Baby 2017-05-26T16:29:07+00:00

Baby

The mixture of challenges of being a new parent…

Becoming a parent is often a very joyous time, however, the disruption to established routines, sleepless nights and demands of caring for a young baby ‘around the clock’ can come as a real shock, not to mention totally exhausting. Suddenly there is a tiny person in your life who is entirely dependent on you for all of their care needs. This can feel overwhelming – even a little scary. Babies don’t come with a ‘Users’ Guide’, so in this section we have provided lots of practical information, guidance and advice to help you feel more confident in meeting your baby’s needs.

Top baby information

Caring for your baby’s sticky and watery eyes

How do I breastfeed?

Helping your baby through teething

How do I hold my baby?

Mucousy babies

What colour should breast milk be?

How do I express breast milk with a pump?

Formula milk feeding your baby

Your newborn baby’s stools (poo)

How to sterilise my baby’s bottles

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Your Baby’s Umbilical Cord

Your Baby’s Umbilical Cord The umbilical cord - also referred to as the birth cord, connects the developing baby to the placenta (afterbirth). The cord literally acts as a ‘life line’ supplying the baby with oxygen and nutrients that support its growth and development whilst they are in the uterus (womb).   What does the umbilical cord look like? In a baby that is born at term (around their due date), the cord has a spiral twist and is normally around 50-60 cm long, with a diameter of approximately [...]

Your newborn baby’s sleep patterns

Your newborn baby’s sleep patterns We all need sleep for our health and wellbeing, and newborn babies are no different. Growth and self-regulation (of sleep) occur while babies are sleeping. Enhancing your baby’s sleep-time and avoiding unnecessary sleep disturbances are very important for their health and development. Babies who are born at term (around their due date) spend 70% of a 24 hour period asleep, while babies who are born preterm (early) sleep for up to 90% of this time. Just like us, babies go through sleep phases which [...]

Caring for your baby’s ‘sticky’ and ‘watery’ eyes

Caring for your baby’s ‘sticky’ and ‘watery’ eyes Your baby’s eyes are kept moist and healthy by tears that wash over the surface of their eyes constantly. Tears are produced in the lacrimal glands and there is one lacrimal gland above each eye. Your baby’s tears are then carried away from the eye by a tear duct, which is a very fine tube. When babies are born, their tear ducts are sometimes not fully developed and patent (clear). Studies have shown that approximately one in five babies are born [...]

Breastfeeding

Introduction This section aims to provide you with impartial, evidence-based information to help support you with breastfeeding your new baby. There is practical information and guidance as well as, some handy tips to help you should you find that breastfeeding is not going quite as smoothly as you had anticipated. We would like to reassure you that this section has been written in a context that fully respects and supports parents’ decisions about how they wish to feed their baby whilst being supportive of babies receiving breast milk whenever this [...]

Management of common breastfeeding problems

Management of common breastfeeding problems Although breastfeeding is thought to be ‘natural’, it is actually a skill that requires support and preparation to develop and maintain. Some breastfeeding mothers will experience minor problems at some time, however, there are plenty of people available who can advise and support you in overcoming these, including your midwife, health visitor, GP, breastfeeding counsellors and breastfeeding support groups. It is important that you enjoy your baby and if feeding times, or even the mere thought of them, starts to cause anxiety, it is important [...]

Introducing your new baby to their siblings

Introducing your new baby to their siblings Introducing your new baby to the rest of the family is a joyous and exciting time. However, alongside the inevitable celebrations there can also be major upheaval to well-established routines and changes to family dynamics. This can be a daunting time too, as new parents contemplate how they will meet the very different needs of their newborn baby and its older sibling(s). Multi-tasking takes on a whole new meaning as you provide 24/7 care to your newborn baby whilst giving your older [...]

What is the Apgar score?

Introduction Assessing your baby’s health and well-being begins from the moment they are born - this very first assessment is called the Apgar score. It is undertaken by the midwife or paediatrician (baby doctor) present at your baby’s birth and is designed to evaluate their physical health and well-being immediately at birth. Background information The Apgar score was invented by an obstetric anaesthetist named Virginia Apgar. It was not intended to predict mortality (ie those babies who might die), but she did hope to reveal a relationship between the baby’s [...]

Your newborn baby’s skin

Your newborn baby's skin Newborn babies have fragile delicate skin which is vulnerable to trauma from friction and pressure. Babies also have plenty of skin creases on the palms of their hands and soles of their feet. If your baby was born post mature (ie were over due), you may also notice that the skin of their hands and feet is quite dry and is peeling. This is because your baby was exposed to amniotic fluid (also called ‘liquor’ and the ‘waters’) without being protected by vernix caseosa (see [...]

About birth afterthoughts

About birth afterthoughts Events around the time of your baby’s birth can sometimes seem muddled and vague, particularly where you have been given pain relieving drugs (analgesia) which have made you feel sleepy, or there was an emergency situation where decisions and actions were undertaken in rapid succession. Where the midwives and doctors have concerns about you or your baby’s health and wellbeing, it may be necessary to deliver your baby without delay. Whilst your informed consent will always be sought, fully understanding the reasons behind these interventions/treatments can [...]

Is my baby cutting a tooth?

  My little girl is now eleven weeks’ old and keeps putting her hand to her mouth, biting and crying. Could it be that she is cutting a tooth? A baby’s development is astonishingly rapid with many milestones being reached over the course of their first year. However, because every baby is different; they will achieve these developmental milestones at very different rates. Cutting their first tooth is one such milestone and while some babies will sail through the experience without difficulty, others can find it an altogether more uncomfortable and [...]

How to take your baby’s temperature

How to take your baby’s temperature Many of us don’t think about keeping a thermometer in our home until we become parents and have a new baby to look after. Monitoring your newborn baby’s health and wellbeing is an important aspect of their daily care; this includes identifying when they may be unwell and have a fever. What is a baby’s normal temperature? Your baby’s normal temperature should be in the range of 36.5oC to 37.0oC   How warm should my baby’s room be? Research has shown that the [...]

Helping your baby through ‘teething’

Helping your baby through ‘teething’ Babies are all very individual and while some will sail through teething without too many concerns, others will find cutting their first teeth a sore, upsetting and even painful experience. Baby massage has been found to be helpful in soothing babies who are teething; there are also many products available designed to soothe sore gums. Many new parents will seek advice from other parents; however, it can be the case that what works for one baby may not necessarily give the same level of [...]

Swaddling your baby

Introduction Swaddling is an ancient practice that in recent years has become an increasingly fashionable choice for many new parents. When your baby is inside the womb (uterus) they are used to being tightly curled up in a warm, safe and very ‘snug’ environment. By comparison their Moses basket or hospital bedside cot can seem like a vast, unfamiliar space. It’s no surprise therefore, that newborn babies will often settle much better when they are snugly wrapped.   What are the advantages of swaddling? When a baby is swaddled [...]

How do I hold my newborn baby?

How do I hold my newborn baby? As a new parent, particularly where this is your first baby, it can seem as if your newborn is made out of fragile porcelain. Consequently, many first-time parents often feel quite nervous about picking up and holding their newborn baby for the first time. Although babies are vulnerable in so much as they are tiny when born and their bones and body organs are immature and still developing, babies are actually much sturdier than you would expect… Simply changing their nappy often [...]

‘Mucousy’ babies

Why do some babies get mucousy? During pregnancy when your baby is inside the uterus (womb), they are surrounded by amniotic fluid (also referred to as ‘liquor’ and the ‘waters’). When you give birth, particularly when your baby is born vaginally, most of this fluid gets squeezed out as the baby passes down the birth canal and their chest is compressed. However, some mucous tends to remain and if your baby is born by Caesarean section, this fluid is not squeezed out and tends to remain in the baby’s [...]

Breastfeeding and Codeine

Breastfeeding and Codeine Codeine Phosphate is a type of analgesic (pain-killing) drug called an opioid or narcotic. This group of analgesics work by acting on the central nervous system of the body. Codeine is a mild analgesic which has historically been used to provide pain relief following labour and birth. It also has cough-suppressant and anti-diarrhoeal properties and is often prescribed in combination with Paracetamol for maximum pain-relieving effect. More recently, however, there has been growing concern about prescribing codeine phosphate to breastfeeding (nursing) mothers. This is because in [...]

What colour should breast milk be?

What colour should breast milk be? The colour of breast milk will vary from woman to woman. The first breast milk, called ‘colostrum’, is very concentrated and only present in small quantities. It tends to be a creamy yellow colour which can range from being a pale yellow to a very deep ‘Buttercup’ yellow. If you drank blue-coloured isotonic (energy) drinks during your labour, you may notice that your colostrum appears to be a greenish colour. For more information see our section on ‘Breastfeeding Your Baby’. When your breast [...]

Expressing your breast milk by hand (Hand expressing)

Expressing breast milk by hand Hand expressing is a very useful skill that all breastfeeding mothers should try to learn. The midwives on the postnatal ward should teach you how to hand express your breast milk before you go home. Your community midwife will also be able to help you with this; at the very least you should be provided with a leaflet that shows you how to express your breast milk for your baby. Hand expression is particularly useful in the very early days of breastfeeding when, for [...]

Expressing your breast milk by pump

Expressing your breast milk by pump Once your breast milk has come in, you may wish to express your breast milk by pump. This may be particularly the case, if you need to be away from your baby for a longer period of time and/or are returning to work and someone else needs to be able to give your baby your breast milk.   How to use a hand-operated breast pump Begin in the same way as you would if you were preparing to hand express – spend a [...]

Storing your Breast Milk

Storing your Breast Milk You should always used a container that has been sterilised for storing your expressed breast milk (EBM) You can store your expressed breast milk at room temperature for up to four hours. EBM can be stored in the back of the fridge (at a temperature of 4oC or lower) for up to five days. NB. You should never store your EBM in the fridge door because frequent opening and closing will cause regular temperature fluctuations EBM can be stored in the ice compartment of a [...]

Natural suppression of lactation

Natural suppression of lactation What is suppression of lactation? This is the term used to describe the steps taken to stop lactation ie your body’s production of breast milk once you have given birth. Lactation suppression can be undertaken using ‘chemicals’ – ie specific prescribed medications or through ‘natural’ approaches which help to stop breast milk production. This article will only look at the natural approaches to suppressing lactation. Where there is an indication to consider chemical suppression; this medication would need to be prescribed by your doctor.   [...]

Formula milk (bottle) feeding your baby

Formula milk (bottle) feeding your baby There is a wealth of research evidence on the health benefits to mothers and babies that breastfeeding confers (see our article Breastfeeding your baby). However, in practice, many women choose not to breastfeed and instead replace their breast milk with other substitutes; commonly, this is infant formula milk. The important thing is to make sure that you are making an informed choice and your decision is based on what feels right for you and your baby, and your personal circumstances. You may feel [...]

Your newborn baby’s stools (poo)

Your newborn baby’s stools (poo) New parents can sometimes feel a little unsure as to what they can expect to find in their newborn baby’s nappy. This brief article provides information on the normal and progressive changes in your baby’s stools (poo). These changes are a clear and visible indication that your baby’s gastrointestinal tract (ie their stomach and bowels) are functioning as they should be. The very first stool that your baby passes is called ‘meconium’. Meconium is a substance that is inside your baby’s bowel while they [...]

Nappy rash (Nappy dermatitis)

Nappy rash (Nappy dermatitis) Introduction Managing and protecting your newborn’s delicate skin is an essential aspect of their daily care. One of parents’ biggest concerns relates to the prevention and management of ‘nappy rash’.   What is nappy rash? Nappy rash (nappy dermatitis) describes a number of inflammatory skin reactions that cause soreness and redness in the nappy area. In the majority of cases, it is a mild condition which affects around half of all nappy-wearing babies at some point. It is especially common in babies between the ages [...]

Jaundice in the newborn (neonatal jaundice)

Jaundice in the newborn (neonatal jaundice) Jaundice is the term used to describe the yellow appearance of the skin and the whites of the eyes (sclera). Jaundice in adults is caused by a problem with the liver however, in newborn babies it is a normal (physiological) process which occurs after birth. Mild jaundice is common in the first week of life with most newborn babies, becoming jaundiced two or three days after they have been born (neonatal jaundice). It tends to reach its peak when your baby is around [...]

Developmental Dysplasia of the hips (‘Clicky’ hips)

Developmental Dysplasia of the hips (‘clicky’ hips) What is Developmental dysplasia of the hips? Developmental dysplasia of the hips (DDH) formerly known as congenital dislocation of the hips (CDH) and also called ‘clicky’ hips, is a condition that is present from birth. Research has shown that this condition can run in families. Therefore, if a mother has suffered from this condition as a child, she is more likely to give birth to a baby who also has it. Studies have shown that DDH is more likely amongst first born [...]

Normal baby skin rashes – ‘Milia’

Normal baby skin rashes – ‘Milia’ What are milia? A ‘milium’ is a small raised sebaceous cyst on the surface of the skin which is filled with a protein called ‘Keratin’. Because these spots tend to develop in clusters they are more commonly referred to in the plural ie ‘milia’. Neonatal milia Milia are the pin-head sized, ‘whitish’- coloured spots that are commonly seen on the skin around your newborn baby’s nose. They can also develop on your baby’s cheeks, their upper body; scalp and even sometimes inside their [...]

Formula (bottle) feeding equipment

Formula (bottle) feeding equipment If you have chosen to formula feed your baby, or are wishing to give your baby your expressed milk by bottle there are a number of essential feeding items that you will need to purchase. These are as follows: a). Feeding bottles with teats and covers and/or feeding cups – you should probably look to buy up to six bottle sets b). Bottle and teat cleaning brushes to ensure that your baby’s bottle and teat are thoroughly cleaned before being sterilised c). Sterilising equipment – [...]

Baby slings

Baby slings Babies adore warm soft surfaces, a gentle rocking motion and being held closely. This is why babies often soothe more quickly when they are picked up and why cuddling your baby is so important to forming a close relationship with them – see our article ‘Bonding with your new baby’. It’s not surprising therefore, that baby slings (also referred to as baby-wearing) have become a progressively popular choice for many mothers and fathers who want to keep their babies close to them to support bonding, whilst also [...]

Looking after your baby

Looking after your baby Alongside the joyous feelings associated with being a new mum, the demands of caring for your newborn baby 24 hours a day can be a real shock, not to mention totally exhausting. However, as you get to know your newborn and become more adept at recognising their needs, you will also feel a lot more confident about being competent to care for them. While the newborn baby is really much tougher than you might think, one important point to remember is that your baby is [...]

Sterilising your baby’s feeding equipment

Sterilising your baby’s feeding equipment Because babies are born with an immature immune system, they are very susceptible to picking up infections, including gastroenteritis (diarrhoea and vomiting). It is therefore, very important that any equipment used to feed a baby who is under 12 months of age, is sterilised before being used. This applies to feeding equipment that is used to give babies infant formula milk and expressed breast milk (EBM) as well as, handheld pumps used to express your breast milk, and baby feeding spoons. The following article [...]

Cradle cap

Cradle cap Cradle cap (also called infantile seborrhoeic dermatitis) refers to the yellow-coloured, scaly greasy patches that are often seen on the scalps of young babies’. The scalp is the most common site for the condition but it can also develop on the baby’s neck, ears and face as well as, in the skin folds of their armpits, groin (nappy area) and behind their knees. NB. Where cradle cap appears on a part of the baby’s body, other than their scalp, the condition is called seborrhoeic dermatitis. It is [...]

How to make up your baby’s formula milk feed

How to make up your baby’s formula milk feed Contrary to a once long-held belief, powdered infant formula milk is not sterile. Therefore, even though tins of powdered formula milk have been sealed from the time that they were manufactured, they may still contain bacteria that can be harmful to your baby’s health. While the presence of harmful bacteria in powdered infant formula is rare, where babies have become ill, this illness can be life-threatening and there have been a number of cases where babies have tragically died. Because [...]

Your newborn baby’s first check

Your newborn baby’s first check Assessing your baby’s health and well-being starts from the moment they are born; this very first assessment is referred to as the Apgar score. It is undertaken by the midwife or paediatrician (baby doctor) present at the birth and is designed to evaluate your baby’s physical health and well-being immediately after they have been born. Your baby’s condition is assessed at one minute, five minutes and, if there are any concerns, at 10 minutes after their birth. The Apgar score helps identify those babies [...]

Talipes (Club Foot)

Talipes (Club Foot) This a condition where one or both of the baby’s feet and ankles bend inwards or sometimes upwards. Generally, the cause of this condition is unknown, but it is thought that it may be due to the positioning of the baby while they are inside the uterus (womb) and have been curled up snugly. The condition can present in both mild and severe forms. In mild cases – called ‘positional’ talipes (Talipes Metatarsus), the soft tissues (ie ligaments, tendons, skin and muscle) of the foot and [...]

When can I start trying for another baby after a Caesarean section?

When can I start trying for another baby after a Caesarean section? Caesarean section is the most common major operation performed on women worldwide, with women being over four times more likely to have a caesarean birth nowadays than they were thirty years ago. The concern about the high number of caesarean births means that healthcare professionals and the maternity services are trying to ensure that caesarean sections are only performed when necessary. Women who have undergone a caesarean are more likely to have their next baby by caesarean, [...]

Which nappy to choose?

Which nappy to choose? Reusable versus Disposable nappies As a new parent, you are likely to be surprised by the number of nappies that your newborn baby will fill over a 24 hour period! You may well find yourself asking, “How can something so very small produce so very much?” Consequently, changing your baby’s nappy will become a regular part of your baby’s daily care routine. Up until the last ten years or so, the preference has been to use disposable nappies, with only a few parents choosing reusable [...]

Frenulotomy (Tongue-tie)

My baby has a tongue-tie   What is a tongue-tie? A tongue-tie or ‘ankyloglossia’ is present at birth and occurs when the frenulum (which is a thin piece of skin beginning midway along the underneath of the tongue attaching it to the floor of the mouth) is misplaced and begins at the tip of the tongue instead, or is thicker or shorter than usual. It occurs in four to five per cent of babies. It is often seen during the first check by the midwife following birth, or if [...]

Umbilical hernia

What is an Umbilical Hernia? This condition is caused by a weakness in the abdominal wall muscles around the umbilicus (naval/belly button); this causes fatty tissue or a small part of the bowel to push through. When the baby develops in the uterus (womb) there is a small opening in the abdominal muscles which allows the umbilical cord to pass through. After the baby is born the abdominal muscles gradually grow together closing this gap. Sometimes, however, they do not meet completely and leave a weak spot allowing fatty [...]

Ventouse birth

Why did I need a ventouse (vacuum extraction) birth? The ventouse is suction apparatus that is commonly used to assist you in giving birth. It involves placing a small suction cup (made of soft or hard plastic or metal) onto your baby’s head. There are two types of ventouse available: a silastic cup which is attached to a machine which creates a vacuum on baby’s head; similar to the action of a sink plunger. Or there is a kiwi which is a little hand-operated device that has the same [...]

Forceps birth

Why did I need a forceps birth? A forceps delivery is often performed for the same reasons as a ventouse and particularly when the baby’s head is positioned higher up in the pelvis. Forceps can best be described as two curved smooth metal spoon/salad server-like instruments that are placed either side of your baby’s head (from just below the baby’s ears). There are three types of forceps commonly in use: a) Neville-Barns forceps – used when the baby’s head is low down in the pelvis b) Rhodes forceps – [...]

Monitoring baby’s heart rate

Why did my baby’s heart rate have to be recorded during labour? The midwives and doctors will always recommend that your baby’s heart rate is listened to during your labour and birth. If your baby is not coping with labour and is becoming distressed, a change in the pattern of their heart rate is one of the first signs that can indicate this. Monitoring your baby’s heart rate can be performed intermittently using a Pinard stethoscope – this is a trumpet-like instrument. The midwife listens to your baby’s heart [...]

Fetal blood sampling

What is fetal blood sampling? Fetal blood sampling (FBS) is a procedure where a small drop of blood is taken from the top of the baby’s head during labour; it is similar to a blood test taken with a thumb or heel prick. When the baby‘s heart rate is being monitored closely and there are concerns about how the baby is coping with labour, the CTG machine can tell midwives and doctors that there may be a problem. However, the CTG doesn’t always give enough information to suggest whether [...]

Meconium-stained liquor

What is meconium-stained liquor and how could it have harmed my baby? Meconium-stained liquor is where the baby has their bowels opened while inside the womb. This can occur if the baby has become distressed at any point; it is also seen when the baby is past its due date and can be present for just this reason. However, this cannot be confirmed for certain therefore, continuous monitoring may have been recommended. If the meconium is described as light/thinly stained meconium liquor; it is normally a pale green colour. [...]

Caesarean birth

Why did I need to have a Caesarean section? There are many reasons why a caesarean section may need to be performed and these include the following: You may have had previous caesarean sections and there are concerns that if you went into labour the scar on the uterus may begin to open up causing serious harm to you and your baby There was fetal distress and the safest decision was to deliver baby as soon as possible Labour may have been induced (started off) and despite being given [...]

Baby observations

Why did my baby need observations after their birth? Circumstances related to your pregnancy and/or events around your baby’s birth can mean that the midwives and paediatricians will want to keep a closer eye on your baby during the first 24 hours post birth. These circumstances and events might include the following: Prolonged rupture of the membranes (the waters broke more than 24 hrs before your labour began) Maternal high temperature (pyrexia) Maternal infection (eg Group B Streptococcus - GBS) Meconium-stained liquor Small babies  (babies born prematurely, or born [...]

Baby weight loss post birth

Why do babies lose weight in the first few days of life? It is normal for a baby to lose weight by around the third to fifth day post birth. This weight loss is linked to the natural loss of excess fluid from outside the baby’s body cells; this is part of the baby’s adaptation to life outside the womb. The amount of weight lost tends to be around 10% of the baby’s birth weight in the first week. From day five post birth onwards, the baby’s average weight [...]

Fetal scalp clip (FSE)

Why did my baby have a clip attached to their head? Sometimes it is difficult to hear the baby’s heart rate abdominally (through the tummy). This may be due to the position the baby is lying in, or where women have excess tummy fat. Where the midwives and doctors need to be able to monitor the baby’s heart rate closely and this is difficult abdominally, a special clip (called a fetal scalp electrode – FSE) can be carefully applied to the baby’s head. This is then connected to the CTG [...]

Your baby needs transitional care: what does this mean?

 Your baby needs transitional care: what does this mean? The majority of expectant mums enter pregnancy hoping that their baby will be born around the time of its due date, will be well-grown (of average birth weight), healthy, and ready for life outside their mother’s uterus (womb). However, circumstances sometimes mean that all of these expectations get ‘turned on their head’ and the baby arrives early (prematurely) and/or is born smaller than would normally be expected (‘growth restricted’ or ‘small for gestational age’). Should this be the case, your [...]

Vitamin K for your newborn

What is vitamin K? Vitamin K is a substance that is naturally present in our body and plays an important role in helping our blood to clot. At birth, a baby is born with very low stores of this vitamin; these are then quickly used up over the first few days of life. This can leave a baby vulnerable to severe bleeding (called ‘haemorrhage’) and they can also develop a rare but very serious condition called ‘vitamin K deficiency bleeding’ (VKDB). A baby who develops VKDB might have excessive [...]

Protecting your little one from tummy bugs

Protecting your little one from tummy bugs Babies are born with immature immune systems, which leave them more vulnerable to the viruses and bacteria that many of us unknowingly come into contact with most days. One such virus is norovirus, which is highly contagious and the most common cause of sickness and diarrhoea (gastroenteritis) in the UK. Norovirus is also known as the ‘winter vomiting bug’ because it tends to be more prevalent during the winter months; however, don’t be lulled into a false sense of security — norovirus [...]

Meningitis – knowing what to look for, acting fast

Meningitis – knowing what to look for, acting fast Simply mention the word ‘meningitis’ and many parents will admit that it is probably one of their worst nightmares. While modern meningitis vaccinations offer excellent protection, unfortunately, they aren’t able to safeguard against every form of meningitis and septicaemia. With the devastating effects of meningitis periodically hitting the news headlines, the campaign to make parents more aware of meningitis, including Meningitis Baby Watch, has become a priority. Meningitis and septicaemia (the blood poisoning form of the disease) are very dangerous [...]

Hearing tests for newborn babies and young children

Hearing tests for newborn babies and young children Hearing tests are offered to all newborn babies and tend to be performed in the first few weeks’ of life. They are usually undertaken by a person who has done specialist training, called a ‘newborn hearing screener’ or by a trained health visitor.   NB. A screening test looks for signs of possible problems. If you have your baby in hospital, this test is normally performed before you are discharged home; however, if, for any reason, this was not possible, or [...]

Bonding with your new baby

Bonding with your new baby Despite there being a number of factors that can impact on parent’s bonding/attachment with their new baby, many new parents, particularly mothers, berate themselves and worry about feeling disconnected from their baby. Parents’ however, should not be so critical of their selves, because, like any new relationship, they and their baby need to get to know each other and should allow time for this relationship to develop. There are also a number of ways that parents can gently help this process along and this [...]

Your baby’s dental health

Your baby’s dental health When your baby is born, their primary teeth (more commonly referred to as the ‘milk’ or ‘first’ teeth) are not visible because they are buried below the surface of the baby’s gums for the first six to 12 months. However, around 1 in 2000 babies are born with visible teeth, called ‘congenital teeth’. These teeth tend to be lower jaw incisors and can be quite soft and flexible because the teeth are still immature and have not yet calcified (hardened). Where congenital teeth are supernumerary [...]

Baby behaviour: understanding your newborn

Meeting your baby for the first time When your newborn baby is placed into your arms for the very first time, they are ready to begin forming social relationships. The first relationship that they form will be with you, their parents, and research now shows us that these relationships can have a powerful impact on how your baby feels and reacts to the world around them. All babies need to develop a strong relationship (also called ‘attachment’ or ‘bonding’) with one significant carer and, in the majority of cases, [...]

Common baby illnesses

Common baby illnesses When looking at your newborn baby for the very first time, you’ll probably be immediately struck by how tiny and delicate they seem. The surge of joy and exhilaration in those first precious moments may quickly be matched by the sudden realisation of the huge responsibility you now carry for their health and safety. While your baby was inside your uterus (womb) they were, to a large extent, protected from the common germs and infections that are constantly around us. However, from birth they need to [...]