Here’s the quick 411 on infant care with tips BFC childcare providers have learned through their nanny and sitting experience. You can also check out the links provided under each tip for videos and additional tips, with thanks to Baby Center.
TIP 1: Swaddling
- Lay a blanket on a flat surface like a diamond and fold down the top corner about 6 inches to form a straight edge.
- Place your baby on his back so that the top of the fabric is at shoulder level.
- Bring your baby’s left arm down. Pull the corner of the blanket near his left hand over his arm and chest, and tuck the leading edge under his back on his right side.
- Bring your baby’s right arm down. Pull the corner of the blanket near his right hand over his arm and chest, and tuck the cloth under his left side.
- Twist or fold the bottom end of the blanket and tuck it loosely behind your baby, making sure that both legs are bent up and out from his body, his hips can move, and his legs can spread apart naturally.
- If you’re a visual learner, take a look at a short “how to” swaddle video.
TIP 2: Bottle Prep and Feeding
- Rule of thumb is to ALWAYS follow the parent’s directions. Every parent does things differently, so its important to do it their way.
- You can heat up a bottle in a bowl of warm water or run it under the tap. Microwaving is not the way to go as it heats unevenly, which can cause hot pockets and lead to burns.
- Quick read on bottle basics here.
TIP 3: Changing
- Always wash your hands before and after diaper changes.
- Make sure you put on the diaper correctly! Snap is in the back and you pull it forward and around on top.
- Be sure to use wipes and diaper cream if necessary (per the parent’s request) and wipe ALWAYS DOWN, not up.
- Never leave a baby unattended while on the changing table.
- Because diaper changing is everyone’s favorite activity, catch this short video.
TIP 4: Nap Time
- Nap time isn’t one size fits all, so make sure to check in with the parents as to how they would like you to handle their little ones down time as every child has a different routine.
- Some tips: make sure the room is quiet, dark and a comfortable temperature. Be safe by placing the baby on its back and making sure there isn’t anything in the crib they could get tangled up in.
- Interested in becoming a napping expert? Take a look at some additional tips from Mayo Clinic.
TIP 5: Burping
- Helping a baby to burp will release air trapped in their stomach, making them more comfortable. It helps their tummy to settle and get them to feed longer.
- If a baby is squirming or fussy during a feeding those are signs they may be uncomfortable and it’s time to burp them.
- There are three common ways to burp a baby: On the chest or shoulder, sitting on your lap or face down across your lap.
- Burp tips – yes, we have those!
TIP 6: Playtime and Tummy Time
- Play and Tummy time is super important for a baby’s development, it helps them to get stronger.
- Tummy time will help them to learn how to push themselves up, roll over, sit up and crawl.
- Wait until at least a half hour after feeding to lay them on their bellies.
- Play with them during tummy time! Rattles, funny faces, toys and talking are a few things that may help them to feel more comfortable during this time.
- Tummy time is fun to say. So is watching a video about it.