FAQs About Babies and Everything Around Them

From conception to birth, a new mother and father need to tackle a lot of queries. Some questions seem too trivial to ask and yet are very important for a new family and those around them.

FAQs about Babies

Here we try to answer a few questions for a new family.

1. Are Baby Showers important for a new mom?

Positive pregnancy news often brings with it happiness, excitement, and nervousness. Nervousness is often instigated by the responsibilities of a new life and even the cost that comes with it. A mother’s body goes through changes and she needs all the love and care and support available.

Towards the end of the pregnancy, women are treated to small get together to, a baby shower is an organized party where the focus is on a pregnant mom and her baby. Sometimes the dad is also the focus if it is a co-ed baby shower.

Guests often bring gifts for the baby and sometimes gifts for the mom and dad. This helps new parents considerably as the showers bring in gifts for newborns. Having a child is already causes financial draining. The number of things a baby requires for a however short period it is quite a long list. Having others take care of those items for baby, reduces financial strain and social anxiety for the parents.

Also being celebrated for the life growing inside of you makes a new parent feel welcomed in uncharted territories. It also helps families bond together and helps new parents realize they are not alone in this.

2. When and who should plan a baby shower?

Baby showers are typically held four to six weeks before the baby’s due date—late enough that the pregnancy is well along, but likely early enough to avoid an untimely arrival. A baby shower is a chance to shower the new mother with “gifts” that she will need when her child is born.

It is often organized by friends, cousins, etc. A close friend, a sibling, distant cousin, Mother in law, mother of the mom to be, and in some cases even the mom to be can organize a baby shower. These days even fathers and the in-laws join the celebration.

3. Are gifts essential for baby Shower?

While the general idea of a baby shower is showering the new mom with love and a few gifts, it’s wrong to assume or even ask everyone to bring a gift.

There are some who think it’s greedy to create a registry for friends and family, while others love helping parents-to-be stock up on essentials. For those who want, you can do it through a store, catalog, or online service. Registries are also helpful for guests who may not know what to give.

4. What should the new mother, the guest of honor do?

Typically the guest of honor sends thank-you notes to the attendees and the organizers. It is usually within two to three weeks after the shower—unless, of course, the baby’s birth intervenes. It’s nice to thank your hosts with a special token, too. A bouquet of flowers, a batch of cookies, or a small piece of jewelry would make great baby shower hostess gifts!

5. What to pack in your bag for hospital delivery?

New parents are advised to pack a bag as early as the third trimester to 38 weeks. The due date is often scheduled at 40 weeks but pack a bag in case of early labor.

  • Include the important documents such as insurance papers, Hospital file/ records, ID, and your birth plan.
  • Essentials like a Car seat and baby carriers.
  • Comfortable clothes for the mother with maternity robes and going-home outfit.
  • Nursing bras, breast pads, and maternity pads.
  • Toiletries – including lip balm (lips can get chapped), hair ties/bands, massage oil or lotion.
  • Snacks and drinks– to keep your energy levels. Starchy carbohydrates are preferred particularly whole grains as they’re easily digested and give a slow release of energy. This will help you through contractions.

Isotonic drinks are a good option. “Isotonic” means that the drinks have salt and sugar levels that are similar to those found in the human body.

  • For babies– Two or three sleepsuits and vests, baby blankets, nappies or diapers, Muslin squares, socks or booties, caps.
  • Your breast pump, if you plan to use one with a cooler bag. Nursing pillow. If you plan to breastfeed.
  • Bottles, if you’re using. If you plan to bottle-feed from the get-go, pack at least two for the hospital. If you plan to formula feed, pack some of your preferred brands
  • Nail clippers or emery board for baby.

6. Why Do Babies Shake Their Head From Side to Side?

During the first month of a baby’s life, they learn new skills. One of them is shaking their head. By the end of the first month of life, babies have the ability to move their heads from side to side. This most often occurs when they lie on their sides.

  1. This phenomenon is a normal part of a baby’s development, it’s likely that if your baby seems otherwise happy and healthy, their head shaking is not an immediate cause for concern.
  2. This is an indication they are developing motor skills.
  3. Some even shake their head side to side to put themselves to sleep, a soothing mechanism. Babies that are tired may shake their heads to create dizziness that makes falling asleep easier.
  4. Children under the age of 3 are at the highest risk for ear infections, and your baby may be trying to communicate the problem to us.
  5. Myoclonic head jerks or spasm can be seen in babies during epilepsy. This may be due to a neurological disorder.
  6. Babies with autism tend to shake their heads involuntarily. Frequent headbanging is also characteristic of this disorder. In such cases, check for these associated behavioral traits.
  • Does not respond to sounds
  • No reaction if you call their name
  • No smile or eye contact

7.  Why should baby sleep on their back?

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that healthy infants be placed on their backs for sleep, as this is the safest position for an infant to sleep. Putting your baby to sleep on his back decreases his chance of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).

Even when you are sure your baby is lying on her back when going to sleep, it is also important to avoid placing her on soft, porous surfaces such as pillows, quilts, comforters, sheepskins, or bean bags—even soft materials used for stuffed toys—which may block her airway if she burrows her face in them. Also avoid having her sleep on waterbeds, sofas, or soft mattresses. A firm crib mattress covered by a sheet is the safest bedding.

Sleeping on the back is preferred may be because findings that suggest that an infant who sleeps on her stomach gets less oxygen or gets rid of carbon dioxide less because she is “rebreathing” the air from a small pocket of bedding pulled up around the nose.

Even babies who were born very prematurely and spent some time in a neonatal unit may have been slept on their fronts for medical reasons must be put on their back before they go home.

8. How to get rid of newborn hiccup?

Hiccups happen when something causes the diaphragm to spasm, and the vocal cords quickly shut. Air is forced out through the closed vocal cords, creating the hiccupping sound. Infant hiccups are a reflex that starts very early, even before your baby is born. The hiccuping reflex is very strong in newborns especially; they can spend up to 2.5 percent of their time in the newborn stage hiccuping.

  • They may happen when a baby: Overfeeds, eats too quickly and swallows too much air.
  • Monitor your baby’s hiccups- do they occur after feeding, sleeping in certain conditions, etc. And eliminate those odds.
  • Burp your baby well after the feed. If you use bottles- use brands or types that can reduce the air trapped in the bottle.
  • Use pacifiers.
  • Use gripe water
  • Consult the pediatrician to rule out reflux disease.

9. How often should we bathe a newborn?

The World Health Organization recommends that parents wait 24 hours to give their baby its first bath. Newborns are born covered in a natural greasy layer called vernix. Vernix acts like a natural antibiotic that protects the baby from harmful bacteria during and immediately after birth. It also keeps their skin moist. If you wash it off right away, that can increase a baby’s risk of infection and cracked skin.

Pediatricians recommend no more than three times a week for 10 to 15 minutes at a time.

For the first two weeks, or so, pediatricians recommend sponge baths. Two weeks is about how long it takes for the stump left from the baby’s umbilical cord to fall off and heal. If you completely submerge your baby in water before the wound heals, this could increase the risk of infection or cause irritation.

10. What are a few of the essentials for baby care?

Infant-Care Basics- Having these essentials at disposal  might aid in our baby care:

  • Zinc oxide or a petroleum-based diaper ointment
  • Baby wipes
  • Burp cloths
  • Baby-size nail emery board
  • Alcohol wipes
  • Baby lotion
  • Mild, fragrance-free liquid cleanser
  • Infant thermometer (rectal is best)
  • Infant liquid pain reliever
  • Antibiotic cream
  • Hydrocortisone cream
  • Electrolyte solution
  • An oral syringe or dropper to administer medicine
  • A bulb syringe to clean your baby’s nose

Every child is unique, trust your maternal instinct and evidence, research-based suggestions for your baby’s well being. If you have any more question leave them in the comment section.

Happy Parenting!

Hi, I'm Dr. Swati, a dentist by profession, closeted writer by passion. Mother to a 4-year-old daughter, I believe a raising a child is an arduous yet rewarding task, and one must avail themselves all the aide you get.

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