Expecting a new baby is an exciting time, but it can also be exhausting – especially the first few days home from the hospital. To ensure you have everything on hand for feeding baby, we’ve compiled the following list of essentials:
- Bottled water
- Nursing pillow
- Nursing bras
- Breast pump (sometimes insurance will cover cost)
- Collection bottles and bags for storing breast milk
- Nursing pads
- Nipple cream
- Contact number or email for trained, lactation professional if breast-feeding becomes difficult
If formula feeding:
- Mix of 2-, 4- and 8-ounce bottles and nipples
- Bottle warmer (can warm bottle in pan of water, but never heat bottle in microwave)
- Bottle brush or steam sterilizer for cleaning bottles
- Bottle basket if using dishwasher to clean bottles
- Baby bibs and burp cloths
- Iron-fortified formula
- Nursery® water for mixing formula
- Pacifier – if you choose
Of course, what goes in must come out. In fact, you’ll change your baby’s diaper at least 6 times daily after the first week of life. While you may be tempted to buy a truckload of diapers, it’s best to buy in small amounts as babies grow quickly.
Grandparents play a special role in the lives of their grandchildren. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, almost 3 million grandparents are raising their grandchildren. And while a grandparent’s love is timeless, several child safety recommendations have changed over the years.
Here’s the latest advice from the American Academy of Pediatrics on how to handle common health concerns:
- Safe sleep. Grandparents may have put their own babies to sleep on their bellies, but to reduce the risk for sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), pediatricians now recommend babies be put to sleep on their backs.
- Reducing Fever. Fever is one of the most common conditions of childhood. Doctors advise helping a feverish child feel more comfortable by removing a layer of clothing and encouraging fluids. If recommended by the child’s pediatrician, ibuprofen or acetaminophen can also be given.
- Care for Cuts and Scrapes. A kiss may be all that’s needed for a “boo-boo.” But for a small wound that’s bleeding, pediatricians suggest direct pressure over the wound for 5-10 minutes (don’t peek!), a gentle wash with soap and water, then a small amount of antibacterial ointment and a bandage.
If caring for grandchildren in your home, childproof your environment and secure your own personal medications by placing them up, out of sight and out of reach of grandchildren.
Babies younger than 6 months are at high risk for serious complications from the flu. Because they are too young to be vaccinated, consider the following steps to help protect your baby:
- Get flu vaccine for yourself
- Make sure caregivers and siblings older than 6 months are vaccinated
- Keep baby away from others who are sick
- Wash hands frequently and cover a cough
- Clean frequently touched surfaces in home
If your child becomes ill, check with your pediatrician before giving over-the-counter medication. When recommended, measure liquid medication with provided syringe, dropper or measuring cup. If none comes with medication, request one from your pharmacist or pediatrician. Never use a kitchen spoon to measure medication.