Gerber Life Family Times --- News and tips for familes of all ages and stages of life

Bringing Up Baby
 Little tips that may help

December 2003 Issue

Bringing Up Baby
Little tips that
may help

Winter Crafts
for Kids

A Growing Interest
Fun plant projects
for kids


A primer

Nighty Night
Sleep and children

Did You Know

Mail Bag

Gerber Life
Family Times Archive

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There’s nothing quite as sweet and innocent as a newborn bundled up and off in dreamland. But we all know that each day isn’t quite that easy. Unfortunately newborn babies don’t come with instruction manuals or user guides to help pinpoint potential problem areas. Although there are a number of books available on bringing up baby through the first years, we thought bringing a few items to light might help get some new parents pointed in the right direction.

Use a sturdy, one-piece pacifier with ventilation holes to reduce the likelihood of a skin rash around the baby’s mouth. Purchase pacifiers that are dishwasher-safe for easy cleaning. Sterilize a new pacifier by placing it in a pot of boiling water. Allow it to cool completely before placing it in a baby’s mouth. If a baby drops a pacifier on the floor, simply rinse it off with hot water, make sure it is cool and return it to the baby’s mouth.

How can one little word cause so much frustration for new parents? Colic is not a disease or disorder but a term used to describe uncontrollable crying in an otherwise healthy infant. It is estimated that twenty percent of all babies suffer from colic, usually between two and four weeks of age. Colic doesn’t last forever and most babies are through it by four months of age. Although colic is still a mystery, most theories attribute the condition to a baby’s underdeveloped digestive system that is still developing the necessary enzymes and digestive juices to break down food. The process of digesting breast milk and formula can then cause painful gas and, in turn, crying. That crying can then cause your baby to swallow additional air causing even more gas. Other theories claim that colic is the result of a baby’s nervous system dealing with the overwhelming amount of stimuli a newborn is attempting to process. The crying is thought to possibly be the baby’s way of "venting" from the overload of sights and sounds.

Relief for colic is trial and error. First of all, give yourself some space—a constantly crying baby is stressful and if you don’t cry yourself or take a break, your baby will sense your frustration. Pacifiers, rocking, walking, wind-up swings—any kind of repetitive motion seems to be the most soothing treatments for colic. Many parents resort to late night drives around the block to do the trick.

Avoid Infections with Little Girls
When cleaning after a diaper change, wipe from front to back to avoid transferring any bacteria.

Trimming a Baby’s Nails
An infant’s nails are soft and pliable but make no mistake—they are sharp. Since infants have no control over their arm movement, they can easily scratch their face or yours with their fingernails. Baby nail clippers are available for this task. The easiest time to trim nails is while your baby is sleeping. Press the finger pad away from the nail to avoid nicking the skin. Use an emery board to file down any sharp edges that may remain.

Remember, the only "dumb" question is the one you didn’t ask. When in doubt on how to handle a situation, ask your doctor.

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