Your Baby's First Year For Dummies book cover

Your Baby's First Year For Dummies

By: James Gaylord and Michelle Hagen Published: 07-08-2005

Everything new and experienced parents need to know about their baby’s first 12 months to give them the best start in life 

Each year, more than 4 million babies are born in the United States-and the first year of a baby's life is a joyous, challenging, and sometimes overwhelming time. Your Baby's First Year For Dummies serves as a complete guide for baby's first twelve months, from what to do when arriving home from the hospital to handling feeding, bathing, and sleeping routines to providing the right stimuli for optimal progress.  

This comprehensive yet no-nonsense guide can help new or even seasoned moms and dads looking for tips and advice to help with every aspect of their baby's development. During Baby’s first year, at times things will go well: Baby’s sleeping and eating well, she’s hitting milestones on time, and you’re balancing childcare with work or with housekeeping. Then again, there are times when things aren’t great. This jargon-free book takes a realistic look at what Baby’s first year might be like, month by month. You’ll find it helpful if you’re pregnant and wondering what Baby’s first year will be like; you have given birth and want to know what the months ahead hold; you have given birth and need advice from a book that doesn’t talk down to you or make you feel as though there’s something wrong with you (because there’s not) if you’re having a hard time making the adjustment to parenthood.  

Packed with tips on every aspect of baby's physical, emotional, and social development, Your Baby's First Year For Dummies gives you advice on topics like the following:  

  • Bonding with Baby 

  • Breastfeeding vs. bottle-feeding 

  • Baby’s first checkup 

  • Baby’s checkups at two months, four months, six months, nine months, and twelve months 

  • Sleeping habits 

  • Teething 

  • Baby toy safety and preventing injuries 

  • Food preparation and food allergies 

  • Traveling with your baby 

  • Signs of common illnesses 

  • Planning Baby’s 1-year party 

  • And much more 

Additionally, Your Baby's First Year For Dummies provides tips for surviving the first few weeks, Daddy survival tips, and advice on when to call your pediatrician (and when not to). If Baby has arrived or you expect her soon, get your copy to make every moment count. 

Articles From Your Baby's First Year For Dummies

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Your Baby’s First Year For Dummies Cheat Sheet

Cheat Sheet / Updated 03-10-2022

Your baby’s first year is a precious time that will pass all too quickly — in retrospect. To help calm your new-parent jitters, cover the basics: Make sure that you have a list of essential phone numbers handy, know what symptoms dictate that you call the doctor immediately, and understand the many reasons your baby cries. And for yourself, repeating an affirmation or two can help you keep your perspective and your sanity.

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Your Baby's First Year: 6-Month Marker

Article / Updated 03-26-2016

At 6-months-old, Baby is becoming more mobile, more sociable, and more responsive at playtime. You may find yourself really enjoying this phase of life because Baby may become more predictable and generally easier to care for. This is also where she begins to make the change from cute infant to real babyhood — crawling, sitting up, holding her bottle, giggling, and stealing your heart every time she smiles at you. The 6-month checkup The 6-month checkup covers a lot of territory. Baby is weighed and measured, as usual, and his growth is plotted on the charts. He's given a physical exam by the doctor, who will probably have a lot of questions about what Baby has been up to this month. The doctor will ask whether Baby is reaching for toys or other objects, whether he tries to get things that are out of his reach, and whether he's rolling both ways, sitting, and pushing up on his hands and knees. Your doctor will also want to discuss safety issues with you, like installing gates near stairways, and making sure that Baby is strapped into his feeding chair. Make sure that you take the time to write down any pertinent information and to ask any questions that you may have. Immunizations Most of Baby's checkups include at least one immunization shot. This month, Baby will be given: Hib #3: Protects against Hemophilus influenza B, which can cause meningitis and other serious (and potentially fatal) bacterial infections. DTaP #3: A three-in-one shot that protects Baby from diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis (whooping cough). PCV #3: Pneumococcal conjugate vaccine. Pneumococcol bacteria can cause pneumonia, meningitis, and ear infections. She may also receive IPV #3 and/or HBV #3, although these shots can be given anywhere between 6 to 18 months. Pediatricians also recommend a flu shot for children 6 months to 2 years; this is given in two doses in the fall. Ask the doctor or nurse about the side effects of each shot, and appropriate comfort measures for each. Also make sure to ask which side effects warrant a call to the doctor. Milestones this month Baby is a busy little bee this month, both physically and socially. During the sixth month, you'll likely notice the following changes and developments: Expect Baby to gain about 1 pound. He increases in length by about 1/2 inch. Baby can now hold his head steady. He can hold and drink from a cup or bottle. He rolls both ways. Baby is able to transfer objects from hand to hand. He may be able to "stand" (support weight on his legs) when you hold him on your lap. Can probably sit up for a short period of time, supporting himself with his hands. Baby may begin to push up on his hands and knees or drag himself forward; a few kids perfect the art of crawling this month. He can feed himself large finger foods (like a baby biscuit). Baby recognizes the difference between his parents and others; stranger anxiety may begin. He mimics facial expression and sounds. Turns his head toward a voice or a sound. Recognizes and responds to his own name. Is able to participate in a game of peekaboo. Begins to babble. Keep in mind that some kids are slower to reach physical milestones, but may still be well within the range of normal development. Doctors are most concerned with a steady stream of progression — whether or not Baby is working toward these milestones. Maybe he can't quite shift a block from his left hand to his right, but does he make an attempt? Is he trying to roll, or does he just lie on his blanket without moving at all? Some children never really learn to crawl, opting to create their own unique styles of movement instead. This is also quite normal and nothing to worry yourself about. Stimulating the older baby So with Baby showing all of this wonderful potential for physical and social growth, how can you encourage her development? For starters, take a step back and let her try to do some things on her own. Putting the bottle in her mouth just as she's reaching for it only delays the time when she'll actually be able to hold it herself and get it into her mouth. The same goes for her toys: Let Baby struggle a bit to get a toy that's out of her reach. She has quite a sense of achievement when she finally grabs it, and she'll work even harder the next time, realizing that there's a benefit to her efforts. Speaking of toys, supply playthings that are age-appropriate. At this age, Baby may take an interest in toys that make noise (something that rattles or jingles when Baby shakes it) or toys that offer some visual interest (bright, primary colors catch Baby's eye now). The best way to stimulate Baby is by playing with her. Take the time to engage in a game of peekaboo; sing songs; and tickle her tummy, giving her a chance to respond. Reading to Baby at this age seems nonsensical to some folks. (Can she really understand the story? Will she seriously sit through the reading of a book?) Baby's tolerance for listening to a story is as important as choosing the right book. A child who has no interest in sitting still for more than a minute or two isn't going to enjoy storytime right now, and trying to force her into it will only set up a battle of the books between the two of you that isn't necessary. Have some cloth books around for her to look at when she chooses; have a few very brief board books on hand, too. Let her look at the stories when she's in the mood. Soon enough, she'll probably allow you to read one to her — though she may always prefer to be somewhat on the move while you do. Continue talking to Baby by giving her a play-by-play of the day as it happens. Now that she's starting to babble, slow down on some of the single-syllable words, giving her time to interpret the sounds coming out of your mouth. Six-month-olds are just starting to get the hang of repeating sounds. Give her every opportunity to practice, even if she's only able to copy the inflection of your voice, and in a very short time she'll be forming her first little words.

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Your Baby's First Year: Coping with Crying

Article / Updated 03-26-2016

Every baby cries — some just cry more often and more intensely than others. Your infant, as intelligent as he is, doesn't have the capacity to communicate with you at this point in time except through crying. As Baby gets a bit older, you may be able to discern which cry means what — but right now, there will probably be times when you don't know why the heck this kid is crying. Hang in there. This happens to almost every parent, and it's always confusing, no matter how well prepared you thought you were to care for Baby. Running down reasons for tears Hunger is at the top of the list of reasons babies cry. If he's still crying after you've offered him the breast or bottle, run down this checklist to determine whether there's another fairly simple answer to his problem: Does he need a fresh diaper? Is he too hot or too cold? Could he be tired? Is a tag scratching his neck, or is his toe caught in a snap? Is he sick? (An infant who has a high fever or is vomiting should be seen by his pediatrician as soon as possible.) Obviously, you know how to remedy these situations. If nothing jumps up as the obvious cause of Baby's unhappiness, he may be feeling overstimulated, frightened, or just not right. Remember, his nervous system isn't fully developed, and things that wouldn't bother an adult (noise, light, a funny smell) can seriously irritate a sensitive little one. In this case, try some of these comfort measures: Swaddle him. Infants love the feeling of being bundled up, safe and secure. Take care not to bundle him too tightly, or this could cause more crying. Hold him, rock him, move him around. Motion soothes some criers. Offer him a pacifier. Babies need to suck for comfort. Your child may need to suck more often than every few hours at a feeding. It can be incredibly frustrating when nothing soothes a crying infant. Realize that this is also normal, and that it has almost nothing to do with your abilities as a parent. As long as you're looking for the cause and not further overstimulating him, you're doing everything you can. Your child could be more sensitive than the average infant to the world around him. As a result, an entire day's worth of stimulation — light, voices, smells, movement — may result in a volcanic crying explosion in the evening, when Baby has to let it all out. When your frustration reaches its apex and Baby is still crying, leave him in his crib for a few minutes while you comfort yourself. All new parents find themselves feeling frazzled from time to time; walking away from the situation for a short time is sometimes the best thing you can do for yourself and for Baby. Take some deep breaths. Do some stretches, if that helps. Call a friend or your mom. Tell yourself that Baby isn't doing this to ruin your day, and that eventually, this will all pass. Coping with colic An infant who cries for hours on end at specific times of the day without any obvious cause may have colic, which is an entirely different level of misery — for Baby and for you. Any parent who has dealt with a colicky baby will tell you that it's incredibly difficult, so if you suspect your child's crying is due to something other than hunger or discomfort, you have the sympathies of caregivers around the world. Colic is loosely defined as crying that lasts for at least two hours, occurs at specific times of the day (often late in the evening), at least three times a week. This pattern usually sets in sometime during the first month. The cause is really unknown. It used to be blamed on Baby's immature digestive system roiling up in gas, and while that theory is still floating around, new theories suggest that colic is due to an infant's immature nervous system and his inability to shut out an irritating environment. Whatever the cause, colic is harmless to your child and will usually subside completely on its own by the end of the third month. It's hardest on Baby's caregivers, who listen to the wails every day or every night. There are some proven tips for quieting the colicky baby, including: Soothe him with white noise and vibration. Run the vacuum cleaner or a fan, or buy a white noise machine. Put him near the clothes dryer while it's running. Take him for a long car ride. Let him rest in his swing. The combination of white noise and vibration has been known to put many a colicky child right to sleep. Tote him around. Put Baby in a front-carrier or a sling. Sometimes being close to Mom is just what the colicky baby needs. Give him a pacifier. Sucking is soothing, especially for a child who's senses are more intense. Massage him. Touch is an incredibly soothing force for an infant. Change the scenery. Try taking him outside — or giving him a bath. For some reason, some colicky babies sometimes respond to these sudden change-ups. (Hey, if it works, don't question it!) Most importantly, if someone offers to help with a colicky baby, accept the offer. Listening to the crying on a daily basis can wear out the most patient parent. Go easy on yourself if you find that yourself lying on your own bed crying while Baby is screaming in his crib. The old adage that parenting is the toughest job in the world was likely coined by someone with a colicky baby. Colic can wreak havoc on your relationship with your mate. Maintain communication about the issue and give each other a break. One person shouldn't deal with a colicky infant all the time — it's not good for that parent, and it's better for Baby to have a well-rested (relatively speaking, of course) caregiver.

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Your Baby's First Year: Stocking Up for the Big Arrival

Article / Updated 03-26-2016

After Baby comes home from the hospital, you need to be ready to rock and roll with supplies and clothing. (In fact, you won't even be able to drive Baby to your house without an infant car seat, so that should be at the top of your registry list). The following list covers the items you need during your first few days and weeks: The big stuff Infant (rear-facing) car seat: Baby needs something sturdy that will last at least through the first couple of years, so don't cut corners on this purchase. Stroller: As soon as you're up to it, you want to show Baby off to the neighbors. Crib: These vary widely in selection and price, so assess your needs before you buy. If you're planning on having a large family, for example, look for a sturdy crib that can be used again (and again). Changing table: Having a designated area for diaper changes makes life easier. Stock it with all of the supplies you may need (listed in "Supplies" section). Baby sack or sling: Slings allow for discreet and instant nursing and constant cuddling. Sacks carry Baby upright on your chest (also allowing for lots of snuggle time). Swing: Wind-up swings are cheaper, but you may wake a sleeping infant when it stops. Battery-operated swings allow Baby to rest comfortably and quietly with no disruptions. Infant seat: This serves as a safe place for you to put Baby while you're preparing his bottle or folding the laundry. Bassinet or co-sleeper: Most infants need to feed so frequently in the early weeks that it's just more practical to have them in the same bedroom with their parents. A Moses basket-type bassinet is portable, so you can easily move it from room to room during the day. Co-sleepers (cribs with a side that drops down and opens up to the parents' bed) are very convenient. Baby bathtub: After the umbilical cord heals, you can wash Baby in this small tub that fits right into your sink. Clothing One-piece outfits: You'll choose between sleepers (long sleeves, long legs) and rompers (short sleeves, short legs), depending on the time of year and/or climate. You need at least eight to ten of these. Drawstring nightgowns: These are easier to manipulate at changing time than clothing with snaps, but they're a bit harder to find in stores these days. One-piece undergarments: Similar to rompers, with short sleeves, no legs, and snaps in the crotch. The one-piece design doesn't bunch up under Baby's clothes, and adds a layer of warmth. Have at least eight of these on hand. Mittens: These little mitts are designed to cover Baby's hands and prevent him from scratching his face. Outerwear: A baby born in Maine in November is going to need a bunting of some sort, a hat, and baby mittens. Booties and socks: Look for foot coverings with fairly strong elastic around the ankles. Babies who kick a lot are often left barefoot while their moms are searching for stray socks. Supplies Changing table supplies: Stock the table with diapers, a waterproof changing pad, wipes, petroleum jelly (for care of the circumcision), diaper rash ointment, and a covered trash can. Burp cloths and bibs: Spare yourself from wearing spit up. Have at least four tiny bibs and/or six burp cloths handy. Bottles and formula: You need four to six 4-ounce bottles during the early months; when Baby starts to eat more, you need four to six 8-ounce bottles. You also need a bottlebrush and a drying rack. Breast pump: After you and Baby have successfully established breastfeeding (around 6 weeks), you can start pumping your milk. Your partner can take over the occasional feeding at that point. Breast pads to prevent soaking your clothes: You'll really come to appreciate these items. Diaper bags: You only use one at a time, but it doesn't hurt to have a backup. Bath supplies: For sponge bathing Baby, you need baby soap and shampoo, a waterproof pad, cotton balls (for cleaning her eyes), baby nail clippers (or scissors), a comb, a bath thermometer, and a medium-sized bowl for water. Pacifiers: Some babies love 'em, some hate 'em, and some are very particular as to what type of silicone nipple they'll accept. Have several different types on hand if you plan to comfort Baby with a binkie. Linens: You need crib sheets (at least four), a crib quilt or blanket, a bumper pad (protects Baby's head from the side of the crib), receiving blankets (for swaddling, stroller outings, and placing Baby on an otherwise unprotected surface, like the floor), and baby-sized towels and washcloths. Medicine chest Losing sight of your furnishings? Hold on — you also need to stock the medicine cabinet with a few must-have items: Thermometer: Ear thermometers are easy to use, but they aren't as accurate as their digital or mercury counterparts. Infants usually have their temps taken rectally, anyway. Petroleum jelly: To help with the temperature taking. Nose syringe: Useful when Baby is congested. (You will actually remove the mucus from her nose, and you'll realize then and there how much you love this child, because you wouldn't do this for just anyone.) Cool mist vaporizer: You may be a fan of hot steam when you're congested, but because those vaporizers can cause severe burns, cool mist is a safer option for Baby's room. Medicine syringe and spoon: For easy, accurate measurement and delivery of medication. Bandages, antiseptic, tweezers, anti-itch cream, and diaper rash ointment: Babies get cuts, slivers, and rashes. Be prepared. Supplementing the shower goodies As if the above lists weren't enough, there are some things you may not receive at your shower that you need throughout Baby's first year, such as: Clothes, in all sizes: Sizes you need include infant, 0 to 3 months, 3 to 6 months, 6 to 9 months, and 9 to 12 months. Although it's tempting to purchase everything now, you may want to wait and see how Baby grows. It's not unusual for a big 6-month-old to wear 9- to 12-month clothing. Toys: There are educational toys, amusing toys, and hybrids of each type for every age level. Baby gyms, for example, are a good early toy. They dangle eye-catching toys above Baby's head and encourage development of his hand-eye coordination. Bathtub ring: After Baby is able to sit (or almost), he's ready to move into the real bathtub. These rings are designed to help him sit upright (though you should never, never leave him unattended). Ring pillows: Designed to hold Baby during breastfeeding, prop up a smaller baby, and to fit around an older baby's bottom, helping him to sit up. Playpen and/or baby gates: If you wind up with a very active baby, popping him in the playpen may be the only way you'll ever find time to make your lunch. Gates protect Baby from those areas of the house that aren't baby-safe. Exercise ring: Pediatricians generally discourage the use of walkers and jolly jumpers (also called Johnny jumps-ups). There are just too many accidents involved in their use (walkers can easily slip down a flight of stairs with Baby on board, and jolly jumpers can actually flip Baby over on his head). With an exercise ring or saucer, Baby can rock and roll to his heart's content but can't actually go anywhere.

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Your Baby's First Year: Dealing with Caretaker Conflicts

Article / Updated 03-26-2016

You love your parents — you really do. But why do they insist on feeding Baby ice cream and candy when they baby-sit? You've made it very clear that you're concerned about milk allergies during the first year, and you don't want your 9-month-old eating anything laden with fat, sugar, and caffeine. Why can't they respect your wishes and follow your rules? Apparently, the old rules that your parents applied to your own upbringing — Mother and Father know best — have gone out the window now that you're the parent (the rule has now been revised: Grandma and Grandpa can do whatever they want). They expect that you will still yield to their whims without making much fuss about it. After all, they're the grandparents, and it's their privilege to spoil Baby. They'll point to your child and say, "Look how happy he is! You should give him candy more often." It's the dance of the new parents versus the old hands. Not only will some grandparents (or friends or other relatives) call Baby's diet into question, they may also completely ignore your routines surrounding these issues: Bedtime: You want Baby in bed at eight o'clock or else he'll be a bear in the morning? Your mother wants to visit with the tyke while she's baby-sitting, so he'll get to bed when Grandma is ready to say goodnight to him — whether that's at nine o'clock or eleven-thirty. Medication: Your sister doesn't think that Baby looks sick, so she doesn't give him the antibiotic you left behind (along with specific dosing instructions). Appropriate clothing: Your dad took Baby to the park in February without putting mittens on your child. He says it was warm enough to go without; you're checking for signs of frostbite. Bathtime: It's part of Baby's bedtime routine, but your parents thought that Baby looked clean enough and put him to bed without a thorough cleansing. Allowing pets near the child: Your aunt swears that her dog is harmless and allows the animal to sniff Baby while she holds your child. Hygiene issues: Your mother-in-law thinks the way you clean Baby's hands with a baby wipe before he eats is ridiculous. She lets you know that she never did that for her kids — and you know she doesn't do it for yours when he's visiting at her house without you. How do you deal with these issues? Surely these people are wrong to disregard your rules concerning your own child — but do you really want to instigate what could be a drawn-out fight over a few pieces of chocolate? (Keep in mind that some grandparents become very offended if their judgment is called into question — never mind that by ignoring your wishes, they're putting your judgment under the microscope.) First, rate each issue in order of importance. It wouldn't have hurt your father to put mittens on Baby — but maybe he couldn't find them, or maybe — just maybe — it really was warm enough for Baby to go barehanded. No permanent damage is done, and it's best to let this incident go. Next time your dad is planning an outing with your child, make sure you hand him the mittens and say, "You know how I worry. Please put his mittens on him when he goes outside." You're telling him that you're concerned for your child and that this isn't some arbitrary rule you've created to make Grandpa's life more difficult. Matters of scheduling — a skipped bath or a late lunch — are usually random and won't affect Baby adversely. These really aren't worth fighting over. What's done is done, and whoever fed Baby late had to suffer the consequences (and learn the lesson) of dealing with a hungry, cranky child. (The exception to this is a late bedtime, because you're the one left to deal with the fallout, in the form of a crabby kid the following day. This is worth a fight if it happens on a regular basis.) Hygiene issues mean a lot more to some parents than to others. Baby's hands should be cleaned before he sits down to eat finger foods. He's been crawling around on the floor, pulling himself up on everything, and generally exploring the world through his tactile senses. Wiping his hands before a meal doesn't make you obsessive-compulsive; it makes you observant of what he's been doing. Do you accept that your mother-in-law isn't going to wipe Baby's hands off, or do you insist on it? If you're not around to make sure it gets done, realize that arguing with her could make her that much more defiant on this issue. As long as he's not coming home from her house vomiting, you're probably wise to look the other way on this particular issue. Some issues are completely non-negotiable. If Baby is on some sort of medication, giving it to him is not a debatable whim (will he get it or won't he?). Whoever is left in charge of caring for the child needs to understand this and be given explicit directions as to the timing and administration of the drug. And pets should always be kept at an arm's length from Baby, no matter how docile (and humanlike) their owners believe them to be. No one wants Baby's care to cause an irreparable family rift, so before things get out of hand: Assess: Is this issue important enough to argue over, or is it possible that you can overlook it completely — again and again? Plan: If it's something that isn't negotiable, think of the nicest way to tell the offender that this can't happen again. Lay off: You can — and should — check up on matters of importance. But after you're convinced that the issue has been resolved, there's no need for you to continue to remind your aunt to keep that dog away from Baby. She gets it. Find a new sitter: If things have gotten so out of control that what's happening is effectively a power struggle between you and the errant sitter, find someone else, no matter what the financial cost. Trusting the person who is caring for your child is worth every penny you shell out. What this comes down to in the end is a matter of respect — for your parenting skills and for your position of authority as this child's parent. No one should blatantly flout your rules. An occasional slip-up by a caregiver should be expected and tolerated (because, after all, Grandma is only human), but an out-and-out debate over what you do and don't allow your child to eat shouldn't really be of concern to anyone else — as long as your child is healthy and your pediatrician is satisfied with Baby's progress.

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Affirmations to Use during Your Baby’s First Year

Article / Updated 03-26-2016

Being a new parent can make you feel more than a little frazzled. During your baby’s first year, take advantage of whatever helps, including the affirmations in the following list. Repeat them whenever the need arises. And expect the need to arise often. I am a responsible person, even though I may not always feel like I know what I’m doing. Just because my child has crying jags (and/or doesn’t sleep through the night at 3 months), it doesn’t mean that I’m doing something wrong. I will not always be so tired. I will not feel so old a year from now. My breasts will not always feel like they’re going to crack off and/or explode. Fatigue is just a state of mind. I really am fortunate to simply have a healthy child. Eventually, Baby will learn to walk, feed himself, and have a life that is all his own — these infant days are fleeting and precious. My house doesn’t have to be picture-perfect (or spotless) to ensure that my baby has a wonderful childhood. My child doesn’t need the most expensive clothes, toys, or baby accessories to be happy. Yelling at my baby only scares him: He doesn’t grasp my intended message. My working outside of the home is not going to damage my child emotionally. I can’t sanitize the entire world; my child will get sick from time to time. When the time comes, I will allow Baby to safely explore the world instead of hovering over him, biting my nails. I will not compare my child to my friends’ kids, or take stock in comparisons other people make. I will try to read to Baby every day. My pediatrician will not think I’m unintelligent for asking questions about my child’s development. Baby-proofing is a job that’s never truly finished. I can and will find a responsible babysitter so that I can have some one-on-one adult time once in a while. I am really learning about myself by caring for my child.

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Baby Emergencies: When to Call the Doctor Right Away

Article / Updated 03-26-2016

Your baby’s first year is a time of wonder, joy, and uncertainty. You’ll learn not to panic every time your baby cries, but there are times when your bundle of joy needs a doctor’s attention right away. If your child experiences any of the conditions in the following list, get in touch with your doctor immediately: If a baby less than 3 months old has a temperature of 100.5 or higher, call immediately. In older babies, fever is okay and can be treated at home. Do call if the fever is over 101 and/or lasts longer than three days or if the baby has other symptoms. Baby is having difficulty breathing. Baby has a cut that is still bleeding after you’ve applied pressure for ten minutes; or the cut has jagged edges, is a puncture wound, is significant and located on his face, or is in an area where it’s unlikely to stay closed by itself (a joint, for example). Your child has sustained a head injury and has lost consciousness; has dilated or uneven pupils; is extremely irritable (inconsolable) or lethargic (unable to wake him); is very pale; seems confused or unable to perform his usual activities; or has discharge from his ear(s). Your child has been vomiting for several days or has had a case of projectile vomiting. Baby has had a severe allergic reaction to a food or medicine (hives or swelling of the tongue, lips, or eyes).

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Tears during the First Year: What's Causing Baby to Cry?

Article / Updated 03-26-2016

During your baby’s first year, you’re still getting used to her needs, her moods, and her method of communication — which most often is a healthy yell. No need to panic, just run through the following list to discover the reason for your baby’s distress, which can help you find the way to alleviate it. Is her diaper full? Is she hungry? Did you burp her after her last feeding? Is she tired? Is she frustrated or angry (by trying and not succeeding at a new skill, for example)? Is she hurt? Is she overstimulated (too much going on around her)? Is she frightened? Is something (a tag, or a toe stuck in a sock the wrong way) irritating her physically? Is she sick (fever, diarrhea, runny nose)? Is she cutting a tooth (general crankiness, drooling, blue spot on her gum)?

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Phone Numbers to Have Handy during Your Baby’s First Year

Article / Updated 03-26-2016

As a new parent, you’re nervous enough during your baby’s first year, and the last thing you need is to not be able to find a phone number when you need it. Make a list of key phone numbers and post it in a prominent place — or several places — so that you don’t add to your stress at a stressful time. Some of the numbers to put on your list include those for the following people and services: Pediatrician Local emergency room Local poison control Poison Control Emergency: 800-222-1222 Daycare/Sitter Mom’s cell phone Dad’s cell phone

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