How often to bathe a newborn baby?

Bathing a newborn could be an appalling experience. Your baby may not prefer it, either. With a little preparation, you would both begin to have a more pleasant feel at bath time. You should immediately begin to learn baby shower basics.

How regularly should you bath newborn?

You need not bath your newborn daily. You can make them have a bath three times a week. This might be enough until your baby grows further mobile. Bathing your baby too often could easily dry out his or her skin. Change the diapers when it filled up and clean the area that requires much attention. You can simply wipe the whole body and diaper parts for better freshness.

When should you bathe your baby?

The choice is up to you. You can choose a time while you are not hurried or possibly be disturbed or interrupted. Some parents prefer morning baths since their babies would be alert. Others would make their baby take a bath at night as a part of a quiet bedtime ritual. Do not try to bathe your infant immediately after feeding and it is better to wait for your baby’s stomach to settle a little first.

How about a sponge bath?

Many Pediatricians recommend sponge baths until the umbilical cord stump drops off and this might take one or two weeks. You should follow the following steps to give a sponge bath to your baby.

  • First of all, you need to have a warm and flat-surfaced place such as a bath area or long table, or firm bed. These places would work perfectly for a sponge bath. You can also use a blanket or towel on the floor and even the pad hard surfaces with a blanket or towel will be enough to have a sponge bath.
  • The next step is to spread out soft blanket, towel or changing pad and make your baby lie on it.
  • You should certainly keep your one hand free and hold your baby on the other hand. If you use a changing table, then you should use the safety strap.
  • You should make a sink or simple plastic basin for holding the water. You can also run warm water into the plastic basin or sink. Do not forget to check the temperature of the water with your bare hand and you should make sure that it is not too hot.
  • You should keep all the essential supplies right nearby you and prefer best body wash for baby. You should collect all the baby cloths and towels that are required frequently. Take the bathing things such as baby wash, soap, a new diaper and changing clothes.

The first step to be followed while making your baby take bath is to take their clothes off. Then, gently cover a baby into any soft cloth. You should lay your baby on his or her back in the prepared place for taking bath. You should just try to keep your baby warm. You must only try to expose the baby’s body parts that you are about to wash and clean. The next step is to wet the washcloth thoroughly and strain out excess water. Take the washcloth to wipe your baby’s face. Slowly wipe each eyelid right from the corners of inside to the outside. You can clean your baby’s body by using plain water or a mild, moisturizing soap. You should pay special care to tucks under the arms, back ears, around the neck as well as in the diaper area. Additionally, you should wash your baby’s fingers and toes thoroughly.

What should I wash first?

Most parents begin with the baby’s face and clean down the dirtier parts of the body. This retains cleaned areas with soapy water again. If your baby has hair and if you think it requires washing, then you can go ahead with it. You need to gently massage your baby’s whole body with a drop of body wash. You need to cover your babe’s head with your hand and pour the water slowly in order to protect their eyes and to keep suds out of it. You can also use best body wash for baby for complete freshness.

When to start baby massage?

baby-massage-glasgow

After baby born, the first baby massage is an important activity done by a doctor to have a proper body growth. However, you should be very careful and not touch a navel area. Actually, you should wait 4 to 7 days until their umbilical cord end drops off. According to the scientific research, massaging the premature babies has numerous advantages for them. Usually, the premature babies have increased pulse rates, when they are taken care of at the hospital routinely. Also, their oxygen level decreases as well, which means there is distress. When you are massaging a premature baby, you have to discover the best oil for baby massage that helps to reduce their pulse rates and also improves their oxygen levels. This means the baby discovers the massaging relaxing, calming and soothing. When it comes to beginning the baby massage at the right time, here are some essential things to consider:

Massaging environment

The warm rooms are an ideal place for baby massages. Even 26 degrees is a perfect room temperature for the baby massage. Actually, babies lose more heat very fast, when they are uncovered and also applying oil on them will also lesser their body heat a lot more. The area, where you massage your baby must be very quiet and peaceful. You just turn off the television and ensure that no in the room is louder or causing interruption. In performing so, both parents and their baby will highly enjoy the massage. With no other interruptions, the parents can focus 100% on their baby as well as their baby can focus 100% on their parents. Hence, this will highly strengthen the bond between them.

Best time for baby massages

Normally, the best time to massage a baby is when they are awake and pleasure. Most of the parents massage their babies after giving a bath and your baby gets relaxed. During this massaging time, the parents should be silent, if they are not, there might be a chance that the baby will absorb the negative feelings, so the parent might get hurt.

Moreover, it is highly recommended not to massage a baby, after they have eaten. So, it is good to wait an hour or so later, otherwise it may cause vomiting to them. In addition to, you can ensure that your baby is well feed, before you massage them. If they are hungry while massaging them, this may create them feel more stressed and unsettled.

Length of a baby massage

The baby massages usually tend to last around 20 minutes to 30 minutes. Actually, the babies are not very big, so massaging them is very fast and simple too. If you are beginning this massage for your baby, it may take a little bit longer; because it takes some to study the techniques and followed to use. You should also practice and study many techniques by just enrolling into the baby massage classes.

How often to provide the baby massages

Normally, the baby massages must be provided daily with each session that lasts around 20 to 30 minutes. However, 15 minutes will be more beneficial for the parents as well as the baby. If you cannot massage your baby on a regular basis, you can massage your baby at least three times per week.

Best oils for baby massage

The massages must be applied on the plain skin of a baby. For baby massage, using the best oil can be used to support the hands move very smoothly all over the baby’s body without even any rubbing.

baby-massage-oil_2

Applying pressure

When you are massaging the tiny areas on the body of your babies, the pressure you must apply is very similar to when you close your eyes and also press them together without even any discomfort. When you massage on the small areas on the body of your baby, you just use your finger tips and while massage your large areas, you must use your palms.

Other notes

  • Assure to be careful in choosing the best oil for baby massage, when you are choosing up your baby while they are oiled up
  • Avoid utilizing the aromatherapy oils, except you are accurately trained or have aroma therapist with you
  • If you trust that your child is allergic to nuts, you can simply utilize the nut oil free products

Here Is What This Dad Learned Marching with His Son Last Saturday

Last Saturday, resisting the urge to remain in my warm bed, I attended the Women’s March in Nashville. Along with my wife, toddler, and mother-in-law, I gathered with thousands of Nashvillians marching through the streets, waving signs, chanting, cheering. I marched not because I am a model citizen; rather, a tiny voice inside me said either get your ass out of bed or stop complaining about the election results.

Initially, I felt uncomfortable in the the large, diverse crowd (an introvert’s nightmare) but the vibrating energy was contagious and reminded me why I was there in the first place–my son. I want him to learn to appreciate women and treat them as equals. I want him to witness strong, committed women in action. I want him to do a better job of treating women with respect than I did as a boy.

Marching through the streets not only felt good it also opened my eyes. Here is what this daddy learned at the Women’s March:

We need to trust women. I know this is not an earth shattering insight, but we really suck at it, especially when it comes to decisions related to a woman’s body. Reproductive issues are complicated and involve varied circumstances, so let’s not pretend we know what is best for a woman in every situation. We live in a nation that prides itself on giving people choices; therefore, I don’t understand why we have such a hard time allowing women to decide what is in their best interests regarding health care. At the end of the day, women deserve the right to make the final decision about what will be done or not done to their body. It’s THEIR body. So, back off and let their conscience guide them.

Our children deserve better. Whether you are a Democrat or Republican or Independent or apolitical, I hope we can agree the lack of decency this past year was disturbing. I’m bothered by the barrage of name calling, mocking, shaming, and bullying our kids witnessed from adults. Our sense of decency swirled down the toilet bowl. Now, parents are navigating through a hostile climate where hate groups feel comfortable crawling out of their dark corners, spewing their warped ideology. It would be foolish to pretend our children do not hear them. If we don’t reject hateful behavior, then what does that say about us as parents?

We need each other. The Women’s March reminded me how much parents need each other to get through the next four years. It will be so easy to wallow in cynicism, isolate ourselves, and quit caring about what our children are absorbing. But if we make an effort to stay connected we can lean on one another and share our collective energy to keep spirits high. Resisting the hatred, bigotry, and ignorance is going to require a community of like-minded people who share the burden. If I don’t find it, I will buckle under my despair. I’m reaching out. Are you with me?

Oh, on a lighter note, below is my favorite sign from Saturday’s march.

Teaching Children to Value Kindness

Note:  This is my response to The Today Parenting Team challenge. The current challenge invites writers to answer the following question:  How do you teach your children to value kindness?

If my son does not get accepted into Harvard or win a Pulitzer, I will not be bothered, but if he fails to become a kind person, I will be dissatisfied. I consider it my responsibility as a parent to keep food in his stomach, shelter over his head, and clothes on his back; however, my highest calling is to teach him to be a compassionate person.

So, how does a parent teach a child to look beyond themselves and behave kindly? First, an adequate definition of kindness is needed. Kindness is NOT the same as politeness. Kindness is NOT a matter of manners. Kindness is NOT a matter of being “a nice boy” or “nice girl.”  Many people are perfectly polite and well-mannered on the surface, yet behave manipulatively and viciously behind the scenes. Their behavior does not qualify as kind.

No, kindness does not equal a polite facade; rather, it emanates from the core of a person. It is a choice followed by behavior. It is a way of life. Sometimes kindness is the exact opposite of politeness. Performing a kind act can be hard because it involves lowering your facade and speaking truth, painful as it may be, to another person or group. Kindness requires saying no and often ending relationships that promote cruelty. Kindness is complicated.

So, let’s teach our children not to put on a polite show, but to genuinely consider what it means to care for others. Children learn kindness in multiples ways and here are a few I have observed from watching parents I admire:

  1. Children need their feelings validated. In order to learn to respond to the feelings of others, they need their emotions and thoughts respected. They need mirrors, their parents, who reflect back to them the validity of their anger, sadness, joy, and frustration, so they know their feelings are acceptable. It’s common sense, but we often forget to give this attention. Its called empathy and it builds healthy relationships.
  2. Children need models to learn kind behavior. Children surrounded by kind people learn to emulate kind behavior and those surrounded by disrespectful people learn to disrespect others. I understand this is not a mind-blowing observation, but we tend to forget this too. Little eyes are watching every move we make, even when it seems like they are not. How are you modeling kindness to your children? What do they see?
  3. Children need to be removed from their bubble. From an early age, they need to cross paths with other children and adults from different backgrounds. They need to see a larger picture of the world and its inhabitants, especially people from different socio-economic backgrounds. It’s so easy to settle into a community of like-minded people who share our same status and never leave. Children need to be given the opportunity to understand the experience of someone different than them.
  4. Children need moral codes to aim at in their lives. Whether if it is a religious or secular code, children need healthy, ethical standards to use as a measuring stick. Stories, containing kind characters, are a powerful way to teach kindness and reveal moral codes in which to aspire. There are plenty of characters known for their fierce fighting, cool costumes, and interesting weapons, but what about a hero saves the day by caring for others?
  5. Children need opportunies to demonstrate kindness. Just like a kid needs a bike, helmet, and smooth surface to learn how to ride on two wheels, children need situations to learn how to behave kindly. Where can they live out kind behavior? Where they can serve?

Here is the unexpected part:  Teaching your child kindness will change you.  Like children, parents are on the learning curve. We always need to relearn the art of kindness. Teaching our children opens us to the areas in our lives where we are withholding or resisting kindness. This is challenging, yet necessary work, to build not only a kind child, but also kind relationships, communities, nations, and a kinder world. Kindness is the path leading us forward to a healthier society.

Unexpected Teachers: Toddlers and Spiritual Lessons

I triple check stove knobs before leaving the house, recount pages in stapled assignments, and proofread text messages long after hitting the send button. At my worst, in the middle of the night, I lie awake debating whether or not I closed the garage door. My desire for control pervades my daily life; it ranges from stove knobs to completing tax forms to remaining hydrated. I desire control so much I decided my best way to cope was to father a child.

“Parenting is like wearing your heart outside your body for the rest of your life,” a friend warned. My son’s birth created an unprecedented test for my inner control freak. While he rested in my palms, I experienced a new level of vulnerability. I felt a complete loss of control.

As my son developed from sleepy infant to wide-eyed toddler, my need for control was further challenged. My son hurls himself off furniture, launches into walls, and bangs his head against hard surfaces. He does these daring activities with a smile on his face.

Children are like little mirrors. My son’s wild exploration of the world reflects back to me my control seeking behavior. He reveals to me my own issues, weaknesses, and unresolved problems. I do not raise him to provide myself with accountability, but it comes with the package.

I like to think my compulsive need to control his environment is a noble act—a sign of a good father—but I know there is more going on inside me. The twenty-five pound mirror in front of me reveals a larger picture.  He shatters my illusion of control.

The truth is I want to prevent my son from experiencing pain because I don’t want to be reminded of my own vulnerability. I don’t want to face the reality of my own fragile nature. I don’t want to face the reality of living in a harsh world, a world where I am not in control and at risk of pain and suffering. This is an unpleasant reality that my furniture-climbing toddler forces into my awareness.

Children are often unexpected teachers; miniature prophets speaking truths we can no longer see. “Let the little children come to me, and do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of heaven belongs,” Jesus announces. He spoke these words to his disciples who questioned the presence of children. The disciples, like us, often need to be reminded to remove the barriers between ourselves and the innocent, clear eyes of children.

What do the children in your presence reveal? If you listen closely and observe their actions, they might reflect back to you the places within your heart where spiritual growth is needed. Children have a knack for exposing our blind sides–the ways we deny, manipulate, and seek control. They disclose our attempts to force life into our own hands.

Recently, at nap time, I noticed my son’s small stomach rising and falling in a beautiful rhythm. Of course, he was unconscious and relying on his body’s autonomous systems to perform the essential act of breathing. In that moment, it dawned on me how little control I have over his life. I can pour endless energy into carrying out his best interests, but ultimately his existence is in the hands of the God who created his beautiful stomach. My son is given to me not to control, but to receive as a divine gift. And the best way to respond to a gift is appreciation, not control.

Loosening a tight grip on life can feel like a step into darkness, but the good news is when we embrace our lack of control, we make room for God to work in our lives. A new space is formed within our hearts. A space where we can relinquish our petty control attempts, and place our lives (and our loved ones) in God’s hands, where they belong.

5 Dumbest Places I Took My Child

The first year of Henry’s life I took him to ridiculous places.  My desperation for contact with the outside world overpowered my common sense.  I craved entertainment beyond Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood and Sesame Street.  I desired a meal beyond two slices of wheat bread with deli meat.  I fantasized about adult conversation in trendy coffee shops.

If you are the parent of a small child, I understand how it feels when the walls start closing in at home, because I have felt the same way.  You cling to any reason available to get out of the house.  This past week, I reflected on the crazy places I took my son and compiled a short list of my dumbest choices.  In hindsight, I choose to laugh at them because I believe it’s necessary for parents to retain our sanity.  My hope is you will share a laugh or possibly identify with my experiences.

Below are the five dumbest places I took my infant son:

1.  Department of Motor Vehicles

I blame sleep deprivation and vehicle registration for my decision to take Henry to the Chicago DMV.  We stood in line for a thousand hours. Henry was strapped to my chest in the Moby wrap with no place to roam.  He spit breast milk on the woman behind me and played his favorite game, which consists of repeatedly shoving his hands in my mouth.  I ran out of milk.  He screamed.  Everyone in line probably wished to push us out the doors.  When I reached the front of the line, I was informed one of my identification documents was insufficient, which made the trip a complete loss.  If I owned a Flux Capacitor, I would install it in my Subaru and go back in time to the morning I made the decision to travel to the DMV, and slap myself in the face.

2.  Art Institute of Chicago

My friend, Jason, invited me to view a special exhibit at the Art Institute in Chicago. His membership allows him to take a friend for free.  Generously, he asked me to join him, probably expecting me to say no since I was caring for Henry on weekdays.  Desperate for a taste of culture, I accepteIMG_4542d his offer.  Henry lasted ten minutes in the special exhibit before I had to remove him to the lobby.  The museum provided an opportunity for him to practice his echo and balance against the stone columns.  In another exhibit, I sat him on the floor for a minute to admire the centerpiece.  Of course, he crawled to the trip wire in front of another painting and yanked, prompting the security to enter the exhibit.  I do not plan to enter a museum for several years.

3.  Pretentious coffee shop

I confess that I am coffee snob.  My wife finds it obnoxious, but it’s my thing.  Intelligentsia, one of the finest coffee shops in the country, claims Chicago as its home.  Their hand-poured coffee costs four to five dollars a serving, which makes it a special treat.  I love it, and decided one winter day I must drink a cup.  I entered the shop with Henry strapped to my chest not bothered by the hipsters and suits who turned to stare at me.  My order, the Guatemalan brew, was served on a wooden tray with a sturdy ceramic cup and glass carafe.  Henry spent the entire time attempting to dip his fingers in the steaming java.  Drinking the coffee proved to be impossible because every time I raised it towards my mouth Henry swatted at it.  I managed to drink a third of my cup before abandoning the effort.  In the end, I paid five dollars to play a game of keep away with Henry for half an hour.

4.  Macy’s dressing room

Summertime arrived and my cargo shorts unraveled to the point they were no longer acceptable in public, at least to my wife’s standards.  Henry and I boarded the red line train and traveled to Macy’s in downtown Chicago.  The gigantic store features multiple floors including one dedicated solely to men’s clothing.  We rode the escalator to the men’s floor and discovered a rack of shorts on sale.  Jackpot!  After I pulled a few pairs of shorts from the rack, we made our way to the dressing room.  I sat Henry on the floor with a few toys from the diaper bag.  He crawled underneath the stall to the neighboring stall and escaped to the hallway, which made things tricky for me while I was stripped down to my boxer shorts.  After corralling him, he picked the straight pins off the floor from previous customers and stuck them in his mouth.  It was a disaster, but I did purchase new shorts.

5.  Verizon Wireless

My iPhone broke leaving me unplugged from the world.  I could no longer stand the malfunctioning phone, so I took Henry to the Verizon store.  He hit the ground running and lapped the iPhone display enough to complete a half-marathon before proceeding to trash the case shelf.  I was eighth on the waiting list.  Thankfully, the wise manager understood the potential for destruction and bumped us up quickly to see a representative.  He averted destruction.  God bless his soul.

Bean Eatin’ Machine

The Bean Eatin’ Machine slams his palms on the plastic high chair tray. His large, blue eyes scan the ceramic bowl in my hand for the next serving.  He moans.  He kicks.  He shakes his head side-to-side. I stop to answer a text message.  He screams and launches sweet potato to the floor.

I scramble to supply black beans to his small palms, so he can shove them into his mouth causing his cheeks to protrude.  Bean after bean, he chews, swallows, and extends his right arm to call for more.  I deliver beans until he tilts his head back and appears on the verge of explosion.  Pieces of black bean skin cover his face.

Henry, aka The Bean Eatin’ Machine, gobbles black beans, white beans, pinto beans, kidney beans, lima beans, navy beans, and black-eyed peas.  The only bean he turns down are Garbanzo beans.

He devours beans on the airplane.  He devours beans on the subway.  He devours beans on the bus.  He devours beans in the park.  He devours beans on the busy streets.  He devours beans at the doctor.  Henry devours the beans on my plate at restaurants.  The boy risks transforming into a bean.

For Henry, breakfast, lunch, and dinner are opportunities to inhale beans, which led me to wonder how a one-year-old stomach holds so many beans.  Turns out, it can’t.  Following bean consumption, the changing table is a dangerous place to operate.  Since you probably desire to retain your previous meal, I will withhold diaper details, but know cleaning his rear requires fearless precision.

Don’t get me wrong.  Henry’s bean obsession pleases me.  Despite the toxic diapers, I remind myself we are fortunate the child eats well.  The option to use beans as a back-up plan when other food fails makes our lives easier.  A Ziploc bag full of beans travels with us wherever we go.

When the bean extravaganza unfolded in our home, I decided to visit the local Whole Foods to find new beans to rotate into Henry’s diet.  Prior to Henry’s bean obsession, I associated beans with gross, processed canned foods.  I have eaten too many beanie weenies. Yet, in the store I noticed beans on display from all over the world, including odd ones like Mung beans, Extra Large Fava beans, Giant Peruvian Lima Beans, and colorful Anasazi beans.  The uncooked, organic beans revealed the potential of exploring the legume world.

After my bean conversion in Whole Foods, my inner nerd made it a habit to frequent the Wikipedia bean article.  Did you know there are thousands of varieties of beans?  More importantly, did you know that soaking beans before cooking removes the sugar molecule that causes flatulence?  My new cookbook, Bean by Bean, informed me beans are “the single most concentrated source of plant-based protein in the world.”  It’s hard to argue against “the musical fruit.”

One of my goal’s for this year involves serving Henry every bean available in the store.  I have not shared this plan with my wife, because I know she will probably suggest I am taking things too far.  I don’t know why she would say that.  It’s not like I have an obsessive personality or anything.

Whether it is beans, baby wraps or something more serious, I am changing and growing as he changes and grows.  The first seventeen months of Henry’s life has opened me to the reality parenthood will transform me in big and small ways. Like any other relationship of depth, it involves two people influencing one another in subtle and obvious ways.  I am Henry’s teacher and he is mine.

As a first-time parent, it excites me to think about the ways my child will challenge me to expand my horizons.  Who knows what the future holds?  I’m guessing more beans.