doesn’t have the same suction, the nose-frida will work great, you just have to get over that you are doing the suction. 3. Vicks Vap-o-Rub. For infants the children’s one is probably best when putting on the baby. You can put it on their chest, on the onsey or on a washcloth that you safety pin to the ‘onsey’ or on the bottom of their feet. There is a liquid form to use in a vaporizer, and plug-in.
TUMMY TIME: with the not so recent rule about keeping babies on their backs, which has greatly reduced the incidence of SIDS, it has become important to give babies some tummy time. First 85% of babies like to keep their head to the right. Therefore, if your baby like to keep their head to the right, you want to keep their head to the left and vice versa, this helps stretch out the neck muscles and prevent it from getting lop-sided. It also helps to strengthen their neck and upper body.
That’s it in a nutshell. There is so much more and you will learn it. Just dive in and try to figure things out.
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