Is your baby spitting up way too much? Sometimes it may seem like the baby has nothing left in her stomach after an enormous throw-up and that makes moms super worried. Spitting up is common in babies. Therefore, most babies keep throwing up for about 5 to 6 months and that is considered normal.
Spitting up may concern first-time parents, and feel that the baby is not being able to digest milk. Read on and find out the reasons why do babies spit up, and how you can help babies to keep food inside, instead of throwing up.
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Why do newborn babies spit-up
Breastfeeding babies do throw up sometimes, although breastmilk is known to be gentle and easy on digestion for newborn babies.
The most common reason for babies to spit-up what they ate is intolerance. It could be intolerance to formula, or in very rare cases, breastmilk. You need to rule out the reason, regardless.
1. Formula intolerance
It could be formula intolerance, and your baby is not digesting it well and this may take some time. However, if you are concerned due to frequent spit-ups after every feed and pretty big ones, then you might want to discuss it with your pediatrician, and consider changing the formula.
You may start formula for sensitive stomach, once your baby starts turns a few months old, you may switch to another formula, and see how it works.
2. Signs of allergies
For breastfeeding babies, you
have to rule out any signs of intolerance or allergic reactions to something
you are eating or feeding your baby and your baby is not being able to stomach
Although, this concept is not backed by science, however, some mothers, if not all, do believe sometimes spit-up is about intolerance to specific food transmitting through their milk.
For example; eggs, dairy,
peanuts, pine nuts, and walnuts, etc.
Watch for any signs; like bumps on the body, rashes frequent spit up like fresh milk.
3. Lying down on her back right after feeding.
Right after a feed if you lay down your baby straight, this would result in a spit-up most likely, unless your baby is few months old, and she could move on her own.
Use a bouncer to have your baby slightly elevated or wear your baby.
What are the Remedies on how to avoid spit-up?
These simple and easy to follow steps may help your baby to not spit-up.
Position head higher than the rest of the body when your baby is eating.
What is the difference between Vomit and a spit-up
There are two things to keep
Vomiting is different than spitting up.
A simple easy to understand the definition of spitting up: an easy flow of stomach content through the mouth that may or may not accompany a burp.
A typical definition of vomiting: the forceful flow of stomach contents through the mouth.
For most babies, spitting up is simply the result of not a fully developed muscle on top of the stomach to be a good gatekeeper. In simple words, allowing food and drink enter into the stomach and keep it there. This muscle is called the lower esophageal sphincter.
How should a spit-up look like
Well, one thing is for sure, curdled spit up means your baby’s stomach has started processing food and it will get better with time.
On the flip side, there is a possibility to experience a spit-up like fresh milk even after an hour of feeding.
Just a gentle reminder: By food, it means milk; that’s all your newborn could eat for this newborn stage.
Word of assurance
Besides how a huge spit up looks, just be sure, your baby has not lost everything in a spit-up, which she just ate.
Gerd – Gastroesophageal reflux disease
This disease is as equivalent as heartburn. Stomach contents make their way back up into the esophagus, sometimes causing discomfort. If that is the case, your baby needs the right evaluation and potential medical treatment.
Your baby may vomit if she has a particularly sensitive gag reflex, or you have particularly forceful milk let down while breastfeeding
Also when she happens to overfeed.
If vomiting persists and makes you worried for some reason, do not hesitate to get it evaluated with your pediatrician.
Watch out for any signs on
infection, fever, blood in the poop, diarrhea, or excessive fussiness and
Watch out for any signs of dehydration or lethargy due to vomiting, such as below and call your pediatrician right away.
eyes and Fontenelle
If an infant vomits most or all of feeding for 2 or more consecutive feedings in a row, this could be a sign of potentially more serious. Contact your doctor to get a timely medical evaluation.
Gagging and sputtering
Gagging is the baby’s natural way of preventing food to go in the wrong way. The gag reflex is good as it keeps the food go the right way. If your baby is having gagging, have her sit upright, pat her back and face down a little to keep all that saliva runs out of her mouth.
Rest assured babies tend to settle down on their own after these episodes of gagging reflux.
Remember, every baby is developing at her own pace and it might take a month or so to settle, do not beat yourself up for something that is considered normal as per your doctor’s advice.
The gas issue in newborns is quite a common problem. The newborn’s digestive system is still in a maturity phase that is why it gets hard for a baby to release gas on her own.
Newborns tend to swallow a
lot of air while crying or feeding. This would have a lot of gas accumulated in
their tiny tummy and it has to come out two ways. Up or down.
Burping is relatively easy
whereas passing gas down there is one kind of a journey from all stomach to
intestines and finally the way out.
That’s why burping is very important after every feed.
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Effective ways on how to relieve gas issues in babies
1. Feed early and often
If your baby is colic, or has more than normal gas issues, feeding her early, let’s say not after 2 hours instead feed her after 1.5 hours. An empty stomach can trigger gas issues.
2. Keep baby upright
Once the baby gets her meal, keep her upright and elevated for at least 20 to 30 minutes. This will help keep everything down.
3. Bottle up to fill in the entire nipple to avoid air going inside
You have to make sure, while bottle feed, no matter breastmilk or formula, you need to keep nipple inside the baby’s mouth by moving bottle up a to fill the entire nipple to avoid too much air going inside.
Using anti-colic bottles would keep the baby from swallowing unnecessary air while feeding.
4. Let the bubbles in milk settle
Shaking a milk bottle will
form bubbles in the bottle, wait for a few minutes until most of the air
bubbles settle down. This will also help with gas.
5. Burping the right way
When you are burping your newborn, you have to keep these steps in mind.
What is the right way to burp a baby?
Burping can be tricky at times. If you are a first-time mom, you need to know the right way to burp so that you and your baby can have a peaceful time after nursing. Burping is essential after every feed regardless of how big or small feed it is.
These are some effective ways you can help burp your baby.
You have to position your baby upright and elevated on your shoulders or in a sitting position once your baby is a few weeks old. Early sitting can be harmful to the baby’s back. Do not sit them for too long.
A gently patting from upwards
to downwards and downwards to upwards would work well for burping. You have to
be gentle while rubbing your baby back.
3. Postpone it for a while and try later
If it’s been more than 10 minutes and your baby is not in a mood to burp, you can try it later or wait for your baby cues when she wants to burp.
Have baby lay down slightly elevated or in a bouncer if the baby does not seem interested in burping or falls asleep. However, if the baby wakes up crying, most likely it is a need to burp.
patience. Burps could take a while to
come out. Don’t stress and do not rush burping your baby. This is a calm
process. Sometimes it might happen within a second and sometimes it could take hours.
How to pump gas out of babies
There are ways that can help you pump out gas effectively when it is hard to pass.
1. Cycling baby’s legs
Moving baby’s legs in a circular motion will help to get all those gases locked in pass quick.
2. Massage baby’s tummy
Take a few drops of olive oil or coconut oil and massage gently on the baby’s tummy and navel area. In a circular motion. This will help the baby’s muscles to relax and pump-out gas.
Another advantage of massage, your baby will feel so much relaxed and sleep for another couple of hours.
For massage, any of these options are safe to use.
Windi is another effective product many parents swear by. All you have to do, gently insert it into the baby’s rectal area to help release gas when the baby is having a hard time releasing gas on her own.
5. Using Gas drops at night
Some babies if not all may not have gas issues or manage to help release gas or burp without any delay, whereas some may have trouble or delayed burping issues due to developing digestive systems.
Using gas drops help significantly. You can use any of the following. They both work effectively at least for my kids. You can try what works for you.
For good sleepers, you need gas drops by little remedies and for tough sleepers, I highly recommend mommy bliss night time gripe water.
6. Avoid pacifier for the first few weeks
I offered my daughter a pacifier when she was about 2 weeks old. Unfortunately, I didn’t know that I shouldn’t have offered her a pacifier. She was starving, and I was struggling with milk supply. She got so much gas accumulated in her stomach due to unnecessary sucking. I never dared to offer her a pacifier again.
If you want to start pacifier, chances of success are higher if you start after 4 to 6 weeks post-birth.
7. Baby and hiccups – How to relive baby’s hiccups
Yes, babies do have hiccups
and you cannot have them hold their breath to treat it right away.
Although hiccups are
unavoidable and bother parents more than babies. How you can help with hiccups.
Let it be
It will stop eventually. Just
let it be and let not stress over something you cannot control.
Crying may help
However, let the baby cry for some time may help.
Feeding milk slowly and gradually sips by sip may help.
8. How to help Colic babies
Although colic babies tend to get over with unstoppable crying in about 4 to 6 months after birth. However, using probiotics drops for them may help significantly.
Newborns first cries have a significant purpose. Crying allows newborns to make a momentous shift from being dependent on the oxygen carried to her in her mother’s blood before birth to breathing it in on her own as she enters the outside world.
Newborn babies cries are loud and tearless for the first several months. For new parents settling with a crying baby is a huge adjustment, whether your baby is a colic baby or just fussy over something that is bothering her.
While you are adjusting to this whole new crying thing, remember, babies, know no other way of communication.
As a first time parent, the biggest struggle is when you have to figure out WHY IS YOUR BABY CRYING.
Newborn cries on average for 2 hours at 2 weeks of age to a peak of 3 hours by 6 weeks of age. Eventually crying decreases as baby grows. Whereas, colic babies cry repeatedly with regular crying spells at one particular time of the day, for no apparent reason, at least 3 days a week, and for more than 3 hours at a time.
When you are trying to figure out the reasons why your baby crying, you need to ask a few questions to yourself.
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What is Colic baby?
Well experts say that baby is colic if she is crying for more than 3 hours regularly for a prolonged period of time. Colic can start in the first few weeks after birth. Babies grow out of colic and excessive crying within 3 to 4 months after birth or earlier.
What are the Symptoms of a colic baby
If a baby cries for at least 3 hours a day for at least 3 days a week and for more than 3 weeks, then you can say the baby has colic.
Baby is crying for no specific reason, she is not hungry or does not need a diaper change.
Turing bright red or purple
Clenching their fists and curling up legs
Crying like they are in pain
What are the Reasons for Colic
Well, the reasons for colic may vary from baby to baby. However, some of the main reasons are;
Indigestion or gas may cause colic.
Overfeeding or underfeeding your baby.
Sensitive digestion to formula or breastmilk.
A lot of air going in while feeding.
Baby digestion system has not fully developed
How to control colic
Colicky babies take their time to get out excessive drying although it may get stressful for parents at times. There are ways by which you can control colic in your baby.
Practicing 5 Ss for Colic Babies.
Using a good swaddle blanket for swaddling your baby may help you deal with colic. Babies feel a lot more snug and secure when they are swaddled. Make sure you have babies legs in a frog-like position as in the womb.
Wearable blanket and a swaddle in which babies are free to move their legs work just fine. When you buy a swaddle make sure baby’s legs are free to get in a frog-like position, and it is not tight on the hip area.
2. Side stomach positioning while awake
Lay your colic baby on the side while she is awake. This can help her gas move out more easily.
This is another “S” you can try to soothe your baby. Using a rocking chair for yourself could make a phenomenal difference.
You need a rocking chair with an ottoman so you do not feel more tired (when you already are) and snooze for a little bit while shushing your baby.
Hold your baby and secure in your arms and try swaying her. This can significantly help to soothe a crying colicky baby.
Offer a pacifier or feed more frequently. As a new mom, you must know it is not a good idea to offer a pacifier right away while you are struggling with milk supply. However, you can resume pacifier for your baby in about 4 to 6 weeks after birth.
Feed more frequently and on-demand
Cluster feeding can help colic babies as when they are empty stomach it is going to make them a lot more gassy and fussy.
If your baby is formula-fed, you may want to change the formula as this may be one of the reasons your baby has an intolerance to one of the ingredients used in formula
Care while Preparing a milk bottle
When you make a baby’s feeding bottle, wait for a few minutes to let all those bubbles settled down first. These bubbles can significantly worsen gas or colic issues.
These could be very effective in calming colicky babies during the first few months of life.
Use anti-colic baby bottles and see what works for your baby. You have to make sure anti-colic bottles have many accessories that need deep cleaning with each use.
Use Gas drops
These gas drops have been a lifesaver. Works great for babies.
However, this gripe water by mommy bliss is phenomenal. Not only it helps relieves the gas also, but it also helps babies sleep exceptionally better.
Using Probiotics drops
Probiotic drops help with indigestion. Using probiotics for colic babies may significantly reduce crying.
For newborns using a baby sling wrap can help soothe a crying baby. Staying close to Mama is a perfect treat for babies.
Invest in a good bouncer
You need a bouncer or a rocker for baby to soothe her while crying. This 2-in-1 bouncer and bassinet is an exceptional product for babies. It will help babies to go to sleep and also you can lay them on their back without moving or taking them out of the bouncer. Incredible!
This BabybJorn bouncer is adjustable to baby’s different stages. For colic babies, this has been sworn by many moms. It is definitely a must-have baby gear.
What parents need to do when dealing with fussy and crying babies
For the first several months of baby’s life, you should omit the possibility of spoiling. Newborns cry as that’s the only way they know how to communicate and once you hear your baby crying, it is highly advisable to promptly respond to their needs so that would send her a message that you are there to tend to her needs.
No matter how hard this may get for parents, you need to keep these things in mind when you have a crying baby at hand.
Soothing doesn’t mean you are spoiling your newborn.
Identify baby cries
When your baby cries, try to
read the cues why is your baby crying. You as a parent have to figure out.
Important questions to ask about possible reasons for crying
When was the last time the baby has eaten?
Needs a diaper change?
May be sleepy
Chances are you are missing a part of her routine that is making her uncomfortable.
Newborns cry are tearless and due to these reasons as they do not have any other way of communication. The main reasons for a baby crying other than colic are:
Wayward hairs or strings wrapped around finger or toes.
Sometimes after serving all those possible reasons, babies still end up crying and that’s what they probably want to do.
Get professional help if your baby is crying inconsolably. There might be something your baby needs help with.
Soothe yourself: this is very important, as for parents hearing a crying baby for a prolonged period of time may get nerve-wracking. Take your time and soothe yourself.
Moms get stressed out when
babies are crying. You have to keep calm, take a deep breath and if needed take
a break. If you are not ready mentally, emotionally or physically, take help
from anyone available during that time, husband, or friend
Put baby down for a little while safe and secured and compose yourself, as long as you are around, it doesn’t hurt the baby to cry for some time.
Babies may pick up stress around them and start crying on negative vibes around them.
Snug, rock and secure
Snugging can be helpful in some cases as they have been living all snug and cozy in the womb for 9 months. Either snug her in a swaddle or put her in a rocker or bouncer. The vibrating sounds may help to calm a crying baby.
Just make sure you have all safety features on, the baby is buckled up and secured.
A familiar sound of music, vacuum, machine, song, heartbeat sound, works every time in calming a crying baby. Hold your baby close to your heart and let her listen to your heart beating. This sound she has heard for a good 9 months.
Use a baby soother that would be an awesome help in baby sleep and shush.
Giving Baby a Massage
Giving baby a soothing body massage may help. Bathing is also helpful in calming baby, depending on how much babies enjoys being in the water.
Baby oil for massage is essential for relaxing babies tummy and helps relieves gas.
If your baby is cold, put on
another layer of clothing. And if she is hot, remove one layer. Babies tend to
get super warm when they are sitting in the car seat for a long time as it has
no ventilation from the back.
If it is too loud, turn the
volume down. If it is too dark, making it brighter may help.
Although there is no rocket science, you just have to figure out by trying different ways for soothing baby.
Chances are after trying all these possible solutions babies may settle down after a while if you give them some time.
However, if you are concerned and uncomfortable with so much inconsolable crying, seek your pediatrician help.
Keep things moving as babies are receptive to the noise around.
Opposites attract: If mama is emotionally or mentally exhausted, hand in baby to the dad if he is around.
Handoff: if you need a break, just put the baby down securely in a crib or a bouncer, buckled up and take a break for a little while.
Give it time: letting your baby cry doesn’t harm as long as baby is safe and you are responding to her needs. Giving it time to cry it out may help.
shake a crying baby no matter how frustrated you are
Lay a baby in her crib and walk out of the room for a while to have your stamina together.
Going out with a newborn baby is overwhelming for new parents. There are so many questions hit your mind as a new parent about taking your baby outside while she is still so young.
As a matter of fact, it may get concerning when your baby is just a few days old. It is always a good idea to wait for several weeks after the baby’s birth to visit crowded places.
Although looking at those four walls could get new moms a cabin fever still it is advisable for moms to take precautionary measures when they leave home with a newborn baby.
You have to be super prepared with baby stuff, especially if you are going out by yourself only, just to venture out or out of necessity.
If you are visiting someone’s house, make sure it is smoke-free and does not have any other harmful conditions like mold, chemical fumes, etc.
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Helpful tips on going out with your newborn baby
New parents are concerned about when is it safe to take newborns out in public. well, it is advised to wait a couple of weeks until you decide to take your baby out in public.
Moms have to do chores, run errands and so much to manage with multiple kids and you cannot stay home with a baby delaying everything you have to do.
No matter what your tasks are when you have to head out with a newborn baby, you have to be super careful and vigilant.
Dressing up your newborn baby
Do not take inappropriately dressed baby outside: The number one thing is you should not take out your baby inappropriately dressed. Your baby has to be neither overdressed nor underdressed.
As a general rule, Your newborn baby needs one extra layer than what you are wearing. If you are wearing a light jacket, protect your baby with a light jacket and cozy warm blanket as an extra layer. if weather is warm, keeping baby covered with a muslin blanket as an extra layer is just fine.
Do not expose your baby to direct sunlight: you should not expose your baby to direct sunlight. Newborns have delicate skin. You do not want to leave without fully covered clothes and sunscreen.
Do not leave without a hat: newborns have significantly bigger heads than the rest of their bodies. That is the reason they tend to lose heat from their head much faster if they are without hats.
Newborn needs to wear a hat for the first several months after birth, no matter what weather it is.
Do not leave without getting to know the weather forecast: you should always check the weather forecast before you leave home with your newborn. Prepare accordingly, in case of rain, snow or flash flood warnings.
Tip: If there is nothing urgent, in case of the bad weather forecast, postpone your visit.
Sunscreen should be at least SPF15 and applied to even small areas of skin exposed to sunlight
Winter season could be tricky for newborns. Mom and dad need to be super careful while taking the baby out during the winter and fall season.
Baby needs a hat, and blanket for protection from the cold windy weather. Also, baby ears need to be covered. You need infant car seat winter season blanket that would keep baby warm and cozy outdoors.
Despite how cold weather is, you need to make sure baby is not overheated sitting a car seat. Common signs of overheating are blushing cheeks and ears, and the baby seems less active and more sleepy.
Tips on how to avoid direct sun
It is best to keep babies younger than 6 months out of the sun because babies have thinner and more delicate skin than adults, thus they are more prone to sunburns.
Try to avoid peak sun hours from 10 am to 2 pm when the sun rays are strongest.
Keep your baby in the shade, keep head covered with a brimmed hat, thin long pants, and a thin long sleeve shirt to avoid direct sun rays.
Apply sunscreen safe for baby skin with an SPF of 15 or higher to all exposed areas like face, neck, hands, feet, and a tip of the ears. Be sure to apply 15 to 30 minutes before going out and reapply in 2 hours if you are still outside.
Just be sure the sunscreen does not contain Oxybenzone. there is a concern that this ingredient may affect hormones in the body.
Where to go with a newborn baby
Now, you are almost ready to head out, the next thing is where to go with a newborn baby?
Less crowded places
With a few weeks old babies, it is not recommended to visit crowded places because babies are vulnerable to catch germs really quick. Go to places where there are fewer people meaning your baby is exposed to fewer germs.
Make sure the weather is favorable
During pollen season, when children are getting seasonal allergies back and forth, you should avoid going out in the parks or staying outdoors.
This does not mean you cannot go out when you have a baby. With a newborn – just a few weeks old- is adjusting to a new environment so she is more vulnerable to catch a viral cold, flu or fever much faster.
Keep a thin blanket as per weather conditions and try to keep baby covered. When you come back home, change baby’s clothes, bath preferably.
During hot weather, the blanket should be breathable and baby should not be overdressed as the temperature rises quickly if the baby’s car seat or stroller are covered with a canopy.
When it is your first time going out with a baby, start small. Take a short trip, just around a block in the neighborhood. Heading out of the house could be quite an adventure with a newborn. Your visit success depends on your baby’s temperament, tolerance of stimulation.
Babies get crankier at the end of the day, or sometimes a visit to a grocery store may take a whole day of an adventure with a newborn.
Rest assured, this is not to imply that you should not go out with newborn babies, the whole point is to get used to with this new change.
Some cultures dictate that moms should not leave the house for about 4 to 6 weeks after childbirth until then moms have also recovered from postpartum struggles. whereas some believe that going out with a baby may keep you from developing cabin fever. In a nutshell, it is up to a mom how healthy she feels herself to go out with a baby on her own.
However, you need to check these options when you plan a visit with your newborn.
When you are well-rested. If you are sleep deprived, there is no point in going outside and increase your stress levels.
When your baby is well fed or just after a feeding.
when places are less crowded or off-hours
Preferably when you have help to go out with you and also someone can lend you a hand with logistics.
What to take with you when you go out
Babies have a lot of stuff and there is pretty much everything you may want to take with you while going out with a newborn baby.
First, you have to decide, for how long you are heading out?
How old is your baby?
What is baby’s schedule of eating, pooping and sleeping? That’s what they do at this point.
No matter how long or short your trip is, never leave home without ENOUGH diapering supplies. Newborn babies need frequent diaper changes so you need to take, diapers, wipes, disposable changing sheet, disposable diaper sacks, just in case a diaper cream.
Onesies should be in your backpack at all times. Expect to have at least one change of clothing for your baby, and for yourself too. Be prepared for diaper blowouts, leaks, spit-ups, spills, and whatnot.
Breastmilk, formula milk or on the go baby food
If you are a breastfeeding mom, you may want to have a nursing cover to breastfeed in public. You can take bottles with you, the formula in milk dispensers, and also water to prepare formula feed for your baby.
If your baby is about 6 months old, you may want to take a ready on the go baby food.
Expect your baby to get hungry the moment you leave the house and a painful crying ride while you drive to the destination.
Baby carrier or a bassinet
Some baby carriers are not designed for newborn babies, If you plan to use one, always check the minimum weight limit first. Find baby carrier which you think is workable for you as per your comfort, baby’s neck and back support. Moreover, you have to make sure it is adjustable to newborn size.
Well, you cannot head out without a stroller. It is a staple to have one and it depends on your choice of stroller you want for your convenience.
For newborn babies, you cannot have an umbrella stroller that does not have a rate of recline. However, there are some umbrella strollers that can be reclined also ensure sun protection.
Newborn babies need a certain degree of recline to have proper neck support because their development does not allow them to sit upright and hold heads high.
Although Jogging strollers are not recommended for babies until 5 or 6 months old when they get good head control while sitting upright. You can still have a jogger travel system for infants with a car seat so you can easily head out and jog around.
However, you still want to have a stroller that comes with a travel system. A car seat compatible with a stroller. This is the best option for newborns when you go out. It has the ease of taking your sleeping baby out of the car without interrupting her sleep and put a car seat in the stroller.
Experts do not advise parents to have newborn babies sit in the car seat more than 2 hours at a stretch for a variety of reasons. Newborn babies should be on their back most of the time and not in the reclining position of a car seat.
For that reason, it is good to have a travel system with a bassinet when babies can stay on their back and you can stroll around the neighborhood while they enjoy a good slumber.
These travel system with bassinets are getting popular among new parents for its versatility and healthier option for babies.
Canopy or Seat cover
You need to have an umbrella stroller, a canopy and a car seat cover to protect your baby from rain, wind, sun or snow.
You can buy a separate cover for baby’s car seat to keep your baby protected from germs and uncertain climatic conditions.
Also when your baby starts sitting without back support, then you may want to have cart cover for your grocery store visits with your baby. You may want to have a clean and soft surface for your baby for your Target runs.
Last but not least, it is up to you, how healthy you feel to go out with a newborn as it takes a lot of energy and at the end of the day, both you and the baby are exhausted.
Besides what you choose for your baby, you have to keep your convenience in consideration too. Moms now have access to all kind of baby gear, choose wisely and invest in your sanity.
Parenting is hard when it comes to being a first-time parent. Taking care of a newborn is overwhelming for the first time. However, moms and dads still manage to get through this early phase after birth with all that sleep deprivations and exhausting, stressful days. First-time parents are more likely to make mistakes with newborns because of no prior hands-on experience, just tidbits of knowledge here and there.
In this phase of trial and error, no one can be fully prepared for all those challenges on the way to parenthood. No one knows what is coming up and when.
Although there might be tons of dos and donts for first-time parents to know before they have a baby at home and still they cannot know all of them, however, these are a few newborn care tips no one would tell you because they may think you probably know it already.
There are chances while you are reading this post; you may find most of the stuff you know already. Still, it does not hurt to refresh your knowledge about newborn baby care.
The goal is to create awareness so that you can avoid these mistakes with newborns in your parenting journey.
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First-time parents mistakes with babies
Although some of these situations may seem unreal, still they are not uncommon. These first-time parents mistakes with babies can be avoided with awareness about parenthood challenges.
1. Introducing pacifier in the first couple of weeks after birth
Pacifiers are great alternatives to teach babies to self-soothe when they are only interested in sucking and not eating or not hungry. When mom is in the post-birth phase, right after delivery, she is struggling with establishing milk supply, latching, and learning how to breastfeed. This may take a while for moms to have a good milk supply in the first several weeks after the baby is born.
Experts advise parents to wait at least 4 to 6 weeks to start offering a pacifier until moms get a thorough milk supply, and also babies get to know how to nurse.
2. Using baby powder
Experts advise not to use baby powder as it may cause lungs issues later in life. However, if you STILL want to use it, look for TALC-FREE baby powder that is supposed to be less risky.
The best thing is to avoid using baby powders altogether.
3. Warming up breast milk in the microwave
Breastmilk contains antibodies and microwave kills them. Although it is NOT advisable to use the microwave to warm up breastmilk or formula still if you are adamant about using it, NEVER use the microwave for breastmilk.
That is why it is recommended to use a bottle warmer for both formula and breastmilk and avoid microwave for uneven heating that may burn a baby’s mouth.
4. Leaving your baby in the car
A situation like this may sound unreal, but many parents in their postpartum period tend to forget babies in the car, that unfortunately, gets fatal for them. That being said, do not leave your baby in the car no matter how short your visit is at a grocery store.
If you are forgetful, have something hanging on your car rear-view mirror that reminds you about a baby in the car. Also, you can have this baby car mirror that would keep telling you about babysitting in the back seat. Moreover, you should always double-check your backseat when you leave the car.
5. Too many clothing layers
As a general rule, babies need one extra layer than what you are wearing. During the winter season, please do not add on too many layers, especially when you are going out. Car seats keep babies cozy, you can add on one blanket. No matter what season it is, keep an extra blanket at all times when you are going out with a baby.
6. Feeding the baby from the same bottle, she fed hours ago
Leaving milk bottles outside for longer, which babies already drank from, tend to develop bacteria from the saliva of baby’s mouth. These bacteria multiply even if the bottle is in the refrigerator, contaminating milk which baby leaves behind. As a general rule, the unused formula can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 48 hours and 3 to 4 hours outside at room temperature. 68 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit.
7. Latching does not always mean you have a supply
Well, at the beginning of breastfeeding journey, moms have colostrum, thick yellowish milk, and after that, it gets into a white and thinner form of a liquid called transitional milk.
When you start nursing, some babies not all, latch perfectly, seems like they are latching well, but they do not seem settled and keeps crying. If there are no other reasons like tiredness, dirty diaper, etc. You might want to make sure if you have enough supply or your baby wants to eat more.
Although milk supply takes about 3 to 5 days and during that time colostrum is supposed to be enough for what baby needs at this time. You still have to make sure your baby is gaining weight on the two weeks appointment. If not, follow your pediatrician advice.
To make sure if your baby has fairly enough meals every time she nurses.
Some of the visible signs are:
Baby is calmer while nursing.
Her ears have a movement.
You may notice a gulping sound if there is enough to eat for the baby.
Using a breast pump, manual, or electric would help you keep track of milk supply you are having and how much you are feeding your baby.
8. Ignoring signs of dehydration in babies
Babies get dehydrated quickly; that is why it is essential to feed them every two hours for the first several weeks after birth. When babies get dehydrated, they may get lethargic, fatigued, tend to sleep longer than usual and most importantly seem less interested in eating.
Sunken fontanelles is a clear sign of hydration. Seek medical evaluation immediately if you notice any signs of dehydration.
9. Ignoring flat spot on Baby’s Head
Babies’ safe-sleeping is when they are sleeping on their back on a firm mattress. Baby’s head is naturally soft so it can pass through the birth canal. After a vaginal delivery, you may notice her head looks like cone-shaped (sometimes weird looking). Eventually, her head takes a good shape with time. Make sure baby is sleeping on her back, not sides.
However, due to the firm mattress and extended lay-down, babies end up having flat spots. By the end of the second and third month, it starts getting evident if your baby is developing a flat head. Pediatricians may notice flat spots on babies head due to pressure for an extended period of time.
For mild flat head case, you may want to flip the sleeping position (left and right). On the other hand, doctors may recommend helmet therapy for extreme cases.
Once baby’s umbilical cord comes off, you should encourage tummy time more to prevent flat head. Keep baby elevated in the rockers or bouncers during the day to avoid the flat head syndrome.
Moreover, after the first several weeks, whenever your baby is awake, try to keep her active outside a car seat, rockers, or bouncers. Let them stretch, roll, and have tummy time activities. Also, do not keep your baby strapped in a car seat for extended hours.
10. Not noticing Tongue-tie
A tissue which connects the tongue with a bottom of the mouth helps the tongue to extend out, so baby can latch properly. When a baby has a tongue-tie, she may have trouble latching on to the breasts to nurse due to tongue-tie. You must get this condition evaluated. If this does not resolve on its own, you may want to get a small procedure done at the doctor’s office to treat tongue-tied babies.
11. Ignoring yeast infection in the diaper area
Diaper rashes are common problem babies have who wear diapers. There are several reasons babies end up having diaper rash due to formula intolerance, milk issues, hot weather, and keeping baby in a soiled diaper for long hours. There are plenty of home remedies that help treat diaper rashes. For mild rashes, I highly recommend using A+D cream; this was a must when all other diaper creams failed.
Sometimes diaper rash is due to a yeast infection that has to be evaluated by the doctor. If it is a yeast infection, you need to use medicine for your baby to treat diaper rash.
12. Ignoring yeast infection in the mouth
If you notice white spots in babies mouth, inside the cheeks, on and around the tongue that may seem uncomfortable to you, immediately get it evaluated. Sometimes the same yeast infection (we discussed in #11) from diaper area travels to baby’s mouth and end up causing thrush.
Thrush can be mild or severe, so your doctor needs to prescribe medicine after evaluation. Make an appointment at your earliest to get it checked with your doctor.
13. Baby refusing two frequent feedings in a row
Babies have to eat every 2 to 3 hours for the first several weeks after birth. Suddenly, if your baby is skipping two frequent feedings in a row and does not seem interested in eating, then you should get her evaluated by the doctor. As a first-time parent, you have to pay attention to baby’s feedings and how frequent your baby is nursing. Baby should be getting the right amount of nutrition, so she does not get dehydrated.
14. Not paying attention to a baby throwing up
Just like you should be concerned about the baby feedings, the same way you have to be super careful if the baby is throwing up two or more frequent feedings in a row.
Spitting up is different than throw up, and spit-up is considered normal. However, if baby throws up more than twice for two or more consecutive feedings should never be ignored and has to be brought to a doctor’s attention immediately.
15. Not using the hat for the first few months of baby’s life
Do you know why newborn babies need hats?
Babies are born with a large head as compared to the rest of their bodies. That means babies lose a significant amount of heat from their heads and faster as compared to the lower part of the body. Having baby wear a hat for the first several months of baby’s life is essential.
Whenever you go out, be it summer or winter, do not forget to take baby’s hat with you. It is a must-have. You can find some cute baby hats here.
16. Worrying about Baby acne
Baby acne is a common issue with newborn babies. It is very likely for babies to get acne during the first few weeks. First-time parents should know that this baby acne goes away on its own. However, if you still want to apply something you can use breastmilk or else it will go away on its own.
17. Ignoring dryness on baby skin
Experts advise not to apply lotion for the first few weeks after birth. Although frequent bathing may dry out their soft skin. Being a first-time parent, you have to keep an eye on baby skin. If you see baby skin is getting dry or itchy, and you may notice your baby is scratching and getting uncomfortable then follow your parental instincts.
Keep baby skin moisturized with coconut oil or use fragrance-free lotion 4 to 6 weeks after birth.
For super itchy and scratchy skin, Curel itch defense lotion I would highly recommend. His skin got extremely dry for not moisturizing it after bathing. This lotion I have used for my son, and it worked.
18. Ignoring Fever if the baby is under three months of age
Fever in newborns can be serious. If a newborn baby gets the temperature under three months of age, no matter how minor it may seem, you have to discuss it with your pediatrician. Fever more than 100.4 degrees in babies need immediate medical attention.
19. Not feeding baby on-demand
Babies need to eat every two to three hours for the first several weeks of their life. However, this does not mean you do not feed if you notice hunger cues, and your baby may seem hungry within 1 to 2 hours.
Feeding on-demand help moms to establish a good milk supply sooner than later. Once babies regain their birth weight and start eating well during the day, you may stretch the time between feedings.
Parents are the best judge for babies; they know better and can follow their parental instincts. The first and most important thing about parenting is, not following every advice you get. You should be AWARE and act according to your circumstances and keeping your baby safe, your priority.
Starting baby food is an exciting part of parenting. The transition from only liquids to semi-solids could be challenging for some moms whereas, some babies may seem to enjoy solids more than liquids.
When to start solids with your baby
This is a very important question, every mom asks. It totally depends on your decision, your baby’s growth and your pediatrician suggestions.
Most of the pediatricians suggest not to start solids until your baby is six months old. For at least six months, babies should be breastfed or formula-fed.
For both of my kids, my pediatrics gave me a green signal for introducing semi-solids at about five months. Both of my kids are fed combination feed, breastmilk, and formula, so they enjoyed solids more as it would have them feel a lot fuller.
Formula feed is heavier than breastmilk. The formula-fed babies gain weight more quickly than breastfed babies, so chances are, they may need more nutrition as per their growth requirements.
Some signs of readiness, you may notice, are; your baby sits up and has full control over her neck. Baby’s weight is also one of the factors your pediatrician may consider to suggest starting solids.
What type of solids you can start
When you have to start solid, the question arises, what to start with.
Remember babies have a sensitive digestive system. Not every baby is going to have the same reaction (positive or negative) to a specific type of food.
Most likely, your pediatrician
would recommend you to start with rice cereal as it is light and easy to digest.
Gradually feed a small amount. Some babies would do really well as they enjoy the semi-textured food a lot while some may have trouble learning how to eat.
For babies, eating takes time. Since eating is a skill that your baby has to learn, and you have to be patient about it. Be prepared for all that mess because in the end, it’s all worth it.
How to prepare Rice cereal
I always prepared cereals in formula milk and for that, I followed these steps.
Boil water about 3 to 4 oz
Take 2 tbsp of cereal in a bowl and add just half a scoop of formula.
Add hot water in the bowl
and mix well.
If you are using hot water,
the cereal is going to rise well and it will be fluffier and less watery. It
will have a perfect consistency that cannot be achieved with cold water.
However, it is your choice if you want to use room temperature water or breastmilk.
Next, if you have used boiling water, I would suggest you keep it very thick and now add room temperature water to have the right consistency for your baby to eat.
Make sure it is not HOT for your baby to try. If it is hot, have it sit there for a while until it gets on the right temperature.
Also, you have to make sure
it is not very thick for just starting out phase.
In the beginning, you have to start with one food at a time and watch out for any signs of allergy or food reactions for at least a week. Once you see that your baby is getting better at eating semi-solids, you can introduce new foods slowly and gradually.
You do not need to add sugar or salt at this early stage as it is not recommended. Let your baby get familiar with what food tastes like not the spices.
What are the options as per your baby’s age
You can try fruits and vegetable purees according to how many months old your baby is.
Mashed or blended
Cooked apples softened and blended
Boiled carrots and blended
Squash boiled and blended
Spinach boiled and blended
When you are starting out and your baby is learning how to eat, you have to make her familiar with the taste of every fruit and vegetable you and your family eat to make it easy for you once she grows up.
Let it cook in water for some
time so that it gets soft and tender.
As per your baby’s age. Blend it if you want it to be super easy to eat. However, I would prefer it to be a little textured so that it would help babies get used to solid food more than semi-solid.
It is your choice to add salt
or any other spice you prefer. Although it is not suggested to give babies salt
or sugar at this stage.
Since, we as a family eat spicy food so as my personal preference, I prepared my babies food with a little bit of salt and black pepper to have them familiar with a taste.
What are the Choices with Oatmeal
You can add any type of
fruit or veggies you prefer in oatmeal to make it a one good size nutritious
meal for your baby.
Veggies you can add in oatmeal are;
a small portion of any leftover meal
Or any other fruit or veggies of your choice
If you are introducing meat, you may want to add in the oatmeal. I would highly recommend to chop it in the baby food blender or use a hand blender to avoid being too chunky as required by your baby’s age.
Meat forms you can gradually
introduce in your baby’s diet.
Boiled and shredded chicken (blended)
Any other meat of your choice (fully cooked and shredded)
No matter what you choose to feed your baby, you have to make sure that your baby is learning the art of eating and there are no allergic reactions before you proceed to any other food.
We as a family eat relatively spicy food. So whatever food I cooked, as long as I feel it is healthy for my daughter, I would add a little bit in her oatmeal to add more flavor to her food and made her more comfortable eating with what we eat on daily basis.
If it is chicken, mutton or beef, I would just add shredded cooked meat (sometimes washed due to extra spice) to her oatmeal.
Semolina is a nutritious food for babies but you should not start right away when your baby starts eating. Just weight your baby to be at least eight to nine months old.
How to make semolina pudding for babies
Take a tsp of butter in a pan, add semolina flour about a two tablespoon. Stir on medium heat, then add water about more than half a cup, and let it cook for some time. Semolina rise as it gets cooked.
It will get thicker as it simmers.
Adding a little bit of sugar is your own preference. However, you can add cardamom while cooking for flavor and easy digestion.
Next, add a little bit formula or breastmilk as per the required consistency. If you feel it is too grainy for your baby, you can blend it in the blender and keep it refrigerated for about four to five days.
Self-feeding / baby-led weaning
Keep baby eating pureed
form food or blended food for about 2 months 6 to 8 months. Then once you see
your baby is sitting up well and can swallow food well you may want to start
Try to teach your baby to
eat by herself. Most of you may think it is too early to think about that.
Well, as a mom you know
your baby the best, thus you would know when your child is ready to try finger
I have tried feeding finger
food to my second child, and I regret so much for not trying with my first one.
He just does not want to eat by himself. I have to feed him even he is 3 now, whereas
my daughter enjoys food by herself and tries everything.
This method really works, you
have to be over cautious with a risk of choking but your child would learn
The cons of self-feeding are it would be messier, risk of choking and for that, you have to be super cautious, but the pros are long term, and it would save you so much sanity. Remember, never leave your baby unattended.
Start with tiny bites and gradually increase the size of finger food bites to reduce the risk of choking.
Make sure the food is fully cooked.
What organic food options you can use for baby-led weaning
Introduce tiny bites of fruits and veggies, deseeded.
Boiled and Shredded chicken or any other meat
Cheerios or any other cereal
How to Contain the mess
The baby-led weaning process gets messier. However, there are ways you can contain the mess.
These silicone bibs are must-have for your baby as these are washable and easy to clean.
Important tips when starting solids
When you start solids, it is most likely your baby may get uncomfortable in her stomach as she may get used to different types of food.
Try not to introduce new food at dinner time. As it may get uncomfortable in your baby’s tummy and disturb sleep time.
Every new food you try should be at breakfast or lunchtime.
In the beginning, you may want to use gas relief drops at night to ease gas or stomach issues.
You have to make sure there are no allergic reactions to foods you are feeding your baby before you proceed on to the next one. Some babies are lactose intolerant, allergic to eggs or peanuts.
For stage 1 – 4 to 6 months or 6 to 7 months, it depends on when you want to start solids with your baby.
Start with a very soft and puree type food.
Stage 2 – (7 to 8 or 8 to 9 months ) You can slowly move on to a little bit of grainy food that does not have a choking risk. It may be in a thicker consistency. For instance, if you are feeding oatmeal to your baby, you might want to skip blending and try feeding a fully cooked oatmeal.
Stage 3 – (10 months or up ) Now you can move up to baby-led weaning. As a mom, you can decide whether your baby is ready to try tiny chunks of food. Cut any soft fruit like strawberries or bananas in super small size and offer just a few. Gradually you can transition with food choices once your baby masters the art of eating.
Transitioning from one type of food to another is very essential as your baby grows. If babies are fed on just pureed form of food, with time it would not be helpful in developing their chewing abilities and may weaken their muscles.
Things you need to start off with baby feeding solids
You need a learner sippy cup to teach them the art of sipping water or juice water down.
Hi -I am Madiha, mom to two beautiful kids. Here you can find helpful tips about pregnancy, postpartum, newborn care, toddlers and product reviews. Join the tribe and let’s grow together as moms. Enjoy having kids while they are still little and more fun.
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