It can be upsetting to change your baby’s diaper and find a red rash on his little bottom. But most babies develop diaper rash at some point, especially when they start eating solid food and between the ages of 8 and 10 months. Left untreated, diaper rash can result in blisters or open sores that may become infected. The good news is the following steps can help reduce your baby’s risk for diaper rash:
If your baby is premature or hospitalized after birth, she is more likely to develop diaper rash. Your nurses can show you how to gently clean and care for your baby's skin. If diaper rash develops and doesn't improve within a few days, call your pediatrician.
The painful truth is five out of six children experience ear infections by their third birthday. Ear infections occur when fluid builds up behind the eardrum and becomes infected by bacteria or a virus. Babies are more susceptible because of the length and shape of their tiny Eustachian tubes, which normally ventilate the ear and keep it free of fluid. While older children can tell you when they’re in pain, look for the following signs in babies:
Reduce your baby’s risk for ear infection by avoiding exposure to secondhand smoke, vaccinating, washing your hands frequently, minimizing exposure to sick children and breast-feeding for at least 6 months. When bottle-feeding, be sure to hold baby’s head above her stomach to prevent formula from entering the Eustachian tubes. If you suspect your baby has an ear infection, call your pediatrician.
It is important to drink a lot of water if you're pregnant or a new mom. While different types of beverages and foods provide fluid, there's good reason to drink water. It has no calories or caffeine and helps prevent fatigue, constipation, hemorrhoids and urinary tract infections both during and after pregnancy. Good hydration also helps prevent premature contractions. Here are some tips to help increase your water intake:
Good hydration is also essential for breast-feeding. Babies get all the hydration they need from either breast milk or formula for the first six months of life. If your baby is formula fed, mix formula with a trusted source of water, like Nursery®. It also can be used to mix cereal and dilute juices.
Swaddling a newborn snug in a blanket is soothing and calming for babies and can help them transition more easily to life outside the womb. However, most first-time parents struggle to get the so-called “baby burrito wrap” just right. The following tips and a little practice will help you swaddle like a nursery nurse:
Make sure your baby’s hips can move and the blanket is not too tight. Your baby’s legs should be in a flexed, frog-like position and you should be able to fit a couple of your fingers between your baby’s chest and the blanket. Remember to stop swaddling by 2 months of age, when your baby can roll over. Read more about swaddling in the next tip titled Infant Swaddling Safety.