The class was a great overview of things to know about caring for a baby. Having babysat many-a-sweet babe in my life and thanks to some of the recent reading I’ve done, I didn’t feel that I really learned too much new material, but Matt has very little baby experience, so I’m glad he was able to absorb the information hands-on. I have enjoyed our classes because it’s hard to find time to read whole books on topics (especially for Matt), but these present all the up-to-date info in a concise 2-hour evening. We had two couples in our class who are adopting infants, so it was cool to learn with their perspective in mind as well.
I liked that we talked a lot about Happiest Baby on the Block, which I read and shared with Matt over a DVD and dinner discussion. Matt actually came off looking pretty experienced when he already knew how to swaddle from the DVD : ) He’s a pro – better than I am!
A few tidbits I learned (not saying these are the end-all-be-all rules, but sharing what our nurse shared!):
-The American Pediatrics Association no longer recommends taking rectal temperatures at home. Our instructor said to use a regular digital thermometer under the arm. This totally surprised me and is not what I was prepared for, but she says rectal temp taking is harder and riskier and the underarm is now recommended.
-I need more sleep sacks : ) They are recommended over regular swaddle blankets because there is much less of a chance the blanket becomes loose and a suffocation hazard. Not that swaddle blankets are bad, but just that sleep sacks are better.
-You can give a baby a real bath even before the cord falls off – just be sure to dry it well after. The research showed no difference in healing time between babies given sponge baths and submerged baths for the cord stumps.
-Baths are recommended twice a week because babies have such sensitive skin. Don’t use lotion on the face or hands – because the face is sensitive and the hands get eaten!
-Tummy time 3x a day is good – or more if your baby is up for it.
-Tests performed at our hospital by the pediatrician include a metabolic panel that is sent to the state to test for things like PKU and sickle cell, a hearing screen, jaundice and an oxygen saturation test for heart problems (which was researched at UVA!).
-We also viewed a series of images of normal variations of newborn skin and appearance. Things like swelling, blue feet, clogged pores, dry/cracked skin, vernix and some head shape formation are normal at birth.
Diaper change! I think putting on a diaper is pretty easy – kind of wish we had talked more about diaper rash, types of poop, signs of a problem, how exactly to wipe both girls and boys, etc.
At the end of the class, we played a jeopardy game and Matt and I won!!
Diapers for the win. (We are using cloth long term but disposables until we’re ready)!
PREVIOUS 35 WEEK POSTS