New Parents Newsletter

Emilee Morales

Newborn Appearance

Many new parents may be expecting a cute and perfect looking baby when the baby is first born, but they may be surprised at how the baby may actually look!

During childbirth the baby's head is being pressed against the mother in the birth canal, so when they come out their face may be smashed in and their head may be cone shaped. The baby's skin might be covered in fine hare called lanugo. Likely to occur on their shoulders and back. Some babies are born with a white substance on their skin known as vernix caseosa, but it's nothing to worry about. It's just amniotic fluid!

Infant Bonding

There are simple things that parents can do to get close and bond with their baby's, but some parents may say, "Well what are some ways that I can bond with my baby?" Well here a few things new parents can do to bond with their newborn.

When the baby is first born, skin-to-skin contact is a very good way to bond with your baby because they feel the parents' warmth and they feel safe. If the mother can and wants to, breastfeeding is a great way for the baby to bond with their mother and although this can't include the father, bottle feeding can help with the father-baby bonding. Parents don't like to hear their baby crying and responding quick to the baby's discomfort will let him/her know that they can trust their parents and allow for bonding time.

Guidelines for Appropriate Toys

As a parent, the most expensive and cool-looking toys may be the ones you want to buy for your infant, but they need to be appropriate for their age and be safe. An appropriate toy includes these things:

- has tightly structured parts

- has a cord 12 inches or less

- is colorful

- is painted with non-toxic substances

- has rounded edges

Pros/Cons of Breastfeeding v. Bottle Feeding

The pros of breastfeeding are being able to get skin-to-skin contact, helps the baby build immunity, reduces the mother's chance of getting breast cancer, there is no cost, helps the mom lose the pregnancy weight and most of all it is the most natural milk a baby can get. There are the cons of breastfeeding as well, such as: it can be painful to the mom, it is time consuming, it could be socially unacceptable, the mother could be unaware of how much the baby is eating and the mom is the only one who can feed the baby.

The pros of bottle feeding are that the mom can make it anywhere, the baby's can participate in feedings, it doesn't hurt the mom, the amount the baby is consuming is made aware and it makes it easier for the mom to return to work. The cons of bottle feeding are that it isn't free, the baby has a greater chance of an allergic response, the baby my be more gassier, the formula must be mixed right and the bottles had to be sanitized correctly.

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First Foods and When They Should Be Introduced

At birth the baby should only be consuming either breast mike or formula. At about 4 weeks of age the infant can have fluoridated water. At around 3-4months is the time the baby can start having thin oatmeal or rice cereal. They can even have a mashed hard cooked egg yolk. At 4 months the baby can be introduced to puréed fruits and vegetables and at 6 months they can try puréed meats. At 7 months the baby can try breads and pastas and at about 1 year of age they can be introduced to adult food, such as strained vegetables or chopped meats.

SIDS Prevention and Crib Safety

SIDS stands for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome and unfortunately it does happen to a lot of babies. The definition of SIDS is : the sudden, unexplained death of an infant younger than one year of age. There are some preventative measures that can take place to prevent this from happening.

- always use a firm mattress with a fitted sheet

- don't use pillows, blankets, or crib bumpers in the sleeping area

- don't smoke around the baby

- dress baby in one piece sleeper

- always lay the baby down in their backs to sleep

- make sure noting is around the baby's head

Crib safety goes right along with SIDS prevention and there are ways to know and make sure that the crib your baby is sleeping in is the safest that it can be for your baby.

- make sure there are no gaps wider than 2 fingers between the sides of the crib and the mattress

- never place a crib near a window, especially one with curtain cords

- don't place any pillows or thick blankets in the crib

- all the screws are tightly fastened and no broken parts