Newborns typically hate to be naked, but dressing them can be quite a battle, especially with their tiny, curled-up limbs.
- Find clothes with snaps or zipper closures and wide openings for the neck. Now is not the time to be fumbling with buttons. Also, onesies with built-in mittens are great to protect babies from their surprisingly sharp fingernails.
- Instead of trying to shimmy sleeves and pants over uncooperative limbs, try reaching into the openings and pulling his or her extremities through.
- Despite all the spit-up and bowel explosions, try to keep the wardrobe changes to an absolute minimum. The laundry will pile up fast enough as it is.
- Take the opportunity to sing and talk to your little one, both for distraction and bonding. Explain what color the shirt and pants are, count how many snaps you’re fastening, and label each body part as you kiss them.
- Don’t overbundle babies at night, as instinctive as that seems. Believe it or not, babies are comfortable in 61 to 67 degrees, dressed in light pajamas and a sleeper or swaddling blanket. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, overheating increases a baby’s risk of SIDS. Click here for information on dressing your baby in the winter.
Trimming Baby’s Nails
Cutting your newborns nails is an unpleasant job, as even the tiniest jerk from their spastic limbs can cause a nick. Some parents wait till their baby is sleeping to trim their nails (running the risk of waking them), while others play a two-person game, one yielding the clippers and the other holding each hand.
- Use a specially designed baby clipper with a rounded tip.
- For a more accurate snip, press down the baby’s finger pad so the skin isn’t in contact with the nail clipper.
- If you miss and draw blood (it happens to us all), just apply pressure with a sterile gauze pad and give plenty of love and coddling. Then make sure someone loves and coddles you, because we know how heart-wrenching these slip-ups are.