Expert Tips from Just Ask Children's


December Just Ask Children's: Babies 101

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Just Ask Children's Online Q&A 

Join our pediatric experts for Just Ask Children’s Online Q&A on Dec. 16, 2014 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Ask your questions, or see how the experts reply to other parent questions about those little bundles of joy.

This month's topic: Babies 101

Babies – they don’t come with instructions, and questions and unknowns can make even the most confident parent uneasy. Following are some tips to help:

Safe sleep

What can you do to make your baby’s sleep as safe as possible? Here are the best things you can do to keep your baby safe:

  • Your infant should sleep on his/her back in his/her own space that is designed for infant sleep, such as a crib, bassinette, or play yard in the same room as parents or caregivers. It is never safe for a baby to sleep on a soft surface designed for adults, such as an adult bed, couch, or recliner. The baby should sleep on a firm, flat mattress (If he/she leaves a dent in the mattress, it’s too soft.)
  • Use a onesie or sleep sack, and keep the room at a comfortable temperature. Your baby should sleep without a hat so he/she doesn’t overheat.
  • Make sure there are no soft objects in your baby’s sleep space, including:
    o    Blankets
    o    Pillows
    o    Bumper pads
    o    Stuffed animals
    o    Wedge positioners or anything designed to prop the baby up
  • Breastfeeding is recommended and protective against sudden unexpected infant death.
  • Babies should be vaccinated according to the routine schedule recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics.
  • Avoid tobacco and drug use during pregnancy and after the baby is born. Exposure to cigarette smoke significantly increases a baby’s risk of death.

Set up a quiet routine for bedtime and be consistent. Put your baby to bed when drowsy but still awake to help him or her learn to fall asleep on her own, and wait a few minutes before responding to your baby’s fussing to see if he/she can fall back to sleep independently.

Find more information on infant sleep safety, or watch a recent news story from Fox31 about the risks of soft bedding.

Breastfeeding, formula and switching to solids

Vaccines for flu, whooping cough and hepatitis B

The flu shot is approved for children 6 months of age and older, including healthy people and people with chronic medical conditions. Parents with babies younger than 6 months of age should ensure everyone who cares for and lives with your baby has had the flu shot.

  • Whooping cough is one of the most commonly occurring vaccine-preventable diseases in the United States. We can protect infants by continuing to vaccinate them and everyone around them. Learn more about whooping cough.
  • The hepatitis B vaccine is recommended for all infants and children. The vaccine preparations available in the U.S. contain a purified part of the virus protein. It cannot cause infection and is very safe. Read more about hepatitis B.

Car seat and booster seat safety

More than 90% of children who attended safety seat checkups in Colorado last year were buckled up incorrectly. Is your child's car seat installed correctly?  Know for sure. Call us today to schedule a free car seat check: 720-777-4808.

  • Do you know the car seat laws in Colorado? ALL children under 8 years old must be properly restrained in a child restraint system.
    o    Infants must be in a rear facing 5 point harness infant car seat until they are 1 year old AND at least 20 lbs (in the rear seat of the car)
    o    Children who are older than age 1 and weigh more than 20 lbs. must be properly restrained in a car seat.
    o    Children 4-8 must continue to ride in a car seat. This can be a five point harness child safety seat for younger children or a booster that uses the vehicle's lap and shoulder belt as kids get older and bigger.
    o    Children between the ages of 8 and 16 must use a seatbelt or child restraint.
  • Read more about car seat and booster safety practices.

How to calm a crying baby

  • Find soothing tips for your baby and calming techniques for parents and other caregivers.
  • Make a plan for what to do when a baby will not stop crying.
  • Print this downloadable caregiver form, and make sure everyone who cares for your baby knows how to calm your baby down safely.
  • You can always put the baby down in a safe place and walk away for a few moments.
  • Visit calmacryingbaby.org for more tips and information.
  • If you need someone to talk with, contact Fussy Baby Network Colorado at 877-6-CRYCARE (1-877-627-9227). Fussy Baby Network Colorado is a free program for parents who have concerns about their baby's fussiness during the first year of life. The Fussy Baby team is available to talk by phone via a “Warmline” to listen and to provide support and resources.