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Did you know? (Infant care)

Posted by Sandra on February 12, 2009

I got such great responses from my “Did you know” (Pregnancy & Childbirth)” that I figured I’d do a quick one on newborns too!  Just some money- or time-saving tips from a mom that’s been there… four times.

Did you know:

  • That you don’t have to sterilize bottles, nipples, and pacifiers?  Warm soapy water or your dishwasher are just fine.  Save all that time you’d waste (and the money on those commercial sterilizers!) and snuggle your baby, while the dishwasher safely cleans your things.
  • That you don’t have to separate baby’s clothes and/or wash them in a different detergent?  Unless your healthy baby has a VERY RARE sensitivity to your regular detergent, don’t waste your money on “special” (read:  money-making) brands marketed towards your baby’s clothes. 
  • That fabric softener is just fine.  I’m sure you’ve heard/read/been told that baby’s clothes have a flame retardancy in them that fabric softener will destroy.  Well, the flame retardancy is a NASTY chemical that I personally don’t want near my baby’s skin anyways; over time it will wash out; and I would rather have soft, good smelling clothes on my baby than ones that a cigarette can be put out on! 😀  The supposed flame retardancy won’t save your baby’s life in the event of a fire, in my opinion.  I use liberal fabric softener so my baby’s clothes are soft next to their delicate skin.
  • That your municipal tap water may actually be safer than bottled water and/or “nursery water”?  your city water system is monitored very closely, and unless a warning has been posted, it is absolutely safe and fine to use for your baby’s bottles if you use formula.  Bottled water and nursery water are not as stringently regulated, are most likely from municipal sources anyways, are are frankly a waste of money.  Use your tap.
  • That your bottles don’t need to be heated up?  If your baby likes it, give her room temperature or even cool formula.  Makes life much easier when you’re out and about, and don’t need to try to figure out how to warm a bottle.  This also makes middle of the night feedings easier.  Have a bottle of room temperature water on the nightstand, with a container of formula right there.  Mix it in a second and feed baby – no heating, no fuss.
  • You can bite their little fingernails to trim them when they are sleeping in your arms, if you’re afraid to use clippers or just can’t seem to get them short enough with them.
  • That a sink bath is just fine.  I never had a separate plastic bath that I had to fill/bathe/wash/store for such a short amount of time.  Wash baby in the kitchen sink so you’re not bending over, then in about 6 months or so, or when baby outgrows the sink and can sit up, move to the “big” bathtub.  Easy, and free.
  • Generic formula is just fine?  If you have to formula feed, save a LOT of money and buy generic.  All generic formulas must meet the same strict safety, nutrition, and manufacturing guidelines as the priciest products on the market.  The reason they’re less expensive is that the manufacturers of generic formula don’t spend millions of dollars on research or on marketing, and they don’t give away free samples the way some other formula companies do. They simply sell a product that meets the standards set by the United States Food and Drug Administration.  It does also boil down to baby’s taste – baby may prefer one over another, but most will be just fine with the taste of the store brand.  Buy generic diapers too, and save a lot!
  • Cold air is not your enemy.  Just because it’s winter, don’t stay huddled inside.  Take baby for a walk in a sling or a carriage – it’s really quite good for them.  And no, cold air – in and of itself – does NOT make one sick, regardless of what grandma told you!
  • Skip the highchair, and get a booster seat instead.  Most companies have boosters that grow with your baby.  High chairs take up a LOT of room, are harder to clean, aren’t portable, and baby isn’t truly at the table with the rest of the family.  Boosters are very easy to clean, baby sits right at the table, you can take it with you, and she can use it well into her toddler years, unlike a bulky highchair.
  • If baby’s diaper just seems to always leak at night, and a larger size doesn’t work, don’t waste your money on the expensive double padded nighttime diapers.  Just slip a cheap generic feminine pad in night diaper.  It works.  Really.  For a fraction of the cost.
  • If your baby sleeps in a crib instead of your bed, try layering sheets (mattress pad, absorbant pad, sheet, absorbant pad, sheet, absorbant pad, sheet) so middle of the night leaks or spit ups are easily cleaned – just rip the top two layers off and everyone goes back to bed fast!

I’m sure there’s more rattling about in my mind, but for now I will leave you with these!  If any experienced mom has hints of her own, feel free to comment and we’ll have a nice compilation for a new mom or two!

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13 Responses to “Did you know? (Infant care)”

  1. Kathy said

    I never separated my children’s clothes from ours. I thought about doing it, but didn’t want to get stuck in the “I wonder if it’s okay to stop using special detergent yet?” decision. I figured that it was easier to just wash the clothes in regular detergent, and IF the baby had a problem with it, switch over then. Now, I wonder if some of the babies’ “sensitive skin” or “skin problems” when using regular detergent could have been avoided had the parents used regular to start with — that babies got used to the “special” stuff and then had problems with switching over.

    Um, other tips — my basic philosophy is “what did Eve do?” — you know, in the days before Dr. Spock and even beloved Dr. Sears, how did mothers know what to do? Um, maybe they just used common sense? 🙂 Also, in the days before Gerber, how did babies go from breastmilk to steak? Why not do it that way?

    So, don’t waste money on baby food and a lot of other junk, um, I mean “necessities” of modern babyhood. Oh, and buy used, so that if your baby hates the baby swing, at least you didn’t waste $100 on it!

  2. MePregnant said

    Did you know? (Infant care) « Geriatric Mama’s Rants…

    Posted by Sandra under **My Family Life**, Attachment Parenting, Pregnancy & Childbirth, The Care of the Babe | Tags: parenting, family, motherhood, baby care, infant care, tips, advice |. I got such great responses from my “Did you ……

  3. Jana said

    I’m so glad you posted this information. Your blog is so full of informative things, and with your experience I’m sure a lot of moms can learn some stuff! I know I have! Thanks again for a great post! baleighsmom7@hotmail.com

  4. Renee said

    I washed my baby’s clothes with mine and our regular soap and he broke out. He is a healthy baby but had really sensitive skin and eczema. So even a healthy baby can have issues and it isn’t “rare” because it was the same with my first child.

  5. THANK YOU said

    Thanks again for great information!! I’m sure lots of moms will benefit from it!

  6. Melsa said

    Thanks for the great information. I seek out blogs that I love to read and I must love yours (why else would I seek it out? LOL!)!! Thanks again! melsabetch@yahoo.com

  7. JM said

    I Never:
    Sterilized bottles or nipples. Just washed in HOT SOAPY WATER!
    However, I have always washed my babies clothes in Dreft. I LOVE how they smell. So YUMMY! And, felt funny about generic formula.
    I am so Happy that all the posters that posted above me feel the same way about your blog that I do.
    I LOVE IT!!! Keep up the GOOD WORK! And

    • Sandra said

      Oh yeah, I will admit that Dreft does smell like a clean baby… It always seemed like someone bought me a bottle right off the bat – I used it (for all of baby’s and my clothes – something tells me the boys and hubby wouldn’t like their jeans smelling like baby!) until it ran out… then back to the elcheapo detergent. Fabric softener, however, is another story – I like the really good smelling ones!!

  8. JM said

    crud, I wasn’t done posting. I guess I am now!

  9. JM said

    Oh I keep the Dreft for the baby!! No pretty smelling stuff for stinky boys!! Ha, Ha!
    And for the water, anybody that knows me, knows that I boil water. Dr told me I didn’t need to. But I did because I felt like I was doing something “RIGHT”.
    Always wondered about fabric softner. Because honestly I didn’t know about the flame retardent until many years into motherhood. WHO THE HELL reads labels on kids clothes? NOT ME!!!
    Guess I will go to HELL with YOU!!! K?

  10. Anissa said

    Sandra,

    I did the same thing too. I have something to share though.

    For the gas medicine, generic is just as good and a lot cheaper.

    Make your own diaper rash cream. It is a lot cheaper than by the brand name.

    Wipe warmer is just a waste of money, just rub the wipe with your hands to knock down the chill is good enough.

    Oh and Baby shoes is not necessary, bare foot is best.

    If I can think more, I’ll let you know.

  11. Christina said

    Oh my gosh the pad in the diaper is a brilliant idea!!

  12. Moody Monica said

    These are great tips!

    Another one is that Baby’s do not have to eat jar baby foods. Those baby food companies really have it over on all these new parents…My nieces are convinced that their baby’s cannot have table foods and must spend mega bucks each month buying “BABY FOOD”…wha tha? Why not? Mine did. Jar baby foods were invented for convenience..not because it is “THE” food for infants. Ever tasted jar food? YUCK I had me a hamilton electric grinder and they ate yummy food.

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