Hygiene plays a crucial component of a baby's overall care. Practicing a good hygiene is extremely important to keep your baby happy and healthy all the time.

Eight essential hygiene rules for your baby. Here are eight simple good hygiene practices to adopt when you have a baby.

  • Washing your hands with a good antibacterial soap is essential for removing harmful bacteria and germs that cause colds, flu, diarrhea and other infections. Be sure to dry your hands properly and wash your hand towels regularly. It's especially important to wash your hands before feeding your baby, after handling raw food, after changing a nappy or going to the toilet yourself, after touching pets, after touching anything dirty such as dirty nappies, rubbish or food waste.
  • You don't need to clean the house every day from top to bottom with disinfectant, you just need to pay particular attention to the surfaces that are most likely to harbour germs and bacteria. Focus on the areas that have a lot of contact with food, bodies and hands, such as bathrooms, kitchen benches, tables, crockery, cutlery and glassware. You need to be cleaning these properly. Use hot water with detergent for crockery, cutlery and glasses, while kitchens and bathrooms will need a thorough clean with a good disinfectant. Pay particular attention to taps, toilet seats, benches and door handles. Dry surfaces as well if they are not in a well-ventilated area with natural light.
  • Babies love to put things into their mouths, and toys are often the closest thing to hand. Be sure to regularly give your child's toys a clean with a good disinfectant. Wipe hard plastic toys down and make sure you rinse them thoroughly or put plush toys through the washing machine.
  • A good bath is essential for keeping your baby clean and tidy, but you need to make sure you are not over-washing as this is damaging to your baby's sensitive skin. In the first year of your baby's life a full bath is necessary only two or three times a week. Check out our step-by-step guide to bathing your baby.
  • These are three areas that need some special attention. Always keep your baby's nails well-trimmed so that they can't scratch themselves — the best time to trim them is when your baby is asleep. Be sure to use baby-sized nail clippers and not to cut the nails too short as these will hurt your baby.
  • Only wash the outside of your baby's ears, never the inside, and never insert cotton wool buds into your baby's ears. If your baby is unhappy and touching their ears repeatedly, this could be a sign of infection — be sure to get this looked at by a medical professional.
  • Clean any dried mucous from your baby's nose, as this can cause difficulty breathing. Use a damp wash cloth to gently remove the dried mucous. A nasal syringe may be needed to help remove excess mucous, but consult your baby's health practitioner before using one of these.
  • Be sure to keep your baby's eyes clear of any dried mucous. Use damp cotton wool to gently clean their eyes and seek medical attention if you notice your baby's eyes are irritated.

How to spot the signs of a growth spurt

How to spot the signs of a growth spurt

If your baby is hungrier or crankier than usual, chances are that he is going through a growth spurt. Here’s what to expect, says registered midwife Philippa Hime

The post How to spot the signs of a growth spurt appeared first on Living and Loving.

How to spot the signs of a growth spurt

If your baby is hungrier or crankier than usual, chances are that he is going through a growth spurt. Here’s what to expect, says registered midwife Philippa Hime

The post How to spot the signs of a growth spurt appeared first on Living and Loving.

How to spot the signs of a growth spurt

Just as you think you have this whole parenting thing under control, your baby’s behaviours and patterns will change – now what? Chances are she is going through a growth spurt.

What are growth spurts?

A growth spurt is when your baby grows rapidly in weight and height. While regular check-ups over the first two years of life will reveal a smooth growth curve along your baby’s appropriate percentile, in reality this isn’t the case and your baby can actually go through marked periods of intense bursts of growth. These bursts happen at regular intervals and can be quite noticeable to parents. Initially, these periods of fussiness can leave you feeling anxious and mothers often begin to doubt their milk supply and worry that they are not producing enough.
Babies grow at an impressive rate during the first two years of life. In fact, they double their birth weight between four and six months and triple it by their first birthday. They grow a good 2 to 2.5cm in length each month to reach almost one and a half times their birth length by the age of one year. As well as growing larger in size, babies go through spurts of cognitive growth, acquiring new skills and achieving milestones.

ALSO SEE: Decoding baby’s growth chart

Growth spurt ages

Growth spurts start from as early as seven to 10 days after birth and continue well into the toddler years. In the infancy stage, they tend to happen more frequently. They can be seen around day 10, week three, week six, three months, six months and nine months. Things then start to settle in the second year as their weight gain evens out, height growth slows and growth spurts happen less frequently or noticeably. Most toddlers tend to grow around 6cm a year.

ALSO SEE: Newborn milestones

What are signs of a growth spurt?

  • The first sign your baby is having a growth spurt is that she will appear to be hungrier than usual. Many breastfeeding mothers begin to feel they just don’t have enough breast milk to keep up with the demand and may want to supplement with formula. If you are exclusively breastfeeding, it is best to try and ride through the growth spurt so your supply catches up to your baby’s increased demands.

ALSO SEE: 5 ways to tell if your baby is getting enough milk

  • She may also start to wake more often at night, wanting one or two extra feeds when she was previously sleeping well. Prepare to feel exhausted for a day or two, because your baby will likely feed more often. Your baby may begin to feed every two to three hours and want to cluster-feed during a particular time of day. She may have settled into regular three to four hourly feeds and then suddenly want to feed all day long – or at least it will feel that way. This intense appetite is usually noticed during the early growth spurts.
  • Growth spurts can also leave your baby feeling unsettled. She may be fussier than usual and not settle as easily to sleep. She may also want to be cuddled more and seem clingier. After a big growth spurt, you may notice that your baby’s naps become longer as she recovers from all that hard work.

ALSO SEE: Newborn sleep patterns – what to expect in the first months

Do you need to supplement feeds?

Ideally not, as your breasts need to realise that your baby is growing and the demand for breast milk is increasing. If you top your baby up with formula during these growth spurts, your own supply may not match your baby’s needs.

If you are formula feeding, you may need to increase the number of bottles in 24 hours. You may also need to increase the volume per feed.

As your baby gets older, between four and six months, you need to start adding solids to his menu.

ALSO SEE: Your guide to introducing solids to your little one

How to sail through a growth spurt

  • Try not to stick to any strict routines. Instead, feed your baby on demand. Your baby is extra hungry for a good reason. She will need those extra feeds to help her through this intense burst of growth.
  • Allow her to sleep when she needs to. She may have an extra nap during the day or sleep for a longer stretch at night.
  • Keep your baby close when she’s going through a growth spurt. She may feel a little out of sorts and will want some extra cuddles and attention.
  • Try to get some rest – especially if you are breastfeeding. Your baby’s increased demands will take its toll on you, so try to maintain healthy meals and snacking while increasing your fluid intake.

When to get advice?

If your baby still seems unhappy and cries more often despite your attempts to increase her feeds, you may need to consult your clinic sister or GP to check if anything else may be bothering her.

The post How to spot the signs of a growth spurt appeared first on Living and Loving.

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