How To Clear A Baby’s Nose Easily

Nasal congestion or stuffy nose in babies is normally caused by the common cold. It\’s worrying when your child is unable to breathe well due to blockage inside her nostril. Babies sometimes need help to clear congestion in their nose because their airways are so tiny.

Stuffy nose becomes a more delicate issue with babies due to their fragile nature. And because they are helpless sometimes, you need to take extra precautions when handling them. Babies are very tender and prone to cold easily, which gives them a lot of discomforts. Symptoms of nasal congestion threaten the baby more as this even interferes with the infant\’s breathing process and the eating process. Is your baby having a hard time breathing due to a stuffy nose? Don\’t worry, we will show you the easiest ways to clear your baby\’s nose.

Nasal congestion is associated with;
  • Runny nose
  • Sinusitis pain
  • Swollen tissues in the nostrils
  • Headaches and, in most cases, fever
What Are the common causes of nasal congestion?
  • Sinusitis infection
  • cold and flu
Severe cases could include:
  • Chronic sinusitis
  • Allergies
  • Tumor growth in the nasal passages
  • Hay fever
  • Increased blood supply during pregnancy

As mothers dealing with this new responsibility, it could be very challenging and tedious. Shuffling with other activities and still giving undivided care, love, and attention to these tender creatures poses as one of the many great advantages and joy connected with motherhood. When these babies are in discomfort, we are restless and will do all to make the discomfort go away. However, they need us always, and we should always, with immense love and affection, cater to our delicate babies.

Home remedies for nasal congestions for babies;

 a] Bathe them with warm water;

warm water is one of the best remedies for nasal congestion. Always endeavor to check the water temperature by dipping your hands into the water to prevent burning. Warm water helps soothes the congested nostrils, subtly using facial towels to massage the chest region provides air passage through the congested nostrils.

b] Application of mild baby balm;

we want to ensure the baby balm is given by a certified health practitioner to avoid using dangerous substances on our babies. Baby balm used should be 100% natural and safe. We use these balms to gently massage the babies\’ chest region; these balms provide relief from cold and nasal congestion.

c] Warm water drink;

during this period of nasal congestion, regularly giving the baby warm drinks aids in the improvement of nasal congestion. Please, this water should be aptly checked to avoid injury to the babies. It warms up the baby inner body system, providing warmth for the baby

d] Avoiding lots of exposure;

the severe climatic hot weather may trigger us to want to expose our babies. Avoid lots of exposure as these could put their health in danger and lots of discomforts. Wear your baby the right outfit for the right weather conditions.

Nasal congestion or stuffy nose is a common problem in babies\’ growth process. Take care of and handle it with home remedies. However, if it exceeds a week, kindly do well to see a doctor quickly as this could lead to a severe health condition.

Read more

Baby Cues and What They Mean

Only a mother best understands her child. A child speaks in an unclear language that hardly anyone understands. It is the mother, the best friend that can interpret such an unknown language. No wonder they say life does not come with a manual; it comes with a mother. She is the solution provider for a child\’s needs. There is usually no substitute for her.

As a baby grows, he or she makes several signs that meant different things. Take, for instance, when a baby is crying, it\’s either the child is hungry or needs a diaper change. All these are baby\’s cues. They are several ways a child communicates his or her needs. Not everyone understands these cues, but a mother does.

There are different baby cues and the way they interact differs from one another. But with time, you get to understand what those interactions mean. As the child continues to grow, the cues become clearer by doing a lot of baby watching.

What is the importance of understanding a baby cue?

When you understand your baby\’s signals, you are helping you and the baby. Caring for your baby\’s needs becomes more comfortable. The benefits of understanding a baby\’s cue cannot be overemphasized. They include (but not limited to):

1. It helps your baby to develop a sense of trust in her ability as regarding influence on the environment.

2. A secure bond will be formed between mother and child.

3. Baby cues are essential prerequisites to relationships and emotional development.

4. When you understand and respond to your baby\’s cue, you teach him or her emotional regulation. It enables them to realize that they have control over their emotions. Take, for instance, when your baby is crying, and you soothe her, she tends to calm down (emotion regulation).

Read Also: How to help your baby burp

How do you interact with your baby when she makes specific cues?

Once you have learned to read and understand your baby\’s cue, you will be better able to respond to their needs. When your baby makes cue, how do you interact?

  1. Hold her hand
  2. Feed her
  3. Change her diaper
  4. Give her a bath
  5. Talk or sing a song for her
  6. Gently place your hand on her tummy while you allow her to grab your finger

Types of baby cues

  1. I am hungry. A baby suddenly doesn\’t end up crying when they are hungry. They give signs like sucking on their fists, making sucking sounds with their mouths, making little noises, etc. All these subtle cues show that they are ready to feed. Once these cues are ignored, they end up crying, which is a late hunger cue.
  2. Could you play with me? When your baby\’s eyes are bright and wide, they show they are ready to play. A baby sleeps a lot, and because of that, they have little time to play. As they grow older, they have more time to play, and their signals become more explicit. Your child may also turn towards you at the sound of your voice or look at your face. She then begins to move the arms and legs ready for play. She might also grab hold of your finger or even pause her small lips as if she\’s communicating. If you respond to her, she will smile, babble, and make eye contact. All these cues show that your baby needs you to play with her.
  3. I need a break. A baby gives a clear disengaging signal that she\’s tired or needs a stop from the activity ongoing. When your baby looks away or turns head towards another side, kicks or squirms, coughs, spits up, or aches back, she shows that she needs a break. All these are stop signals. Other tiring, break, or a change in activity includes yawning, wrinkling of the forehead, frowning, or hiccups. Your baby may start to cry, fuss, or make thrashing movements when trying to tell you to stop playing, but you insisted.
  4. I want to sleep, or I am sleepy. We all like sleep, and we don\’t like to be disturbed when we are craving for rest. By the time your baby starts showing sleepy signs like yawning, keeping quiet, fussing, rubbing eyes and ears, clenching fists into tight balls, frowning, becoming still, and knotting of eyebrows, making of jerky movements, lost of interest in toys and people, etc. Gently put your baby to bed rather than waiting for her to sleep off completely. Once you observe these signs and abide by it, your baby will sleep comfortably without stressing yourself. If you missed these cues, your baby might become grumpy or excited and find it difficult to settle.
  5. I am warm, cold, or needs to be carried. When your baby is crying and fussing, they might probably be warm or cold. You need to check their temperature to see if you need to change their dress or wear another one to it. Because babies can\’t regulate their body temperature, they need to be worn double clothes than you. That does not mean you should overheat them. Always check their temperature and ensure it is fit for that moment. At times, they might be the only one left in the room and no one around them; they start crying. They need people around, and carrying them at that moment will be super dope for them.
  6. I am full. When your baby no longer shows interest in the food, spit out food, push the feeding bottle away, removes mouth from sucking your breast, closes mouth, turns head away, or eats slowly. All these show that your baby is full, and you need to stop feeding at this point.
  7. I am distressed. If you noticed that your baby is frowning, making jerky movements, making sounds, or turning red on the face, it might mean your baby is distressed. You will need to comfort and attend to her needs to know what she wants.

Read Also: Ways to put your baby to sleep quickly

All these signs differ in babies. As you play and nurse your baby, you will begin to observe these cues and understand what each means. All you need do is to take your time to study the diverse ways your baby communicates. By the time you spend more time watching and being present around your baby, you will become used to these baby cues and understand what they mean. In return, you will be able to respond in ways that best suit your baby.

Read more

Ways to put your baby to sleep quickly

One thing I have known about babies is their sleeping habits. They eat and sleep, nothing more. A baby sleeps around the clock because they can\’t differentiate day from night. Once their hunger is satisfied, the next thing is sleep. They often stay awake when there is a need, and once they are met, they are back to sleep. Due to their small stomach, they tend to feed often.

Each baby has a different sleeping pattern. Some may sleep more during the day while some are goodnight sleepers, but all are still normal. When a baby refuses to sleep, the mother becomes worried. Apart from the mother having sleepless nights, a way of putting the baby to sleep quickly must be proffered.

How should babies sleep? 

A baby is a fragile being, and you must adhere to all necessary precautions to always protect them. Even before the child is born, we have already prepared a particular room. But at this tender age, a baby should not be left alone to sleep in a separate room.

The mother can share a room with the baby but not a bed where she can adequately monitor and access the baby. This helps with night feeding, comforting, monitoring, and helps to keep the baby nearby. Putting the baby to sleep in bed with you is not too safe. It increases the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) as well as other sleep-related death. Therefore, room sharing is considered more reliable.

The following are ways by which a baby can sleep safely:

1. Place the baby to sleep on the back and not on the stomach or side to sleep. It is a recommendation by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) to reduce Sudden Infants Death Syndrome (SIDS).

2. Always place the baby on a firm sleep surface and well covered. Arrange the crib in a way that provides comfort and meets the current safety standards.

3. You can use small pillows as side support in the crib if needed. If this disturbs the child\’s sleep, do not put anything in the crib, be it pillows or blanket.

4. Avoid overheating. Monitor the room temperature where the baby sleeps. It shouldn\’t be too hot and deprive the baby of sleep. Also, dress the baby for the room temperature. The baby should not be too hot or cold.

5. Endeavor to keep your baby away from smoke. It can increase the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).

6. Use a pacifier to put the baby to sleep. Some babies do not like it, and it should not be forced. If the pacifier falls while the baby is asleep, do not bother replacing it.

Ways to put your baby to sleep quickly 

Since babies can\’t differentiate between day and night, they can sleep all through. Most times, it is food or wet diaper that wakes them up. Your baby can sleep from 10 to 18 hours a day, usually 3 to 4 hours at a time. They do not have a regular sleep cycle until they are about six months. Some babies sleep too well during the day, and they find it difficult to remain asleep at night.

In the process of being awake, they keep the mother awake too. But this usually proves difficult for the mother. She needs her sleep, as well. Plenty of sleepless nights can be dangerous to both mother and child. What then will she do to put the baby to sleep so that she can also sleep?

1. Set a routine. You should establish a bedtime routine and be consistent with it. When you do the same activities at the same time daily, the baby adapts to it. When you follow a regular bedtime routine, your baby will sleep better and cry less often in the middle of the night. All activities should be calm and peaceful, especially towards the end of the routine. Endeavor to bathe your baby before bedtime as it keeps them calm. A child\’s favorite activity should be the last thing you will do in the bedroom.

2. Put your baby to sleep, and do not rely on soothing. The sleeping condition you allow your child to get used to will be adopted. In most cases, it might be challenging to change. When your baby is tired and on the verge of sleeping, put the baby down carefully and allow her to sleep by herself. This will let the baby soothe himself or herself to sleep all alone. This will give the baby familiarity with the sleeping surrounding. Therefore, you won\’t need to rock or cuddle the baby to sleep even when not asleep. Do not wait until your baby is fully asleep in your arms before you lay her in bed. It may later in life become a sleep habit addiction, which might be challenging to change. Allow your baby to self-soothe and fall asleep by herself. It is usually one of the goals of parenting.

3. Always allow your baby to sleep on his or her back on a flat or firm surface. It helps in the prevention of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). With time and age, the baby will begin to sleep on the tummy.

4. You can soothe your baby but not to sleep. In most cases, you might need to soothe your baby to allow him or her drowsy. Once your baby is in this condition, gradually put your baby down. Soothing enable a baby to be relaxed and sleepy. There are different soothing patterns for a kid. A mother should know which one works best for her child. Once this is established, soothing your baby won\’t be a difficult thing.

5. Watch out for drowsy but awake. Put your baby gently in the crib while being drowsy but awake. You can then leave the room and allow her to sleep off completely. If your baby starts crying, wait for a few minutes before your check-up. The cry might be for a moment, but if persistent, try to console her. Put her back to sleep but do not carry her up. She might need to see your face, and that\’s all. She only wants to be sure you\’re close by her. Sleeping at that point is a sure thing for the baby.

Read more

How to help your baby burp

Burping your baby is an essential aspect of feeding. At times, a baby can burp on his or her own to show the satisfaction of food. In some cases, a baby might find it difficult to burp. In cases where a baby does not burp, you will need to devise means to help your baby burp.

Burping is a way of getting rid of excess or some of the air swallowed during feeding. When a baby doesn\’t burp, it can make him or her spit up, gassy, or feel cranky. One of the tricks in helping a baby burp is to pat the baby\’s back gently and repeatedly. You can put a bib or towel under his or her chin to prevent a messy and wet burp.

Burping positions

Some babies might need to burp after eating while some do not. Burping varies from baby to baby, and there are different burping positions for babies. Make sure you try out the ones that are comfortable for you and your baby. Some of them include:

1. Sitting on your laps. You rest your baby on your laps while you cup your baby\’s chin using your index finger and thumb. Rub or tap the back while your baby leans a bit forward.

2. Carrying your baby up on your shoulder. Place and allow your baby to face your shoulder. Let the chin be close a bit up your shoulder. Support your baby at the bottom with one hand while the other hand supports the back. Rub or tap the back gently.

3. Lying across your lap. Allow your baby to rest across the top of one or both knees. Ensure to use your palm to support your baby\’s head. Pat or rub the back using the other hand.

4. Walking. Ensure your baby has good head control upon your chest. Stand and walk around while your baby is firmly balanced on your chest. Use one hand to pat the back while you use the other hand to support the bottom.

Benefits of burping a baby

Some babies cannot burp all alone and therefore needs help. There is usually a muscle called upper esophageal sphincter in babies. This muscle is undeveloped and relaxes when we swallow. It allows the passage of food and saliva, as well as gas when we burp.

The case is different in babies as these muscles do not relax on their own when gas needs to pass. Failure of the gas to escape as a burp causes tummy pain for the baby because the gas moves to the intestine. 

Therefore, you need to burp your baby to prevent this pain. When you burp a baby, you help her get rid of air swallowed during feeding. It, in turn, keeps the baby from spitting up, becoming gassy, or cranky.

Also, a baby has a very tiny stomach. The presence of gas takes a whole lot of space in this small stomach. When you burp your baby, you tend to release the gas and give room for food to stay.

What leads to the presence of gas in the baby\’s stomach?

Listed below are ways in which a baby ends up with gas in their digestive system:

1. Air swallowing. When a baby feeds, there is a probability of swallowing air. The faster they feed, the higher the chance. In a breastfeeding mother who produces lots of milk, the child is likely to swallow more air. In bottle feeding babies as well, using a feeding bottle with a large nipple can increase the air intake.

2. Digestion. The digestive system consists of bacteria that aids in the digestion of food. When these bacteria act upon the food, they release gas. The gas needs to be gotten rid through burping. The rate at which a particular food produces gas differs from another food type. The food the mother consumes passes to the child through breastfeeding. As a result, a baby can end up having plenty of gas in the digestive system if the mother consumes food, resulting in gas formation.

3. Food intolerance. A baby can develop food intolerance. It means there is poor absorption of food. Such food may end up being difficult to digest. It will then be broken down by gas-forming bacteria. In this case, babies may develop food intolerance as a result of the food the mother eats, which passes through breastfeeding. As such, the baby might be gassier. Also, a baby can develop food intolerance and be gassier if they react to one of the nutrients used in making the formula.

When should you burp your baby? 

Usually, there are no rules as to when to burp your baby. Some may need to be burped during feeding, while some may be after feeding. Babies usually show signs when they need to be burped. Watch out for those clues they show while feeding them.

Some might seem uncomfortable at a point while feeding. If that is the case, take a burping break before you continue feeding. If the baby looks fine, you can wait until the end of the feeding. During burping, your baby might bring out milk. Always have a bib or napkin close by to wipe that.

Burping a baby varies but you can follow these guidelines on when you need to burp your baby:

1. You need to burp your baby at the end of every meal

2. If you switch breasts during breastfeeding

3. If your baby is fussy during a feed which is usually a sign of gas in babies

4. If your baby is bottle-fed and has consumed a whole bottle and needs another one

If all the listed burping techniques do not work for your baby and he keeps crying and showing difficulty in burping, try to lie him on the back. You can then gently pat or massage the tummy. The process should ease them of the gas in their stomach. In case these still don\’t work, you\’ll need to consult your doctor.

Read more

Spoon feeding versus bottle-feeding

Apart from breastfeeding a baby, you can spoon-feed or bottle feed the baby. All these have to do with age. As a child grows, it gets to a stage whereby other foods will be consumed alongside breast milk. At this stage, you\’ll determine what to feed the baby with, either spoon or bottle.

Some kids are even funny and can be selective. They tend to decide which one best suit them in the process of feeding them. The mother must now observe the child well and know which kind of feeding the baby likes well—one without any health challenge. No mother will be happy seeing her child, not eating. This usually gets them worried a lot.

You can feed a baby in two ways, spoon-feed or bottle feed. No matter the feeding method, it must be in the right nutrition, free from contaminants, and healthy for the baby.

Spoon feeding

Spoon feeding is simply the act of feeding a child with the use of a spoon. What makes the food to the child\’s mouth is with the aid of a spoon. Whether solid or liquid diet, a spoon can be used. The child can be left to use the spoon alone or assisted by the mother.

Advantages of spoon-feeding

1. Spoon feeding has been in existence since time immemorial. It has shown to help babies develop proper motor skills as well as good eating habits. Hand-eye and hand-mouth coordination, taking food from the spoon, and moving it to the mouth for chewing and swallowing are skills learned through spoon-feeding.

2. It helps babies develop a healthy relationship with food. Your baby needs to get used to all eating processes like sitting up, taking food from the spoon, resting between bites, and stopping when full. These are early eating experiences needed to help your child learn good eating habits all through his or her life.

3. It embraces sensory development. Spoon feeding is essential as it helps the baby to create a positive relationship with food. The baby can see, smell, and touch the food. The baby can also choose whether to eat or not.

4. It offers opportunities for various food textures. With the use of a spoon, the baby is either fed with smooth, crunchy, thin, or thick food. This broadens their palate and prepares them for table foods.

5. Spoon feeding encourages healthy mealtime habits with the family. During the process of eating at the dinner table with the family while everyone is seated, talks and eye contact can be made during the meal. This helps the baby to develop their social and language skills.

6. It does not lead to choking. The baby takes little food at a time, especially that which can be consumed once.

7. It is a clean feeding habit, and it enables you to know the quantity of food your baby has eaten.

Disadvantages of spoon-feeding

1. It is easy to overfeed the baby

2. The feeding may be time-consuming if you have other things to attend to at that moment

3. It can be expensive if you are purchasing jars of baby food or purees

Bottle feeding

Bottle feeding is simply the use of feeding equipment like a bottle, artificial nipple, and formula to feed an infant. It is usually considered an alternative to breastfeeding. It may occur when breastfeeding is no longer comfortable for the mother or when you are about to wean the child. As there are advantages to bottle feeding, so lies the disadvantages. All these must be known before you can conclude whether or not you will practice this feeding formula.

Advantages of bottle-feeding

1. Anyone can feed the baby. Whether parents, siblings, families, or friends can feed the baby. This allows for bonding with the baby because more time is spent with the baby.

2. Feeding can be done in public. Unlike breastfeeding, the mother might not want to expose her breasts or spoon-feeding, which might not be too comfortable outside. Bottle feeding is a different thing. It can be practiced anywhere at any time.

3. It allows you to know the amount of intake by your baby. Using a bottle can allow you to have a measure of what your baby consumes, unlike breast milk.

4. It helps babies with lactose intolerance. If a baby cannot process breast milk, using a bottle to feed the baby with milk formula is possible.

5. The baby is unaffected by the mother\’s health. If the mother is sick, bottle feeding can be encouraged. It doesn\’t allow the mother\’s health condition to transfer to the baby as a result of breastfeeding.

Disadvantages of bottle-feeding

1. Your baby might reject bottle feeding as well as formula.

2. Bottle feeding can be inconvenient and stressful. You may be required to get up and prepare formula anytime your baby is hungry, even if it\’s midnight. You will always have to carry a bottle, and formula around any time you\’re traveling.

3. It may affect the mother-baby bond. When the baby sucks the breast, skin to skin contact is established. Feeding is a bonding moment for mother and child, and bottle feeding may hamper it.

4. Bottle feeding equipment might be expensive at times. To feed your child with a bottle, you need to get clean and uncontaminated bottle equipment that will not affect the baby\’s health. You may have to invest in a good quality breast pump, feeding bottle, cleaning brush, sterilizer, etc. All these can be an added expense.

5. There may be a high risk of infection as microorganisms may stick to the teat of the bottle. This can transmit the disease to the baby with the use of such a bottle.

Similarities between spoon-feeding and bottle feeding

  • Both are methods of feeding a baby
  • They can be learned and practiced by any mother

Spoon feeding versus bottle-feeding

  • Bottle feeding is more comfortable for babies than spoon-feeding because the bottle is easier to carry compared to spoon
  • Bottles satisfy baby hunger completely while there might be a lot of wastage with a spoon
  • Bottle feeding is more hygienic because the bottle is completely closed as opposed to spoon-feeding
  • A baby might get too addicted to bottle and may not want to learn spoon
  • Spoon feeding doesn\’t require thorough washing at all times, but the bottle does
  • The bottle is more prone to microorganism contamination whereas spoon does not
Read more

Dental Hygiene Habits for Your Children

Do you know that babies\’ teeth are all completely formed and hidden in their gum before they are born? This means babies are born with their teeth complete. 

Babies begin to erupt their teeth as early as four months old. Because healthy teeth come out of healthy gum, it becomes important to start oral care even before the first tooth comes out. This is because good oral care can prevent dental caries.

Dental caries, also known as cavities or tooth decay, are common diseases that affect infants and toddlers. This might be because many parents think that children will still lose their baby or milk teeth, and for that reason, tooth decay doesn\’t matter. Many don\’t know that dental caries in toddlers often has a lasting negative effect on permanent teeth that could cost a lot to correct. These cavities in children can cause problems which could affect a child\’s eating habit, speaking, and learning abilities.

What is Dental caries or cavities?

Dental caries is a disease that occurs in children between the ages of twelve months to three years. It occurs in the presence of the bacteria Streptococcus Mutans present in the mouth. This bacteria colonize the tooth surface, feed on the sugar and other carbohydrates present breaking them down to produce lactic acid and other acids. 

This process results in the demineralization of the teeth. Usually, dental caries begins with the two front teeth known as the incisors and then proceed to the premolars.   

What are the signs and diagnosis of dental caries?

  • The first presentation of dental caries is white spots lesions, which show that demineralization under the enamel is taking place. This stage of caries is reversible.
  • Some children show signs of toothache and sensitivity to extreme temperature while others are asymptomatic and go further to present worsening caries progression.
  • As demineralization progresses and becomes irreversible, loss of tooth shape and contour occurs.
  • Pulpitis and tooth loss occurs.
  • Further damages like periodontal, periapical, and alveolar abscesses, gingivitis, and suppurative odontogenic infections, causing headaches, and facial pains, can occur.

How should you maintain dental hygiene for infants?

  1. Use a clean and soft washcloth dedicated to only her mouth to wipe clean your baby\’s gum after every feeding. If this isn\’t possible, rub the gum every morning and evening before bedtime.
  2. The moment your baby brings out her first teeth, begin to brush it twice daily with fluoride toothpaste, not more than the size of a grain of rice.
  3. Avoid your baby sucking long on the feeding bottle or sleeping off with the bottle in the mouth. Take the bottle away the moment your baby finishes drinking from it.
  4. It is necessary to schedule your child\’s first appointment with the dentist before the first birthday or as soon as the first tooth erupts. The dentist will evaluate the baby to prevent or stop any abnormalities. 
  5. If your baby falls and breaks a tooth or breaks the gum, clean the gum with warm water and salt and take the baby to see the dentist. This is to prevent infection that could lead to caries and other mouth diseases.

How should you maintain oral hygiene for toddlers?

Children\’s primary teeth are complete by the age of three and start falling off by the age of six for the permanent teeth to come out, which is almost complete by thirteen years.

  1. Apply a pea-sized toothpaste that contains fluoride to a toothbrush with soft bristles to brush your child\’s mouth.
  2. Brush your child\’s mouth twice a day and make sure she spits out the paste.
  3. From the age of three, you should start flossing for your child.
  4. Visit the dentist every six months.
  5. Change the toothbrush every three months.

How to get your child interested in brushing

  1. Make brushing time a fun time and playtime.
  2. Play her favorite songs and cartoon to encourage brushing
  3. When your child wants to brush by herself, allow her and guide her through it.
  4. Tell your toddler the benefits of brushing regularly.
  5. Get her toothbrush with interesting cartoon characters, especially if you can get the cartoon she likes with soft bristles.
  6. Let your child see you brushing and, when possible, brush together.
  7. Offer your child her favorite snack or a gift for brushing her teeth.
  8. Put a timer to ensure you brush your child\’s mouth for two minutes or more.

Why does your child need fluoride toothpaste?

Fluoride is an essential mineral to maintain healthy teeth. Fluoride is known to reduce cavities both in primary and permanent teeth. It also makes strong teeth. Fluoride can be obtained from drinking water and toothpaste containing fluoride. But in the case a child is found to be deficient in fluoride, she may need to take oral fluoride supplement, which is to be prescribed and recommended by the dentist. Note that excess fluoride isn\’t beneficial for your child because it can cause teeth stains. Be careful not to allow your child to swallow fluoride toothpaste or mouthwash. 

What should you ask the dentist?

  • The type of toothbrush best for your child
  • The safety of the use of mouthwash by your baby
  • The role of fluoride supplement and if your baby needs it
  • How often your child\’s dental appointment should be in a year
  • How safe dental x-rays are for your child.
Read more

11 Reasons Babies Cry and How to Soothe Them

It is no news that babies cry to communicate their emotions. The only way they express hunger, sleepiness, discomfort, or feelings of not feeling well is through crying and fussiness. In the early days of birth, you might not be able to differentiate between the various reasons for crying, but as times go on, you can tell when it\’s a cry for food or a call to be put down to sleep.

We will be discussing some reasons why babies cry and possible ways to soothe them. Maybe you can see and understand why your baby cries.

  1. Hunger
  2. Tiredness
  3. Sleep
  4. Pain
  5. Wet or soiled diapers
  6. Feeling hot or cold
  7. Overstimulation
  8. Tears for toys
  9. Cry for attention
  10. Colic and stomach upset
  11. Teething

1. Hunger

Most newborns don\’t start wailing the moment they are hungry; they show signs. And when food is not fort coming, then the cry begins. Newborns learn to store milk in their mouth from when they are two weeks old. You see them chewing the curdled milk first before they start to cry for food. Other signs babies present are sucking their fingers, lip-smacking, fussiness, and turning towards the breast of whoever is holding them, always opening their mouth. As your baby grows, he will be more specific in the quest for food.

SOOTHE THEM: Give your baby food when he shows the signs. You might be tired of his constant sucking. It might mean he isn\’t getting enough milk either because he isn\’t latching well or there isn\’t enough milk supply. Find help for him to get enough milk.

2. Tiredness

Many people don\’t know that babies get tired from being carried and played with. Sometimes they just want to lie on their bed and play by themselves. I remembered one morning when my mom was holding my baby, and she wasn\’t able to calm her down when she started crying. She called me thinking she wanted to feed, but my baby wouldn\’t suck. After some time, I put her down, and she stopped crying instantly and was happy. She played by herself till she slept off. That was when I learned that babies could be tired of being carried.

SOOTHE THEM: Place your baby in her bed or cot and create a conducive atmosphere for him to relax.

3. Sleep time

Many babies cry when they are about to sleep until they are a year old. If you have ever wondered like me why babies have to cry when they feel sleepy when sleep isn\’t a bad thing. Babies love all that is happening around them and don\’t want to miss out on any. They battle with sleep, and since most babies can\’t settle themselves to sleep, it causes the fussiness.

SOOTHE THEM: Feed or rock your baby to sleep. Take him away from noise and visitors that might disturb his sleep.

4. Pain and not feeling well

Babies feel pain too, and because they can\’t express it in words, they cry. If you can\’t understand your baby\’s cry, remove the sock and feel the sole of her feet. If it is cold, then your baby might be having a headache. Babies experience abdominal pain when the umbilical cord falls off, and the navel is healing. Flu or cold could make your baby fussy and cry, especially at the onset, when you can\’t see a running nose yet.

SOOTHE THEM: You can give your baby acetaminophen or paracetamol for infants and toddlers. For the navel, soak a washcloth or clean white towel in not too hot water and press the navel till the baby finds relief. Check his temperature and nasal drops to help with the nose block. Humidifiers could help when your baby has a stuffy nose and can\’t breathe well.

5. Wet or Soiled Diapers

This one is easy to check. Most babies cry immediately they poo in their diapers or are soaked from their urine. I can remember my baby smile every time I removed her diapers. I felt like she was saying thank you. But some babies don\’t mind staying in their soiled diaper for some time.

SOOTHE THEM: Removing the diapers and cleaning them up will calm the baby down

6. Feeling hot and cold

You might have been told that babies don\’t feel hot or cold. One thing I know for sure is that babies like proper ventilation. It is safe to keep babies warm, but when they are wrapped in various layers of clothes and blanket, they can feel hot, and they will cry from heat. When they are exposed to cold, they can feel chilly and cry, asking to be covered up. Every baby has the degree of warmth they appreciate.

SOOTHE THEM: Understand what your baby likes. Remove extra wrap or clothing on your baby.

7. Overstimulation

While my first baby liked to be backed or held with a baby carrier, my second baby cried whenever she was backed or in a baby carrier. But she loved the swing. Some babies cry when there is so much noise around them or when they are held in a position they are not comfortable in.

SOOTHE THEM: Change the baby\’s position, reduce the noise, or kill the source of the sound.

8. Cry for attention

Babies like to be held, cuddled, cared for, and spend time with their mother. At such times you will find that your baby will be relaxed just staying in your arms

SOOTHE THEM: Hold your baby and sway from side to side, sit down and cuddle your little one. Look into your baby\’s eyes and say beautiful things to him.

9. Tears for toys

If your baby has older siblings, he is likely going to be crying for their toys when he is about six months or older. Your baby could also be looking for things to play with.

SOOTHE THEM: Get your baby age-grade toys that are handy and safe. You should also consider getting a playmat for your baby.

10. Colic, Constipation, and stomach upset

Acid reflux or gas in the stomach isn\’t easy for adults. You can imagine how uncomfortable it can make a baby cry uncontrollably for three hours stretch or more and might not be able to fall asleep. The condition known as colic in babies has to do with stomach upset from gas, which might be because of lactose intolerance or something in the mother\’s breastmilk, which came from what she ate. There are certain herbs and spices a nursing mother shouldn\’t eat in her food because they can upset the baby\’s stomach and can also cause constipation. Some babies don\’t do well with dairy in their mother\’s breastmilk. Doctors might tell you it is normal that your baby hasn\’t gone to the toilet for four days as long as he is farting. That is what they told me. But I knew my baby was suffering until I did something about it.

SOOTHE THEM: help your baby burp after every feeding. If he is suffering from constipation, help your baby pass out the poop. Also, give your baby tummy time, it could settle him for a while.

11. Teething

Teething brings some level of discomfort and pain to babies, and different babies handle it differently.

SOOTHE THEM: check the gums for swelling or hotness. Give analgesics to help with the pain. Get teething toys. Read here how to handle your baby\’s teething

Read more

25 Essentials for a Newborn Baby

A baby is on the way, and you are excited and anxious about all you need to take care of your baby. I imagine the hospital only gave you a hospital list during your antenatal visit, and you are looking to make your baby comfortable on coming, especially if you are a first-time mother. There are many baby gears, both essential and non-essential, but you don\’t need baby gear on the list that the seller gives to you. You should get essential things a newborn baby needs first before you purchase any other baby gear.

Essentials for a newborn

I have written below is a list of things to buy for a newborn, items required within the first month of newborn\’s arrival. 

  1. Chlorhexidine for Umbilical cord care
  2. Diapers and wipes
  3. Breast pump and feeding bottles
  4. Sleepsuit, jumpsuit, and bips
  5. Socks and caps
  6. Burb clothes and wash clothes
  7. Swaddle wraps and flannel
  8. Blanket
  9. Baby carrier
  10. Car seat
  11. Cot or sleep-in mattress
  12. Baby linens
  13. Sterilizing set
  14. Nappy cream
  15. Bath soap, shampoo oil, and lotion,
  16. Hair combs and brush
  17. Bathtub
  18. Grooming equipment
  19. Nursing bra and breast pads
  20. Cotton swab
  21. A nursing pillow
  22. Thermometer
  23. Nasal aspirator
  24. Medicine dropper
  25. Hot water flask

Let us discuss some of the lists of baby items by categories and things to buy and take to the hospital

  • Few diapers
  • Wipes and nappy cream
  • Receiving blanket
  • Hooded baby towel
  • Bath soap, washcloth, and lotion
  • A towel for the mother
  • A nightwear
  • Maternity pads
  • Breast pads
  • Feeding cup and spoon
  • Formula for mothers who have delayed lactation
  • Hot water flask
  • Bath soap and sponge for the mother

Read This: Suggestions for Newborn Baby and Toddler Clothes

Baby Feeding Gear

  • Burp cloths. You will need six or more burps clothes, whether you are breastfeeding or bottle-feeding. The burp cloths are to prevent your clothes from being soiled by the milk your baby will spill out or vomit.
  • Nursing pillow. A nursing pillow is essential for comfortable breastfeeding time. It is to support the head of your baby and give you good posture when breastfeeding your few-days-old baby
  • Nursing pads. No mother likes a cloth or bed soaked with her breastmilk, and that is what nursing or breast pads prevent from happening. You will need two to three packs.
  • Bibs. There are cotton and plastic bips available, but cotton bibs are preferable for newborn babies.
  • Breast pump. This is not a must-have for everyone, but you should know the breast pump makes everything about breastfeeding easier. You can pump into feeding bottles or storage containers and store in the freezer 
  • Sterilizing setfeeding bottles, cups, and spoon. You need 1 sterilizing set, 3 feeding bottles, 2 baby cups, and a set of spoons. Your baby\’s feeding equipment always has to be sterilized.

Baby Diapering Gear

  • Diapers. You will need at least two packs of baby diapers in the list of baby items to buy. Your baby will use 150 to 180 diapers in the first month of birth. A healthy baby is expected to soil five to six diapers daily.
  • Wipes. Water-based baby wipes with no fragrance is a preferable choice for your newborn. Wipes are fore effective cleaning of a baby\’s poop.
  • Nappy rash cream. This is a must-have to prevent babies from having rash and sores on their bum and genitals. The nappy rash cream is to be used after every diaper change.

Clothing Gear

  • Bodysuits. Also known as onesies are comfortable for your baby. Make sure to buy 100% cotton. Babies need to wear pure cotton clothes, at least, for the first year of their lives. You will need to purchase 6 to 8 bodysuits before your baby is born. You can buy more after a month when you are sure of his size
  • Sleepsuits. Sleepsuits are the bodysuits with legs and foot cover attached. The nurses or midwives are most likely going to wear a sleepsuit for your baby for his first clothing. And I would recommend wearing them sleepsuits for at least two weeks before you put on fancy clothes for them. You will need 6 to 10.
  • Socks, mittens, and caps. When your baby isn\’t in a sleepsuit, then he must be wearing cotton socks. A baby should be fully covered in their early weeks of birth. Mittens are the hand cover, and caps should cover the head.
  • Fancy clothes. You need to get some pure cotton fancy clothes for your baby\’s naming, christening, and dedication. When your baby finally starts going probably after six weeks, you might want to dress your baby up. Remember not to expose him.

Bathing Gear

  • Chlorhexidine. Before now, cotton wool dipped in alcohol, also called methylated spirit, was recommended for use, but due to increasing cases of fake methylated spirit, WHO recommends Chlorhexidine for umbilical cord care. You are to clean it every morning until the cord falls off.
  • Bath tube: You cannot bath your baby in a regular container just yet. Babies tend to be slippery when bathing or dressing them, so extra caution needs to be taken. Get the right bath tube that will not allow water to spill into their nostrils. 
  • Bath soap, washcloth and shampoo: You should get soaps that are less acidic and designed for babies. Your baby\’s skin is susceptible and can easily absorb substances into the skin. Try as much as possible to get organic products. You need 6 cotton washcloths to use with soap to clean the baby\’s body.
  • Oil and lotion: Your baby\’s hair needs oil at all times, and his skin needs to be moisturized. I will recommend the use of coconut oil for hair and skin for the first six weeks; after then, you can introduce alkaline-based lotion or organic lotions.
  • Hooded towels. This is to wrap your baby after a bath. You need 3. Wash your baby\’s towels every 3 to 5 days.
  • Cotton swabs. You need the cotton swabs to clean the umbilical cord, tongue, and the navel after the umbilical falls off.
  • Grooming equipment. Should contain scissors, nail clippers and a file to keep your baby\’s nails trimmed and clean.

Baby furniture

  • Cot or sleep-in mattress. It is your choice if you want your baby sleeping in a cot or your bed. If you want your baby close to you, then a sleep-in mattress is useful to prevent accidents from occurring. For mosquito prone areas, get a mosquito net. 
  • Wardrobe. To store the baby\’s dressings.
  • Crib mattress. If you are using a folded crib or bassinet, then a crib mattress isn\’t necessary. But it is very much needed for a crib.

Baby\’s Linens

  • 2 to 3 baby crib sheets
  • Receiving blankets or flannel. You need 3 to 6 of them to always carry your baby for the first three months. Always buy one hundred percent cotton when purchasing fabrics for your baby.

Baby Car Seat

  • You need this to carry your baby in the car. You can decide to buy the one you can use until your child is ten years or buy for every stage. There are car seats with a hood that serves the purpose of carrying the baby around too. You should put this into consideration when drafting your baby items list.

Our ultimate newborn baby essentials can help you determine what you\’ll need to purchase and prepare as you get ready for baby\’s birth, including essential items for feeding, sleeping, bathing, and clothing.

Read more

Why is My Baby Not Sleeping at Night?

Sleep is as important to babies as it to adults. Newborns within the first 3 months sleep for a total of 16 to 18 hours a day but they wake up every two to three hours to feed even in the night. It is expected that by 4 to 6 months they should, your baby should sleep six to eight hours on a stretch.

Babies are unpredictable in their sleep patterns. Some sleep all day and party all night, some are heavy sleepers while some are light sleepers. Babies fight sleep as much as they can and some especially the ones determined not to sleep succeed for a long time until they fall asleep or you make them sleep. Whatever is the case, there are ways to help them sleep.

Reasons your baby Might not be sleeping in the night.
  1. Tiredness
  2. Heat or cold
  3. Hunger
  4. Thirst
  5. Colic
  6. Sleep positions
  7. Soiled diaper or nappy
Ways to help your child sleep through the night

I believe every mother has a natural instinct to understand their baby even if it takes some time, you will understand your baby’s cry and discomfort. Study your baby to know why he or she isn’t sleeping through the night. I found out that my baby sleeps well at night if he has a bath before bedtime. The day he doesn\’t, he cries all through and no one will sleep. It turned out that heat was his problem.

Find out what is causing your baby not to sleep at night and then we can find the solution


Tiredness during the day could disturb his or her night sleep. Watch out for when your baby is tired. He starts rubbing the eyes, yawning or being fuzzy. Your baby can get tired from all the carrying and playing and just wants to lie down to sleep. If he doesn\’t get enough rest during the day it could affect his sleep at night.

Heat or cold

Out of fear of cold, many parents don\’t properly ventilate the room their baby stays in. they wear multiple clothes and in the bid to create warmth for a baby they believe will easily fall sick from cold, they create.


If your baby isn’t getting enough breastmilk then he or she won’t sleep well at night. Do what you can to make your baby feed properly because it is needed not only for good sleep but for brain development. If you are not producing enough breastmilk you can take lactation cookies or other therapies that increase milk supply or augment breastmilk with formula.


Colic is a term used to describe well-fed babies who cry for 3 hours or more within 24 hours every day. Colic cans start around 2 weeks and last for 4 to 6 months. If you notice this pattern in your baby then take him or her to see the doctor and together you can figure out ways to soothe the baby.

Soiled diaper or nappy

Your baby could be very sensitive to soiled diapers. Always wear a clean diaper at bedtime and check when he wakes up to feed if the diaper is soiled with poo or heavy with urine.

Sleep positions

Some babies like to sleep on the back while others don\’t mind being laid on their tummy. Find out what works for your child

Also, put out the light and don’t make a habit of playing with your baby when he or she wakes up in the night. Let your child learn to fall back to sleep on his own.

Read more

Baby Teething Symptoms: How to Take Care of your Baby\’s First Teeth

Teething is one of the major milestones every baby crosses. When you see the first set of teeth pop, it makes you smile. Every parent is excited about that first set of teeth that show especially considering the troubles many babies go through to bring out that first set of teeth. Babies bring out their first teeth between 4 to 10 months. The teeth come out in twos with either the lower or upper front teeth also called the incisors being the first.

Baby Teething Signs

Different babies show different signs of teething. You have to carefully study your child to understand. Some of these signs can go on for as long as two months before the first teeth pop up. Below are signs that he is preparing to sprout his first teeth

  • Your baby begins to drip saliva a lot
  • Baby is biting on his finger almost every time. 
  • Your nipple becomes his biting buddy. He bites and draws the nipple frequently
  • Some babies are restless and cry often only comforted with breastfeeding or a cold tether placed on the gum.
  • The gum can become sore or tender when the teeth are about to spring out.

While some people believe teething is associated with diarrhea and fever, it hasn’t been proven to be true yet. What occurs is that the immunity is lowered during the time the teeth is about to sprout. This makes the baby prone to stomach infections and they can easily fall ill from the things they put in the mouth or what they are exposed to.

Ways to get through your baby teething stage

Many mothers, especially first-time moms worry that their baby is sucking and try to prevent the baby from sucking their hands. If your baby isn’t sucking his thumb then he isn’t sucking his fingers. He is only doing his best to soothe his itching gum. 

  1. Acetaminophen or paracetamol would help deal with the discomfort or pain that comes from teething
  2. Place a cold tether or ice on the sore or itchy gum to soothe the gum
  3. Get many teething toys for your baby and keep them clean always.
  4. Allow your baby gnaw on your fingers. Make sure to keep your hands always clean.
  5. Occasionally massage his gum with your fingers or washcloths kept in the freezer.

Taking care of your baby’s teeth

You and your baby have gone through the troubles of bringing out the first teeth. This is great. You now have to ensure your baby’s teeth and oral health is great. Keep in mind that if you don’t take care of your baby’s teeth, he or she could develop tooth decay otherwise known as dental caries. How do you maintain good oral hygiene for your baby?

  1. Book a visit to the dentist for your baby as soon as you see your baby’s first teeth
  2. Clean the gum with a soft clean cloth and warm water.
  3. As the teeth grow, switch to toothbrush with soft bristles and a pea size fluoride toothpaste.
  4. Constantly check for signs of tooth decay. A white or brown patch on the teeth. If there are any concerns, make sure to talk to the dentist
Read more