Guide Care Enough to Know-Keep Your Parents Safe

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Sponge baths.

Tough Conversations With Aging Loved Ones

Undress your baby and wrap him or her in a towel. Wipe your infant's eyes with a washcloth or a clean cotton ball dampened with water only, starting with one eye and wiping from the inner corner to the outer corner. Use a clean corner of the washcloth or another cotton ball to wash the other eye.

Clean your baby's nose and ears with the damp washcloth. Then wet the cloth again and, using a little soap, wash his or her face gently and pat it dry. Next, using baby shampoo, create a lather and gently wash your baby's head and rinse. Using a wet cloth and soap, gently wash the rest of the baby, paying special attention to creases under the arms, behind the ears, around the neck, and in the genital area.

Once you have washed those areas, make sure they are dry and then diaper and dress your baby.

Tub baths. When your baby is ready for tub baths, the first baths should be gentle and brief.


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If he or she becomes upset, go back to sponge baths for a week or two, then try the bath again. Undress your baby and then place him or her in the water immediately, in a warm room, to prevent chills. Make sure the water in the tub is no more than 2 to 3 inches deep, and that the water is no longer running in the tub. Use one of your hands to support the head and the other hand to guide the baby in feet-first.

Speaking gently, slowly lower your baby up to the chest into the tub. Use a washcloth to wash his or her face and hair. Gently massage your baby's scalp with the pads of your fingers or a soft baby hairbrush, including the area over the fontanelles soft spots on the top of the head. When you rinse the soap or shampoo from your baby's head, cup your hand across the forehead so the suds run toward the sides and soap doesn't get into the eyes. Gently wash the rest of your baby's body with water and a small amount of soap.

Tough Conversations With Aging Loved Ones

Throughout the bath, regularly pour water gently over your baby's body so he or she doesn't get cold. After the bath, wrap your baby in a towel immediately, making sure to cover his or her head. Baby towels with hoods are great for keeping a freshly washed baby warm. While bathing your infant, never leave the baby alone. If you need to leave the bathroom, wrap the baby in a towel and take him or her with you. Immediately after circumcision , the tip of the penis is usually covered with gauze coated with petroleum jelly to keep the wound from sticking to the diaper.

Gently wipe the tip clean with warm water after a diaper change, then apply petroleum jelly to the tip so it doesn't stick to the diaper. Redness or irritation of the penis should heal within a few days, but if the redness or swelling increases or if pus-filled blisters form, infection may be present and you should call your baby's doctor immediately. Umbilical cord care in newborns is also important. Some doctors suggest swabbing the area with rubbing alcohol until the cord stump dries up and falls off, usually in 10 days to 3 weeks, but others recommend leaving the area alone.

Talk to your child's doctor to see what he or she prefers. An infant's navel area shouldn't be submerged in water until the cord stump falls off and the area is healed. Until it falls off, the cord stump will change color from yellow to brown or black — this is normal. Call your doctor if the navel area looks red or if a foul odor or discharge develops. Whether feeding your newborn by breast or a bottle , you may be stumped as to how often to do so.

Generally, it's recommended that babies be fed on demand — whenever they seem hungry. Your baby may cue you by crying, putting fingers in his or her mouth, or making sucking noises. A newborn baby needs to be fed every 2 to 3 hours. If you're breastfeeding, give your baby the chance to nurse about 10—15 minutes at each breast. If you're formula-feeding, your baby will most likely take about 2—3 ounces 60—90 milliliters at each feeding. Bed-sharing is not recommended for any babies. However, certain situations make bed-sharing even more dangerous.

Therefore, you should not bed share with your baby if:. The mother of the baby smoked during pregnancy. Keep soft objects, loose bedding, or any objects that could increase the risk of entrapment, suffocation, or strangulation out of the baby's sleep area. These include pillows, quilts, comforters, sheepskins, blankets, toys, bumper pads or similar products that attach to crib slats or sides.

If you are worried about your baby getting cold, you can use infant sleep clothing, such as a wearable blanket.

Getting to know your new baby

In general, your baby should be dressed with only one layer more than you are wearing. It is fine to swaddle your baby. However, make sure that the baby is always on his or her back when swaddled. The swaddle should not be too tight or make it hard for the baby to breathe or move his or her hips. When your baby looks like he or she is trying to roll over, you should stop swaddling.

Try giving a pacifier at nap time and bedtime. This helps reduce the risk of SIDS, even if it falls out after the baby is asleep. This usually takes weeks. If you are not breastfeeding your baby, you can start the pacifier whenever you like. It's OK if your baby doesn't want a pacifier. You can try offering again later, but some babies simply don't like them. If the pacifier falls out after your baby falls asleep, you don't have to put it back in. Do not smoke during pregnancy or after your baby is born. Keep your baby away from smokers and places where people smoke.

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If you are a smoker or you smoked during pregnancy, it is very important that you do not bed share with your baby. Also, keep your car and home smoke-free.

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Don't smoke anywhere near your baby, even if you are outside. Do not use alcohol or illicit drugs during pregnancy or after the baby is born. It is very important not to bed share with your baby if you have been drinking alcohol or taken any medicines or illicit drugs that can make it harder for you to wake up. Breastfed babies have a lower risk of SIDS. Breastfeed or feed your baby expressed breast milk. The AAP recommends breastfeeding as the sole source of nutrition for your baby for about 6 months.

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Even after you add solid foods to your baby's diet, continue breastfeeding for at least 12 months, or longer if you and your baby desire. Schedule and go to all well-child visits. Your baby will receive important immunizations at these doctor visits. Recent evidence suggests that immunizations may have a protective effect against SIDS. Make sure your baby has tummy time every day. Awake tummy time should be supervised by an awake adult. This helps with baby's motor development and prevents flat head syndrome. See Back to Sleep, Tummy to Play for more information and ways to play with the baby during tummy time.

Wedges, positioners, special mattresses and specialized sleep surfaces have not been shown to reduce the risk of SIDS, according to the AAP. Do not rely on home heart or breathing monitors to reduce the risk of SIDS. Caregivers often deal with unusual, unruly and embarrassing behavior from their care recipients. The AgingCare. Behavior Change Parents Violent Behavior. Read Comments. Related Articles.