Teeth Care

Photo by Yuchao.L

For a baby, care of the teeth is very important. Your baby will be just getting the first teeth in, and you want to be sure that you are taking care of both the teeth and the baby. Teething can really hurt, and this is when a lot of new parents report that their baby cries often or fusses seemingly for no reason. If your baby is teething, be sure to apply some teething cream or something that will help to get rid of the pain or at least numb it a little. You may also want to try giving the child teething rings or blankets.

As your baby’s first teeth come in, you want to be sure you are brushing them. This will be right around four months, though the exact age will vary depending on the child. A baby’s toothbrush is very different from your own. This brush will have very soft bristles and will be small enough to fit in your baby’s mouth. You don’t need to use toothpaste when you are brushing a very young baby’s teeth; however, as the child starts to get a little bigger or starts getting more teeth, you will want to use a special toothpaste that is formulated for babies.

A special baby toothpaste will be safe to swallow though you should try to get discourage the child from swallowing it. It’s important to use a toothpaste that won’t hurt your baby, however, because a baby and even slightly older children will have difficulty understanding to spit out the toothpaste and could be hurt if they swallow regular types of toothpaste.

Your baby’s teeth should brushed twice each day, just like your own. Try to get in the habit of doing this because it will help your child get into the habit later on in life. This is very important in maintaining proper oral care for your baby.

Working With the Milestones

Photo by quinn.anya

Every baby is different. That means that each baby will learn new things like how to walk and how to talk at different times. They will also go through the stages of crawling and speaking full sentences at different times; however, following is a summary of the average ages that most babies will do each of these things. Don’t worry if your baby is behind or ahead of the average. Again, these ARE average ages. That means that some babies are earlier on and some are later. There is nothing wrong with your baby being even a few months behind the average. If you are worried, however, speak with your baby’s doctor, who should be able to tell you if there is anything wrong.

Another important thing to focus on is that these are the averages for children that are born completely normal. Some children tare born with an abnormality, whether it is a disease or simply a different brain chemistry. All of these things will play a part in when your child starts picking up on all of new traits and tendencies. For example, Albert Einstein was believed to be dumb because he did not speak for years, and yet he went on to become one of the smartest people in our world.

Your baby will go through these milestones at his or her own pace; however, there are some simple ways that you can help your baby along on this path. Babies will be able to learn even faster if parents support them and try to help their bodies along. Before they can get through any of these milestones, they need to be physically strong enough to do them. You can help with that by helping your baby to stand or sit upright as well and showing them how to walk across the floor even before they are ready to do these things on their own.

The first milestone that your baby will reach is going to be rolling over. This typically happens around the four-to-six-month mark. This means that your baby will be able to move from the stomach to the back and then from the back to the stomach. Most babies begin by rolling from their stomachs and may not be able to roll the other way for a longer period of time.

After learning how to roll, your baby will start learning how to crawl. This is often the stage when some babies start getting into trouble because they will be able to move themselves around and can get into anything they can reach from all fours. Most babies start crawling right around seven to nine months; however, a baby will not always start out crawling on hands and knees as you might expect. Many babies actually start on their elbows and drag their bodies across the floor before they figure out the best method of crawling.

Once your baby starts crawling, you’ll need to be careful because your baby will be able to move around much more quickly once it can crawl. This means keeping an eye on the baby even more closely than you would have before.  Just a few minutes’ time can allow your baby to get from one room to another and get into something he or she shouldn’t be into. Make sure that once your baby is crawling, you are following the child wherever he or she goes.  Another thing that comes along with crawling is the fact that everything starts moving faster. Your baby will be walking in no time.

Around the same time that babies learn how to crawl, they also learn how to sit up. This is typically done by leaning against something first; however, your baby will soon be able to support its own weight. This means the baby will be able to sit upright without holding on to anything for longer periods of time. If you wish to help your baby with sitting up, you can try sitting them between your legs so that they lean against you or leaning them against something else. This will help them to become strong enough to do this on their own.

The last thing that will happen around this time is that babies will begin to stand. This generally does not mean they will stand on their own, but that they will pull themselves up. Your baby may figure out how to use tables, chairs and anything else around to get into a standing position. The baby may even try to take steps; however, generally he or she will need another few months to manage this. The baby may be content simply to stand and not try to move for a while before sitting back down or crawling somewhere else.

Teething comes within a few months of this at about 10 to 12 months. This is when most babies will start fussing and crying more often because they feel pain as their teeth come in. It is very important that you take care of your baby’s teeth as they come in and that you are helping your baby with the teething process. This is typically painful. and that means your baby needs you for comfort and to provide soothing toys or creams when the pain gets too bad.

At the same time as babies typically start teething, they will also start walking. This is one of the most exciting milestones that babies will go through because they will then be much closer to doing things for themselves. Walking is a difficult step for any baby, and it could take many tries before the child is able to take even one or two steps; however, you want to be sure that you are supporting your baby’s efforts to walk. Make sure you pull your baby into a standing position often to help get his or her legs used to supporting the weight. This can actually help to speed up the time it takes to learn walking.

Finally, there is one milestone that every parent wants to hear–that is, when the baby is able to start talking. Babies will generally start speaking their first words at around 13-18 months, right around one year to a year and a half. This first word is typically something they hear a lot and is most commonly either “mama”, “dada,” or “no.” If you want your baby to say something, the important thing is to repeat it frequently.

As your baby grows more and more, he or she will be able to speak even more words. For the next few months, however, any ‘sentence’ will consist of only one word or possibly a couple of words strung together. Your baby will likely not be able to speak in full sentences until about 25 to 36 months of age, around 2-3 years. Of course, if you work with your child, it is possible that you could speed up this process.

One important step in teaching children how to speak is to talk to them properly. Many couples like to use baby talk when they speak with their children because they believe these ways of talking can actually help children understand better; however, “baby talk” can actually hamper the way that your baby learns. You want to be sure that your baby is learning how to speak properly, but babies will mimic the way that their parents talk, so if you talk in a voice that isn’t proper or say words in silly ways, then that is how your child will learn to speak. Once babies learn to speak that way, it is difficult to get them to switch to anything else.

 

Your Baby’s Hygiene

Practicing good hygiene for your baby is very important. This means paying attention and reacting promptly when your baby is wet or dirty. You will want to make sure that you change the diapers as soon as this happens because your baby could get diaper rash from being dirty for extended periods of time. If you make sure you’re doing everything you can to change the child as soon as you notice the need, this will help you to keep your baby happier as well.

The second step to good hygiene is bathing your baby, but bathing a baby can be very difficult. You must be sure that you are keeping the water level low and that you are keeping the water temperature down as well. The good news is that until babies begin crawling around and really getting dirty, they don’t require a bath more than a couple times a week. You do not need to bathe your baby every day.

An important thing to note is that before the umbilical cord comes off, you will not want to give your baby a full bath. You want to keep this area dry, and that means giving the baby sponge baths when needed. You’ll want to be sure that you are using warm (but not hot) water and keeping your baby as covered and warm as possible during the process of this type of bath.

Once your baby is ready for a regular bath, there are a couple of different options. Some people use the regular tub to bathe their baby and simply hold on to the baby at all times while bathing. Others prefer to use a smaller tub that is made just for bathing the baby. You still will want to be sure you are holding your baby at all times. Never leave your baby in any amount of water for even a moment or even turn your back. This means you will want to gather everything that you need for bath time before you put your baby in the water. Make sure you have everything, and if you realize you don’t, either get someone else to get it for you or do without for this time.

Make sure you have only a couple inches of water in the bottom of the tub and that your baby is sitting up and not lying down in the bathtub. Make sure the water is not too hot by testing it with your elbow. Your elbow is one of the most sensitive places on your body and will be able to test the water for what your baby will feel. Some people even get little rubber ducks or thermometers which will gauge whether the water is the right temperature for the baby.

When you are bathing your baby, you want to be sure you are using a cloth that is going to be soft on the skin. Regular washcloths can be rough and could hurt the baby, and so could regular shampoo and body wash. Make sure you are using something that will be gentle enough for your baby. Baby products do not contain the stronger chemicals or additives that adult products contain. These are not the same as regular children’s products either.

As your baby gets a little older, he or she will be able to help with bath time. For example, as babies get closer to three, they may want to wash themselves. It’s important that you still don’t leave them alone for any length of time. Even if you think your child is old enough to keep above water, you don’t want to take the risk. Anything could happen in just a few inches of water and with just a few seconds time.

The most important thing is never to take your eyes or your hand off your baby. Hold on to the child throughout the bath and watch him or her as well. The second most important thing is to be quick. Your baby is likely very wriggly or squirmy. That means the baby may try to get away or will try to move around, causing him or her to slip underwater. The quicker you make the bath, the less time the child has to do any of these things and the safer he or she will be.