Dressing and undressing your baby is a great moment to bond, interact, and maybe even play a game of Peek-a-boo. It might seem a difficult task at first, but you’ll see that with time and practice you’ll be an expert clothes-changer.
First, make sure that your little one’s clothing is clean, comfortable, and suitable for her age. Prepare the change of clothes and place your little one on a flat, safe surface, like the changing table, bed, or couch. Don’t forget to keep your eyes on her at all times.
How do I dress my baby?
Lay your baby on her back on a flat surface.
Take the garment you want to put on and scrunch it up from bottom to top, like an accordion. Lift your baby a bit and hold her head gently. Stretch the cloth from the neckline and gently pass it over your little one’s head, avoiding her face.
Repeat the same accordion technique now for the sleeves. Start with one side, passing her hand through the opening and carefully bringing the sleeve down your child’s arm. Repeat this with the other arm.
Adjust the clothes on her body and fasten the buttons or clasps.
Repeat the same steps for every layer of clothing. If you put on pants, use the same accordion technique for each leg.
Finally, don’t forget her little socks.
How do I undress my baby?
Lay her on her back.
Take off her clothes one layer at a time, so she doesn’t get cold.
If your little one wears pants, begin from there. Unbutton and gently slide them down.
Hold your little one’s head while you take off her shirt or onesie, one arm at a time.
Then, bring the garment towards her neck, gently stretch the piece of clothing and pass your little one’s head through the opening, avoiding touching her face.
If you need to remove a romper, unzip or unbutton it and carefully lift your little one to gently slide the romper off, one arm and one leg at a time.
Remember that it takes several attempts to master this skill. Eventually, you’ll learn the best way to dress and undress your baby; one way that’s easy for you and comfortable for your little one.
Bathtime is a great way to transition from day to night. Doing it at the same time each day will help teach your baby that bedtime will soon come. Likewise, bathtime should be a quiet and relaxing time that slows the pace from the day’s activity and prepares your child for sleep. Below are some tips and steps you can take to successfully bathe your little one:
• Choose where you will bathe your baby. It can be in the kitchen sink, the bathroom sink, or in a portable bath tub placed on a flat and safe surface. It’s best to choose a place that allows you to be in a comfortable position and at the height of your little one, this way you can provide greater security. If you choose the sink, be sure it’s large enough so your baby doesn’t get hurt. Similarly, be sure it’s very clean to avoid contaminating or irritating your child’s skin.
• Pour 5 centimeters of water in the portable tub or sink at a warm and pleasant temperature. Use your elbow to check the temperature and modify accordingly. If the water is too hot it can burn your baby’s skin; be careful that it does not exceed 40 degrees Celsius (100 F).
• Meanwhile, prepare the things you’ll need and place them near you:
During your baby’s first weeks of life, when he still has his umbilical cord stump attached, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends bathing your baby with a sponge bath. To learn how to proceed, follow these instructions and you’ll be an expert in no time:
Make sure the room where you’ll bathe your baby is at a comfortable temperature.
Prepare all the necessary materials: basin with warm water, gentle baby soap and shampoo (optional), a delicate wash cloth, cotton balls, a soft towel with a hoodie, a new diaper, and clean clothing.
Before you begin, gently narrate every step you take to help keep your baby calm during his bath.
Undress your baby, but leave the diaper on, wrap him with the towel, and lay him over a safe surface.
Head: dampen his hair and add a bit of soap or baby shampoo. Softly massage the scalp and rinse thoroughly, being careful not to expose his eyes to soap.
Face: take a cotton ball, dip it in clean water and softly wipe one of your baby’s eyes from the tear duct out. Then, grab a new cotton ball and do the same with the other eye. For the rest of the face, take the wash cloth and delicately clean it starting with the nose mouth and chin all the way out to the ears.
Neck and chest: Take the wash cloth, water and a bit of soap and clean the neck and chest making sure to thoroughly clean the folds and creases.
Abdomen: gently wash your baby’s abdomen with the wash cloth. When you reach the umbilical cord stump, switch to a damp cotton ball free of soap, gently clean the stump and let air dry completely.
Arms: wipe one arm at a time and be sure to clean each hand with soap.
Back: place your baby on his belly making sure his cheek lies comfortably on the surface. With the damp cloth softly clean his back.
Legs: clean each leg with soap and cloth making sure not to forget the area behind the knees and between each fold. If your baby moves his legs, don’t worry, gently talk to him.
Diaper area: take a cotton ball and clean the area without soap. If your baby is a girl make sure to wipe from front to back. If your baby is a boy, clean between folds, the scrotum and penis without moving the foreskin (skin at the tip of the penis) back. If your child is circumcised follow your doctor’s specific instructions.
All done! Your baby is nice and clean, make sure his whole body is completely dry. To do this gently pat him dry with the towel. Place a new diaper and clean clothes on your baby’s body and continue with your daily routine.
Remember, babies do not need to be bathed daily. Talk to your pediatrician about bathtime and ask him or her about soap and shampoo use.
Cuts and scrapes in young children are fairly common. If your little one falls down and cuts himself there is no need to panic. Most cuts are superficial and minimally harm the outer layer of skin. When this occurs a hug, kiss, and proper cleanliness of the affected area with soap and water, is the best way to console your toddler.
In some cases, a fall or sharp object might provoke a deeper cut. If this occurs, remember to stay calm. The following tips will help you care for the cut properly while identifying if there is need to contact your doctor or go to the emergency room.
What to do?
Apply pressure to the affected area to stop the bleeding. Certain body parts are more prone to bleed (for example, the head) and require applying pressure for 10 minutes.
After applying pressure, thoroughly wash the cut with soap and warm water.
If you consider it necessary, apply an antibiotic cream recommended by your doctor to the cut.
Cover the cut/scratch with an adhesive bandage or gauze if needed.
If the wound is large or gets dirty, clean it every day, apply ointment and cover with a new bandage/gauze.
When a scar forms, leave it to heal without cover.
Until your baby is not up and moving around the whole house, a daily bath is not necessary. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends bathing your baby about 3 times a week during the first year of life, to prevent dry skin. Our little ones have very delicate skin that’s lubricated for their protection. However, around the world many cultures have the custom of daily bathing. Every parent knows how much his little one sweats or gets dirty, so it’s best to decide bathing schedules according to their instincts and their doctor’s recommendations. In some cases, pediatricians will suggest that you bathe your baby every day, especially if the weather is very humid or hot.
Now, whether you decide to bathe your baby every day or not, you must always make sure to keep the diaper area clean after each change. Likewise, you must take extra care of the neck area and all body folds; these areas sweat, and dirt and lint accumulate in them. Pass a damp cotton cloth through his folds to ensure that you have a clean and happy baby!
Bath time is a pleasant and relaxing time for your baby; its purpose is not only hygienic. The bath is an excellent start to a bedtime routine! Try to make it a quiet time without concerns, it will help your baby eventually recognize that it is almost time to go to sleep. Just remember not to bathe your baby just before or after eating because, on one hand, a hungry baby is less likely to cooperate, and, on the other, the movement can cause reflux. Finally, a bath should be a time of relaxation and tenderness; don’t forget to give him a lot of love. It is very common for your baby to cry or show resistance to water the first few times, since it is something very new. Make sure you offer support, love, and a sense of security to make the process less upsetting.
At first, baths will be uncomfortable for your baby. You take off his clothes so he feels cold, and then you get him wet without his permission! This can scare or startle him, causing an uproar. It doesn’t always have to be so, if we strive to make bath time as comfortable, relaxing, and fun as possible, our children will learn to enjoy it.
To help our children adapt to bath time, we must be calm and confident ourselves. It might be something very new for you too and it can be a bit nerve-wracking, but remember that babies perceive emotions, so take a deep breath and empathize with your little one! You’ll soon see that bath time is a perfect opportunity to build affectionate bonds. Furthermore, studies have shown that our baby’s bath can relax us as well! During the first months, babies are too young to play, but they never get tired of our affection. With this in mind, you can do the following to make bath time an enjoyable, fun experience for you and your baby:
Sing to your child while you bathe him. He will surely love it and it will increase his musical and language skills!
Talk and guide him through the process. You can tell him a story or simply talk to him about what you’re doing. Use baby talk, children like it a lot and benefit from its intonations!
Continue to stimulate your baby’s language by naming each body part while you clean it. You can use funny voices to make it more interesting. Don’t forget to show a lot of affection!
Finally, try to bathe your little one at the same time every day so that he begins to get used to a routine and anticipate it.
As your child grows, he will gain skills that will allow him to be more independent. At this stage, each new learning experience is crucial because it helps him adapt to the world that surrounds him. After around their first birthday, children start acquiring new skills that allow them to rely a little bit more on themselves. Around 24 months, some of these skills involve beginning to dress themselves. Every child develops at their own pace, so some children may start earlier, and others later. Most children acquire this and more personal care milestones by the time they’re four years old.
Once your little one turns two, it’s a good time to start teaching him how to dress himself. This is a challenging task and it will take a while until your little one can get dressed alone, but he will gradually dominate this task, improving with practice. This is an exciting time for your little one, as getting dressed like mom and dad do gives him a sense of autonomy. It doesn’t matter if he just puts on one little piece of clothing, always remember to praise him; it’s a big deal for him! Likewise, don’t be surprised if your little one puts on his shoes the wrong way, it’s all part of the learning process. Start teaching him how to dress himself as soon as possible, always looking for signs of interest and initiative.
The best clothes to learn to get dressed are:
Pants with an elastic waist
Velcro on clothes instead of buttons or ties
Shirts with a wide neck and illustrations in front so he can easily identify which way to wear it.
Despite the fact that children’s teeth are not permanent and that they’re going to fall off eventually, it is very important to take care of them since they first appear. Your baby’s teeth will form his mouth, help him chew well, and speak clearly.
Teeth normally appear starting with the first two lower front teeth. The first tooth may come out between your baby’s 6th and 10th month, and as soon it appears, it requires special attention and care. You may be wondering if you need to take your baby to the dentist since the appearance of his first tooth. Experts have many different opinions about this; however, they agree that before he’s one year old, your baby must have his first visit. With this in mind, you can decide to take precautions at home before taking your baby to the dentist.
How do I care for my baby’s teeth at home?
When the first tooth appears, buy a toothbrush for babies, making sure the bristles are extra soft.
To wash his teeth, use a pinch of fluoride toothpaste, no bigger than a grain of rice.
Gently pass the toothbrush through your child’s mouth, cleaning his small teeth very well.
Don’t worry about rinsing his mouth, just make sure that you use very little toothpaste and it won’t be a problem.
Brush his teeth twice a day, once in the morning after breakfast and once in the evening after dinner or his night feeding.
Finally, don’t let your baby sleep with a bottle of milk or juice in his crib; this can lead to many cavities.
When your child is almost 2 years old, he’ll probably have many teeth that allow him to bite and articulate words. Maybe all of his teeth haven’t come out yet, but they will appear soon enough. At this stage, the canines, commonly known as fangs, are due to come out and he will flaunt a beaming new smile!
Babies’ teeth, also known as milk or primary teeth, are temporary. As he grows, your little one will lose them to leave space for his permanent teeth. The fact that they are temporary doesn’t mean that we can neglect them. On the contrary, just like permanent teeth, milk teeth are subject to decay and dental infections if they are unattended. Also, keep in mind that teaching children healthy hygiene habits at an early age will help promote cleanliness in the future.
You’ve been taking care of your little one’s teeth and now it’s time to take the next step. It’s time to teach your child to spit after brushing his teeth. Tell him that after he washes his mouth, he has to spit out the toothpaste. Show him how to do it and then ask him to imitate you. Instruct him to spit only in the sink, after he’s done brushing his teeth. Avoid giving him water to rinse out his mouth, because at this age he’s more likely to swallow it that spitting it out.
Practice this new habit daily. Your little one will probably want to take control of the toothbrush, and that’s very good! Start teaching him the proper movements by holding the toothbrush together and brushing from top to bottom throughout his mouth. Don’t expect your toddler to master brushing his teeth immediately. It will take time for him to learn the right moves. That’s why it’s very important that you always accompany him and remind him how to do it. Remember to make washing his teeth a fun and engaging activity, and to let your child watch you wash your teeth, because children learn through imitation.
Your baby has grown a lot, and now he is probably too big for the sink or his baby tub. Plus, he is splashing everywhere! If you’re wondering what you should do, here are a few options.
If you have a bathtub:
You can choose to get a bigger, portable tub for your baby and place it in the bathtub. To prevent slips, first place a rubber mat on the bottom of the large bathtub and then place your child’s tub in. You don’t necessarily have to use a portable bath at all. If your baby can sit up alone without any support, he is ready for this big step! All you need is a rubber mat at the bottom of the tub and his bath toys. Your child will have ample space to play in, so he probably won’t want to get out. Now, despite having more control over his body, he is still needs your absolute attention. It is important to fill the tub with little water, to prevent accidents. Check the water temperature with your elbow before putting your baby in. Don’t answer the phone or sort out other issues during this process. If you have an emergency while bathing your little one, first take him out, wrap him in his towel, and take him to a safe place before you attend to anything else. Don’t forget to make bath time a fun and relaxing time for your baby!
If you have shower:
It’s okay if there are no bathtubs in your home. You can choose a larger portable bath and place it in a shower. If your baby can sit up unsupported, he’ll be able to splash around in his comfortable bath and the water will fall into the shower. Bathing him in the shower is very simple; you must first place a non-slip mat so that his bathtub won’t move. When the tub is placed safely, fill the tub with warm water and check the temperature with your elbow or inside part of your wrist. Try to wear comfortable clothes; you’ll have to crouch down and sit on the floor. It is very important to never take your eyes off your baby; accidents can happen in seconds. So if for some reason you have to leave your little one, first take him out of the bathtub, cover him with his towel, put him in a safe place, and then attend to anything else. Bath time is a great way to start a sleep routine, so try to make it a pleasant time and show a lot of love.