Practical baby raising advice that works
Have a happy, well behaved baby that
sleeps through the night. With predictable naps, you can even go take the baby to a
movie without being one of "those" parents.
Your baby can communicate before learning to talk!
Before learning to speak, a young child has enough coordination to do simple
signs and gestures, enough to form a large vocabulary, form sentences, express
needs, and ask questions. Children are happier because they can ask for help
instead of getting frustrated.
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Home schooled kids seem to have higher test scores and better relationships with their parents.
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This can be as fancy or plain as you wish. There are cribs that have drawers
underneath and cribs that grow with your child called a 3-in-1 bed. They turn from crib
to toddler bed to day bed. Anything will do. Baby really won't care. All you need to
know — or should try out before buying — is how to raise and lower the front side,
preferably with one hand. (Chances are you'll be holding baby with the other.) Usually
you push in a spot on the bottom rail in the middle with your foot, then raise the top a
smidge with your free hand. That will release it so you can move it. Safety requirements
shouldn't be an issue. Regulations for cribs are great. If you get one from someone, just
be sure a soda can will not fit through the bars. If it can, don't accept it-DANGEROUS!
When young, this will come in handy for naps at your house and great for
bed/naps when you travel. It is also good for when you need a few minutes alone (ie:
use bathroom, get mail, make lunch or dinner) so you know he'll be safe. He will learn
to enjoy playing with his toys by himself.
Remember: Boundaries are GOOD! He really
would rather be in a 2 x 4 ft confined area than in the middle of an open sea floor. When
choosing, avoid getting a play pen with a "hanging bassinet" or changing table that set
son top. It may seem like a good idea, but in the long run, it's not practical or very safe.
NO!! These do more harm than good for babies. It can actually cause bow-
legged legs and are extremely dangerous near stairs and doorways. Baby's mobility is
not worth his possible death.
They hang in doorways, usually supported by door frames. Much better
than walkers, but limit his time in it. (Not really a problem — let him bounce and tire out
for 5 — 10 minutes, verses sticking him in a walker for extended periods of time.) Also,
it's very cute to watch his face once he gets the hang (no pun intended) of bouncing.
These are pretty good, entertaining and also nice when you need to do
something (i.e.: phone call) without baby. Once again, though, just be sure not to keep
him in it for hours on end. There is such thing as too much of a good thing.
These are handy, but definitely not necessary. If you have a baby shower, 1 or 2
will probably pop up.
Function: diaper pail.
How it works: a plastic bag
tube is installed at the top. You tie off the end and stick it into the body of the pail. As
baby soils diapers, fold them up and stick in pail. Rotate top where extra "bag" lies.
Result: relatively odorless, concealed used diapers that look like a strain of pearls when
Drawbacks: usually comes in a perfume scent. It can be tricky or difficult to
put in refills. If you don't wipe down the inside of the pail frequently, it will smell
horribly. Refills are not cheap.
Always a good idea to have one
in baby's room. It makes nighttime
changes much easier. For the 1st couple months all you really need is a travel or counter
limed with a towel. Right home from the hospital you won't to move/bend too much
(especially if you should need a c-section.) Just make sure you have the essentials
nearby — diapers,
lotion (optional). When
both you and baby are more mobile, most people sit on the floor with a
underneath baby, and the essentials in a closet or cabinet nearby.
I recommend having two, although if you're an outdoorsy kind of person, you
may want a third. The first would be an
umbrella stroller. It's your basic stroller with no
frills: four wheels, a seat with 3-point buckle and a foot rest — more upscale models may
have a canopy.
It's good for quick trips out and can be used when baby learns to sit
around 6 months.
There are tons of larger types of strollers you can get as well. It all
depends on what you want to use it for. The outdoorsy couple may want to consider the
all-terrain 3 wheeler stroller.
This one's also good for pushing if you go running outside
at all. The front wheel pivots for easy mobility. Some people like the kind where you
put the carrier right on top and push it around. I always thought they were big, bulky,
awkward and unsightly. I liked the kind where you had an adjustable back (so infants
could lay down), canopy and reversible handle (so you could watch baby as you push,
although this feature often makes it difficult to steer.) Regardless, the bigger and sturdier
the wheels the better!
Storage is another handy feature to look for. Most strollers have
under-carriage storage for the diaper bag and a small tray for baby's cup or snack. Others
go so far to even offer mom a place to put a drink and a tray to put her keys on. If you
are somewhat tall (being 5'6" or more) look around for extendable arms for the handles.
Otherwise, you'll find yourself hunched over quite a bit as you push your baby.
important feature to look for is how easy it is to fold and unfold, and store in your trunk.
Once again it's best if you're able to do it with one hand, but two would work if you can
set it up and put it away in 5 — 10 seconds. If it takes much longer it will become a
hassle, frustrate you and then you won't use it very often. Think: you don't want to be
caught outside in a rain storm or in freezing weather any longer than you have to.
Another nice to have but not necessary item. If you get one, just make
sure it's comfortable so you could stay in it for 2 hours while baby's asleep on you. He'll
be so cuddly and cute you won't want to get up! I like the
Davinci model, it's simple.
It's much better when things DON'T go bump in the night. Don't get
anything too bright or obnoxious. For nighttime feedings and diaper changes, the less
contact you have with baby the better and faster he'll go right back to sleep when you're
done. Do it in complete silence if you can (don't play or talk to him), and it's best not to
change the lighting and hurt his eyes. In rare occasions you may want a small flashlight
nearby to make sure all the poop's off.
Watch for allergies; may look like a rash. Cheap diapers work okay for
daytime use, but I wouldn't suggest using them at night. That's when you go for a brand
name (Huggies or
Regular Ultratrim are great. Don't bother using Supreme.
They run very small and work better on girls than boys. When baby gets around 2 years
or so, you may need to use Overnights at bedtime, depending on his evening liquid
intake. They hold an incredible amount of liquid. (If desperate, YOU could pee in one
without it leaking!) Unless you have a preemie, you shouldn't need more than 1 — 2
packages of Newborn diapers before stepping up to Size 1. Babies grow quickly!
Not all wipes are created equal. Store brand are usually a lot thinner and smaller
in general. The last thing you need is to get poop on your hands when you change him.
For every 1 wipe you use of Huggies,
expect to use 2 or 3 of a store brand. Spend the
extra 50 cents to get the good ones. Once again, we find Huggies brand best.
can be found all over and they have frequent sales. Avoid scented wipes if you can.
Baby doesn't need all the extra added chemicals.
Make sure you have two. Get a small one for quick trips (to store). Get a
large one for day trips — outings longer than 4 hours.
Keep them fully stocked at all times.
Most people with kids are late to functions because they're always running around at the
last minute looking for stuff that belongs in the bag. When you get home, or while
baby's asleep, just replenish whatever was used when you were out. It's that easy.
Diaper bag filler suggestions: diapers, wipes burp rag, desitin, bib, bottle/sippy cup/food
(as needed), 1 — 2 changes of clothes, pacifier, several small toys, medicine (for teething,
if sick, or has allergies), bandaids and antiseptic wash (for when mobile), changing pad
(comes with most bags), empty bread bag (to put soiled diapers in), and a plastic grocery
bag for soiled clothes.
Wipes Travel Container
Avoid the temptation to use them. In the beginning I thought
they were handy and useful. You know, anything that is small is by definition cute. I
soon realized you can't put enough in them to go anywhere any length of time, and if you
don't use them quickly and replenish often, they'll dry up and become useless. The
solution? Gallon size Ziploc
They can hold a LOT and never dry out. Even when
it's hot outside, the moisture stays inside the wipes. The bag is also foldable so you can
store it easier in smaller bags, whereas the hard plastic containers can't.
Great stuff!! It clears redness and diaper rash quickly. I prefer
It smells better and washes off you hands easier.
Good especially in winter to keep skin soft and smooth. Apply after bath
or diaper change. It'll keep him smelling good.
Make excellent burp rags.
Can hold lots of spit-up, easy to clean, folds
easily and are compact. Get at least one dozen, more if he's a spitter. Don't buy the pre-
folded/sewn ones. The plain flat ones are best, as they hold more liquid.
Not just good for mealtime. Also good for normal day wear to catch drool,
slobber, mini spit ups, and to keep his clothes clean for pictures.
If you choose to bottle feed, AVENT is the best brand,
especially after or
between nursing. The shape
of the nipple is most like mom's. Angled bottle are good to
decrease air bubble intake.
I had the best luck with
hand pump, but it's very tiring on your
hand. If you need to be away from baby for a few days or if you go back to work you'll
want to rent a double breast pump from wither the hospital or a lactation consultant. If
you want to buy one it'll run anywhere from $250 - $300. Always go for a double pump
over a single if you have the option. It'll save you loads of time.
Breast Milk Bags
When you pump, put your milk in Gerber
milk bags. They are
Ziploc and freezer safe. Make sure to label the date and time milk is expressed. Milk can
be stored in the freezer 3 months, or in the deep freezer up to 6 months. When thawing,
do not microwave. Plan ahead; start thawing in the fridge and/or put it in a cup
of hot tap water.
If going this route, use
You'll get lots of free samples at the hospital.
Coupons are everywhere for it.
Once you choose a brand, stick with it. If you switch
brands you will upset his fragile tummy. Only switch if the doctor says it's necessary to
move to a soy milk or other special dietary blend. Do not give baby any cow milk until
he's 1 year old, then use only whole milk until he's 2 years old.
Travel Formula Container
This simple container can be a lifesaver. It is a container
approximately 4" in diameter that has 3 sections to put 3 servings in with a lid and a pour
spout. Just pour premeasured amount in bottle already filled with correct amount of
water, and shake.
For the first few months, your breasts will
leak milk. These pads are
nothing more than a Light Days type pad in a circular form for your nipples. They're a
lifesaver for your bras and shirts!
These bras have a clasp or
a snap on your collar bone area that you unfasten and flip down when you feed baby.
Wait until baby's born before buying. He'll decide what kind he'll like at the
hospital — silicone or latex. Go for the orthopedic shape, not the straight/bubbled kind.
It'll be better for his growing teeth, and will be a better fit, shape and angle for the inside
of the mouth.
From day one, keep these on hand:
Large Maxi Pads
At the hospital they will use HUGE
pads on you resembling diapers.
For the first 4-6 weeks after delivery you will have bleeding — heaviest during the first
week. This is regardless of a vaginal deliver or a C-section.
Chances are you will have hemorrhoids either the last couple of months
of pregnancy or afterwards due to pushing during delivery.
You can take one every morning to
help soften your stools to avoid
hemorrhoids. The third trimester is when the baby will grown and shift to make your
bathroom life the most miserable — (urinating often and harder to defecate). They will
not harm the baby at all.
Multi-use. Stick them in the fridge to get them good and refreshingly cool.
Use them when needed for your hemorrhoids. They can also be used as toilet paper after
your stitches are healed from your episiotomy (often the doctor will have to cut your
perineum: the skin between the vagina and anus, to allow for more room for baby's
delivery). The nurse will send home a cleansing bottle to put water in and squirt yourself
after using the toilet because the area will be sensitive (too much so for toilet paper use),
especially with the stitches.
Baby Wash (Johnson & Johnson)
Great stuff. Will not hurt/sting the eyes. The first few
months you can use this as a shampoo. Don't use regular soap on baby that will dry out
his tender skin.
Baby Shampoo (Johnson & Johnson)
Not really needed until hair starts growing in.
Remember: a little goes a long way. Just use a couple of drops. Johnson's is also good
because of its "No Tear" formula (won't hurt the eyes).
AVOID! Some people lilke to sprinkle this on baby's bum during
changes and to help him smell better. Don't do it. More of it becomes airborne and
inhaled into baby's lungs than actually lands on his bum. Diapers these days are much
better than the ones 20-30 years ago when people thought it was necessary to use powder
to keep baby dry. Trust me — he'll be fine without it. Use lotion to keep him smelling
Baby Bath Tub
Small tub for small baby. Can be easily put on the counter — either
bathroom or kitchen. Brings baby up to your elbow height (easier on the knees!) and
helps you have a better grip on slippery wet baby.
Get a dozen or so. When washing baby, always start with his eyes with a
clean wet cloth. NO SOAP. Start in the corner nearest the nose and gently wipe outward.
After that, have fun. Just remember: wet babies are very slippery!
I prefer hooded baby towels, although anything that'll get him dry will work.
No matter what, make sure the privates are covered, or else as soon as a cool breeze
comes along, you'll get wet!
Huggies-brand Wash Cloths
These are great, especially when baby is saturated with
poop or vomit. They clean wonderfully; they are already imbibed with soap: just add
water and wash. And since they're disposable, you won't have to worry about washing it
when baby's done. Just throw away.
Temperature Rubber Ducky
Not necessary, but nice to have. Baby's skin is very
sensitive to temperature. What you think is moderate and nice will probably burn the
will turn colors if water is too hot.
Avoid squirt toys. Water collects in them and it's difficult to empty them
completely, or else they can collect a black moldy substance inside that will (or can)
come out the next time baby plays with it. Yuck!
Mesh Toy Bag
Hangs nicely and neatly up on bathtub wall with suction cup. It allows
toys to drip dry until the next time. Toy racks are okay, but they fall too easily and make
lots of noise (since they are usually insulated metal). They also tend to get in the way a
lot and move from place to place, a hassle.
Of all the safety devices, this is the most useless. If you keep toilet lids
closed as well as bathroom doors, you'll most likely have no problems. Better yet, just
keep an eye on your kid and he'll be fine.
ARE A MUST! Outlets are magnets to all children. One of baby's
favorite toys is your jingling keys. At some point in his childhood he will try to put a key,
finger, screwdriver, eating utensil, or something similar into an outlet. Cover all outlets
that don't have anything plugged into them. Even the ones high up in bathrooms and
kitchens need to be addressed. Baby will probably learn to climb well before he walks.
I have a bunch for you, but you may need to get a few more. I
like the kind you string through two adjacent handles to lock. This is truly baby-proof.
Yes, it may be a little unsightly, but no one will mid when they see Junior crawling
around knowing he's safe from the dangerous perils that lie within. Anyway, do try to
avoid the kind you physically attach to the inside upper corners of your cabinets. They
have a simple push down finger-release lever that most kids can master within a week's
Gerber Door Knobs Covers
Also a good investment. Put one on any and every door
you don't want him to go through. Some examples? Okay: his bedroom (on the inside
for naptime, bedtime, etc.), your bedroom (when you need just a few more moments
baby-free), the basement door, laundry room door, broom closet and pantry (you'll soon
realize how great this location is!).
For the front door, or any other that leads directly to the outside. Gerber
door knobs not recommended on these doors because it is too difficult to lock/unlock
through the tiny hole provided. Keep the chain on and baby cannot escape! *smile*
YES, YES, YES! (Did I say 'yes'?) Choose the ones that will fit our
doorways the best. Avoid the mesh kind that are spring-loaded for wide doorways. They
fall over easily. At the top of your stairs, get one you bolt to the walls. They are the best,
most sturdy gates. Where it opens there's a handle at the top you pull up on as you push a
release button (all the best gates have this feature), and at the bottom there's something
to keep your gate aligned properly. When possible, keep him out of the kitchen and
locked in a secure/babyproof living room. Peace of mind is worth anything.
Get a carrier with a comfortable carry handle. Zigzag looking handles are
good. Avoid handles that go straight across. Within 5 minutes of carrying, your hand will
hurt. By the time he's 3 months, he'll outgrow it but it comes in handy when traveling
and visiting during sleeping hours. The seat I'll be giving you can be used the day he
comes home from the hospital until he's big enough for a booster seat (2 – 3 years old).
Keep one seat in each car. Always put him in the middle of the backseat, facing
backwards until he's 1 year old — then he will sit normally and upright on his own.
These are great, especially since he's a winter baby and will enjoy
the extra warmth and cuddles you'll provide. It's good for you too, as it frees up both
your hands to do other things… like grocery shopping, or even going on good long
walks. He won't need a coat if you wear the carrier and zip up your coat over top of him.
All he'll need is a little hat. (Hmmm, if you only had one of those...)
(not sure of the brand name) This is a must for outdoors-men. This is a sturdy
pack to put baby in. He'll love to go on long walks/hikes and look around. It has a sturdy
medal base and can be put on easily. They usually have pockets to put baby's things in.
This is a valuable tool for you 'outdoorsy' types. Also good for amusement parks or
parks in general. *smile*
Make sure it has two receivers. Keep one stationary in your room, and put the
other wherever you'll be during naptime (living room, glass shop/basement, outside). The
flashing light feature is good because sometimes little hands turn down the volume and
the lights will measure the volume of noise for you. I believe most — if not all — come
with two channels (A and B).
Baby Laundry Detergent - Do NOT be tempted to use anything else on his
clothes. Baby cloths come with a fire resistant treatment of sorts. This is one of only a
small of detergents that will not wash this off. It's mild quality is also safe on baby's
sensitive skin. Adult detergents can irritate and cause rashes. ALWAYS wash all new
baby clothes before wearing, by the way.
Cocoa Butter/Shea Cream/Utter Cream
Pick one and apply every day to your belly. If
you are diligent, this can help greatly reduce the size and number of stretch marks.
Remember: the third trimester is quickly approaching and that means your baby (and
ultimately your abdomen) is growing out the fastest during this time. The cream can help,
but don't expect to be stretch mark-free.
You'll get extremely dried out while you're nursing. This will help quite a bit.
You can thank me later.
Do NOT apply until he's at least 6 months old. Keep him covered with
lightweight clothes and hat until then. When using, don't put on hands (since they
inevitably and frequently end up in his mouth and eyes). Don't forget the tips of his ears
and his head where his hair parts.
Be gently, go slowly, get help to hold him still; but better yet, do it while
If you clip his skin accidentally, relax. Try not to be too upset. He'll be okay.
It may bleed profusely — don't worry. You are not a bad mommy!
Antiseptic Wash (BandAid brand)
is great stuff for life's little boo-boo's. Better than
soap and water or hydrogen peroxide.
It rinses, cleanses, and lightly numbs the affected area.
The miracle workers. All ow-ies and boo-boo's feel better with a bandaid,
even if there's no blood involved. You'd better go buy stock in it now...
This is a cute
that holds an ice cube-sized ice pack you
store in the freezer and pull out whenever baby bumps his head/elbow/knee/whatever.
Just letting the baby holding him can make the baby feel better.
Gel-filled teethers go
in the fridge (NOT freezer). Cold teethers feel great on baby's gums.
Get regular and nighttime formulas. It numbs teething pain and can help baby
sleep. Always a good thing.
The ones that are placed in the ears are too big for infants. Get one that is
digital that can be placed under his arm, in his mouth (when much older) or in his bum.
DON'T forget to use probe covers! FYI: when taking temp under the arm (armpit) add 1
degree to final reading for true temperature.
You're bound to be given one from somebody. Even if you don't, I
always preferred the ones the hospital gave us. You're sensible, find one that works well
with his hair type and thickness.
Alcohol (rubbing of course)
Necessary in drying up baby's umbilical cord.
Use to gently apply alcohol around baby's umbilical cord stump. Keep
the cord dry and clean at all times. Fold down the tops of diapers so they won't rub
against the cord. Newborn-sized diapers come with a notch already cut out this purpose
(also helpful in learning how to center the diaper). Also, don't give him a full bathtub
bath until the cord comes off. Give him a sponge bath until then. AVOID the temptation
to help pull the cord off. It'll fall off in a week or so. Keep it cleaned until completely
You'll have to put a good dab of this on your little one's area of circumcision
every time you change him. The hospital will probably give you several small sample
tubes before you leave, but it's always nice to have extras.
Make sure it's sturdy, easy to wipe down and disassemble. I recommend
Babee Tenda brand. It's more like a feeding table. Look it up online… you cannot find it
in a store. (This table has 15-20 different functions.) The biggest thing with a chair is to
make sure it won't fall over easily. Test them out at the store by trying to push them over.
Around 6 months old, you'll introduce cereal to baby. Choose spoons that are
small and shallow. Gerber offers shallow spoons but hey are too wide for baby's mouth. I
don't remember who makes the good kind (maybe Playtex?).
It is recommended that infants sleep on their sides, not on their backs
(S.I.D.S.: Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) or tummy (may drown in spit-up). Wedges
help keep baby from rolling over. As baby becomes more mobile, there's not much you
can do to keep them put. Until then, use the wedges.
My daughter, Madison, was almost a S.I.D.S.
victim. Around 3 months old, she'd rolled onto her back and around 10:30pm one night, I
heard the worst gagging noises over the monitor. I ran upstairs to find her wide-eyed and
unable to breathe. Unclear as to the problem, I picked her up and swept my finger
around the inside of her mouth looking for something she may have been choking on.
When the paramedics arrived, they suggested she was getting sick and choking on her
own mucous. Otherwise healthy, I thought that was silly, but the next day she came down
with a cold!
Sleepers (10-15 qty.)
Make sure they have enclosed-socked feet, until he's around 2
years or so. Babies lose a lot of warmth when they sleep. They wiggle and rarely stay
under their blankets for any length of time. Sometime around 2 years old, he'll learn how
to cover himself back up again. Get lots, as he can potentially spend a lot time in them
and they get messed by poop and spit-up rather frequently.
Onesies (10 qty.)
Good for extra warmth (without bulk) in winter, good as outfits when
the weather is nice.
Shirts (20 qty.)
Make sure they match something you already have or something you
are buying. Adorable shirts that don't match anything will never be seen and soon
outgrown. Make sure you have lots, as some days baby can go through four outfits or
Pants (10 qty.)
Make sure they match shirts. Infant pant lengths are barely longer than
shorts, as babies always like to curl up in the fetal position. Don't need as many pants as
shirts since most pants can go with multiple shirts. Even still… DO LAUNDRY
Very cute, but can difficult during getting dressed and diaper changes,
especially if crotch and inside leg regions don't have snaps along them.
Slide off easily, but they are necessary for warmth in winter and to prevent
friction within shoes.
Shoes (2 pairs)
Necessary only to keep feet warm, and of course, when going outside
(don't bother until he fits in size 2 or 3 shoe). When learning to walk, barefoot feet are
Booties (2 pairs)
Good for little feet in cold weather.
Get several for meal times and spit-ups. They come in various sizes as baby
The kind with slipover, elasticized necklines seem to work better
than the tie ones as they get older — more towel-like and are larger for bigger messes,
like spaghetti and mashed carrots/peas.
Great when going out to eat. I'm sending you samples from Erich, but
you may want to get a smaller size.
Get some with straps to keep on baby's head. Most kids don't like to keep them
Use mitten, NOT fingered gloves on kids until 3-4 years or older. Both of you
will get frustrated trying to put tiny fingers in small holes. Mittens are best for keeping
hands the warmest.
Coats (2-3 qty.)
Make sure you have several just in case something happens and one
gets dirty — can rotate them out. AVOID any coat with a drawstring… choking hazard.
A nice warm, snuggly blanket can double as a coat on cool days. My personal
favorites are already on your baby registry.
You definitely won't need as many as you're bound to receive.
They're good to baby-wrap infants in, but that's about it. They are too small to do much
else with, and too thin to give much warmth. Most aren't even that soft.
They can be rolled up to fill in gaps within the crib or as a temporary wedge when
changing diapers to keep them in place.