Each stage of your child’s life is special. Infants and toddlers all the way up to adolescence there are developmental and social steps and stages. Learning about these and keeping track with them can help you guide your kids and help keep you involved. It is important that we take every step necessary to ensure that children grow up in environments where their social, emotional and educational needs are met.  Today’s blog will start with milestones concerning the end of the first month. It is important to remember that this information is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Diagnosis and treatment should be done only by your health care provider. For more information contact your local health department or physician.

Movement

  • Makes jerky, quivering arm thrusts
  • Brings hands within range of eyes and mouth
  • Moves head from side to side while lying on stomach
  • Head flops backward if unsupported
  • Keeps hands in tight fists
  • Strong reflex movements

Visual

  • Focuses 8 to 12 inches away
  • Eyes wander and occasionally cross
  • Prefers black-and-white or high-contrast patterns
  • Prefers the human face to all other patterns

Hearing

  • Hearing is fully mature
  • Recognizes some sounds
  • May turn toward familiar sounds and voices

Smell and Touch

  • Prefers sweet smells
  • Avoids bitter or acidic smells
  • Recognizes the scent of his own mother’s breast milk
  • Prefers soft to coarse sensations
  • Dislikes rough or abrupt handling

Developmental Health Watch

If, during the second, third or fourth weeks of your baby’s life, she/he shows any of the following signs of developmental delay, notify your pediatrician.

  • Sucks poorly and feeds slowly
  • Doesn’t blink when shown a bright light
  • Doesn’t focus and follow a nearby object moving side to side
  • Rarely moves arms and legs; seems stiff
  • Seems excessively loose in the limbs, or floppy
  • Lower jaw trembles constantly, even when not crying or excited
  • Doesn’t respond to loud sounds

Bathing BabyWhat to Know

  • It is not necessary to sponge or tub bathe your baby every day. Two to three times a week is fine.
  • The face, hands and diaper area should be washed every day.
  • Do not give a tub bath until the umbilical cord has fallen off.
  • Always make sure the room is warm and free of drafts.
  • Never leave a baby alone in the tub or on the counter top.
  • Use a rubber mat, non-skid stickers or bath towel on the bottom of the tub.
  • Water should be warm to the touch, neither too hot nor too cold. Test the water temperature with your elbow or inner wrist before placing the baby into the water.
  • Use fresh water and a clean washcloth and towel for each baby.
  • Clean the tub thoroughly with hot, soapy water after each use. Rinse well.
  • Remember that not all babies love a bath. Some babies will cry because they do not like to be undressed or even have their diaper changed. The crying is not due  to your inexperience. Try to keep most of your baby covered with a towel to avoid drafts.
  • Use bath time to stroke, cuddle and talk to your baby. It can be a special time for both of you.

 What to Do

Get all of your supplies ready and place them near the bathing area before you start:

 Plastic infant tub                               Rubbing alcohol  and cotton swabs  Washcloth                                         Large soft towel                                Baby brush/comb                              Baby shampoo                                 Change of clothing                            Diaper                                      Container for rinsing Rubber mat  Baby soap                                                    

Sponge Bath:

  • Leave your baby wrapped in a towel or blanket.
  • Use a soft washcloth to wash the face with plain warm water. Do not use soap on the face.
  • Clean the ears by using a corner of the washcloth and a finger. Never use a cotton-tipped swab in the ears.
  • Shampoo the hair by tucking the baby under your arm and supporting the head with one hand. Hold baby’s head over the warm water in the tub to wet the hair, apply a small amount of shampoo and gently wash and massage the baby’s scalp with your fingers or a soft brush. Rinse well with clean, warm water and dry with a soft towel.
  • You can wash the soft spot on top of the baby’s head without hurting the baby.
  • Next,  unwrap or undress the baby.
  • Wet  the  baby’s  body with your  hand or soft, wet washcloth.
  • Gently wash or massage the baby by starting at the  neck and working down the chest, arms, torso and top of the legs.
  • Turn the baby to each side and rub the baby’s back and down the back of the legs.
  • Wash the diaper area last.
  • Gently wash and rinse all the skin creases and folds.
  • Rinse the baby’s skin with warm water, using your hands or washcloth and keeping the cord and circumcision dry until healed.
  • Gently blot the baby dry with a clean, soft towel.
  • Apply rubbing alcohol to the cord if recommended by your health care provider.
  • Diaper and dress the baby.
  • Brush the baby’s hair.

Tub Bath:

Fill the baby bathtub one-third to one- half full of water (body temperature warmth). Test the water with your elbow or inner wrist.

  • Use a rubber mat, non-skid stickers or bath towel on the bottom of the tub.
  • Lay a folded towel on the counter next to the tub so the baby can be dried off comfortably.
  • Wash the baby’s face and hair as explained in the sponge bath section.
  • Next, unwrap or undress the baby.
  • Cradle your baby in your arms and then gently place the baby in the tub, supporting the baby with your hand. Never let go of the baby in the tub!
  • Using the hand that is not supporting the baby, lather the baby’s entire body with mild soap, making sure to wash all wrinkles and creases.
  • For male babies, clean around the penis and scrotum. It is not necessary to pull back the foreskin.
  • For female babies, clean between the  folds (labia) from front to back.
  • Rinse the baby’s body thoroughly with clean, warm water.
  • Take the baby out of the tub, wrap in a clean towel, and pat completely dry.
  • Diaper and dress the baby.
  • Brush the baby’s hair.

        Many parents-to-be enjoy putting together their baby’s layette. This is the clothing and supplies your baby will need in the months ahead. There are countless baby items, and every gadget comes in different shapes, sizes, and brands. So, it can be hard to know what items you will really need or use.

        The list that follows will give you some ideas about what you might need and want. Ask mothers you know about what items they couldn’t live without and brands they liked. Also, keep in mind that the cost of brand-new baby gear can add up. Many new parents keep costs down by borrowing clothes and gear or shopping at consignment stores.

        Safety is also an important factor when shopping for supplies. Some products may pose a risk to your baby if safety guidelines are not followed. And used products are more likely than new items to be dangerous. The web sites listed in the resources section can help you to choose a safe car seat, crib, clothing, stroller, and other items.

        If you are overwhelmed by the number of baby products out there, just remember this: Your baby really only needs food, shelter, and you.

What Your Baby Will Need at the Hospital
  • Undershirt
  • An outfit such as a stretch suit, nightgown, or sweater set
  • A pair of socks or booties
  • Receiving blanket, cap and heavier blanket or bunting, if the weather is cold
  • Diapers and wipes (some hospitals provide an initial supply of these)
  • Infant car seat – Most hospitals will not discharge the baby unless the car seat is checked for safety and correct installation.
Things You’ll Need to Transport Your Baby
  • Car seat – A proper car seat is the best way to protect your baby on the road. Buying a new seat is best, so that you can be sure the seat is safe and in good condition.
  • Stroller
  • Soft carrier, sling, or backpack
  • Diaper bag – since this is something you will be carrying around for about three years, choose one that is comfortable and durable for you.
Items For Your Baby’s Room
  • Crib and crib linens – Most brand new cribs and mattresses purchased in the United States are safe. If you are planning to use a used crib, make sure it conforms to the current government safety standards.
  • Play pen or portable crib
  • Changing table
  • Dresser
  • Glider or rocking chair
  • Clothes hamper
  • Baby monitor
  • Night light/soft lighting
Infant Care Items
  • Diapers or cloth diapers – you can get a couple of different brands of diapers so you can test them out and choose your favorite.
  • Receiving blankets
  • Clothing
  • Breast pump (if you plan to breastfeed)
  • Bottles – be sure to get the correct size of nipples, such as preemie, or newborn.
  • Rectal or digital ear thermometer
  • Bathtub
  • Washcloths and baby wipes
  • Diaper rash ointment and/or petroleum jelly
  • Hooded towels
  • Diaper disposal system – good to have, but not necessary.
  • Burp cloths and waterproof lap pads
  • Bulb syringe – for suctioning baby’s nasal passages if necessary. Your baby’s doctor will tell you if, when, and how to do this.
  • Baby nail clippers/scissors manicure set
Things You’ll Need as Your Baby Gets Older
  • Outlet covers, cabinet locks, and other items to “childproof” your home
  • Toys
  • Books
  • High chair
  • Gates
Resources

Organizations

  1.   U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission