Get answers to your questions about all things newborns and infants, including sleep, breastfeeding, bottles, postpartum recovery and your new role as a parent.
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Why is pubic hair shaved before the delivery?
Some say you should, and some say you shouldn’t. You are left confused whether or not you should shave your pubic hair before delivery. Before you enter the labor room, you, usually, go through perineal hair shaving. It could be annoying and might unleash a myriad of emotions. Why Is Pubic Hair Shaved Before Delivery? In many hospitals, it is a practice to get pregnant women shave their pubic hair before delivery. Here are the reasons why it is done : To make your childbirth hygienic To rule out any chances of infection if an episiotomy (a cut made at the opening of the vagina to help a difficult delivery or to prevent tissue rupture during childbirth) is performed To make suturing easier Helpful in Caesarian deliveries Sometimes, the nurse or a helper at the hospital does the job for you but it could be embarrassing to get it done by a stranger. If you want to be clean-shaven for your labor, then you may want to get it done in advance. When Should You Shave? Experts say that you should not shave or wax seven days before your scheduled delivery – be it a normal or Caesarean. This is primarily to avoid infections on the little cuts in your skin, which could attract bacteria. Shaving pubic hair has been a highly debatable topic. While a number of hospitals advice mothers-to-be to shave, researchers are against it. You may make an informed decision after weighing the pros and cons of pubic shaving. What Are The Benefits And Risks Of Shaving Pubic Hair During Pregnancy? This information might help you decide whether or not to shave your pubic hair: Benefits: Pubic hair is an ideal place for microbe infestation. This makes it necessary to keep the area clean to keep any infections at bay. It stops infections from reaching your baby. As the microbes tend to thrive in the pubic hair, it can get transferred to the baby causing infections. A clean-shaven pubic area provides a better view to the gynecologist if she wants to make any interventions, su4 Rech as using forceps, during your vaginal birth. Trimming or shaving of the pubic hair reduces sweating and keeps the area clean. It is convenient to have a shaved area so that the excessive bleeding post-delivery does not stick to the hair and make it difficult to wash. Risks: If hygiene is not maintained while shaving, it may lead to infections. You must use sterilized or disposable tools for the purpose. The regrowth of hair can cause discomfort due to the itching sensation. If not shaved properly, it can lead to ingrown hair, wherein the hair starts growing inside the skin causing painful bumps. The more practical problem with shaving while pregnant is you need to take somebody’s help because your bump blocks your view of the pubic area. If you are still unable to decide on what to do with your pubic hair, then seek help to clear your concerns. Concerned About Shaving Pubic Hair Before Delivery? Do this: Consult your doctor and discuss your concerns. This will help you decide. Talk with your friends or close family members who have shaved/ not shaved during their labor. This may help change your views about this procedure. If you decide to go ahead with shaving, then do not hesitate to take help from your partner. But make sure you are opting for a safe method. How To Remove Pubic Hair During Pregnancy? Here are various ways you can shave your pubic hair: Waxing and sugaring is a method wherein heated syrup is spread over the skin and lifted off to remove the hair. With the growing belly, it becomes difficult for you to bend and do the shaving. Therefore, get it done in a saloon where an expert can safely carry out the procedure for you. You may use hair removal creams as long as your skin is not sensitive towards them, and you have used them earlier. Chemical substances in the creams break down the hair follicle cells and dissolve it, facilitating easy removal of hair from the pubic area. You can also use electric shavers for a quick shaving of pubic hair. You may use it throughout your pregnancy. Important Tips To Remember If you are removing the pubic hair by yourself: Use your fingers to feel and locate the area while going down and shave off the hair using a hair removal cream. Get into a bathtub and lay on your back. This position could help you see and shave the region. Place a fogless mirror on the wall or the floor such that you can see and angle yourself properly. It helps to guide you while shaving. If a nurse is shaving your pubic hair just before your delivery, then here is what you can do to avoid any anxiety: Do not get embarrassed while your nurse or midwife is carrying out this procedure because it is a standard procedure followed in almost all the hospitals and the midwives are used to it. Make sure that the person uses a new razor pack. The packet should be opened in front of you. If it is hurting you, let your midwife know about it. This is important because any cuts or nicks can lead to infection. Do not panic as this is a routine carried out both during Cesarean and vaginal birth. If you are against pubic hair shaving then let the hospital know about it. Tell your doctor why you do not want a shave, and listen to what she says. Shaving or not shaving pubic hair is a personal choice and depends on your hygiene habits. As there are studies that are for and against shaving, you might want to go by what your doctor says. Featured Image Source
Baby food: 7-9 months
When your baby hits the seven-month mark, he gears up for some important physical milestones like sitting up, teething, etc. Providing the right kind of nourishment in this crucial growth period is very important for the baby. During this time, the baby receives the essential nutritional supplements from both the breast milk/formula milk and from solid food. Here are some helpful options for healthy food for a 7-month baby that you can include in your child’s diet: Best Foods for Seven Month Old Baby: After introducing a few solid foods to your baby at six months, you can slowly diversify the options and incorporate more variety in their food by the next month. Here are some interesting options for solid food for 7 month baby. Fruit Puree: Fruits are a great source of vitamins, minerals and fibre. Fruits like apple, chikoo, papaya, banana, watermelon, avocado, etc. are great options for a snack or a meal. Vegetables: Vegetables contain essential multi-vitamins and minerals. It can be given as a meal by steaming it and making a puree. Steamed vegetable wedges can also be given as an excellent snack. Porridge: Porridges made from single grain cereals make for a great nutritional supplement for babies. Cereals like rice, wheat, oats, barley, millets etc. can be processed and powdered to make a porridge mix. Meat Puree: Meat and chicken are high protein and carbohydrate foods that can be introduced to babies in the form of puree. Egg: Egg is a popular source of healthy fat and protein. It can be given to babies as bite-sized pieces after boiling it. Cheese: Cheese made from pasteurised milk is available widely in the market. It is a food rich in fat, protein and vitamins. Kichdi: Kichdi made out of rice, wheat or dal with mild spice and salt is a filling and nutritious meal for small babies. This also serves as their first taste of adult food. Keep these in mind while introducing the Solid Foods You can offer the three times a day meal to your baby. Food should be well cooked, soft and easy to digest. Solid intake will increase gradually. Once baby starts eating proper solid foods, his milk intake will reduce. Don’t expect your baby to consume the milk as before. Sometimes, your baby doesn’t like the new food. He may take few days to adapt the food changes. Your baby’s digestive system is still developing so sometimes, introducing the solid foods can disturb his bowel movements. Feed your baby when he is sitting in a proper position. Always refrain your baby from distractions like watching Tv, playing some rhymes or cartoon on mobile while feeding. Offer the finger foods to let your baby start eating by himself. Every child is different and every parent is unique so don’t compare your child’s food intake with other babies. Content source Featured image source
7 tips for baby skin care
Babies are born with very gentle and fragile skin. New parents are often concerned about their baby’s skin, which is not surprising. A baby’s skin is very delicate and need a lot of care. New parents should be extremely careful about their baby’s skin needs, and must use products that are natural and free of any chemical additives that may cause harm to the baby’s skin. Why? Well, here’s your answer- As mentioned earlier, the skin of a baby is very thin and fragile. A new born baby’s skin needs time to get adjusted to the new environment around him/her. A baby’s skin faces a lot of challenges- think diaper rashes, chemical soaps and shampoos etc. Babies are prone to skin allergies in the first few months. Here we have listed some of the best ways to ensure optimum skin health for your precious little one- 1. Bathing: Parents prefer to bathe their child every day. It is better to use shampoo and soaps which do not cause an allergic reaction to the baby. Wash your baby’s skin with lukewarm water and a gentle soap. Only a pea-sized amount of soap and shampoo is enough to clean your baby's body and it isn't necessary to bathe your little one daily. You can give a bath to your baby on alternate days. Not only will it help to maintain the natural oils of the body but also prevent your baby from catching a cold. The room that you use to dry off your baby should be warm and all air conditioners and fans should be switched off to avoid the chill. 2. Powdering: You need to be even more careful while choosing a talcum powder for your baby. Choose products that are designed specifically for babies and avoid using powders that have fragrances and other chemicals as they may irritate the baby’s sensitive skin. Check with your paediatrician before using a powder since most doctors advise parents to abstain from using powders nowadays. 3. Nappies and Diapers: The diapers that are used for babies are actually helpful for keeping the baby clean and fresh. However, certain diapers may also irritate the baby’s skin and may cause rashes or infections. It is best to change the diaper as soon as you find that your baby has ‘used’ it. Diaper rashes often occur due to skin irritation due to wet diaper left on for too long, too-tight diapers or due to the use of a specific soap or wipes. Irrespective of the fact whether the diaper is soiled or not, do change it every 3-4 hours. Change the diaper as soon as it is wet and after using wipes to clean the area, sprinkle some powder to keep the area dry and clean or apply a non-allergenic diaper rash cream. Also, allow some naked time to the private parts of your baby so that they can get some fresh air. 4. Skin Problems: Generally, lots of babies have birthmarks (areas of skin have a slight discoloration) and this condition is not hereditary. Parents need not worry about birthmarks, as they cause absolutely no harm to the baby and needs no treatment. Eczema is a red, itchy rash that may or may not occur in response to a cause. It usually occurs on the baby’s face, elbow, arms or behind knees, chest. If the child’s family has a history of allergies, asthma or atopic dermatitis, the baby may be at a higher risk of getting affected by eczema. Use mild soaps and apply soft amounts of moisturizers. 5. Dry Skin: If your baby has dry skin, use a natural moisturizer to keep the skin hydrated, soft and supple. Pure coconut oil is a favourite. Avoid bathing your baby too often, as it may sap the vital nutrients from the skin, leaving it dull and dry. During your baby’s first month, gently sponge her with plain water two or three times a week; this should keep the baby clean while preventing her skin from losing its natural moisture. 6. Sunlight exposure: Babies should not be exposed to direct sunlight until they are 6 months old. The tender skin of the baby can be protected with long-sleeved tops, pants and hats. 7. Baby clothes: Make sure that your little one’s new outfits are clean; it is preferable to wash (and soften) new outfits before your baby wears them. Content source Featured image source
5 Fascinating Bedtime Stories for Babies
Do you get the feeling that your little baby is growing too fast and you want a new way to strengthen the bond that you two shares? Bedtime stories are a wonderful way to bond with your baby or toddler. Reading children a bedtime story inculcates a love of reading in them and improves their understanding of the language. When you snuggle up in bed with your toddler and read him a soothing bedtime story, it has a calming effect that lulls the baby to sleep. It is a great idea to use picture books and even books with sound effects, as babies find these books very interesting. In most cases, while the moral of the story is important, the tone and actions used help capture the baby’s attention. Once your baby grows a little old you can also tell them inspirational stories. Best Baby and Toddler Bedtime Stories Here are 5 of the best bedtime stories for babies and toddlers. These are the most popular bedtime story books that will definitely have a calming effect on your baby and soothe him to sleep. 1. Goodnight Moon This is one of the most popular short bedtime stories for toddlers with pictures. This picture book is written by Margaret Wise Brown and is about a bunny who would say goodnight to everything around him. Written as a rhyming poem, Goodnight Moon describes how the bunny says goodnight to various inanimate and living objects around him, such as a dollhouse, a red balloon, two kittens, the moon, etc. Babies love rhyming words and the calming rhythm of the story, and it swiftly lulls them to sleep. 2. The Very Hungry Caterpillar This story written by Eric Carle is one of the well-known toddler stories for bedtime. This book has colourful pictures and differently shaped pages with holes showing the caterpillar eating through various foods. On a Sunday morning, from an egg perched on the leaf, a caterpillar hatches and starts to look for food. He eats a leaf but is not satisfied. He then eats through increasing quantities of various foods for the next five days. On Monday the caterpillar eats through 1 apple, on Tuesday 2 pears, on Wednesday 3 plums, four strawberries on Thursday, and five oranges on Friday. On Saturday, the caterpillar has an enormous feast of one piece each of chocolate cake, pickle, ice-cream cone, salami, Swiss cheese, lollipop, sausage, cherry pie, cupcake, and watermelon. After this, the caterpillar has a terrible ache in his stomach from eating too much food. He feels much better on Sunday once he returns to his regular diet of a green leaf. Later, he spins a cocoon to wrap himself and remains in it for two weeks. As the two weeks pass, the caterpillar emerges out from the cocoon transformed into a colourful, beautiful butterfly with majestic wings. This book teaches toddlers about counting, names of various foods, days of the week, and the life cycle of a butterfly. 3. Dr. Seuss’s Sleep Book You can find numerous toddler bedtime stories online, and Dr. Seuss Bedtime Stories are amongst the most popular. Dr. Seuss’s Sleep Book talks about many different creatures from various lands going through their bedtime routines before falling asleep. It starts at the County of Keck where there is a small bug named Van Vleck who yawns so wide that you can see down his neck. The yawn spreads to some birds who are building their nest to sleep for the night. The story goes on to describe even stranger creatures and the weird ways they sleep. It then talks about different things that creatures do when they sleep, such as dreaming, snoring, sleep-talking, and sleepwalking. The book then talks about various kinds of sleepers until the number of sleepers is in the billions. Finally, there is a page of sleeping creatures snuggling against each other with their eyes shut and smile on their faces. The book ends with an empty page containing just the words a good night. 4. Hush Little Baby This book is written by Sylvia Long and is a modern version of the old bedtime lullaby. The original lullaby has lyrics that promise a child various rewards such as a Mockingbird, a diamond ring, and a looking glass for being quiet and going to sleep. The one by Sylvia Long tells the story of a mother bunny that soothes her baby bunny to sleep by singing about different wonderful things in nature, such as a flying hummingbird, the evening sky, the call of crickets, a shooting star, and the harvest moon. The book ends with the mama bunny promising the baby bunny a lullaby. The book contains fascinating miniature pictures of the objects mentioned in the story. 5. The Crunching Munching Caterpillar by Sheridan Cain This book contains cheerful and bright pictures that show a caterpillar who is always hungry, but wishes that he was able to fly. The caterpillar is busy crunching and munching on leaves when various flying creatures visit him. He is visited by a bumblebee, a sparrow, and a butterfly. When he expresses his desire to fly like each of them, he is told that he is too large and bulky, has legs for walking, and lacks wings for flying. The caterpillar then wraps himself in a leaf and spins a cocoon around his body. He then naps for a long time. When he wakes, he stretches himself and discovers that he has become a beautiful butterfly with wings. Content Source Feature Image Source
Most Recommended Games for 0-6 Month Old Babies
Babies need stimulation from an early age. The parents/caregivers should play various games with their baby to enhance his/her growth. Here are some games that can be played with babies. 0-3-Month-Old Games 1. Motor Games and Activities • Place baby on their tummy to play for a few minutes at a time, a few times a day • Lie down and place baby tummy down on your chest so you’re face-to-face • Hold baby’s hands and clap them together while you play music and sing • Nestle baby close to you while you gently rock and sway • Change the direction that baby sleeps to encourage head-turning and build strength 2. Sensory Games and Activities • Hang a colourful mobile above the baby’s crib to provide visual stimulation • Gently touch and tickle baby to make them giggle • Play with the baby in a variety of positions • Provide plenty of skin-to-skin contact with a parent or caregiver • Smile at baby, touch her hands, feet, and forehead. See how she wiggles, reacts to touch and voices • Play or sing songs with the baby to help enhance baby’s listening skills • When changing the baby’s diaper touch different body parts and say “beep” baby may begin watching your hand and anticipating touch. • Hang a mirror on the wall. Tap the mirror and say the baby’s name. Over time baby will begin to understand who the baby in the mirror is. • Show baby family photos or flip through a magazine. Point out the smiling faces to baby 3. Communication Games and Activities • Speak in a high-pitched, sing-song voice to help get and keep baby’s attention while you talk • Describe your actions as you dress, feed, and bathe your child. Talk about where you’re going and what you’re doing. • Give baby frequent face-to-face time • Shake a rattle up and down while singing to the baby • Show pictures of family and friends and point out smiling faces • Hold up a doll or stuffed animal and point out the different body parts 4. Feeding Games and Activities • Collect a variety of scents (flowers, spices, cookies) and pass them under baby’s nose one at a time to see what kinds of smells they prefer 4-6 Month-Old Games 1. Motor Games and Activities • Place baby on their tummy to play in short spurts for up to an hour over the course of the day • Place baby tummy down on a blanket and move the blanket slowly around the room • Allow baby to explore age-appropriate toys with their mouth and tongue (be sure that the toys are large enough so that baby does not risk choking) • Encourage baby to practice repeated rolling from back to tummy. Place toys around to encourage pivoting 2. Sensory Games and Activities • Encourage baby to touch fabric with different textures such as wool, corduroy, and velvet • Lift baby up and down and play in different positions to help develop their sense of movement and balance • Find balls with different textures and colors. Teach baby how to roll, drop, and bounce them. 3. Communication Games and Activities • Play peek-a-boo • Use a variety of facial expressions while you talk • Read with the baby. “Reading” can simply mean describing pictures without following the written words. • Encourage two-way communication. When baby coos or babbles, be sure to respond and take turns in “conversation”. • Play with rhymes and songs • Encourage baby to play with toys that make sounds 4. Feeding Games and Activities • Collect a variety of scents (flowers, spices, cookies) and pass them under baby’s nose one at a time to see what kinds of smells they prefer Content Source
Most Recommended Games for 7-12 Month Old Babies
Once your baby is 6 months old, he/she would have already mastered various skills and you can further enhance his/her development by playing the following games with your child. 7-9 Month Old Games 1. Motor Games and Activities • Put a toy or book inside an empty cardboard box. Wrap it with colorful paper or newspaper comics. Clap your hands when baby yanks it opens then announce what is inside. • Encourage movement by placing toys around the baby where they must move to reach them • Encourage baby push-ups during Tummy Time by raising and lowering a rattle over baby’s head • Engage baby in activities like reading or playing with a ball while in sitting • Gently push the baby back and forth on a swing in the park, but make sure the baby can sit up and hold the head steady with no problem • When the baby is holding a toy in each hand offer the third toy; watch as baby figures out how to grasp the new toy without letting go of the other two • Punch holes in the lid of empty food container and fill with water to make a fun bath time toy • Get an empty plastic bucket and let baby throw toys into it • Use different household items, like squeeze toys or newspapers to make different noises for baby 2. Sensory Games and Activities • Use your hands to make shadow puppets for baby • Gently touch baby on the feet and tummy to make them giggle • Play with a jack in the box or windup toy with the baby to show motion • Use animal sounds when playing with or reading to the baby; point out an image of an animal then associate the sound that animal makes with the picture • Walk with baby in a carrier or baby backpack • Play with baby in many different positions • Take baby on a walk in a stroller or jogger • Use slow, rocking motions for calming and more vigorous motions for play time • Give baby space to explore the environment, while staying close to supervise • Introduce new textures while the baby is eating, sleeping, dressing, or playing outdoors, use a variety of sponges, soaps, and lotions during bath time • Provide plenty of skin-to-skin contact with a parent or caregiver • Encourage baby to play on the floor with toys of various colors, sizes, and shapes • Allow baby to grab and explore items within reach 3. Communication Games and Activities • Draw a picture of the baby’s face and then point out the different parts • Play with a pretend phone; talk into the phone as you would a regular call, then offer it to baby to do the same • Read short stories with baby • Start using hand movements along with associated words to teach baby to communicate with gestures • Describe your actions throughout the day as you dress, feed, and bathe the baby. This gives the baby an opportunity to listen to the sounds and rhythms of speech • Respond to baby’s sounds and encourage two-way communication • Play music throughout the day – lively, upbeat music during playtime, and quiet melodic music for naps and bedtime • Read picture books together to help baby connect words and images • Give baby frequent face time • Point out objects while you walk and talk with baby 4. Feeding Games and Activities • Try introducing pureed foods to baby. Puree a small amount of whatever you are having for dinner in a food processor, but be sure to avoid honey, cow’s milk, salt, and artificial sweeteners • Introduce new foods gradually and watch for baby’s response • Do not force food or show stress over a baby’s dislike for certain foods • Change the texture of food if baby refuses food • Provide baby with a healthy diet – avoid artificial ingredients, sugars, and preservatives 10-12 Month Old Games 1. Motor Games and Activities • Get baby to stack toys such as blocks or rings and describe each toy as your baby picks it up • Lie down on the floor and have baby crawl over you • Practice new gestures with the baby like blowing kisses, clapping hands, or giving a high five • Use a toy to encourage baby to crawl when they are in a tummy time position • Roll a softball across the floor and encourage baby to crawl after it • Allow baby to play with toys they can push or pull across the floor • Read with the baby while they lie on their tummy • Play with stackable blocks • Let baby play with large objects like tunnels, pillows, or cushions while supervised • If the baby is already walking, let them try riding toys that they can sit on and scoot across the floor • Provide push toys that allow baby to practice walking with some support • Encourage baby to dance and sway to the music • Provide opportunities for baby to experience slow, rocking movements 2. Sensory Games and Activities • Play peek-a-boo with baby • Have baby look at their reflection in the mirror and point out each body part • Encourage baby to crawl over, under, and through various objects in your home • Introduce baby to new textures through food, toys, clothes, sponges, etc. • Provide plenty of skin-to-skin contact with caregivers • Keep baby away from areas where people are smoking or using harsh chemicals 3. Communication Games and Activities • Practice waving bye-bye when a guest leaves your home • Read daily from big, colorful books and let baby turn the pages • Encourage baby to wave hello when meeting new people • Ask baby to point to different body parts when you name them • Ask baby questions and encourage response with words, baby sounds, cooing, or babbling. Record the conversation and play it back for baby to hear • Direct baby’s attention to interesting objects by helping them point their finger • Name textures, shapes, and sizes to help baby attach words to tactile experiences • Describe your actions throughout the day as you dress, feed, and bathe the baby • Respond to baby’s sounds to encourage two-way communication 4. Feeding Games and Activities • Offer baby an assortment of food to try • Keep track of where the baby is in their feeding development, well-meaning friends and family may give baby food inappropriate for their age Content Source