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Tips & 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.
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