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Baby (Ages 0 – 12 Months)

Maintain Regular Schedules

It’s important to develop a routine for you and your baby because it increases the bonding experience and makes life easier for both of you. A schedule helps you know what your baby needs throughout the day and keeps him/her happy. Every baby needs love, sleep, play time, fresh diaper, affection, and attention from their parents. Several days after birth, baby will be able to fall into a predictable pattern where you can start tracking and noting down when the baby eats, sleeps, or needs a diaper change. By having a set schedule it helps to balance out daily tasks and family interactions. Also, regular routine helps to meet your baby’s basic needs and enables them to learn and explore the world around them.

Sleep Issues

Most children need lots of sleep for him/her to function throughout the day. Babies need lots of sleep during nighttime and daytime naps. The Baby Center Medical Board Staff recommends that babies from birth to three months of age should sleep on average about 15 hours, six to nine months about 14 hours, one to two years old about 13 hours, and three year olds about 12 hours. As the child grows and gets older then they will outgrow the need for daytime naps and do all their sleeping during nighttime. By developing a reasonable bedtime schedule, then your child should get enough sleep and not be sluggish or sleep deprived.

Encourage good sleeping habits in order for baby to sleep throughout the night. Have your baby take part in some kind of activity when baby is awake, surround your baby in normal household noises, monitor naps, follow bedtime schedules (bathing, cuddling, lullabies, etc.), put drowsy baby to bed in crib on his/her back, consider using a pacifier to help baby fall asleep, keep baby nighttime care down to a minimum (this helps your baby distinguish between bedtime and playtime), don’t share the bed with your baby (baby might have a hard time falling asleep on his/her own and increases the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), and keep a baby monitor in baby’s room to monitor him/her at all times. It’s also a good idea to swaddle your baby to keep him/her warm, snug, and secure. Swaddling keeps baby from squirming too much throughout the night. Remember to only swaddle baby during daytime naps and at bedtime. During the day you want baby to be awake and alert so he/she will be able to sleep at night.

Teething Tips

Teething usually starts around six months of age. If your baby is showing any signs of drooling, irritability, crankiness, swollen gums, and is chewing on toys then it’s time for your baby to start growing in some teeth. Teethings is uncomfortable for most babies and is associated with a lot of crying, however, there are ways to soothe sore baby gums and make it less painful. Try rubbing and massaging your baby’s gums with a damp washcloth, offer a cold teething ring to chew on, or use over-the-counter medications like Tylenol or Ibuprofen for the pain (ideal for cranky babies) and teething medications that can be directly rubbed on the baby’s gums.

Bath Time

Bathing a baby isn’t really necessary to give every day. It’s okay to bathe baby once or twice a week in a baby tub. You should wait to give your newborn a bath until the umbilical cord has fallen off, but it’s okay to sponge bathe him/her in the mean time. Make sure to wash thoroughly all throughout baby’s body including the face and genital areas. Babies tend to squirm and wiggle during baths and you may find it a little difficult to get a good grip while you wash. Appropriate baby bath tubs make it easier to handle your baby during bath time without hurting your back if trying to give baths in a regular size tub.

The best way to give baths is to make sure all baby bath accessories are available on hand, tub should be filled with lukewarm water (not hot) about 2 to 3 inches, undress baby and bring him/her to the tub, gently easy baby down into the water with one hand supporting the neck and head, consistently pour water on baby to prevent from getting cold, use a moisten washcloth with baby wash to baby, rinse baby off, wrap baby in a hooded towel and pat dry. Avoid giving baby bubble baths until the child is three years old, because bubble bath formulas and other soaps that contain deodorant or potent scents can be harmful to baby (can cause urinary tract infections (UTI)). The American Foundation of Urologic Disease states that girls are more likely than boys to get a UTI and if left untreated can cause kidney damage. To learn more about urinary tract infections, then visit the American Academy of Pediatrics website at http://www.healthychildren.org/English/health-issues/conditions/genitourinary-tract/Pages/Detecting-Urinary-Tract-Infections.aspx.

Reference:

Baby Center Medical Board Staff (2011). How much sleep does your child need? Baby Center LLC. Retrieved from http://www.babycenter.com/0_how-much-sleep-does-your-child-need_7645.bc

Baby Center Medical Board Staff (2008). How to bathe your baby. Baby Center LLC. Retrieved from http://www.babycenter.com/0_how-to-bathe-your-baby_37.bc

Baby Center Medical Board Staff (2006). Swaddling your baby.  Baby Center LLC. Retrieved from http://www.babycenter.com/0_swaddling-your-baby_125.bc

Baby Center Medical Board Staff (2008). The basics of baby schedules: Why, when, and how to start a routine. Baby Center LLC. Retrieved from http://www.babycenter.com/0_the-basics-of-baby-schedules-why-when-and-how-to-start-a-rou_3658352.bc?page=1

Mayo Clinic Staff (2009). Baby sleep: Help your baby sleep through the night. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research (MFMER). Retrieved from http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/baby-sleep/FL00118

Mayo Clinic Staff (2009). Teething: Tips for soothing sore gums. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research (MFMER). Retrieved from http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/teething/FL00102

Information on this site is intended for Angel Kids Pediatrics patients only. Always consult your doctor before beginning, modifying, or discontinuing any treatment plan.

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