Baby Sponge Bath Illustrated

22 12 2007


  1. Bath towel
  2. Bowl of clear water
  3. Bowl of soapy water (2 drops of Johnson’s baby shampoo)
  4. TWO washcloths — one in the clear water, one in the soapy
  5. Fresh diaper
  6. Hooded towel


Test trickling warm water with your wrist or elbow

Baby on bath towel, diaper still on


Rub eyes from inner corner to outer with clear water cloth

Rinse face with clear water cloth


Use soapy washcloth to do behind ears, under chin. Rinse with clean cloth. Blot with bath towel.


Soap, rinse, blot arms.








Take the diaper off. Soap, rinse, blot. Replace diaper.


Put hooded bath towel around baby

Wash hair by tucking baby under arm, adding soap, and using dripping faucet.


Dry and dress.


You should only do this 2x a week, max.


e week 2 – taking stock, pt. 3 – the happiest baby on the block

9 12 2007

Continuing my series on revisiting childbirth preparation training we received — and seeing how they match up to our two week experience with e.

The Happiest Baby on the Block


Of all the classes we took, this was the one that made claims that seemed both excitingly practical and far-fetchingly overreaching. Who expects five simple actions to solve the problem of infant unhappiness?

They don’t. But we’re glad we took the class anyways. Going through the prescribed routine doesn’t always calm e, but its useful to start with a set of options and evolve them as fits your individual child.

e loves to be swaddled. It helps to have a blanket that’s large enough. I guess we could have made one for cheap, but we’re happy with the Ultimate Swaddle blanket we bought. It’s stylish.

Semi-relevant link: The Baby-Gami book — kind of a hoot

e hates to be tipped on his side. Never works.

Loud shushing sometimes calms e down temporarily, and it sometimes helps him self-soothe in the middle of the night. It’s useless, though, if he’s set on wailing.

Swinging doesn’t really do much for e, though he does love rhythmic movement of other sorts. He gets a kick out of me dancing and swaying to music; even walking and pacing seems to do the trick. When he’s in the car, e will fuss when we’re in idle but immediately quiet down as soon as we start rolling.

e loves to suck. He’s always at his fingers, though he’s more prone to scratch his face then actually get them in his mouth to suck. We’re not breastfeeding purists, but we’ve avoided giving him a pacifier. I don’t even like to give him my finger for too long even to soothe him. We figure that if he’s really in need of something in his mouth, he ought to be feeding.

That said, I get a kick out of him gnawing at my nose in futile desperation. I know, I’m awful.


In general our modified approach to e’s unhappiness is:

  1. Check the diaper. He hates diaper changes, but he always ends up a little more alert but subdued after them.
  2. Check the time. Is it time to feed? Again?
  3. Hold him. A lot of times he’s just chilly or need a human touch.
  4. Walk/dance and/or play music. I used to resort to my mix CD’s all the time but the stereo’s turned really unreliable of late.

If he seems to be falling asleep, we shush and swaddle him and prays he takes a nice long nap. If he continues to fuss, we go back to holding him.

We’re really fortunate: e has a pretty mellow temperament. He’s very accommodating of new stimuli (which says to me that he’s probably an extrovert), and keeps (as of now) to a pretty regular and predictable set of behaviors. We do have our moments of puzzlement and frustration, but e’s generally made things pretty easy for us. So far.

Link: Seven reasons why babies cry


21 11 2007

Notes from a breastfeeding class. Most of the information below applies to babies born full-term and healthy.

  • Prepping
    • go bra-less with a cotton t-shirt for a couple of hours every evening
    • don’t soap up nipples, aureola
      • or dry off with towel (so you don’t rub off keratin layer)
      • shampoo drip on back
    • don’t cut off hair on/near nipples
      • irritating to baby
  • supply & demand: mom makes enough for the baby
    • stop breastfeeding and milk dries up
  • need graspable nipple
    • if not can use suction, nipple shield, breast pump to draw it out
  • put baby to breasts right away after birth
    • before shot, eye ointment, weighing, vitamin k
    • let the baby take its time to find the breast
  • First two weeks: every 2 hours
    • count from beginning to beginning
  • Then as baby demands
    • hand at mouth
    • flailing limbs
    • active
    • tongue out
    • rooting, mouth open
  • Keep a feeding log
  • need to be breastfed directly from mom for at least 3 weeks
    • for mom to get good supply going
    • at 3-5 weeks somebody else can give bottle of breastmilk
      • mom not in room
      • start as complimentary feeding
      • then supplementary feeding
  • don’t buy breastpump ahead of time
    • Bad: Evenflo, Gerber, Playtex
    • Good: Madella (Harmony), Avet (Isis), Amita-Hollister
  • Two weeks before you need pump
    • before you pump, massage breasts to let down milk
    • pump after morning feeding
    • stockpile in freezer
      • good for 4 months
  • Pumping at work
    • pump when baby ought to feed
      • you have 2 hrs window

The breastfeeding routine:

  1. unbundle baby
  2. Sit as straight as possible, pillow on lap
  3. Put baby in the crook of your arm
    • head at elbow
    • or football hold with neck supported by web of hand
  4. twist baby so belly-to-belly, chest-to-chest
  5. put opposite hand supporting under breast
    • index finger where bra underwire would go
    • four fingers at rib cage
  6. wait for the baby to be ready to feed
    • mouth super-wide open
  7. shove breast in
    • baby should look like he can’t breathe
  8. if the baby falls off, offer more
    • from the same side
  9. if he stops sucking
    • take him off the breast
      • pinkie in corner of mouth and turn
  10. sit him up on the lap
    • support jaw
    • lean him into hand
    • pat on back (doesn’t have to burp)
  11. do other side
  12. put him up on your shoulder and pat

Transition Stage

21 11 2007


  • Cervix opens from 7 to 10 cm
  • Contractions may last 60-90 sec, 1-3 minutes apart
  • Contractions are much more intense
  • If it hasn’t happened already, the water will break
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Dozing between contractions
  • Irritable mood
  • Desire to give up, go home
  • Hot flashes
  • Chills and shaking legs
  • Heavy show
  • Severe low backache
  • Possible premature urge to push
  • Rectal pressure

This is when things get serious:

  • no jokes, be nice: your lady needs to work
  • arms wrapped around shoulder swaying
  • massaging
  • encourage visualization of baby coming down
  • remind her this is the shortest phase of labor
  • squeeze hand or give her something to squeeze
  • cool washrag on forehead if nauseous or hot
  • extra blankets on legs if chills
  • keep lips and mouth moist

Action Stage

21 11 2007


  • contractions 3-5 min apart for one hour
    • Each contraction about one minute
    • time contraction intervals from start to start
  • OR if water breaks (to prevent infection)

This is the stage where you go to the hospital.

As the husband I should:

  • S – supportive environment
  • U – urination: remind her to pee every hour
  • P – position changes
  • P – praise and encouragement
  • O – out of bed
  • R – relaxation
  • T – touch and massage

If the Water Breaks

21 11 2007


  • C – color – clear, not green (green means miconium)
  • O – odor – not foul smell, generally odorless
  • A – amount
  • T – time

Early Stage

21 11 2007

Contractions are not yet 5 minutes apart. Cervix will thin (efface 100%) and open (dilate) to about 4 centimeters.

What’s going on:

  • Mild contractions (some women — i.e. Dana — compare to menstrual cramps)
  • Backache (nope, not yet)
  • Mild diarrhea (no — Dana actually feels constipated)
  • Excitement (yes)
  • Anticipation (yes!)
  • Relief that labor has begun (uh okay)
  • Happy (yes!)
  • Some apprehension (yes!)

What to do:

  • Be alone, be happy, do stuff together
  • Blow bubbles, get out of the house, move around
  • Slow dance
  • Do squatting plies (sway behind a chair and squat at the peak)
  • Walk
  • Or Rest
  • Try a warm shower or bath
  • Above all, relax