Baby Care Tips

Read these 8 Baby Care Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Baby tips and hundreds of other topics.

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Pacifier use

The use of pacifiers is fine for babies. Although there are many controversial arguments on this, it has been documented by doctors that if a baby takes to a binky it is alright to let him use one. Babies are born with the need to suck and they may have that need all throughout the day even when they are not breast or bottle feeding at the time. Of course, some babies never take to a paci and that's just fine too.

But, if your baby is one of the many that uses binkies, then a good idea is to have a small collection of them. First, establish which style she prefers; she is bound to have a favorite shape that she likes. When you have a preferred one, then buy 5 or 6 of them to have all around. This way you won't be searching all over the place when the baby is fussy and in need of her paci.


Baby Magazines and ezines

A great idea when expecting a child or even after she's born is to get a couple of subscriptions to some good baby magazines. You can also find some very good ezines and newsletters on the Internet with endless information and help on everything you want to know about babies.

You may have heard of and, two sites that provide a great source of tips for expecting moms, new moms and even for moms of older children.

There are also lesser-known ezines that are run by real moms who share from personal experiences. These can be a great place for new moms to go and read about all kinds of baby related issues told from the perspective of other moms who have gone through the same baby issues as you have.

One such ezine is the Utah Baby Guide. Although the name says Utah, it still is a fountain of information for any mom in any state. There you will find articles on feeding your baby, doctor visits, baby clothes etc... There is also a columnist who is a certified counselor and a mother of three who is world renown for her excellent parental advice.

It's a wonderful ezine and I highly recommend it for any new mom!


Diaper Rash

It is inevitable that at some point your little baby will get a diaper rash. Some babies are more prone to rashes than others, but almost all babies will get at least one rash while they are on diapers.

The best way to care for a rash is to keep the area clean and apply a cream that has Zinc Oxide. This ingredient is the most effective at protecting the rashy skin from further irritation and at treating it at the same time. Zinc Oxide can be found in both conventional and organic or all natural creams, so it's important to make sure the cream you choose contains it.

You also want to change the baby's diapers often so her little bottom won't be sitting on an irritating dirty diaper for too long. Soiled diapers can worsen a rash because of all the acids, so make frequent 'smell' tests to be sure and get her cleaned right away if she goes.

Another way to help a rash is to let the baby run bared bottomed for a while to let fresh air onto the area. You can also do this when it's naptime by laying a waterproof mattress cover on the crib in case the little one has to 'go'. Check in often on the baby so that she's not lying on soiled sheets, which could worsen the rash and, not to mention, make a big mess!

If you are consistent with the cream and keeping the baby clean, the rash should go away in a day or two. If it doesn't or gets worse, a visit to the doctor could be in order. A stronger medication may be needed, especially if the baby has very sensitive skin.

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The Croup

Another concern when the baby catches a cold is the possibility of her developing the Croup cough.

Croup is mostly caused by a virus, but can sometimes be caused by bacteria or allergic reactions. Croup can appear suddenly during the night or when baby wakes up, but often it follows a cold or other similar viral condition. The baby may have a runny nose for a couple of days sometimes accompanied by a fever and then the croup coughing develops.

Symptoms to watch for are:

  • Coughing that sounds like a seal bark

  • Grunt-like noises when baby breathes

  • High-pitched squeaky noise while breathing

  • Hoarsness

If the case is mild it can be safely treated at home. Sitting with the baby in the bathroom with running hot water and letting her breathe in the steam helps a lot. Even sitting outside in the fresh air can alleviate the baby's inflamed airways. But if symptoms get worse and you feel the baby's breathing is very labored it is best to visit the pediatrician. She will likely prescribe a steroid medication to reduce the swelling of the airways, which is what causes the breathing difficulty.

So it's imperative that you monitor the baby carefully during this time to make sure she can breathe ok. Keep in mind that the symptoms get worse when the baby is upset or crying and at night.

Most cases of croup are mild to moderate and do not pose a threat. However, If you notice the baby breathing fast and appears pale or bluish this is a sign that she is not getting enough oxygen and needs immediate medical attention.

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When Baby Gets a Cold

It is pretty certain that your baby will catch a cold at some point within his first year of life. While this is not part of the greatest baby moments, it's actually not a bad thing. It's good for the baby's immune system to get a little sick because it helps to build it up.

When you notice symptoms such as:

  • Runny nose

  • Irritability

  • Itchy eyes

  • Sneezing

  • Reduced appetite

then your baby most likely has a cold.

The most concerning thing when baby has a cold is his ability to breathe when sleeping. Since most young babies are nose brethers it's cruicial that their nose passages are clear so he can breathe properly. For this reason, parents should monitor their little ones at night to make sure he is able to breathe right.

When the baby is stuffed up and can't nose breathe then it's time to clear the passages. There are several ways to do this, such as using a rubber bulb to suck out the mucus or using a baby-safe decongestant. The rubber bulb is pretty effective, so try that first and do it often. Some babies don't like this and will wiggle a lot and even cry, so enlist the help of someone else so they can hold the baby still while you use the bulb.

For longer relief a decongestant may be needed. Ask the baby's doctor for any advice on which one she recommends and how to administer it. From personal experience, Little Noses decongestant has been very effective on our baby, so ask the pediatrician if she thinks that would be ok to use on your baby. Every baby is different so be sure to check with the baby's pediatrician for what she thinks is best and what she recommends.


Teething Baby

One inevitable stage in every baby's life is teething. Some babies breeze through teething, some have a little discomfort for short periods, while others just have a miserable time. No matter which way your baby goes with the teething process if she shows any sign of pain we want to reduce it as much as possible.

Some good items to have at hand before teething essentially starts:

  • Orajel for Babies

  • Teething rings

  • Tylenol for babies, or similar baby pain reliever

  • Homeopathic teething tablets

  • Teething biscuits

Your baby may not respond to all of these, but it is a good idea to have them at hand for when a tooth makes an appearance. Try items such as the teething buscuits and teething rings first to see if they offer relief and stick with the ones your baby seems to do well with.

As far as the medicines go, Orajel for Babies seems to work well for the majority of babies. What it essentially does is numb the area, so it is pretty much guaranteed to work in eliminating or at least reducing the pain. Tylenol is a good pain reliever, especially at night, but make sure to ask your baby's doctor before you administer it and ask what the safe dose is for the baby. Also, your pediatrician may have other recommendations for you baby, so be sure to talk to him first.

The homeopathic tablets are pretty effective on many babies and are safe. Again, please ask the baby's pediatrician before giving the baby any type of medicine to be sure that it is all right for her. There are rare instances when a certain medicine may not be good for some babies so you want to be sure that the baby's doctor ok's it first.

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SIDS and Pacifiers

The use of a pacifier has been linked to lowering the risk of SIDS. It is not exactly known why, but it could be that the pacifier might provide a tentlike effect between it and the bed. This could help in the event the baby's face becomes smothered into the mattress and/or loose bedding by providing a breathing 'hole'.

Although pacifiers shouldn't be used before 1 month of age because they may interfere with breastfeeding, they are perfectly fine to use after that. Don't force a binky if the baby doesn't want it, but if she takes to it, by all means let her have away at it.

So, not only are pacifiers ok to use, but they may help reduce the risk of SIDS. The cons against pacifiers are so minor and many not even be substantiated, but the link to reduced SIDS ocurrances has been evidenced by multiple studies in many different countries.

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Pacifier Holders

A great item to get that will prove quite useful is a pacifier holder. Before long you will find yourself looking for dropped pacifiers. Or even worse, not able to get the pacifier from the backseat floor as you are driving with a screaming baby.

These are all too familiar when you have a baby, even a simple walk could prove disastrous if the binky were to fall off the stroller or your baby's mouth as you are walking her through the park.

Behold the pacifier holder! A great invention that attaches the baby's pacifier to her clothing, so that it doesn't fall to the ground should it come off her mouth. There are many styles and types of pacifiers, but it's a definite recommendation to get one or two, it will save you from much anguish and patience!

You can find pacifier holders in baby supply stores, and even in some supermarkets. Amazon has some really cute ones made from safe colored wood, which claims to have an attachment feature that is stronger than others. Look around for one that works for you and be off to much happier pacifying!

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Guru Spotlight
Christina Chan