Childcare can be difficult for all new moms. It’s like entering a whole new world, where you don’t really know how things work. Thankfully, though, it does get much easier over time. And you can get used to this new world by reading up about it as much as possible. So, that’s why I’ve come up with this alphabetic guide to childcare to help you on your way.
Are you ready to learn your childcare ABCs?
A – Asthma
Most parents think that asthma only affects young children, but it can actually develop while they are just babies as well. The most common symptom is a wheezing when they are breathing. If your family has a history of asthma, then your baby is more likely to suffer from it. Take them to the doctor for advice and a diagnosis.
B – Bedtime
Once your baby is a few months old, you will need to get into a good bedtime routine. You will find that a solid routine can help it get to sleep better and continue to sleep well through the night.
C – Cradle Cap
Cradle cap usually develops once a baby turns three-months-old. It is very easy to spot as the scalp will look slightly yellow and flakey.
D – Diaper Rash
Diaper rash is one of the most common rashes for babies and often occurs when the infant has been sweating lots in the diaper. Applying a barrier cream every time you change them can prevent this rash from developing.
E – Eczema
Eczema can be a chronic issue for some babies, while it will come and go with others. Bathing your child regularly and using massage oil for babies can help to keep the rash under control, though. It’s also a good idea to put mitts on your baby’s hands so that it doesn’t scratch too much.
F – Formula Milk
Even if you plan on breastfeeding your baby, you should still stock up on plenty of bottles and formula milk. Breastfeeding doesn’t always go according to plan, so it’s a good idea to have some formula at the ready as a backup. Plus, it means that your partner can feed your baby if you are ever away for any reason.
G – Grandparents
Grandparents can play a vital role in your life once the baby is here. They will be able to look after the child whenever you and your partner need a well-earned rest. Plus, they will have plenty of advice to pass onto you. After all, they’ve been in your situation before!
H – Hot-Water Safety
Did you know that hundreds of babies get taken to A&E each year because of scalding? So, as you can see, it is incredibly important to ensure that you practice good hot-water safety. When you run a bath for your child, make sure that you run the cold tap first and then add hot water slowly. You should then use your elbow to check that the water is the right temperature before placing your baby in the tub.
I – Immunizations
It is super important that you get your baby immunized against certain infections and diseases once they reach the required age. A lot of babies die unnecessarily from certain health conditions, such as measles and meningitis, and these deaths could be prevented by a simple injection. So, as soon as your child is old enough, make sure that you book an immunization appointment. It will give you a lot of peace of mind!
J – Jaundice
When babies are just a few weeks old, you might notice that their skin turns slightly yellow. Sometimes this will go away without any medical attention. In this case, it is nothing to worry about. However, if it doesn’t go away after a couple of days, you should take your child to see the doctor as it could be jaundice. Usually, this condition can be easily treated, but sometimes it can indicate a problem with a baby’s liver.
K – Ok, I’ll ‘fess up. I can’t think of a baby related topic that begins with ‘k’. But I’ll get back to you when I do!
L – Language Development
Once your baby turns six-months-old, they should start to make noises that sound more and more like real words. You might even hear them say their very first ‘mama’ or ‘dada’, which can be very exciting indeed! There are ways you can promote language learning and help with this development. For instance, keep on talking to your baby from birth. This will help them hear the wide range of sounds and pronunciations that they need to pick up. It’s also a good idea to read to them as much as possible, even if you don’t think they will be able to understand.
M – Mastitis
Not all the problems that arise during your baby’s life will directly affect them. There are some that could be more of a pain for you. Take mastitis, for instance. This affects breastfeeding moms. The nipples will become extremely sore and tender. This usually occurs when the baby hasn’t been latching on properly. Asking your doctor about how to improve your breastfeeding could greatly help this condition.
N – Nightmares
Small babies won’t be affected by nightmares, but once your child is a toddler, they might find hard to sleep because of them. Comforting them rather than ignoring the nightmare will help your child sleep better. It’s also a good idea to add a nightlight to their bedroom, as this can help with a fear of the dark.
O – Oral Thrush
Another very common health condition that some babies endure is oral thrush. This is a fungal infection that takes hold in the mouth but, thankfully, it is very easy to cure. The first symptom of this condition is white spots in the mouth or on the tongue. If they make some clock sounds with their mouth while feeding, then it is likely that they have this kind of thrush too. See your doctor about medication.
P – Pacifiers
For some parents, pacifiers are an absolute godsend. They can instantly stop a baby by simply popping the pacifier into its mouth. Babies get a lot of comfort of this as it stimulates sucking the nipping, and it can even help them practice their latching technique. However, it’s important that your baby doesn’t spend all day sucking a pacifier as this can lead to poor development of the teeth.
Q – Ah, here’s another letter that I can’t think of a word for. Moving on…
R – Reflux
It’s totally normal if your baby spits up some milk after a meal. This is really nothing to worry about. In fact, you might have to burp them to help them bring some of it up. Even though this looks like vomiting, they aren’t the same thing at all. To make sure you are safely burping your child, make sure they are relaxed before you begin. It will also help to feed your child smaller amounts regularly rather than one big feed.
S – Salt
Once your baby moves onto a solid diet, you will need to make sure that you limit their salt intake. A little salt in their diet is perfectly alright as it helps to aid the sweating process. However, if they consume too much then they might end up developing some serious health conditions. One of the best ways to cut down on salt intake is to prepare all of your own food. That way, you know exactly what is going in it.
T – Teething
Generally speaking, babies should expect their first teeth to come through at around six-months-old. You will easily be able to tell when the teething process starts. Your child will start to cry more through the night and will want to bite and chew every single item that they see. Some babies will also dribble and drool a lot more than usual. You can buy teething gels to soothe the baby’s discomfort.
U – Nope, haven’t been able to think of a ‘u’ word either!
V – Vitamins
One of the most important parts of your baby’s diet is vitamins. These are necessary for the healthy growth and development of the body. Make sure your little bundle of joy is getting plenty of vitamins A, C, D, and K.
W – Walking
Usually, babies begin to crawl at six months and start to attempt to walk at eight months. But don’t worry if your baby isn’t quite on time, as some babies can hit their milestones slightly later than others.
X – Xylophone
Babies like to play with xylophones, right?!
Y – Yogurt
Yogurt is a great food to introduce as your baby move onto a solid diet. It is packed full of essential minerals and vitamins and makes up an important food group.
Z – Zinc
Zinc is one of the most important minerals for your baby as it promotes healthy development. It is also necessary for a healthy pregnancy.
Hopefully, this guide is packed full of useful childcare info for you to use!