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You've been preparing for parenthood since before you conceived your baby, and read plenty of parenting books during your pregnancy. Still, it is inevitable that new questions will pop up the minute you hold your little bundle of joy in your hands.

These baby care tips for new parents may have the answer to your question. If not, feel free to ask away in the comments section, and I'll answer you. 

Baby bath time

My first baby is nearly seven years old now, but I remember that bathing her was one of the scariest things about being a new parent. How do you keep your baby safe when you are bathing her? Can you take a bath together with your baby? Do you need to use soap all the time, or will that irritate your baby's skin? Can you ensure the bath water has an appropriate temperature without a bath thermometer? Newborns stay quite clean compared to toddlers, and they usually don't need a bath every day.

The diaper area is the one place that will inevitably get dirty, and cleaning it with a washcloth is just fine. Most newborns can stay perfectly clean if you give them a full bath twice a week, while washing them as needed. Some babies love bath time, while others hate it. If you have one who loves do have a bath, go ahead and bathe him every day. Otherwise, relax. Too many products can irritate that soft new skin. Use a natural baby soap, and not much else. A little baking soda in a baby's bath water helps prevent diaper rash. You can easily make sure that the bath water has the right temperature by testing with your elbow. If it feels comfortable to your more sensitive skin, your baby will be just great too.

Baby carriers

Baby carriers can be real life-savers, but not all of them are suitable for newborns. Using a mei tai, wrap, or pouch sling is your best bet. Ergo baby carriers are also safe for newborns, but only if you use the infant insert. If you are not sure how to use a particular baby carrier, YouTube is a great resource. There are also forums on the internet specifically aimed at baby wearers, and I've found these to be extremely useful. Baby carriers can transform your life strollers are not practical on all types of terrain, and can be a nightmare on public transport or in a shopping mall. Popping your baby in a good carrier can also enable new moms to get housework done while still keeping their baby happy.

Going out and about

Going out with a small baby can be terrifying. What if... X happens? Many moms try to prepare by bringing lots of baby paraphernalia with them, but this too can be hugely impractical. Diaper bags are famous, but not necessarily helpful. I recommend you bring a backpack instead, so you have your hands free to carry your baby. What do you need to put in there? The following will always come in handy:

  • A towel
  • An extra set of clothes
  • Diapers
  • Wet wipes
  • If you bottle-feed, bottles and formula

If you breastfeed, you may wonder how you are going to nurse when you're out and about. Nursing covers are on the market for those moms who would like to stay covered, but baby carriers also work well if you want discretion. Having said that, there is nothing wrong with breastfeeding in public without these accessories if you feel comfortable that way. In this case, pull-down tops work better than pull-up T-shirts.

Poop

Are you worried about your baby's poop? If so, you are not alone. Poop is a sticky subject. You may be worried about the frequency of bowel movements, as well as their consistency. Breastfed poop should be a mustardy yellow, and often has little white specks. It is quite liquid, too. Breastfed babies may poop every day, or they could go only every few days. Formula-fed babies should poop every day and their poop is a little more solid too. If your baby seems to have diarrhea, it is good to get in touch with your pediatrician. Constipation can be a problem too, but don't immediately assume your baby is constipated if he hasn't had a soiled diaper for a whole. Constipation has more to do with the consistency of poop than with the frequency, and constipated babies will have pain while they are attempting to poop.

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