It's normal in the first few weeks for a baby's eyes to move in different directions, such as having one eye turn inward toward the nose while the other looks straight--a condition called strabismus.
Most babies outgrow this problem by the time they are a few months old. Babies whose eye alignments do not improve by 3 or 4 months of age should see an ophthalmologist who is trained in caring for infants.
Sometimes the shapes of the eyes can make it look like a baby's eyes are crossing so if you're not sure, have your pediatrician check it out. It can be helpful to take a picture of your baby's eyes when they do not appear to be aligned so the doctor can see the suspected problem in action.
You may have heard that you shouldn't give honey to babies under 1 year of age, but do you know why people say this? It's because honey (and other products such as improperly canned foods or some corn syrups) may contain bacteria called Clostridium botulinum that can cause botulism in infants. The symptoms of botulism include severe muscle weakness, poor feeding, and breathing problems and occurs in about 100 infants every year. Babies (especially those younger than 6 months) are at risk because their digestive systems are not mature enough to handle the bacteria. Fortunately, most babies receive medical treatment and can recover fully. View Thread
Since belly buttons are in effect "dead ends" there is no real need to clean them, however, some parents do ask how to get any lint or remaining cord stump scabs out of the navel. If you do find the need to clean your baby's belly button, you can wipe it with the corner of a damp washcloth or alcohol swab but my favorite way is to gently twirl a Q-tip in the navel after bathing without going in too deep. If you have any other suggestions, please share. Thanks!View Thread
Depending on what your baby's doctor recommends, you may have been advised to wipe the umbilical cord stump with rubbing alcohol or soap and water daily (or even at every diaper change), a special antiseptic dye may have been applied after birth, or you could just leave it alone and let it dry and fall off on its own. While the different recommendations may be confusing, most babies in the U.S. do just fine no matter which method you choose because the cord is clamped and cut in a clean manner during the delivery, and babies generally return home to a fairly clean environment.
It may be helpful to fold down the front of your baby's diaper or use diapers with special cut-outs to avoid irritating the umbilical cord until it falls off, usually within 1 to 3 weeks. Sponge-bathing rather than putting baby in a tub is typically recommended until then as well.
If your baby develops any sign of an umbilical cord infection--red skin around the belly button, pus coming from around the cord, or fever, for example--be sure to contact your doctor right away.View Thread
Insect repellents can be useful to prevent mosquito-transmitted diseases such as West Nile Virus and the plain nuisance of itchy bites. Here are a few tips when it comes to insect repellent:
Unlike sunscreen, which is important to reapply every few hours, insect repellent generally should be used just once a day and then washed off before bedtime.
Check labels for age recommendations. DEET is approved for infants over 2 months; oil of lemon eucalyptus is not recommended until at least 3 years.
Higher concentrations of DEET last longer than lower ones (10% DEET is effective for 2 hours while 24% is effective for about 5). The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children use DEET concentrations below 30%. DEET and picaridin tend to last longer than plant oil-based repellents.
You can also use netting to physically keep bugs away from your baby.
Did you know that nearly half of all children have tooth decay by the time they reach kindergarten? To prevent early tooth decay, get into the habit of wiping your baby's teeth and gums every night before bed. Limit your baby's intake of juices and sweetened foods and drinks. Finally, one main cause of cavities is the transfer of decay-causing bacteria from a parent's mouth (usually the mother's) to the baby's mouth so avoid putting things like pacifiers into your own mouth before putting it into baby's mouth.View Thread
Try gently pressing down on the opposite nostril when you're suctioning a baby's nose to get a better seal. You may need to choose a bigger bulb syringe if nothing's coming out, or just wait until your baby sneezes and let her clear her nose herself!View Thread
Sure they're cute, but are they worth the potential risk?
Between 1985 and 2005, 27 children under the age of 2 years died and 25 were injured because of crib bumpers, mostly due to suffocation, entrapment and strangulation. Bumpers were originally used when crib slats were farther apart in order to prevent babies’ heads from becoming caught between the slats but current regulations require crib slats to be no more than 2 3/8” apart to avoid such problems. Crib bumpers are therefore not necessary and are especially not recommended once baby is rolling, crawling, or pulling to stand. If you still choose to use a bumper, it’s best to select one that’s thin, firm, well-secured and not pillow-like, but keep in mind that even firm ones can cause entrapment.View Thread