Is my baby sleeping safely?

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How many times a day do you put your baby down to sleep?  

Your baby sleeps about 16-18 hours a day, so they sleep a lot! More than 3,500 babies in the U.S. die every year while sleeping, often due to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome(SIDS) or accidental deaths from suffocation or strangulation.

So how can you make the safest sleep spot for your little one EVERY time you lay them down?

On their back for the first year

Put your baby back to sleep until their FIRST birthday.  If your baby can change positions while sleeping, that is ok.  May people think that once your baby rolls over you do not have to practice the safe sleep practices, but that is not true.  

In their own bed

  • Put your baby to sleep in their own crib or bassinet.  

    Do not bed share. Bed sharing is the most common cause of death in babies less than three months old.  The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends keeping your baby’s bassinet close to your bed or in the same room for the first year of your baby’s life, or at least the first six months. Only bring your baby into your bed for feeding our comfort.  If you start to get sleepy, place the baby back into their bassinet or crib.

  • What is a safe crib?

    Make sure to use a bassinet or crib that meets the current safety standards.  Do not use a crib with drop down rails or try to fix a crib that has broken or missing parts. You can visit the U.S Product Safety Commission to learn more about safety standards or product recalls.

  • Flat Surface

    Put your baby to sleep on a flat surface, like a crib mattress covered by a tightly fitted sheet. Use only the mattress made for your baby’s crib. Do not raise your baby’s mattress, use a wedge, or anything else to prop up your baby.  Keep your baby and the mattress flat.

  • Nothing in the bed

    This includes no bumper pads, toys, stuffed animals, loose bedding, or any other soft objects. They put your baby at danger for getting trapped, strangled, or suffocated. Position your baby’s crib or bassinet away from window cords or electrical wires.  Babies can get tangled in them and choke.

  • Sleep only in a bed

    Do not let your baby sleep in their car seats, swings, or strollers.  If your baby falls asleep in one of them, take them out and place in their bassinet or crib as soon as you can.

  • Don’t put your baby to sleep on a waterbed, sofa, soft mattress, or any other soft surface. Portable bed rails are also not safe. They do not always prevent a baby from rolling out of bed.  

How do I dress my baby for sleep?

Dress your baby is light clothing.  Remove any strings or ties from pajamas. A blanket sleeper (Halo Sleepsack) or swaddling your baby can help keep the baby warm,  but make sure not to cover their face. If your baby is sweating or feels hot, your baby may be dressed too much and be overheated.

Pacifier or no pacifier?

Give your baby a pacifier (if they will take it) for naps and bedtime.  Pacifier use may help protect against SIDS. If your baby is breastfeeding, wait until your baby has established a good latch and is feeding well.  Do not hang the pacifier around your baby’s neck. If your baby does not want to take a pacifier, that is ok. Do not force them.

Should my baby be on a home monitor for sleep?

Do not rely on home heart monitors or breathing monitors to reduce the risk of SIDS.  If you have any questions about using the monitors, ask your Pediatrician.

SO REMEMBER:  Alone, Back, Crib, Do Not Smoke!  

Interested in learning more about safe sleep or any newborn care questions? Take our Infant care class in person or online! Need a visit from our registered nurses? We are happy to come to your home to assess and help ease your fears of the journey of parenthood!

For more information on safe sleep, go to www.safetosleep.nichd.hih.gov or www.aap.org.  


Tummy Time Troubles

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Answering your tummy time questions

When should parents start doing tummy time with their baby? What if my baby doesn't like tummy time? Why is tummy time important?

Why should we do tummy time

  • Development of strength Tummy time helps the baby gain strength for when they will be able to slide on their bellies, when they start to roll over, crawl, and eventually walk.

  • Skull Formation  It can also help with head molding and preventing a flat spot on the back of the head.  Face baby different directions in their crib each night to help develop neck muscles by turning a different direction to look at you each morning

  • Promotion of motor and sensory development Once your child is 3-4 weeks old they can be transitioned to a blanket on the floor. Use different textures of blankets to promote tactile (touch) development.  Use several different toys and get down on the floor with your child may be the most motivating for them. Tummy time at this age will promote visual tracking, postural development and motor coordination.

When should we do tummy time

  • How early do I do tummy time? Tummy time can be started right away after the baby is born.  Doing skin to skin with the parent (when the baby is on their belly while lying on the parent’s chest) is considered tummy time.  Sometimes the baby will try to lift his/her head to look at the parent’s face while being held this way. They are already starting to build their muscles!

  • How often do I do tummy time? 2-3 times a day for a short period of time (3-5 minutes each time) and then increasing the amount of time as the baby shows that they are enjoying it.  

  • Where do I do tummy time? The best place to do tummy time is on solid surface such as the floor or lap.  A great time to do this is after you change the baby’s diaper or after a nap. Try not to do tummy time after a feeding if possible-pressure on their belly may cause them to spit up.  If your baby does not like to be on their belly, place yourself or a toy within their vision or reach. Eventually they will enjoy tummy time and begin to play in this position. Make tummy time part of regular play, not a chore.  

    Back to Sleep——Tummy Time to Play

It is important to remember that everyone needs to be awake and alert during tummy time.  NEVER leave your baby unattended,  If your baby falls asleep, place them in their crib or bassinet on their back and continue to practice the safe sleep practices.  

Baby Beginnings are here to answer your questions! Send us a question via our website or any social media channels: Facebook Instagram and Twitter! We can help with tummy time and other newborn questions!


My baby has a cold!

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It’s that time of year, cold and flu season. As a parent, you can feel helpless and scared when your little one is so stuffy and sick. Kids under 6 years old cannot have over the counter cough and cold medications, they can have dangerous side effects.

So, what can you do? Here are some tips to help make your baby feel better.

  1. Humidifier  Use a cool-mist humidifier (also call a vaporizer) in your baby’s room to help loosen those secretions---to make suctioning easier! Put it close to your child, but not close enough for them to reach.

  2. Suction your baby’s nose When your baby has a stuffy nose they may refuse to eat. Think about it, if you suck on a straw with a stuffy nose, it’s not easy (and not to mention, frustrating!! Use a bulb syringe or a NoseFrida. Use a saline solution such as, Little Remedies, or one that you can make at home using ½ tsp of salt to 1c of warm water. Start with 1 drop in each nostril and suction it out. Your baby won’t like it, so it may be a two person job. Loosen those secretions and suck away! Get those boogers out and your baby will eat much better!

  3. Feed your baby more often! When your baby is sick they may want to eat smaller volumes more often...sorry to say but you may be awake more at night too. It’s ok to ask for help! Remember, if your baby is less than 6 months only feed formula or breastmilk.

  4. Keep their skin soft! Those crusty boogers are no joke! Help your baby’s skin by using a saline wipe, such as Boogie wipes, to gently remove the runny nose residue. You can also try a warm washcloth to wipe their nose. Then, apply a petroleum based lotion such as Aquaphor or Vaseline under the nose.

  5. Treat the fever. A fever is considered 100.4 or higher. If baby is less than 6 months, call your doctor immediately for a fever. Greater than 6 months of age you can use Ibuprofen (infants Motrin) or infant Tylenol. Be sure to check with your doctor for proper dose.

  6. Call the doctor If your baby (less than 6 months) has a fever, call the doctor. Greater than 6 months--if the baby’s symptoms last longer than a week (or a fever for 2-3 days), severe ear pain or retractions (seeing your baby’s ribs when they breath).


We hope these tips have helped you enjoy the winter months with your infant. Remember, the best way to prevent sickness-- WASH YOUR HANDS! Please share this with your friends with little babies this season!

Baby Beginnings nurses are here for you! Are you looking for a nurse consultant? Check out our packages to see how we can help you at your home!

A Happy and Healthy Holiday Season with your baby

 
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Holidays are now different now that you have a new baby. Everyone wants to see you and your new little one. So, how can you keep your baby healthy--besides a bubble!?! Well, your little one will be exposed to SOME viruses and bacteria regardless of your efforts...so let’s take these steps to protect them while visiting family and friends.

Wash your hands!! Can’t stress this enough, it’s not just for you but everyone that touches the baby. Keep a bottle of hand sanitizer in your purse and diaper bag to help promote handwashing. If they are visiting your home it’s even easier--make them wash their hands, take off shoes and coats before holding the baby

Healthy people only! If someone has a cold or isn’t feeling well it’s ok for you to tell them you’d rather they not hold the baby this time. People mean well, sometimes they just get so excited and forget how vulnerable your baby can be. Avoid places with sick people such as the mall---hello online shopping and food delivery!

NO kissing! Those little baby cheeks are so cute it’s so hard to avoid kisses, but during their vulnerable newborn time try to avoid people kissing their faces. This is just a virus and bacterias easy way to get inside your baby’s body

Promote vaccinations! Your baby is not fully vaccinated yet so make sure anyone who will be spending significant time with you and your baby are up to date on their DTAP and flu vaccines. Protect your baby by not exposing them to these deadly diseases.

Keeping a routine! Especially if you are traveling this season bring some comfort items for your baby. Maybe a blanket that you feed with all the time or their favorite toys. Remember, baby’s (age 4-12 months) need 12-16 hours including naps of sleep a day! Make sure to set up a safe area for your baby to sleep and recognize those times when they are tired.

No coats in the car seat! Driving around to look at all the lights and the many car trips we will be taking this season make sure you bring your child's coat but strap them in without it on. Thick coats can keep the car seat straps from fitting appropriately.

Do not over bundle your baby! It is hard to tell when your baby is cold and our natural instinct is to bundle our babies. Be careful! Research has shown that this can increase incidence of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).  A baby can’t tell mom that they are hot, and their body heat can rise quickly when they are wearing too many clothes.

Now you know some ways you are in control this holiday season on how to keep your little one safe. We will be covering many safety topics in our upcoming safety class at Goddard school, come join us on December 15—with special guest Signing with Miss Steph! We also have some more upcoming infant classes for all of our expecting parents! December 14 we will be welcoming Dr. Madden of Primrose Newborn Care! Contact us today and take a look at our schedule, or we can come to you!


How can you prevent RSV?

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What is Respiratory Synovial Virus (RSV)?

RSV presents itself as a “bad cold”. The problem with babies compared to adults is that we can blow our noses and get rid of the thick mucous that comes with RSV. In babies they can’t get rid of that mucous and it can clog their tiny airway.

RSV is the most common cause of bronchiolitis and pneumonia in babies younger than 1 year. It is the most common cause of lower respiratory tract infections in children. Most children are infected within the first year of life and most all have been infected by age 2!

Infants are a vulnerable population and are at highest risk for hospitalization with the RSV infection. The virus is extremely contagious. RSV season is typically November-April here in Ohio.

How can you help prevent the spread of RSV?

  1. Wash your hands!

  2. Avoid visiting crowded areas, such as the mall, with your little one.

  3. Avoid close contact with sick people

  4. Do not smoke around your baby.

The Center of Disease Control has an infographic to share on protection from RSV!

What are the symptoms of RSV in a baby?

  • great difficulty or fast breathing

  • Excessive wheezing

  • Gray or blue skin color

  • High fever

  • Thick nasal discharge that is yellow, green, or gray

  • Worsening cough

  • Extreme tiredness (especially during times they are normally active)

What do you do if your baby is infected with RSV?

Unfortunately, RSV cannot be treated with antibiotics because it is a virus. So what can you to do help your baby?

  1. Suction using bulb syringe or Nose Frida

  2. Cool mist humidifier (avoid heated humidification)

  3. Treat the fever- talk with your pediatrician about the dose of medication to give your baby

  4. Hydrate with formula or breastmilk, your doctor may recommend an electrolyte solution such as Pedialyte

How long is your baby contagious?

Your baby will be contagious for about three to eight days. Typical recovery is about one to two weeks. Be prepared to take time off work if needed to stay home with your baby.

How can Baby Beginnings LCC help?

Our infant care classes will teach you how to use a bulb suction safely for your infant. We will guide you on when to call your doctor and the signs of dehydration. We want your baby to be safe and for you to gain the confidence to care for not only a healthy baby but also if your baby gets sick.

The importance of your partner

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Sometimes during pregnancy the mother is going through so many physical changes of pregnancy its sometimes hard to get your partner to bond with the baby and keep your intimacy strong. Why are partners so important to pregnancy and the baby?

Babies may be born healthier, with lower rates of preterm birth and growth problems. Women who are well supported during pregnancy may be less anxious and have less stress in the weeks after childbirth. You can be supportive by educating yourself about pregnancy, going with your partner to prenatal care appointments, and joining her in making healthy lifestyle choices.

First Trimester

The first trimester can be exhausting. Understanding that the woman needs more rest than usual and she also may feel symptoms and nausea and vomiting, commonly known as “morning sickness”. Mood swings are common. Pregnancy and parenthood are huge life changes, and it can take time for you to adjust. Listen to your partner and offer support.

Second Trimester

Most the time the second trimester (week 14-27) is the time the woman feels the best! Many women begin to feel better physically. Energy levels improve, and morning sickness usually goes away. Your partner will start to feel the baby move. This is when most parents take their childbirth and infant classes.

Third Trimester
The last trimester (weeks 28–40) is typically uncomfortable. It also can be a very busy time as you prepare for the baby. The mother might be feeling discomfort as the baby is growing larger, she may have trouble sleeping and be up many times a night going to the bathroom! It is normal for both of you to feel excited and nervous.

Sex during pregnancy

Unless your partner’s obstetrician or other health care professional has told her otherwise, you can have sex throughout pregnancy.

During Labor

During this time, you can help your partner by distracting her, possbily watching a movie, walking the halls (if she is allowed out of bed), timing her contractions, massaging her if she needs, be encouraging and supportive.

Hiring a Doula

Doula support can be beneficial to offer physical and emotional support during labor to increase comfort (massage, breathing, encouragement) and suggestions for optimal positioning. They are there to assist with breastfeeding and give you the support you need when this time can be unpredictable.

Baby Beginnings works with many doulas in the Northeast Ohio Area. Contact us if you are interested!

Safe Swaddling Tips

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Why do we swaddle babies? Think about how the baby was inside mom, cuddled tightly. Swaddling a baby can help the baby calm if they are fussy. Babies also sleep better if they are swaddled! Harvey Karp’s Book: The Happiest Baby on the Block shows this with one of the 5 S’s is swaddling.

While swaddling is so important, it is critical to make sure your baby is swaddled safely.

Always lay baby on back.

NEVER lay on baby on her stomach to sleep—-especially not while swaddled!

Nothing in baby’s crib

A bare crib is a safe crib. Do not put stuffed animals, loose blankets or even bumpers on her baby’ s bed as they can be a hazard for suffication.

When there are signs of rolling, it's time to stop swaddling.

Once your baby starts to roll, you want to make sure they can move their arms and legs so its time to stop swaddling. If your child likes to be swaddled there is a wearable blanket option.

Make sure the swaddle is securely wrapped.

The baby should be swaddled tightly to reduce the risk of the fabric covering the baby’s mouth or nose.

Avoid sleeping with your baby

Do not share a bed with your baby. Suffocation risk increases by 5 times. We recommend your baby sleeps in a bassinet next to your bed.

Avoid overheating.

Keep your room between 68-70 degrees. To avoid overheating, baby should be dressed in just lightweight pajamas or a bodysuit underneath the swaddle.

Do not tightly swaddle your baby's hips.

Your baby should be able to freely move and flex his/her legs.