Being a parent is a tough job, and I don’t think most of us realize that until we are about to become one ourselves. Walking down the supermarket aisle, we are inundated with choices from shower gels to diapers. In the end it is never a simple choice to simply pick an item because there are the ingredients that need to be considered for a baby’s sensitive skin.
There is just so much material to read, and none that gives a direct answer or ‘this is good’, or ‘this is bad’. And I guess to some extent it makes sense because at the end of the day you need to pick a product or a parenting style that works best for your baby in her environment.
I thought since I have gained all this information from the blogs out there, maybe I should pass some along and hopefully help someone. Here are just some of the things that moms-to-be need to consider before birth:
Natural or Cesarean: I have finally come to the conclusion that our bodies were made to go through the natural birthing process, and barring any last minute complications this is the route I am going. Quicker recovery time as well. But definitely a cesarean or c-section makes sense if the mother or the baby’s life is at risk.
Cord Blood: we have decided to store our baby’s cord blood for future use for the baby or if the need arises for a family member. I have read so much on stem cell treatment in the last few weeks that I feel I can write a paper about it. At the current scenario, treatments using own cord blood are still relatively few and many in clinical trials, but we are banking on the hope that there will be more research and progress in the coming years.
Massage Oil: I had my mind set on Olive oil, until I read that since it is high in oleic acid it is not recommended for babies with extra sensitive skin. In those cases other vegetable oils such as sunflower are a better option. And you should always pick unscented, cold pressed, unrefined oils. I am thinking to alternate between almond oil and olive oil-in the hot weather coconut oil is a good recommendation but I just cannot stand the smell.
Bathe or Wash Cloth: this seems to depend on what part of the world you come from. In the US it is recommended to use a wash cloth on a baby until the umbilical stump has fallen off in order to keep it infection free. Whereas in Asia, the common practice seems to give the baby a daily bath and carefully dry the stump area to prevent infection. Definitely going the daily bath route, because you can’t massage a baby and then not give it a bath. Plus its more hygienic.
Shower Gel: of the numerous ‘learning to bathe a baby’ videos that I have watched, one thing is common, Johnsons Baby. That was easy!
Diapers: this is really important, because for the first few months you go through a lot of these, and decided to go disposable or opting for cloth can mean savings in time or money. Disposable diapers are obviously easier to deal with since you simply bin the dirty diaper, but you really have to take into consideration the toll that the planet takes. Not to mention they can get expensive.
Cloth diapers on the other hand are better suited for a baby’s sensitive skin and they are a one- time initial investment. But you do have to change after every time the baby wets or soils the diaper and there is the cleaning. We have picked some animal print flat diapers for the first few weeks and a pocket diapers for the later months. Disposables are set aside for going out and traveling.
Once the baby is here, some of the decisions might change, depending on how the baby reacts. And not to forget all the new ones that we need to make from picking children’s books and toys to deciding when to start solids.
In honor of the upcoming Mother’s Day, a big thank you to all the mothers (and fathers) for raising us well. We now know what a tough job this is.