Bathtime for Baby

The scent of a newborn baby can be intoxicatingly wonderful. But what happens when that delicious little squish starts smelling more like the pint of yogurt forgotten in the back of your fridge for months?

Guess it's bath time! Bathing a squirmy, slipper newborn can be intimidating, especially the first time! 

The First Days

baby bath with duck.jpg

The first week or two, babies rarely, if ever, need a true "bath".  Some hospitals are encouraging delaying bathing until after 24 hours or waiting until closer to discharge. That creamy-looking film called vernix, is good for baby's delicate skin. A soft washcloth dampened with warm water is enough. Some parents find it easiest to bring a bowl of warm water to the diaper changing area. Soaps, oils and lotions are not necessary.

Avoid getting baby's tummy wet until the umbilical stump has dried, fallen off and appears healed. Be sure to gently wipe and allow the areas to dry completely, paying particular attention to

  • diaper area including creases in the hips and thighs
  • folds of elbows and underarms
  • neck creases where milk can collect
  • chin and face

The First Bath

Once baby's cord stump has healed, you may submerge baby in water to bathe. There are lots of different devices and tubs on the market from tubs from sink inserts to mesh slings in plastic tubs to baby jacuzzis!

If you would prefer to use your sink for bathing your baby, the Blooming Bath Lotus is a great option to provide some cushion and support. If you are looking for a baby bath tub that will grow with you child, we love the First Years Sure Comfort and Fischer-Price Baby Ocean tubs.  These tubs can be used in the kitchen on the sink/counter or in your bathroom tub. Bath seats like the Angelcare Baby Bath Support are great for using to support baby in your tub or shower. 

baby in a metal tub.jpg

The key to a successful bathing experience is in the preparation. Ensure your bath area is ready well in advance of when you want to bathe baby. Some things you will want to have on hand include

  • baby tub
  • mild soap
  • washcloth
  • 2 towels
  • baby hat
  • fresh diaper
  • warm blanket
  • clothes/pjs for baby
  • dry shirt for you and/or your partner

Take a bath with your little one.

Another alternative to sponge bathing or using a baby tub/sling is taking a bath WITH your baby in your tub. Obviously, this is only an option once you are cleared by your care provider to do so. Plus sitting in a warm bath can help with postpartum healing and discomfort, so it's a win-win for both of you!

Bathing with your baby can not only be a sweet bonding experience, but keeping them close to your body can help baby regulate their body temperature as well. You will want to have your partner, postpartum doula or other support person available as a second set of hands to bring baby to you once you are in the tub and take baby in a warm towel afterward. 

Enjoy the snuggles and sweet smell of a fresh, clean baby! 

Target Carseat Trade-In

With the looming closure of Babies' R Us, lots of families are looking for a new go-to location to purchase their next carseat. Of course, Buy Buy Baby is still available, but our nearest location is in Rockville, followed by Christiana, DE. Online retailers like Amazon and Diapers.com continue to be popular choices, but it can be difficult to commit to a carseat without being able to look at the LATCH clips or test the harness buckle to be sure your toddler-houdini can't open it. 

Have Baby, Will Travel: Flying Edition

Flying from BWI with a toddler

This is the time of year when everyone in Central Maryland is looking forward to vacation! We are all longing for sunshine, warmth and some quality family time. All that stands between your family and paradise is the flight. We know that traveling, particularly by plane, with a new little one can be daunting. Here are some tips from seasoned jet-setting parents to get you started! 

 

Be flexible.

When traveling with little ones, being flexible is crucial! You can try to plan your trip around your baby's happiest times, naps, or meals, but the excitement of the trip to and through the airport is sure to throw even the most detailed family for a loop. 

 

Buy baby a seat.

Even though 'lap children' may be permitted, that is not the safest way for a baby to fly. Consider that flight crews require you to properly stow luggage, bags and even pets during ascent, descent and during rough weather conditions. Why then is holding a small human permitted during these times? 

 Photo courtesy of  Baby Gear Lab

Photo courtesy of Baby Gear Lab

The best and safest place for baby during a flight is buckled properly into their car seat (approved for FAA travel). Infant bucket carriers (like the one pictured at left) are particularly great because lap belt install is quick and easy! Here's an install video, but be sure to check out your seat's manual. Some airlines, like Southwest, have reduced fares for young children so be sure to call and ask!

If you don't want to use your existing convertible car seat, a great travel option is the Cosco Scenera, which is about $40 and available at a variety of retailers. The seat is lightweight, compact and FAA approved for airline use. Be sure to read the manual and adjust the harness to your child's size prior to heading to the airport. 

 

Keep your car seat

Since you've purchased your baby their own seat for the flight, you will need to bring your car seat on the flight with you. Flight attendants are always happy to help you on and off the plane, especially if they see you are traveling with children and car seats. Many airlines have a special boarding time for families as well. Keep in mind that most airlines require car seats to be installed next to the window so as not to block passenger's exit. 

Infant carriers that click into a lightweight stroller can provide you with some options for getting your family to the gate. Bags and personal belongings can be stored in the basket of the stroller, or you can wear baby in a carrier and use the stroller for the diaper bag and luggage. Almost every infant carrier can be installed with just a seat belt, so you don't need to pack the base portion for your trip! 

There are several options for transporting convertible car seats through the airport as well. Carts like the Britax Travel Cart or the Go Go Babyz Travelmate Car Seat Carrier can transform your car seat into an airport stroller without compromising the integrity of your car seat. Go Go Babyz also makes a luggage strap designed to attach a car seat to your rolling carry on luggage. 

 

Know your airport.

Before you head out, make a plan for drop off or parking. Services like SpotHero and The Parking Spot make comparing and pricing parking options a breeze with reservations, coupons, and mobile apps. 

We are fortunate that BWI is relatively family friendly with it's smaller size, simple layout and convenience features such as Family Restrooms and Nursing Stations conveniently located throughout the airport. There is even a fun Children's Play Area before security to watch the planes and burn off some energy. 

 

During the flight

Once you're packed up, at the airport, through security, and successfully boarded, the fun begins! Keeping a tiny human contained and relatively happy for the duration of your flight is not always an easy task. 

  • Be sure to pack a pacifier or plan to feed baby during altitude changes to help relieve ear pressure. 
  • Airplanes tend to be cool during the flight, so pack a comfy, familiar blanket to snuggle around your baby in their seat. 
  • A white noise app or portable sound machine can help minimize distracting sounds.
  • If it is safe to do so, take your little one for a walk in the aisle if they're getting restless.

There are lots of great ideas floating around on parenting forums about airplane distractions for toddlers. Here are some of our favorite!

  • Reusable Stickers like Melissa and Doug, stick to airplane windows, seat backs and the included book without being sticky. 
  • Crayola Color Wonder markers and paper are a great, mess-free option. 
  • A metal lunch box or small baking sheet with magnets.
  • Super Dough- think Play Doh, but doesn't crumble! 
  • Wrapped small books or toys (think Five Below or the Dollar Store). Half of the fun is unwrapping the 'present'. 
  • Snacks, snacks and more snacks. Raisins, dry cereal, fruit snacks, Goldfish, crackers, whatever your little one likes. 
  • When all else fails, pull out a tablet. We like the Tiny Hands apps that work on matching and classification. 

Leave yourself plenty of time, try to relax, and enjoy your flight! 

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You've heard of a postpartum doula - but what do they do and how do they benefit families? Find out what it would look like if a postpartum doula came to your house today.

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"I'm pregnant and I want the absolute best OB-GYN in central Maryland to catch my baby. Now, who are they?"

Looking for a Pediatrician?

Somewhere between choosing the safest and best car seat, the seemingly hundreds of OB/midwife appointments, and making sure your registry is up to date, you ALSO need to find time to interview and select a pediatrician to whom you will entrust the medical care of your baby FOREVER. Or at least through adolescence. 

How Does My Significant Other Benefit From a Doula?

Your spouse/partner is having a baby too! How can they benefit from the support of a doula during labor and delivery?

Sibling Transition Tips

Bringing a new baby into your family is a transition for everyone, but especially for the soon-to-be siblings.  Even the most excited and proud big brothers and sisters may not realize just how significantly their life is about to be altered. 

2016 Carroll Biz Challenge

Having grown up in Carroll County, I have always appreciated the small town feeling- from the local grocer knowing me by name (and subsequently recognizing that my oldest daughter looks just like I did at her age) to our favorite pizza place always asking how my sister is doing in New Mexico.