The Baby Care Basics Book – a great read for new mom and repeat moms alike!

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The Baby Care Basics Book – a great read for new mom and repeat moms alike!

September 18, 2015

I was contacted to review a new baby book called The Baby Care Basics.  This book covers topics new moms needs to know; from breast- and formula-feeding, introducing solid food, treating your baby’s illnesses to sleep habits, playing with your baby and much more.  I am a mom of 3; ages 6, 2 and 7 months… I have seen quite a few different baby books and I was thinking that I probably know a lot of what would be in this book.  My other thought was wondering if the book would be up to date.  This book is a must have for the home!  It is fairly short (so not a giant book to wade through as you are trying to find a quick answer!) very easy to navigate and very current.  It is extremely comprehensive and was originally compiled in 2007 with the help of a group of Pediatricians from Toronto’s Sick Kids Hospital.  I really like that this is a Canadian book and I didn’t see anything in the book that didn’t pertain to our Canadian family.

Even after 3 children, there are many things that can throw me for a loop and in the short time I have had a copy of this book, I have looked at it several times.  My baby had his first diaper rash and it seemed to be more serious that a normal diaper rash.  He needed a special cream that was prescribed to take care of it.  The book had actual photos of diaper rashes to give me an idea of what I was looking at.  The book is full of great photos; how to mix a bottle, what pumped breastmilk should look like, birthmarks, swaddling and more.  I know that so many people just google everything that they are questioning about their kids, but the internet has so much conflicting information and definitely very scary pictures that can bring out the hypochondriac in all of us!  The book covers everything right from pregnancy through the babies first year of life.  Written by Dr. Jeremy Friedman (Chief of Paediatric Medicine at the Hospital for Sick Children) and Dr. Natasha Saunders (pediatrician at the Hospital for Sick Children), this book has a friendly, easy-to-understand style and it offers a concise yet comprehensive wealth of reliable information that will help parents make the right choices for their baby. Topics are broken down chronologically to help readers access the information they need quickly and easily: just had the baby, arrived home from the hospital, learning the ropes with your newborn or gaining experience as your baby grows and develops.

My favourite part of the Prenatal portion of the book is on page 9 – Common Tests During Pregnancy.  I could have used this with all 3 pregnancies as it is hard to remember from baby to baby what you are supposed to do and when.  I like being in charge of my care in the off chance that my doctor or nurse forgets to schedule me for something; especially for those women that might see a GP until towards the end of their pregnancy.

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I am really passionate about educating mom’s about car seat safety, so I wanted to note the car seat portion of this book and give some highlights:

  • Newborn/Infant Car Seat – newborns require a seat that is relatively reclined. This style of bucket seat must be rear facing and used until your child reaches 22lb or 1 year of age and is walking.  I always also like to mention here that kids should be rear facing for as long as possible.  My kids were both rear facing until over the age of 2 – it is SO much safer in the event of a collision and the kids generally don’t know the difference, until you flip them forward, that is!
  • Toddler Car Seat – once your childis 22 lbs, 1 year of age and walking and they can be moved to a forward facing (or continue rear facing, if possible!) until 40lb or about 4 years old.  To be honest, I find the 5 point harness easier because kids often have trouble buckling the regular seat belt when they are in a booster seat, so rather than reaching around and trying to help them, just use the toddler seat for as long as possible since the buckle is in plain sight on their chest.  Plus, as they get older, you won’t have the terrible two year old toddler trying to arch their back in defiance of getting buckled!
  • School Age Car Seat – a child between 40 – 80lbs should be in a booster seat.  It simply raises the child up so the vehicle’s seat belt is properly positioned  over the hips and shoulder.

The next portion of the book covers the babies first few days including delivery, inductions, Caesarins, eye ointment, first check ups, sleep patterns and more.  I really like the part about Jaundice as two out of three of my kids had a mild case of Jaundice.  It is caused by excess bilirubin, which is a product of the national breakdown of red blood cells.  It usually peaks at 3-5 days and gradually decreases over 2-3 weeks.  Babies often have a tanned or yellowish appearance and will most likely be more sleepy.  Babies can be checked for their bilirubin levels through a heel prick and sometimes have to go back to the hospital for UV light therapy.  Fortunately, my babies didn’t have to go back to the hospital, but we did have a home care nurse come and check their levels daily for the first week.

We are big swaddlers in our family and all three of my kids loved to be swaddled and all slept swaddled until around 6-7 months of age when we transitioned to a hands-out sleep sack.  There are 10 easy steps outlined in the book with photos of how to swaddle your baby.  We also love the video portion of how to swaddle your baby by Dr. Harvey Karp (look it up if you are having trouble swaddling!)

After a few weeks, you will probably be able to change your babies diapers with your eyes closed!  The book has photos and charts reviewing Urine and Stool patterns – this might be gross at first to a first time parent, but your babies diapers can give you a ton of insight into their overall health and well-being and you will notice right away that even the hospital wants to know all the nitty gritty details about each change.

At Mommy Connections, we fully support all mother’s and their right to choose how to feed their babies.  I thought I would review the Advantages of both Formula and Bottle Feeding to show options.

  • ADVANTAGES OF FORMULA FEEDING
    • involves dad’s, grandparents and other family members
    • offers flexibility to care for other children, work or just a needed break
    • gives mothers privacy if they feel uncomfortable nursing in public
    • some formula fed babies might be able to last longer between feedings because it takes longer to digest
  • ADVANTAGES OF BOTTLE FEEDING
    • Immune system improvement; lower rates of gastrointestinal illness, ear infections and respiratory infections
    • It may decrease the risk of childcare disorders such as asthma, obesity, diabetes, cancer, high cholesterol and SIDS
    • Helps moms uterus return to original size
    • Lowers the risk of breast and ovarian cancer in the mother
    • It’s very convenient; no bottles to make or clean up and an be done anywhere
    • Can help with post-delivery weight loss
    • Cost advantage

The Baby Care Basics book covers everything parents need to know about feeding their baby including burping, hunger cues, common breastfeeding problems, breast pumps, types of formula all the way to introducing solids to baby towards the end of the book.  I really like the way the book lays out the milestones for the entire first year.  You can easily see the gross motor skills, fine motor skills, language skills and social development/play that should be achieved from birth to 12 months.  It is excited to be reminded that my own baby still has many of these milestones to achieve!

There is a section on crying and fussiness.  Colic is also covered, which is defined as inconsolable crying, usually in the evening for at least 3 hours a day.  If you think your baby might have colic, here are some ways to calm a colicky baby.

  • Swaddle in a warm blanket
  • Sway, swing or bounce
  • Take a walk
  • Give your baby a pacifier
  • Create calm by turning down the lights or reducing noise
  • Sing to your baby
  • Create white noise with a dryer, vacuum, fan or faucet
  • Give your baby a warm bath
  • Give your baby some fresh air
  • Give your baby a massage with a few drops of oil or baby lotion

Crying babies can be very stressful and can certainly wear on mom.  If you think you might have any form of depression or post-partum blues, talk to your doctor right away.  Feeling sad, hopeless or overwhelmed, crying often, lack of energy, fear of hurting yourself or the baby, withdrawal from family and friends, eating too little or too much – these can all be signs of postpartum depression and there is support for you!  About 10% of women will have severe depression in the first year of her babies life.

I would highly recommend this book to any new or repeat mom – as a mom of three I found a lot of value in the book and have already referenced it several times.  This would make a great gift for any expectant parents as well!

Enter to Win your own copy of Baby Care Basics here!

 

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