As a first time mom, it was no surprise I was clueless to a lot of baby signs our newborn was giving me at the beginning. My mother was a tremendous help and gave me a lot of advice and tips to help Rebecca ease into her new world; and some I learned on my own living here in the Mediterranean. These tips have helped me and have kept Rebecca very comfortable. I hope you find them useful as well!
1) To reduce the intake of air while bottle feeding (even if using an anti-colic bottle), make sure the bottle is always at a 45 degree angle and the baby elevated as well to avoid gagging\chocking.
2) When the temperature in warm (e.g. summer time) place a fingertip towel under the baby’s head to absorb sweat.
3) If the baby is sweating, keep them OUT of any draft area. This can trigger coughing.
4) Make sure the baby’s milk is warm in all seasons of the year. Even in the summer, a slightly warm bottle will help prevent gas and allow the baby to burp well.
5) When burping, make sure to pat on the baby’s back for a few minutes sitting down, then continue burping the baby while walking around the room for another 15 minutes to ensure digestion. Never lie the baby down flat on their back right after eating. If the weather is cold, make sure to place a thin blanket on the baby’s back while burping and on his\her stomach while feeding. Body temperature goes down after eating and you don’t want the baby to catch cold.
1) In cold temperatures, layering is key. Always place a onesie underneath clothes and pajamas. Remember, we may feel hot, but the baby isn’t moving as we are, so our body temp shouldn’t be the indicator. Feel their hands and feet, those are your best indicators. Socks should always be worn in the winter.
2) When changing the baby, change the diaper FIRST, then change the outfit. The other way around can make the baby catch cold and wet their diaper again shortly thereafter. And always put socks on first to help the baby stay warm.
3) If using store bought baby wipes, make sure they are not super wet or the baby’s bottom will still remain wet after the diaper has been placed on, causing diaper rashes from the trapped moisture. Be sure the baby’s bottom is thoroughly dry before placing the diaper. I usually pat Rebecca’s bottom with a paper towel after using the wipes to ensure her bottom is dry.
1) To act as a pillow, fold a hand towel in two and place in a baby pillow case to catch any drools or milk spills while sleeping. Much better then a pillow as you can just toss it in the washing machine at any time =)
2) If possible, place the crib in the room in a position where you can see the baby’s face\head from the door of the room. That way, you can check on the baby without walking to the crib. My baby has exceptional hearing and wakes up to my breathing!
3) Always make sure where ever the baby is sleeping, there is always a cotton sheet underneath (e.g. crib, play pen, car seat, etc.). Cotton is breathable and helps the baby stay cool and comfortable, not to mention sanitary as you can just wash the sheet if any accidents happen.
1) Place the baby’s FEET first into the baby tub, then follow with the rest of the body. That way, the baby won’t get scared of the water.
2) Clean the baby’s feet, arms, farms, torso, & hair first, then follow with the genitals. That way, the wash cloth or sponge you are using goes from the least dirty to the most dirtiest parts of the body.
3) Keep fresh water running into the baby’s tub so the dirty water isn’t what’s being used to clean the baby.
3) If you have the possibility of drying the baby in the bathroom before going into the nursery, place TWO hooded towels on whatever surface the baby is laying on. The first hooded towel is to dry the baby, which you then remove. The second hooded towel underneath is to take the baby into the nursery to dress. That way, the baby won’t catch cold going outside the bathroom in wet towels. I even put on the diaper while in the bathroom before going to the nursery to avoid any accidents on the way.
4) In the winter, make sure you have a small portable heater to pre-warm the bathroom so the baby stays toasty =)
5) If possible, set up everything you need for the baby’s bath BEFOREHAND. That way, you won’t forget anything, especially if bathing the baby by yourself. Have everything in reach as not to leave the baby unattended.
1) Babies can sometimes get scared and cry when encountering many people at once, as was the case with my daughter. If this happens, just hold the baby tightly and sooth them in their ear with a lullaby or something you say that makes them smile\laugh. If necessary, leave the room until they have calmed down.
2) When visitors come to see the baby, ask them politely to wash their hands before holding the baby’s hand. This is especially important if your baby places his\her fingers in the mouth, as mine does. Most people will understand completely. If outside and are unable to do this, you can use baby wipes to wipe down the baby’s hands after she’s been held at gatherings.
3) After inoculations, babies generally have the fever. Make sure you have fever medication handy and always watch his\her temperature. If available, chose a suppository rather than oral medication. Here in Italy, babies are given fever medication in the form of a suppository only. They work faster and are stronger. My daughter had the fever only once after an inoculation and we gave her a suppository…that’s all that was needed.
Well, I hope you find these tips helpful in caring for your little one =)