Baby Care Questions - 1
How do I take care of the umbilical cord after birth ?
Umbilical cord care has changed dramatically over the last 20 years, with a less-is-more attitude adopted by most hospitals. Originally, a triple dye solution was painted onto the cord at birth, which dried it quickly and allowed it to fall off within a week. This was replaced with the equally effective (and less staining) alcohol, which dried the cord in a week or two.
Now, many hospitals recommend doing nothing but keeping the cord dry. The one problem is babies can’t take a real bath until the cord is off and healed -- sponge baths are okay as long as the cord is kept dry. The problem with this is it may take up to a month for the cord to fall off -- a long time not to bathe baby! That’s why I personally recommend using alcohol on the cord with each diaper change to see a complete healing in less than two weeks.
When to start solid foods?
Introducing solids is a very exciting time for both you and your baby. Sometimes it is more exciting for us as parents -> we get caught up in the moment of the cute spoons and bowls and other fancy gadgets! Introducing solids can be a very pleasurable experience for a baby but it can also be quite scary, if your baby is not developmentally ready. It is very important to start feeding your baby solid foods when she is developmentally ready -- go by what she can do and not by how old she is.
Typically, your baby will start giving you signs that she is ready for solid foods around six months of age. At this time she will be able to play an active part in the feeding process. Here are some general indicators that your baby is developmentally ready to start tasting the delicious world around her:
- She is sitting up (either assisted or unassisted) and holding her head up straight
- She opens her mouth for a spoon and closes her lips over spoon
- She is able to let you know that she is either full or hungry (turns head away from spoon if full or keeps mouth open if still hungry). This is important so that baby learns to self regulate the amount of food that she eats.
- She keeps her tongue low and flat when you put the spoon in her mouth
- She is showing an interest in food that others around her are eating
In addition, when a baby approaches six months of age, the enzymes in her digestive track are becoming mature enough to break down and digest solid foods. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, six months can be an important time for baby's nutritional needs. A baby may need additional iron that can be extracted from the nutrients in various solid foods, like the iron fortified cereals. Make sure to wait at least four to seven days in between new foods for signs/symptoms of any allergies. Remember, breastfeeding or formula feeding should remain the main source of nutrition throughout the majority of the first year.
Tricks for giving baby medicine?
This question went straight to our users. Here's what you had to say...
"Have your pharmacist flavor it. Or, put some on your finger first and let her taste it. She'll see it tastes good and gobble it up (theoretically). Also, try giving it to her just before a meal. After all, she's hungry, right? And, put her in a high chair while giving medicine." - Beachlover
"Flavor the medication. We use the dropper with my DD and she sucks it right down. Just put the dropper in DC's mouth, towards the side (cheek) and squirt it out slowly. Works like a charm with my DD. She also helps to hold the dropper so she feels involved." - Jlw2505
"We get medicine syringes from the pharmacy whenever we get an Rx filled. With my one-year-old, I lay him on my lap with his head on my knees and give him his medicine laying down. I can hold his head still with one hand and put the dropper in the side of his mouth with the other. Or, my husband sits on the floor with his legs stretched out and puts our son in between his legs so he can't wiggle away. They also make pacifiers that you can dispense meds through." - Jack & Masonsmom
"Shove it in and blow on their face (it makes them swallow). Or, put in a spoon with yogurt or cottage cheese (whatever DC gobbles up). Also, try putting it in a bottle or sippy cup with a small amount of milk, etc." - Coronalime
"We discovered a miraculous new product by Triaminic. They're infant decongestant strips -- they stick to the baby's tongue and melt instantly and they taste great." - Jan 2005