Baby’s First Bath, Level Up With These Tips

baby's first bath jax, fl | Jax, FL Nanny | Newborn Care Jax, FL

Baby’s First Bath, Level Up With These Tips

These tips for a baby’s first bath will help ease your fears and make the first bath (and many more) run smoothly. At The Jax Baby Company, we help bathe lots of slippery newborns, wiggly infants, and rambunctious toddlers. We have bathtime down to a science!

When parents talk about baby’s very first bath, most of them are referring to a bath with water and some soap. That’s what we will cover here today. However, until your baby’s umbilical cord stump falls off you’ll want to skip a traditional bath with water and soap and give a “sponge bath”. Wiping your baby down with a warm wet washcloth is sufficient and keeps the umbilical area dry. Pay close attention to the neck creases where milk drips and collects, the creases of the legs, and diaper area.

Tip #1: Follow the 3 T’s of Bathtime

When we teach parents about babies we always talk about safety! Follow the 3 T’s of tub time What are the 3 T’s you ask?

  • Temperature: A newborn can chill easily. You want the room your bathing your baby in to be free from drafts and not too cold. You don’t need to turn on the heat in Florida unless it’s true winter, but you can turn off any fan you may have running in the room. Likewise, make sure the water temperature isn’t too hot or too cold. Baby bear like’s it “just right”. To prevent scalding, before your baby is born adjust the thermostat on your water heater to below 120 F (49 C). Always test the water temperature with your hand or thermometer if needed before bathing your baby. Aim to have the bath water around 100 F (38 C).
  • Touch: Keep one hand on your baby at all times. Babies slip and slump easily in the water. It only takes a moment for an accident to happen. If you can’t reach “it” while keeping a hand on your baby you don’t really need it.
  • Time: Baby’s first bath shouldn’t take long, in fact, all baths should be kept to under 10 minutes. Newborns have very short sleep/wake cycles. So, although your baby may seem very content, at a moments notice your baby can be sleepy again and things can escalate quickly.

Tip #2: Gather Your Supplies First

You want everything you’ll need for the bath, from start to finish, within an arms reach. Go ahead and rip those safety seals off before you ever starting. Remember touch of the 3 T’s of bathtime? One hand on your baby at all times, always! You’ll want all the rest of the supplies you’ll need right where you’ll dress and groom your baby. What supplies do you need? Well, that depends on what you’re tackling, remember to keep it under 10 minutes total.

Bath Time:

  • tub, bather, or bloom sink insert
  • a cup to pour the water on the baby
  • baby wash/soap of choice
  • warm water (100 F (38 C)
  • 2 washcloths
  • towel

Grooming & Dressing:

  • diaper
  • clothing
  • socks
  • cotton ball for drying ears
  • lotion
  • brush
  • nail clippers

Tip #3: Take a Deep Breath & Keep Calm

Most newborn babies hate being naked, cool, and wet. If you find that your baby starts to cry keep calm! Don’t panic! If she takes a pacifier you can use one that doesn’t allow water to get inside of it, like this. Most of the time baby’s first bath involves some tears. You can stop where you are, wrap it up, move on to our bonus tip and call it a success. OR you can push through, finish the bath, move onto the bonus tip, and call it a success! Either way keep calm because your baby can sense when you’re feeling sad, down, or panicked. This is new to you too, it gets easier I promise!

We’re wrapping up tips for baby’s first bath with a bonus tip!

Bonus Tip: Follow Up with Skin to Skin Bonding

Babies love being skin to skin with their parents! They love everything about it! The warmth, the closeness, and the hormones it helps mom release. They love your smell and the gentleness. They love the sound your heart makes as they lay against your chest and the humming of your voice. If your baby cried during bathtime this is a sure way to make it up to him (and you). Fresh babies are the best! So this bonus tip is just as much for you as it is for them. These moments are the “stop and smell the roses” of life. Take them every chance you get!

How do you do skin to skin?

You’ll want your baby to be in only a diaper and you’ll want to remove your shirt and bra if you’re wearing one. Lay your baby on your bare chest facing you on his/her belly. Place a blanket over the two of you leaving only your baby’s head exposed. Snuggle that muggle! Smell him, caress him, touch his soft, fine hair. Let him hold your finger in his tiny precious hand. Enjoy this time, uninterrupted for as long as you’d like.

I hope you find these tips for baby’s first bath as helpful as the families we work with. If you’d love help with your baby’s first bath contact us and one of our baby whispers will come and help you through bathtime, instilling confidence along the way!

To recap just remember:

  • 3 T’s of Bathtime: temperature, touch, time (10),
  • Gather all of your supplies first
  • Follow up with skin to skin

Be sure to check out our upcoming blog: When and How to Wash a Newborn for step by step instructions!

Happy Birth & Parenting,

Elizabeth Luke

The ABC’s of Newborn Care | Newborn Breathing

The ABC's of Newborn Care | Newborn Breathing | Jax Newborn Care

The ABC’s of Newborn Care | B is for Breathing

As Jacksonville’s trusted newborn and postpartum support professionals we get asked a ton of questions! So, we will break all these newborn questions down into a blog series called, The ABC’s of Newborn Care to make it super duper easy. We want to help you learn about caring for your little one!

First up in the ABC’s of Newborn Care Series is B is for Breathing

Babies can make some unusual breathing sounds!

These sounds can be adorably cute. Sure, they can also be slightly weird. Most of the time though these sounds are completely normal. Newborns can breathe fast or take long pauses between breaths. Often newborns still have amniotic fluid in their airways and it needs a little more time to clear it. This is typical of any baby, but more pronounced sometimes in babies born via cesarean. As a new parent, the breathing sounds your baby makes can be alarming.

Become familiar with what’s normal and what’s not.

30-60 breaths per minute, slowing down to approximately 20 breaths per minute when they sleep is normal. Adults breathe an average of 12-20 breaths per minute. Kind of a big difference there, huh? Newborns can breathe fast several times and then stop breathing for 5-10 seconds (but no more than that) and then breathe again. If you see breathing at a rate of over 60 breaths per minute it’s time to have them checked out! No waiting!

What’s with the whistle kid?

While some whistling of the airway can be normal, it might also mean there’s mucus in the nasal passages that just may clear up when it’s suctioned out. You should learn to effectively clear your baby’s nasal passages of mucus via suction. A saline solution and bulb syringe or Nose Frida can help with this. Another tip is cupping the hand while “burping” your baby. You’re just patting their back with your hand cupped, daddies are usually really good at this! Wheezing could also be a sign of blockage or narrowing of the lower airways. Contact your pediatrician and have it checked out if it doesn’t clear up with rinsing and suctioning of the nasal passages.

I’m pretty sure my human baby shouldn’t bark, what gives?

A barking cough could be a sign of croup, croup is almost always worse at night. This barking cough sound could also be caused by a windpipe blockage, for that reason if you aren’t sure what it is you need to have them seen right away. I can NOT stress to you enough how important it is to get trained and certified in adult, child, and infant CPR and first aid. Everyone who will be responsible for caring for your baby should also have this knowledge and feel comfortable using it if needed.  Don’t wait it could be too late!

My newborn is sneezing, does that mean it’s allergies?

Sneezing is trickier. Newborns do sneeze and it can be completely normal. When accompanied by a runny nose or cough it’s worth keeping an eye on and using a saline nasal spray or drops and a suction device to clear. If it doesn’t improve, the runny nose changes from clear to white, yellow, or green then you should definitely put a call into their pediatric office!

This isn’t what they mean by baby blues.

Blue or darkening of the skin is probably one of the most telling signs that your baby isn’t getting enough oxygen. In the first few days of life, your baby’s most vital organs are getting oxygenated blood first. Their hands and feet may appear less pink in appearance than the rest of her body. Notice this, recognize this, and seek medical attention right away if something doesn’t seem right to you. Do not ignore this, and if you see blue coloring of the lips or nose or both you should call 911  right away.

Are you noticing an obvious struggle?

Two more telltale signs that something is not right are chest retraction, your baby’s chest sinks deeply with each breath and stridor, an inspiratory sound heard in the upper airway. These things mean your baby is working too hard to get air into their lungs. These are definite reasons to have them checked out.

Accompanied by other things!

If your baby has a fever, vomiting, yellow or green discharge, or is lethargic along with any of the above-mentioned signs you should have them checked out right away. Please note that a fever in a baby younger than 3 months old is a rectal temperature of 100.4°F (38°C) or higher.

In this installment of The ABC’s of Newborn Care we hope you’re take away is this:

You know your baby best! You are the most invested in him, her, or them! If something doesn’t feel or look right it is always best to have it checked out. Second opinions aren’t a bad thing. Become familiar with your baby’s normal, learn about what is “normal” for a newborn in general, and get CPR and 1st aid certified!

Let us know if you have a suggestion for a topic for the ABC’s of Newborn Care series or any others you would like to see covered! In the Greater Jacksonville area? Expecting a baby soon? Have an infant already? Reach out to us and our team will help you learn your baby, get more sleep, eat yummy foods, and enjoy your baby even more!

Happy Birth & Parenting!

~Elizabeth Luke

Why I Budgeted for My Doula

Why I Budgeted for My Doula | Jax Doulas

Why I Budgeted for My Doula

I’ve had several friends ask me how and why I budgeted for my doula. They heard mixed things about getting a “volunteer” doula for their birth or about hiring a doula for support after their birth. Many of my friends asked me why I chose to pay for a postpartum doula and skip a  birth doula. Here’s my piece. Take it or leave it!

Here are the reasons I budgeted for my doula:

Girl power!

Something felt really icky about having another woman, a perfect stranger be there with me for my birth, come and help me heal and rest after birth, help me learn all about my newborn, care for our home, and our baby without proper payment. You don’t have to take everything “free” offered to you! I am always preaching about checking your price tag and knowing one’s own value. There were zero ways I would ever become a hypocrite, it’s just not who I am.

We took an excellent class for our birth and had a baby without a doula!

Not only did our postpartum doulas help us with everything after we came home she also helped us formulate a plan before we gave birth to employ the help of our friends and family who were excited to come and visit!

You get what you pay for!

I’m in my late thirties. There are a few lessons in life that most people learn before they hit middle-age. Getting what you pay for is surely one of them. Those who pay pennies and expect to walk away smelling of roses are foolish.  My shoes, Subaru, coffee, and the people we’re hiring to help us during early parenting (our doulas) are all things I need to be reliable and of excellent quality.

I’ve had friends who’ve cried to me over the phone because they were exhausted and overwhelmed. They complained about no one caring, yet they themselves didn’t care enough! Those friends made the conscious decision to create a designer nursery, ask for a BOB stroller, have extraordinary baby showers, and go on a damn “babymoon” before their baby was born.

They could’ve invested in professional care for six weeks and enjoyed their babies instead of being miserable. I felt horrible for these friends, I did help them where I could, but I couldn’t help but also feel like they didn’t really want the help since they ignored my advice that would have helped them.

Hire a postpartum doula, you guys! Just do it, you’ll love it!

It just makes good sense to me!

I admit I wasn’t the first of my friends to hire a postpartum doula, it’s a newer concept down here in the southeastern part of the U.S. My best friend who lives in New York turned me on to postpartum support! When I visited her after the birth of my Godson her postpartum doula was the one who picked me up from the airport. Talk about a cool ride home! Uber has nothing on the fantastic experience I had with “our” doula! She arrived with my favorite coffee ready for me to sip. She filled me in on the flow of the house, and she made me feel like I knew her forever!

Hiring The Jax Baby Company was the best investment we made!

I hired a professional photographer for our wedding. I only take my Subaru to the dealership where I bought it because they are experts in the Subaru business, and we will send our son, Dylan to the best preschool we can budget for because those things are of importance! It didn’t really cost that much! I was able to purchase our first package of hours by putting a down payment and making 3 payments before Dylan was born!

It was really a no-brainer. In hindsight, it was a small price to pay for what my family received!

You owe it to yourself and your family (happy you= happy them) to speak with Elizabeth, the owner of The Jax Baby Company.

Our doulas were top notch. I loved that we felt like the only family they were working with even though I know we weren’t. I knew this because my boss gave birth 2 weeks before me and she hired them. The Jax Baby Company doulas have a great team set up and each of them are sweet and knowledgeable.

I know not everyone values the same things in life, but I wanted to share my personal reasons why I budgeted for my doula! Bottom line, I wanted to enjoy my birth, my baby, and my maternity leave!

Happy Birth & Parenting!

~Kristine Malone a satisfied mommy

How Can a Postpartum and Infant Doula Help Me?

postpartum and infant doula jax fl

How Can a Postpartum and Infant Doula Help Me?

You’ve heard the words postpartum and infant doula, but you’re wondering what exactly they mean together, what they do, and how can they help you?! First, you’re not alone! Most people have no idea what a postpartum and infant doula is. So breathe a sigh of relief you aren’t alone in the forest.

The word postpartum tends to get a bad rap.

Most people hear the word postpartum and immediately think of depression after a person gives birth.  Like prenatal and antenatal means during pregnancy, postpartum simply means the period of time after birth. Sure the postpartum time period can entail the baby blues, depression, anxiety, OCD, and psychosis, but it doesn’t always include those things.

A Postpartum and Infant Doula is a non-medical support person who is by your side after you have your baby!

While we can’t speak for all Doulas, First Coast Doulas are knowledgeable, trained, and skilled in compassionate care for families with babies!

While every family is different and their needs are unique there are challenges all new parents face. We add value to your family dynamics no matter what that looks like. Would you consider your family traditional, cool! Single parent home, you rock! Blended family, we love you all too! Polyamorous families, we see you!

So, how can a Postpartum and Infant Doula help?

Sleep

Be it your first baby or your fifth sleep is a key component of good mental and physical health. We help parents get the necessary amount of sleep day in and day out!

Nourishment

Keeping up after baby is no easy task. Keeping the body fueled is another component of good health. We prep snacks and meals and bring it right to your bedside. We’ll even run out for your cravings! Life is busier than ever, we got you!

Emotional Support

Having a baby brings out all of the emotions. Your doula knows! We’re skilled in the art of emotional attunement! From weepy, raging, and numb to everything in between we see it, we recognize it, and we are comfortable talking about it and being there to see you through it!

Companionship

You need to heal, rest, and care for baby. That doesn’t mean you should feel like an outcast or be confined to isolation. Ugh, we hear it all the time, “I feel so alone.” Your doula makes going out, or staying in more enjoyable. Your doula can tend to your baby while we all walk Target or grab lunch! On the flip side we can stay in, bake cookies, and watch your favorite episodes wth you too!

Team Work

A second set of hands, eyes, and a compassionate heart! We can wear your baby while you get a nap. Keeping him, her, or them soothed. We’re skilled in the art of toddler wrangling and bathing too! Calling in help doesn’t mean you can’t do it, it may just mean you are wise to value another compassionate human to give your babies attention too!

Self-Care

All this talk about self-care and no time for it sucks! Keep your hair appointment and book that massage, we’ll come along and keep baby happy and unwanted hands off! You can relax knowing that during a bubble bath or a phone call with your girlfriend on the patio your baby is with the very best and only a room away!

So, in short your postpartum and infant doula is like a magical unicorn! She appears when you need her most, anticipates your needs before you even know you need it, and she makes magic happen!

Laundry and dishes, done!

Laughs and a safe place to cry, she’s your girl!

Pizza and drink, just say wine or whiskey!

Ssshhhhh….it’s not really magic, but it sure feels like it! Contact our “magical unicorns” for a complimentary phone consult!

 

Your Newborn Baby; 5 Things You’ll Want Know

Your Newborn Baby Jax FL

Your Newborn Baby; 5 Things You’ll Want to Know

As delivery day approaches you’ll have all kinds of feels. The idea of your newborn baby in your arms can be overwhelming and exciting all at the same time. As a New Family Support Specialist I want to help enhance your experience. So today I’m sharing with you 5 things you’ll want to know about your newborn baby.

1. Your newborn baby will cry.

I’m sure that comes as no shock, after all, babies cry, it’s sort of their thing. The feeling you get when you hear the sound of your baby’s cry can catch you off guard though. I mean, you know babies cry, so why all the emotions? Damn hormones! Hormones and instincts are to blame. We are wired to respond and be attentive to our newborns most of the time. Your newborn baby has very few ways to communicate with you, crying is the most recognizable one and gets the most attention quickly.

Babies cry for a number of reasons; hunger, discomfort or pain, startling, and sometimes they just cry. Yes, for no known reason. Write this one down folks! No, in fact just print this blog, frame it and hang it in the nursery as a reminder! It will be ok. You try “all the things”, and at the end of the day you remind yourself that you did the best you could and that is enough. As your baby grows you will begin to learn what cry means what. For some it’s an intuitive feeling, but for most it’s a learned art, it takes time, and that’s ok.

2. Your newborn may have a mini period and swollen breasts.

Maternal hormones from the mother’s body are responsible for these happenings. Again I say, damn hormones! In the first couple of weeks of life your newborn baby girl may shed a tiny amount of blood from her uterus into her vagina, and make its way to her diaper. This is normal and perfectly healthy. We’re talking a very small amount.

Your newborn boy or girl may have swollen breasts. Yep, boys can have boobies too! For a limited time only, usually lasting around six weeks of age your baby’s breast tissue can appear raised, swollen, or full.

3. Your newborn will have mucus, and may sneeze frequently.

Your newborn spent his entire life surrounded by amniotic fluid. Stepping, sucking, practicing acrobatics, and he was taking practice breaths of fluid. At birth most of that fluid is cleared via a good squeeze as he passes through the birth canal and is suctioned away by the provider. In a cesarean birth babies are suctioned more thoroughly because they need a little more help clearing that fluid. Some of that fluid still remains in your newborn no matter how they were born.

Your newborn will pass that mucous over the next couple of weeks and will need your help being suctioned occasionally. Hearing your newborn with mucous in his mouth and throat can be a little unsettling, but have no fear, its normal and will pass with time. Sneezing is one way your baby clears his respiratory passages. Using a bulb syringe or similar product like the Nose-Frida you will help remove what they cannot clear themselves. As long as the fluid is clear or milky like and not yellow or green there is no reason to be alarmed.

In the Family 1st Birthing Classes we cover birth, but we also cover what to expect in the first two weeks after birth. The classes are comprehensive and customized to your unique needs.

4. Your baby’s eyes may look crossed from time to time.

You could stare into her eyes forever! Don’t be surprised if one day while staring back your newborn’s eyes are crossed. In the first few months of life it’s very common. The eyes are surrounded by muscles. Majority of the time when the eyes are crossed some muscles may be a little weaker than others and just need more time to gain strength.

Your pediatrician will examine your baby’s eyes at each visit to make certain that everything is developing properly. If there is reason for concern you will be referred to a children’s eye specialist where further testing may be done.  If you are concerned or notice it happening more often absolutely mention it to your pediatrician.

Sometimes a baby’s eyes may appear to be crossed, but actually are not. This illusion is called pseudo strabismus and usually happens when a baby has a wide nasal bridge.

5. Your newborn will signal you when hungry.

You won’t hear the ringing of a little bell or get a, “Yo mom, when’s dinner?” No, no, you have a least a decade before that occurs, but your newborn will signal you when he or she wants to be fed. We all recognize crying as a sign of distress or hunger, but crying is actually a late indicator for hunger.

Catch your baby’s cues early and you can make feeding time a more enjoyable experience for all. If you wait until the late signs of hunger are displayed it may be necessary to calm your newborn before feeding her.

Early signs of hunger in your newborn include:

  • licking or smacking lips
  • opening and closing mouth
  • sucking on anything (lips, tongue, finger, hand)

Active signs of hunger in your newborn include:

  • the rooting reflex or turning their mouth towards your chest
  • crankiness displayed as breathing faster
  • squirming around, increased movement or stirring

Late signs of hunger in your newborn include:

  • crying
  • moving head from side to side
  • frantically moving around

Follow us on Facebook for more great informational blogs about pregnancy, birth, healing, your newborn, relationships, and parenting! In these early weeks of your newborn’s life it’s tough, really tough, but there are ways to feel more supported and transition more smoothly. Contact us today to learn more!

Baby Feeding Cues Visual