We know that the idea of taking your baby to the beach for the first time can be exciting as well as intimidating.
A baby’s first time at the beach is a complete experience. Being well prepared will make it an unforgettable time.
In this article, you will find tips and tricks that will help you prepare for your trip, as well as what to expect of it.
Sand is good- but not too much
Sand can be a positive experience for you baby. It will introduce new textures and stimulate your baby’s sense of touch, but beware, sand can get in your baby’s eyes and mouth and even irritate her skin. To prevent this, make sure you take a large towel or blanket and place it on the sand. Let your baby stay on the center of it with some toys ir snacks, this way, she will be away from the edge and less exposed to sand.
If you let her play on the sand, keep an eye on her to make sure she doesn’t eat or rub the sand on her face. If sand goes in her mouth, rinse carefully with water and use your fingers to try to get out as much as possible. If sand gets in your baby’s eyes, rinse with water, but never rub or let her rub them since this may cause more harm.
Whether it’s play or companionship, pets bring their owners’ plenty of joy. But did you know that the benefits go beyond cuddling and fun? A new study showed that having pets in the household can protect babies from allergies and obesity!
At first, it may seem counteractive as most parents want to keep their children away from furry pets such as dogs and cats due to allergies and sneezing. However, a research conducted by the University of Washington Department of Pediatrics found the opposite to be true.
Contact with dogs early on, especially around the time of birth, can help the child’s immune development and reduce the likelihood of certain allergic diseases. In addition, a recent study by the University of Alberta showed that babies from families with pets – 70% of which were dogs — showed higher levels of two types of microbes (Ruminococcus and Oscillospira) associated with lower risks of allergic disease and obesity.
As a matter of fact, the beneficial exposure can even be transferred to babieswhoarestillinthewomb. Yes, you read correctly – moms can reap the benefits while being pregnant! The presence of a pet in the household during the mom’s pregnancy can grant microbial advantages to the unborn baby’s gut microbiome.
Fresh air, nature and a whole lot of family bonding.
A camping trip can be a rewarding experience for the whole family, however taking your little one will mean you must plan ahead in order to have a successful and enjoyable trip. The location of the trip will determine the preparations you must make to ensure a pleasurable experience.
Going camping in the woods will be wildly different from a trip up a mountain or a campsite near the beach. Regardless of the place, body temperature regulation in babies isn’t fully developed which is why your little one will need protection from the elements of nature. You need to make sure your child isn’t too warm or too cold, and the best way to do this is with the appropriate layers of clothing. Babies can lose body heat very quickly, possibly 4 times faster than an adult can. Inversely, they can also experience overheating if not careful.
No matter how careful you are, it might happen one day. You look away for a split second, and your baby can roll off the couch, bed or changing table onto the floor. It’s easy to feel like the worst parent ever. However, you are not alone, each year in the United States alone, 2.8 million children head to the emergency room for injuries related to a fall.
So if your baby falls, remain calm. Most of the falls are not serious, but you should learn about warning signs and what to do when it happens.
Since your baby acquired more mobility, everything around him is a new world to be explored. Your little one will move quickly towards objects that attract his attention, not always safe ones. Your little one will begin to stand up with the support of a small table or a chair; and naturally, small stumbles and falls will increase during this period. Don’t worry, the distance between your baby and the floor is quite small.
When babies fall, they tend to turn to see your reaction before deciding on their own. Little ones constantly seek the guidance of adults whom they trust before proceeding with new experiences. With this in mind, you can help your baby understand that a little stumble should not keep him from exploring his environment. If despite your calm reaction your little one cries, don’t hesitate to comfort him and offer words of encouragement so he can learn that despite facing a small setback, he should keep going.
Now, despite knowing that falls are very common, don’t forget to baby-proof your home. Remember:
• Don’t leave objects on tables at your baby’s reach, especially glass decorations.
• Cover table corners.
• Place handrails on stairs.
• Keep any cleaning item and medicine out of reach.
• Don’t have loose cables laying around.
• Make sure that no small object is on the floor, it will end up in his mouth.
• Close bathroom doors and kitchen access.
• Cover all electrical outlets, children love them.
• Always be attentive to your baby and never leave him alone.
• Finally, crawl around the room, see the place at your baby’s point of view and verifying that you have not forgotten anything.
Now your baby is ready to explore freely, and learn that a small stumble shouldn’t stop him. Happy explorations!
If you have decided to return to work, you’re probably looking for a good daycare for your baby. Here are a few pointers to look out for to help you find the most suitable one for both of you.
• If location is something that’s important for you, look for a daycare close to your house or workplace.
• Investigate the daycares that get your attention and make sure they have a good reputation. Schedule a visit to each of them and try to talk to the parents of children attending the center.
• Make sure that the mood is warm and friendly and that employees are trained as infant caregivers. Make sure they are loving and affectionate with your little one. Also, check to see if there’s one caregiver for every 3-4 infants and 4-6 caregivers for older children.
• Verify that the daycare is organized and has a suitable administration. It should have established opening and closing hours but be flexible about the time you drop-off and pick up your baby.
• Ask about their first aid and emergency procedures. Do they have a separate nursery room for kids that may have some kind of contagious bug, like the flu?
• Review their naps and meals schedule, analyzing whether they are suitable for your child.
• Ask about diaper changes, it’s important that little ones be changed often to avoid rashes.
• What activities do they carry out during the day? They should be stimulating and developmentally appropriate for your little one.
• Make sure that the environment is safe and suitable for your baby.
• Ask if and how you can be in constant communication with the daycare and if they provide and are willing to listen to feedback.
• Make sure that children receive proper care and personalized attention, and that the caregivers are constantly talking to them.
• When visiting the daycare, notice if children are occupied and happy in general.
• The daycare’s cleanliness is essential; check the facility’s conditions and feel free to ask any questions. Likewise, make sure that caregivers wash their hands before and after every diaper change and meal.
• Check their cribs and verify that their surface is firm and that the children sleep on their backs. This will help reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome.
• Make sure that if there is a television in the daycare, it has little or no use.
• The atmosphere should be positive and cheerful; the greatest interest should be the welfare of children.
• Finally, make sure that the daycare you are interested in has the appropriate credentials and licenses to operate.
Keep these pointers in mind each time you visit a daycare, adding any other requirements that are essential for you. It is very important to take the time to choose a daycare and ask the necessary questions before arriving at your final decision. Your baby will spend a lot of time there, so you want it to be a high-quality place for care and stimulation. Listen to your instinct and don’t accept something you don’t feel sure about.
If your baby is starting to walk, or shows signs that he is about to take his first steps, you might be wondering if he needs special shoes. During this stage, your little one doesn’t need to wear shoes. Now, of course you can choose to put on shoes so that he looks cute, to keep his feet warm, or to protect them from rough or dangerous surfaces. But shoes are not necessary to learn to walk or to strengthen his feet.
When children learn to walk indoors on a flat, safe surface, they don’t need shoes; in fact, it is beneficial for your baby to learn to walk barefoot. Walking this way, helps him strengthen his muscles and lets him move his toes freely. Although he might appear as if he doesn’t have enough support, or his feet are flat, this is completely normal for his age. Moreover, wearing shoes won’t help your baby walk better.
What if he can’t be barefoot?
If you live in a cold environment and you want to protect your child from cold surfaces, buy shoes which meet with the following requirements:
• Have no cushioned insole.
• Have a wide, round end that leaves enough space for his toes to to move.
• The inner lining has no seams and allows perspiration.
We know that sometimes, it can feel as if your pet was your first “baby”. Loyal and lovable, pets bring a lot of joy to a family. Here are a few tips to help create a harmonious relationship between your pet and your baby, and prevent accidents along the way.
Sometimes, dogs that have been living with a family for a long time can be jealous or distrustful when a new member arrives. This can sometimes lead to aggressions. So try to be alert to signs including jumping at you, demanding your attention more than usual, or barking to your little one when you are with him.
How can I prevent aggressive reactions?
• If your pet is a dog, train him. Although you might think training is unnecessary, it will make him more stable, predictable, and less likely to hurt your child.
• If you have the chance, show your pet one of your baby’s used garments so that he can smell it. Do this before he gets to know him, so he can get used to his smell.
• Pets are unpredictable and our little ones can be spontaneous too. Therefore, always be present and alert when your pet and your baby are in the same room together.
• Get your pet involved when you are with your little one, be affectionate towards him/her while you take care of your baby.
• If you notice any aggression against your little one, reprimand your pet immediately.
• If you have a cat, put a net over your baby’s crib to avoid unsupervised visits.
Now, it’s not only necessary to worry about security as far as accidents can go, you also have to take care of hygiene to keep your baby healthy.
• Make sure your pet has been dewormed. Some parasites can be passed from pets to babies, make sure your pet has been vaccinated and is 100% healthy.
• Keep your pet clean. Watch out for fleas and ticks, as these can come in contact with your child’s skin.
• If your pet bites your little one, only scraping his skin, you can treat the manageable wound at home. Wash the cut very well under cold water and cover it with a bandage, check it the following day to see there is any signs of infection.
• If the wound is deep, wash it the same way but take your child to your doctor immediately or to medical emergencies.
Pets can bring joy to a home. If you achieve a good bond between your little one and your pet, it’s wonderful and quite beneficial! Experts say that young children living with pets develop an excellent immune system, believed to be due to exposure to pet dandruff and some of the microbes that the dogs carry in from the outside. There’s really nothing to worry about, as long as you’re always monitoring your baby when your pet is present and looking after your pet’s health. If you are just about to buy a dog, avoid buying a big one, as well as one bred to be fighter or hunting dog. Instead it’s best to read many dog guides and choose one that is recommended for young children. Do the same with cats and choose one that can best live with infants and children.
Generally, your baby will be at a comfortable temperature wearing one additional layer of clothing than you have on. However, every baby is different. Therefore, it’s important to check if your baby is comfortable: touch his neck, back, or chest to do so. His hands and feet are not a good indicator of his body temperature because his circulatory system has not finished developing and blood circulates more in the central organs than in the extremities. If you notice your baby is sweating or his skin feels hot, remove a layer of clothing. Check his temperature a few minutes later to see if he is cooler. On the other hand, if you feel your baby cold is when you touch him, add a layer of clothing. It’s best to dress your little one with more thin layers than very thick clothes. Not only is it more comfortable, it also helps to maintain his body heat isolated!
If you go out, take changes of your baby’s clothes and extra layers with you. It’s also a good idea to travel with a blanket so that if the temperature drops or you are in a very cold air-conditioned place, you can cover your baby. Checking your baby’s body temperature is very important because getting too hot or cold might put him at risk. Likewise, try to keep the temperature in his room at 68 – 72 degrees Fahrenheit during the day and 61 – 68 degrees at night. According to pediatricians, this temperature protects the skin and respiratory track. Temperature recommendations may vary, so it’s good to check with your doctor as he may have a different opinion. It is also important that air conditioning isn’t directed at your baby. Don’t cover your little one excessively at bedtime, dress him in a pajama that covers his arms and feet, and avoid using loose blankets or loose sheets on the mattress; this puts him at risk for SIDS.
We all know that spending an afternoon out in the sun without sunscreen is not a good idea. Getting sunburned is very painful and uncomfortable, and it causes skin damage. If this is the damage we suffer, imagine the impact on a baby! A baby getting sunburned is quite different from an adult. The same exposure to the sun is much more serious for babies than for adults. It can cause dehydration, fever, blisters, heat stroke, and even become a medical emergency.
Your baby’s skin is highly sensitive, thin, and contains very little melanin (skin pigment that protects from the sun). For this reason, it gets sunburned very fast, and even if it doesn’t become a medical emergency, sunburn can cause permanent damage. As parents, it is very important to take proper measures to protect your baby from the sun. Here are a few tips to keep him safe:
Basic tips for sun safety:
When you go out:
• Avoid direct sunlight when your baby is less than 6 months old.
• Dress him in light clothing that covers his arms and legs. Choose bright colors and tightly woven fabrics, so the sunrays can’t penetrate.
• Use a hat that protects his face, neck, and ears.
• Try to walk in the shadows as much as possible.
• Use a stroller with sunshade.
• Avoid going out between 10 am and 4 pm, hours when the sun is at its strongest.
• If you go out to have lunch, try to eat inside. If you can’t, look for the shade of umbrellas or trees.
• Don’t be fooled by cloudy days, despite not seeing the sun, the UVB / UVA rays will still burn your baby.
Riding in the car:
• Place your baby’s car seat in the middle of the car to keep your baby away from sunny windows.
• If possible, place sun-blocking panels on your windows; these help reduce the entry of ultraviolet rays.
Should I apply sunscreen or not?
This question has created a lot of debate among experts. On one hand the FDA (US Food and Drug Administration) and the Skin Cancer Foundation don’t recommend applying sunscreen to infants younger than 6 months. On the other hand, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends applying special baby sunscreen in small areas of exposed skin, like the hands and face.
If you decide to apply sunscreen on exposed areas follow these recommendations:
• Use sunscreen made specifically for babies, containing zinc oxide or titanium dioxide. These types of sunscreen protect the skin against UVB and UVA rays. Also, they are not absorbed by the skin as other products.
• First apply sunscreen on a small area to test skin reactions.