Rather than write one single blog, I have decided to do a series of Newborn blogs, that will focus on a specific area to make it less daunting and definitely an easier read.
This series will focus on the all important topic, that is the health of your newborn baby. They are my personal recommendations and those that I have tried and tested on bringing up my two children. So here goes…
Your little bundle is soooo tiny and fragile and you want to do everything that is in your power to protect them…it’s natural, right?
With my first-born, I would face health problems, such as, spitting up, gas, bum rash, cradle cap and I could go on. Each time, I would frantically google and then pester my husband. Luckily, for me, my husband is a doctor and he was my constant reassurance. I would follow his lead, when it came to health concerns and the remedies, he suggested.
Over time, and two babies later, I have come across common ailments that your baby will have at some point. So, here are my top tips of things you should have with you to help soothe your little one.
I should add though… please always seek appropriate medical help, if you are ever in doubt. A mommys’ instinct is always right!
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Healthcare for Tummy Pain or Colic
This was my go-to when my babies had a sore tummy. The constant crying, arching their back and struggling to burp caused so much angst. Gripe Water contains two active ingredients: sodium hydrogen carbonate (an antacid), and dill seed oil (to reduce wind).
This worked a treat for my two, and were not phased by the taste. They seemed to calm right down and it would help with trapped wind. The only issue for me, was that it comes with a spoon, not ideal and I would recommend getting some oral syringes to use instead. Please note, that it is suggested that you use this from one month old and NOT before. So, what can you use from birth? Does a product even exist? Read on to find out.
The answer is Infacol. You can use this from birth onwards and pretty much does the same thing as gripe water, in relieving colic, tummy pain and trapped wind. It comes with a dropper, making it much easier to use. After, my babies were one month old, I always had both gripe water and Infacol, at home. Infacol, has a different active ingredient, so sometimes, I found that Infacol worked better at soothing my baby and other times gripe water did.
Healthcare For Nappy/Teething Bum Rash
‘As smooth as a babies bottom’ is something we would all love to have, when it comes to skincare. But even, babies suffer from rash. Believe me, their skin is super sensitive and being in a nappy 24/7 doesn’t help. Here are my top nappy creams to help keep their bum ever so soft and free from redness.
I would apply Bepanthen on every nappy change, especially when she teethed (she showed the classic signs of a sore bum!). The redness would go instantly- super impressed! The nappy cream forms a long lasting, transparent layer, protecting even the most delicate skin from irritants and rubbing.
I like that it comes in two sizes- 30ml and 100ml. I always carried the smaller one in my changing bag and used it when out and about and used the larger one at home.
Even the packaging is great, easy to open and dispense the required quantity. The consistency of the cream is just right, not too thick or thin. This avoided any unnecessary spillages.
I personally, don’t like using scented creams on my babies, this cream actually smells nice and is gentle. Even I used it, what with washing my hands so frequently (2 under 2 mean a LOT of nappy changes!), really dried out my hands. I would use Bepanthen as a hand cream and it left my hands, nice, soft and free from cracks.
Most important thing to me are the ingredients. I love how Bepanthen is free from antiseptics, fragrances, colours, preservatives and contains provitamin B5, which helps the skin repair its natural protective barrier from nappy rash. No nasties here! It helps the most sensitive of skins including newborn babies and I really don’t have a bad word to say about it.
This cream has been around for years, my mum used it on me and my siblings. So, clearly they are doing something right!
The key difference between Sudocrem and Bepanthen, is that it is a licensed medicine. So, it’s clinically proven to heal nappy rash. I loved using Sudocrem, when my daughter was actively teething and her bum would be raw red- ouch!
Metanium, like sudocrem is a licenced medicine that is designed to soothe and treat nappy rash. It is designed for treating particularly aggressive bum rashes.
It feels almost dry when you apply it, so, it can be difficult to rub it on, especially when you have a wriggler on your hands. The dry layer, is supposed to act as a barrier, preventing wee and poo irritating your baby’s skin.
I personally wasn’t keen on Metanium. I felt that it didn’t do anything different to Sudocrem in treating aggressive nappy rash and Bepanthen was perfect for day-to-day use- so they were my preferred products. Also, as mentioned above, Sudocrem, is so much more versatile, so you can use it long after your babies are out of nappies.
Healthcare for a Cold
At some point, your little will get a chesty cough and a cold. It really causes many sleepless nights for both you and baby. So, how could you help them? I tried many products that would ease their suffering. This is a list of what I always have at home:
Snuffle babe vapour rub
I love this vapour rub. It is an effective decongestant. You simply rub on to your baby’s chest and the soles of their feet and they will naturally breathe in the vapour ointment. I found that the vapour instantly relaxed both my children, and they slept much better. This is only suitable on babies over 3 months old.
Olbas Oil is another decongestant that I have always used and keep in my medicine cabinet. I put a few drops on to their sleep bags and the natural vapours relieve their blocked noses. This is only suitable on babies over 3 months old.
So you may thinking, these products are good from 3 months onwards…what if my baby is ill before that age? That is a tough one, there are not many medicines that you can use but I used the following to help my tiny babies.
It’s awful, hearing your baby struggling to breathe properly, they are restless and just unhappy. With such a weak immune system, your baby is vulnerable to coughs and colds. I found the Calpol Saline Nasal Spray, worked amazingly at unblocking their nose. It’s also great that you can use it from birth, unlike most medicines.
I found that the spray worked much better than the drops and here is my handy tip………prop baby up when using the nasal spray, the pump works so much better.
For the first few months, I always used this nasal aspirator. I found that when my baby had a RUNNY nose then the aspirator worked great at sucking up the snot (all the fun jobs hey!) but once the snot dried up, it did not work as well. Handy tip…..Use the nasal spray first to soften the dry snot and then the aspirator- always worked 🙂
Having a good quality thermometer is a must in every family household. As mentioned earlier, my husband is doctor and he has this thermometer in his doctors bag, so it’s highly regarded in the medical profession. It has been invaluable in detecting fevers in both our children, especially after their vaccinations.
It’s super easy to use, that even I can use it! It has 3 age ranges, 0-3 months, 3-36 months and 3 years to adult. All of which can be scrolled though at the press of a button.
It comes with batteries and a hygiene filter pre-installed, so, you can literally use in a matter of seconds. The thermometer comes with a handy stand that also acts as a case to keep it clean, when not in use.
Totally in love with this product and it truly gives you peace of mind.
Another side to healthcare is the need for baby care accessories. These are my essential baby items that I have used:
- Nail file- useful from birth as nail clippers are too big.
- Nail clippers– once baby is a few months old
- Hair brush
- Baby scissors
Yep, I love the Tommee Tippee Essentials range. They are reasonably priced and do the job well. They also do a baby healthcare kit, that has the above items but also a nasal aspirator, oral thermometer and a toothbrush, but I was not keen on those products as the nasal aspirator was far too big to fit in to my baby’s nostrils, the oral thermometer wasn’t practical- imagine holding it in your baby’s mouth for a few minutes to get a reading…hmmmm…. I just can’t see it happening!
If you want a kit that has everything in a travel case, then it is ideal. As I already had these items, I did not see the point of duplicating, which is why I bought the individual items.
Well, there you have it- a few of my favourite must-haves to put in to your medicine cabinet. I hope this blog gives you the confidence to know what you need to get to soothe your baby.
Keep a look out for more ways you can get prepared for the arrival of your newborn, where I will focus on the following areas:
Now it’s your turn- do you have any must-have items that have helped soothe your little one? Feel free to leave a comment.