Ask an Expert

Baby care tips

Teething

Once your baby starts developing her first teeth, its time you start taking care. Teething is associated with the discomfort that your child experiences when her teeth start coming in. Some go through teething without any problems; others find it difficult and painful. You may see a tendency in your baby to put her hands in their mouth, chew her toys or in general just being very irritable! It helps to gently rub or massage the baby's gums with a clean finger. Fever is not normally associated with teething, but if your little one has a fever while teething, call your pediatrician.

Hygiene

It is important to keep your little one's skin dry and clean. So, to maintain good hygiene, ensure that you change your baby's diapers as and when they get soiled. Almost always, your baby will let you know otherwise you can feel for lumps in the diaper which will tell you that its time to change. Always use an extra- absorbent disposable nappy or diaper like Xtracare and we recommend that you change once every 3-4 hours. It may as often as hourly for newborns. Also, whenever you change your baby's diaper, remember to wash her bottom with warm water and a gentle soap using some cotton wool or alternatively, you can use baby wipes. Never reuse the disposable diaper. Wrap it and throw it in the bin after use. Remember to wash your hands before and after every diaper change.

Skin care

Your baby's skin is soft and delicate so the best way to take care is to keep it forever clean and dry. Use pure soaps made for babies and baby wipes that do not have alcohol in them. Make it a point to read labels carefully before using any powder or lotion on your baby's skin and use one that's exclusively meant for babies! Also avoid direct sunlight, so cover your baby's head with a hat or shade whenever you go out in the sun. If you notice any reaction on her skin, consult your pediatrician.

Nappy rash

A nappy rash is caused when a baby's skin is exposed to a wet or dirty nappy or diaper for too long. It is characterized by the redness of your baby's bottom. If your baby gets a rash, try one of the nappy rash creams easily available from your local pharmacy. Avoid using disposable diapers and nappy pads during this period till the rashes have disappeared. If the rashes persist, consult your pediatrician immediately.

Nappy rashes can be avoided. Remember that disposable nappies and diapers are a way of stopping bedwetting and clothes being wet or soiled and not as a means of allowing you maximum time between changes. Therefore, you need to change your baby's nappies and diapers frequently and maintain good hygiene by keeping your little one's skin dry and clean.

Health care

Babies are very sensitive and not resistant to diseases at this young age. It is therefore important to vaccinate them on a regular basis. Consult your pediatrician on vaccination details. Also because your baby cannot tell you specifically when something hurts, it is usually difficult to know what to do in such situations. But gradually as you get to understand and know your child better this will get easier. Common illness like cold, fever or flu can be handled at home unless a problem arises. For more serious situations, medical intervention is required so please consult your pediatrician.

Another point to be noted is the sterilization of baby bottles. We highly recommend sterilizing of all bottles (both plastic and glass) for the entire duration of their use.

Food and nutritional Care

'Mothers milk is best for your baby'! This is true especially during the first six to seven months. Follow the advice of your pediatrician on when to start on semi-solids. Your baby may be ready at six months, or less or more. No two babies have the same eating or feeding pattern. So don't get worried if your baby eats differently than your neighbor's baby! Instead look at the total amount eaten during the day. Always remember to burp your little one after every feed. Your baby's diet is very important to her overall growth and well-being. So, maintain a record of your baby's weight every month till she is a year old and thereafter record her weight annually. Take special care of your baby's diet and keep it healthy 'n' balanced right from the start!

Hair care

A baby should be shampooed on a 'need basis' only. Always use a shampoo meant for babies and do not forget to check the label before use. Extreme care should be taken to be gentle and careful while shampooing. Use gentle strokes with your fingertips and avoid putting pressure on the delicate soft spots on top of your baby's head. After her shampoo is done, wrap her head with a soft towel and pat dry. Keep her warm after a shampoo. This is the time she is more susceptible to catching a cold!!

Diaper bag essentials

Whenever you are on the move with your baby, make sure that your diaper bag has the following essentials:
  • Xtracare Ultra Dri Diaper, Dispo Nappy and Nappy Diaper
  • Soft cotton balls
  • A plastic bag for disposal
  • A set of change clothes
  • First aid medicines that are recommended by your pediatrician
  • Burp cloth
  • Baby lotion and powder
  • A bottle of drinking water

Sleeping pattern

A baby's sleep cycle is shorter than an adult's. So, parents of newborn babies are often exhausted and confused with their infant's erratic sleeping pattern. One just has to get accustomed to it, so try to catch sleep when your baby is asleep! The good news is that within the first few months your baby will gradually settle down to a more regular and mature sleeping pattern. Doctors throughout the world recommend a regular bed timing beginning 4 to 6 months of age. A routine like a bath followed by a feeding, story and bed, will help your baby understand that its bedtime.

Crying

Crying is a normal form of self-expression and communication for your baby because this is the way she communicates to you! Usually she will cry if she is hungry or in pain. You will gradually learn to differentiate between the two cries. On an average, a long and sharp cry indicates that she is in some pain. Other ways of communication will be through her eyes, her smile and body language. Communicating with your baby has always been magical and mysterious. But that's the way it works!

Creeping and crawling

Creeping is when your baby drags herself across the floor. This usually starts from 5 months to a year. Within a few months of creeping, you will notice that she is lifting herself up on her hands and knees and moving around. That's crawling! You should get careful when she starts both creeping and crawling. Make sure your baby is wearing comfortable clothing, your floor is cleaned with a disinfectant and dangerous objects are out of her reach.

Got a query of your own not covered here?

Ask our experts