Bathing is an excellent time for your baby to relax. A couple of baths a week is generally all that is needed. Bathing your baby every day will dry out his skin because it eliminates many natural oils.
Use a free-standing tub with a nonslip area for baby’s back that is comfortable for your baby. Do not fill it with more than two or three inches of plain, warm water (not hot nor cold) and avoid soaps. Keep one hand on the baby and use a soft cloth to wash your baby with plain water and just a drop of mild baby wash.
Bath time for your baby is not only fun, but can also stimulate development. For instance, as your baby listens to you talk, he is also picking up speech patterns.
It may sound gross, but earwax is important in keeping the ear clean and healthy. Earwax is a substance that keeps dirt and foreign objects out of your infant’s ear. To clean your infant’s ear, never use a cotton swab or insert anything into the ear canal. Your baby’s middle ear is very short, and you could puncture the eardrum. Use a damp washcloth to clean the outside of the ear if you see wax buildup.
Your baby's hearing:
One to three months:
Your baby is born with fully developed hearing at birth.
Your baby will begin to recognize and hear voices and respond to where the voice is coming from.
Your baby will begin to coo and imitate high-pitched sounds and vowel sounds.
Four to six months:
Your baby will start to focus more on familiar voices and try to imitate sounds and words he hears. It is important to talk to your baby all the time and engage in two-way conversation when he babbles.
Seven to nine months:
Your baby begins to respond to familiar words and sounds, such as his name or the word “no.” His attention span is becoming more focused, and he begins to follow and search for familiar sounds and voices.
Ten to twelve months:
Your baby is beginning to make connections with the words and sounds he hears. He assigns simple words to objects such as ball, mama, etc. He points to familiar words or objects around him. When engaging in sign language with your baby, mouth the word you are signing
Did you know your baby should have his first eye exam before he can walk? However, most children do not have an eye exam until they have reached the age of five. During your baby’s first eye exam at preferably six months of age your pediatrician will simply check the basic working order (eye movement ability) and structure of his eyes to make sure everything is developing well. Your doctor will focus on your baby’s eye movements and reaction to light or familiar objects. If your baby has clogged tear ducts, consult your pediatrician.
Your baby’s eyes are very delicate and sensitive. To clean your infant’s eyes, use water and a soft cloth or cotton ball and wipe from the inside to the outside corners of the eyes. Make sure to wash your hands and use a different cotton ball or washcloth for each eye.
Taking photographs of your baby is so much fun. Have you ever wondered if the use of flash when taking photographs can cause harm to your baby’s eyes?
No one can say for certain that a flash does or does not cause much harm; however, there are ways of taking a picture of your baby that do not require using the f lash, and this is the safest way to get a picture of your little one. Take pictures in shady places and from directions that diffuse the light; you will get a better picture than one taken with one source of light (the flash) anyway.
Your baby's eyesight:
One to three months:
Your baby can focus on objects 8–12 inches from his face and can track movement with his eyes. You can help build your baby’s eye muscles by locking eyes with him and moving from side to side as he follows your gaze. He smiles as a response to seeing something familiar and begins to imitate gestures such as sticking out his tongue, licking his lips, spitting, and opening his mouth.
Your baby can see color but not different tints and tones of colors. He focuses on primary colors and black and white. Toys that are black and white with detailed designs or primary colors are best to buy for him at this age.
Four to six months:
Your baby can track objects as they move across the room. Infants begin to develop depth perception and understand that things exist even when they are not there. Peek-a-boo and toys that move in and out of view are great at this. Your baby will start watching your mouth more and try to imitate the movements and sounds you make. His babbling will become more complex and include many “m” and “b” sounds.
Seven to nine months:
Your baby begins to respond to and imitate people’s expressions and emotions.
Your baby’s vision has developed to the point of being almost the same as an adult’s, and he can see things farther away.
Your baby will recognize familiar people and objects, causing him to have heightened stranger anxiety when there are new people around or when he is in a new environment.
Ten to twelve months:
Babies can now judge distances fairly well and throw things with precision. Your baby will start testing depth perception through cause and effect by dropping things from the table or throwing them to see how far they will go.
With babies come a lot of mucus and drool.
Mucus serves a number of purposes. Mucus is a coating that both keeps germs from being ingested by your infant and acts as a thin layer of moisture that prevents tissues underneath from drying out.
However, it is important to keep track of your baby’s comfort level and help her when she has too much mucus. When your child has a cold or allergies or there are drastic seasonal changes, your infant may produce more mucus as a response to the dry weather or to f lush out more germs.
Avoid a nasal spray unless your doctor recommends one, and make sure the only nasal spray you use is a saline solution. Use a bulb syringe to help your baby “blow her nose” by sucking out excess mucus since she cannot do it herself.
Steaming in the bathroom as well as cool-air humidifiers are great ways to soften the mucus in your infant’s nose before cleaning it. You can also raise the crib mattress so the baby’s head is slightly elevated during sleep; however, never put a pillow or blanket under your infant’s head when sleeping as it can cause suffocation; put an object under the mat tress itself to elevate one end.
How to use bulb syringe with your baby
1. Squeeze the air out from the syringe and ensure that a vacuum is created.
2. Place your baby on the bed or changing table with her face toward you. Slightly tilt his chin.
3. Gently place the rubber tip of the bulb syringe in one of her nostrils and gently release the bulb to suction out the mucus.
4. Remove the syringe and make sure that the mucus is taken out in a tissue by squeezing the bulb with force.
5. Repeat the same process with the other nostril after cleaning the bulb syringe by wiping it.
6. Clean the inside of the bulb syringe using soapy water that can be filled in by squeezing and squeezed out.
Average timeline of infant teeth developing:
6–10 months: lower bottom two teeth
8–12 months: top two teeth
9–13 months: top lateral incisors
10–16 months: two lower lateral incisors
Your baby will get her first teeth between four and seven months old, though some children wait as late as 12 months or so to sprout their first tooth. The front bottom teeth are the first to appear, and the last teeth to appear are the molars.
All babies are different, and their teeth emerge at different times and affect them differently. Teething can be painful and can cause irritability and fussiness. You will notice her drooling more because her gums are very sensitive and swollen. Drooling can cause face rashes due to irritation from the constant moisture.
Discomfort in her mouth can cause your infant to refuse food and change her sleep patterns. Diarrhea or fevers (about 100.4° F) are not uncommon when your infant is teething. Talk to your doctor about teething gels or medication to help your baby with the pain. Chewing cloths, refrigerated teethers, or cold food (if your baby is old enough) can also help with the pain.
If your teething baby is uncomfortable during teething, keep things cool!
Chill your baby’s spoon, teething ring, or sippy cup by put ting it in the fridge for a few hours. The coolness will help reduce tenderness in the gums.