Category Archives: Baby Your Baby

Tips for a healthy postpartum recovery



Pregnant women have a lot to think about during the three trimesters of pregnancy. Their changing body, preparing for labor and delivery, planning for the arrival of their baby and then caring for their newborn afterward. It’s easy for women to forget about the “fourth” trimester, or the recovery period for women after childbirth. There’s so much focus on the new baby, they might forget to take care of themselves.

Many first-time moms don’t know the questions to ask about what recovery is like, because they’ve never experienced it.

Jade Elliott spoke with Hollie Wharton, DNP, CNM, WHNP, Nurse Practitioner and Certified Nurse Midwife, to discuss what new moms should expect the first few days after childbirth.

Download & Subscribe on Apple Podcasts

Want to listen on another platform? Click here.

 Vaginal deliveries

For vaginal deliveries, as the adrenaline of birth or the epidural begins to wear off, they’ll begin to feel achy and sore. You’ll want to continue to use sanitary pads for bleeding and ice packs for the vaginal/rectal area to reduce swelling and alleviate discomfort. Witch hazel pads help keep the area clean and promote healing of the area and related stitches. Apply Dermoplast spray or Dibucaine gel to provide additional pain relief. All of these supplies are provided in the hospital and you’ll want to take them home with you, and continue to use for the first week or so.

The first week or two you shouldn’t be overly active. You’ll want to get out of bed or off the couch and walk around a bit, at least four times a day to help reduce chances of blood clot formation, as you are still at increased risk for this during the first six weeks postpartum.

You will have bleeding after a vaginal delivery that starts like a period and then gets lighter in color and flow. If it gets darker or brighter in color or heavier, you’re doing too much activity. So, adapt your physical activity based on your flow and listen to your body.

Ibuprofen (Advil/Motrin) and acetaminophen (Tylenol) help with swelling in the uterus and the vaginal/rectal area and can help with achy muscles in the back and shoulders due to using those muscles during labor and delivery.

 Caesarean deliveries

If you deliver via Caesarean section, keep in mind, that is a major abdominal surgery. Prepare yourself to have an incision with either staples or stitches. Staples are usually removed prior to discharge, but stitching, both internal and external, will dissolve over the next four to six weeks. I recommend no heavy lifting of over 20 pounds for six weeks. Make sure to take care of your incision site and watch for signs and symptoms of infection, including foul odor at site, excess bleeding, severe abdominal pain and fever.

Bathroom habits

Constipation is typical after delivery. Take a stool softener twice daily for 1-2 weeks, or until bowel movements are soft and easy to pass without straining. During pregnancy women urinate frequently as a result of a large uterus sitting on the bladder. After childbirth, you may need to retrain your brain and bladder that you don’t have to go as often. A few days after delivery, you will notice your urinary frequency will continue to be similar to pregnancy. This helps rid your body of the additional fluid that can cause edema in your limbs.

The first few weeks: When to call your provider

If you had a vaginal delivery and are experiencing heavy bleeding, defined as soaking through more than one pad in an hour, call your provider. Other reasons to talk to your provider include pain with urination, foul vaginal odor, severe abdominal pain or fever.

If you have shooting pains up either leg, headaches, chest pain or vision changes, it could be a sign of a blood clot. A caesarean puts you at even greater risk for blood clots due to more sedentary recovery. If you experience any of these symptoms, go to the emergency room right away for evaluation.

Baby blues are common during the first two weeks after delivery. After this transitional period, those symptoms should resolve. If they do not improve, or if you ever experience thoughts of self-harm, please contact your provider immediately. Your provider can provide resources for help with mental health concerns such as panic attacks, depression, excess anxiety about your baby or significant sleep problems.

When to return to exercise and losing pre-pregnancy weight

You really need to rest for the first two weeks. Light walks are fine. Activity should increase as tolerated, while monitoring menstrual flow. Watch for physical symptoms to know your body is healing. At six weeks, you should be meeting with your health care provider for a checkup. We usually endorse regular exercise at this point as long you show appropriate signs of recovery. It takes nine months gain your pregnancy weight, so it is going to take at least nine months to lose that weight. Be patient with your healing.

Importance of self-care

New moms should continue to take their prenatal vitamins and focus on self-care and taking care of the baby. Let go of the housework and cleaning. Accept all offers of help. Let other household members help while you hold the baby.

Eating and drinking enough

If you are nursing, you’ll need an extra 500 calories per day. Drink two to three liters of water per day. This helps with fluid loss due to delivery, reduces swelling and is especially important if you are breastfeeding.

Sleep 8-10 hours per day

This can be a challenge with baby waking up at night. Take naps and sleep while baby is sleeping so you can get a collective 8 hours in a 24-hour period.

Visitors

Be cautious about visitors. It’s ok to not have visitors until you feel ready and more rested. Make sure they have not had any symptoms of COVID-19, cold, flu, diarrhea, etc. Visitors should not have had any symptoms for three days. When you do have visitors, you can have them wear masks as a precaution, especially if you are indoors or cannot social distance.

Take a break

Take time for yourself. Go for a walk. Do something that helps you unwind. Get out and feel like a normal woman without your baby. It’s good for your partner to have bonding time with the baby.

Breastfeeding

In the hospital we have experienced nurses and lactation consultants that can help you with breastfeeding. You’ll be given a brochure of lactation consultants, listed by area that you can contact after you get home if needed. Your pediatrician could also provide this information.

You should call your provider or a lactation consultant if you have symptoms such as a fever or flu like symptoms. You may have a clogged milk duct or a breast infection called mastitis. You may have pain in one or both breasts. Red, tender hot spots are possible. You may need antibiotics.

Applying a hot compress before feeding can help. Putting the baby to breast is best. Try a different nursing position, such as the football hold. A cold compress afterward can help too. Ibuprofen or Tylenol will help. Avoid unnecessary stimulation of nipple.

To listen to the Baby Your Baby Podcast on breastfeeding, click here.

Postpartum check-ups

As midwives, we provide a two week check in by phone or video. We want to know how your recovery is going, how you’re doing physically and mentally, and answer any questions you or your partner may have. We also do an in-office check-up at six-weeks.

Birth Control

Breastfeeding is not considered an effective form of birth control. You ovulate before you have a period, therefore just because you don’t have a period, does not mean you cannot get pregnant. There are many forms of birth control that might an option for you. These include, options to start right after delivery, such as progesterone-only methods, and are safe with breastfeeding. You want to avoid estrogen in the first six weeks after delivery, as this can further increase risk of blood clot formation, but progesterone-only options are safe and effective. If you prefer an IUD, we don’t recommend placement until after six to eight weeks postpartum, so that your uterus can completely heal prior to insertion. This will reduce risk of complications.

To listen to the Baby Your Baby Podcast on birth control, click here.

Return to sexual intercourse

It is recommended to wait six weeks before intercourse to protect against unintended pregnancy and infection.

Changes to pelvic floor muscles

Kegel exercises and pelvic floor physical therapy can help those muscles that may be weakened after childbirth. Stress incontinence, or leaking urine when you cough, sneeze or exercise can occur after childbirth. It’s common, but it’s not normal. Exercises and therapy can make a big difference in improving symptoms and quality of life. Ask your provider about options if you are experiencing leakage of urine.

Abdominal muscle separation

Some women have abdominal separation (Diastasis Recti) that persists after six weeks postpartum. Your provider can examine your abdomen to determine and if you might benefit from therapy or treatment.

Settle into a routine

Even though the recovery period is not always easy and there are lots of adjustments, you’ll eventually settle into a new life and routine with your baby. Don’t be afraid during this time to reach out to your provider with questions and concerns.

For more information, click here.

The Baby Your Baby program provides many resources for all pregnant women and new moms in Utah. There is also expert advice from the Utah Department of Health and Intermountain Healthcare that air each week on KUTV 2News.


Breastfeeding



This week is World Breastfeeding week. It is a global campaign to raise awareness and inform people on the importance of breastfeeding.

Jade Elliott spoke with Hollie Wharton, DNP, CNM, WHNP, Nurse Practitioner and Certified Nurse Midwife with Intermountain Healthcare on this episode of the Baby Your Baby Podcast to discuss how to succeed at breastfeeding.

Taking Care of Yourself Will Help You Succeed at Breastfeeding

When you have a baby, it’s easy to become so focused on taking care of this tiny human who is so dependent on you, that you forget to take care of yourself.

It’s like when you’re on an airplane and you learn that in an emergency you should put on your own oxygen mask first so you’re able to put the mask on your child.

If you’re trying to breastfeed, and you don’t take care of yourself and your body, it will be harder for your body to produce enough milk for your baby to thrive.

New moms need to stay hydrated, and eat and sleep enough to produce enough breast milk

Sleep: With baby waking at night, the sleep part can be hard, so you need to nap during the day when the baby naps. Your sleep goal should total eight hours in a 24-hour period. Meaning, if you get less than eight hours of sleep at night, you need to nap during the day to total eight hours.

Hydration: Drink six eight-ounce glasses (or two to three liters) of water a day. Plain water with no additives is best. Try to drink before you’re thirsty. It is a good idea to have a container of water next to you while you are breastfeeding. The Intermountain mug given to you in the hospital is perfect to help you keep track. It is easier to get dehydrated with breastfeeding and during hotter months, so make sure to keep up on fluids.

Eat well: Eat plenty of vegetables, lean protein, fruit and whole grains. Fresh fruits and vegetables have more nutrients and antioxidants than canned. Limit the amount of processed foods that contain white flour, sugar, refined grains, additives and preservatives. You need about 2,000 calories per day on average, but when you’re breastfeeding, you need an additional 500 calories to maintain a good milk supply. If you notice your milk supply decreasing, look at your caloric intake.

Reduce stress: Don’t try to do too many things while you’re still recovering from childbirth. After delivery, your focus should be on taking care of yourself and your baby. This is not a time to host friends or family, or take on significant household chores.

Benefits of breastfeeding

The cells, hormones, and antibodies in breastmilk help protect babies from illness. Your first milk, called colostrum for its deep yellow color, is like liquid gold. This milk is very rich in nutrients and includes antibodies to protect your baby from infections.

Colostrum changes into mature milk by the third to fifth day after birth. This mature milk has just the right amount of fat, sugar, water, and protein to help your baby continue to grow.

Breast feeding is also a great benefit to the environment and society. Breastfeeding families are sick less often and parents miss less work. Breastfeeding does not require the use of energy for manufacturing or create waste or air pollution. There is no risk of contamination and it is always at the right temperature and ready to feed. Click here to learn more about making the decision whether or not to breastfeed.

The American Academy of Pediatrics encourages breastfeeding for its health benefits to babies and moms.

Breastfeeding protects babies from a variety of diseases and conditions including:

• Respiratory or urinary tract infections

• Asthma

• Ear infections

• Diarrhea

• Diabetes

• Leukemia, Lymphoma, and Hodgkins disease

• Childhood obesity

Maternal health benefits to breastfeeding

• Decreased postpartum bleeding

• More rapid return of uterus to pre-pregnancy size

• Decrease in menstrual periods and increased child spacing

• Earlier return to pre-pregnancy weight

• Decreased risk of breast and ovarian cancers

Six Things to Know to Make Breastfeeding Successful

1. Practice skin to skin contact. Benefits: it helps stabilize the baby’s temperature, breathing, and heart rate. They will cry less. It stimulates brain development. It encourages mom to breastfeed, improves milk production, reduces postpartum complications and depression. It also is vital to bonding and important for both parents to do this when each is holding the baby, if they are able.

2. After your milk supply is established and your baby has returned to their birth weight, you can feed your baby on demand. Nurse your baby when they’re hungry. Watch for feeding cues: routing, sucking on hand, crying when not wet or uncomfortable.

3. Babies have growth spurts and may need to nurse more frequently at times. Allowing your baby to dictate the frequency and duration of feedings is an important to ensure your milk supply is adequate.

4. Breastfeeding works by supply and demand. The more baby nurses, the more milk your body will produce. In addition, a baby’s suck is more successful at removing breastmilk, compared to a pump or hand expression.

5. Breast milk digests more easily and quickly than formula. This will help prevent newborn constipation, but will increase the need for more frequent feedings.

Breast-fed babies need to eat often. The colostrum that’s in breast milk in the first few weeks is digested in about 45 minutes. Breast milk is digested in approximately 1.5 hours. Formula takes about 3-4 hours to digest.

6. If you’re having trouble breastfeeding, talk to a lactation consultant at the hospital or after you go home.

**Please make sure to watch for signs and symptoms of breast infection. These include breast tenderness, redness, and engorgement associated with abrupt onset of fever. If you develop painful lumps with breastfeeding, reach out to your provider so we can help you before it turns into an infection.

To learn about lactation consultation, click here.

For information on a virtual breastfeeding course, click here.

The Baby Your Baby program provides many resources for all pregnant women and new moms in Utah. There is also expert advice from the Utah Department of Health and Intermountain Healthcare that air each week on KUTV 2News.


Tips and tricks for when your baby is teething



You don’t think much about your teeth unless there’s a problem. For babies who can’t communicate yet with words, teething can be a difficult time. Their gums become inflamed and tender as the teeth get closer to the surface and they take time to erupt or fully break through the gums.

Jade Elliott spoke with Pediatrician, Jenna Whitham, MD, Intermountain Healthcare, to discuss some tips for when your baby is teething.

Download & Subscribe on Apple Podcasts

Want to listen on another platform? Click here.

When will that first tooth appear?

Babies typically don’t have teeth when they’re born, but on average babies get their first tooth at about six months of age. Typically, they have a complete set of 20 “baby” teeth by 30 months of age. The lower central incisors usually come in first and the molars last.

Signs of teething

Teething is a process that all children experience. Prior to tooth eruption the gingiva or gums may appear blue-ish and swollen. The symptoms seen most consistently with children immediately prior to and right after a tooth erupts are: biting or putting their mouth on things, drooling, rubbing their gums and fussiness. Sometime children may show less interest in eating solid foods and have mild elevations in temperature.

But teething does not cause thick congestion, severe diarrhea, vomiting, cough, fevers or inability to drink liquids/take formula. If your child is having these types of symptoms, call your baby’s doctor to find out if you need to bring your baby in for a visit.

Four simple ways to manage teething pain

1. Teething toys may be used, but liquid filled teething rings should be chilled in the refrigerator, not the freezer). Be sure to sterilize in boiling water before use.

2. Teething biscuits, crackers or cold food items like frozen yogurt or fruit popsicles may be used for children older than nine months who are used to eating solid foods.

3. Tylenol (acetaminophen) and Advil or Motrin (ibuprofen) may be used for children over six months if needed, but you should verify correct dosage with your child’s doctor.

4. Distraction – play with your baby or take them outside or for a ride in the stroller

Whitham does not recommend using topical medications containing Benzocaine (Oragel) due to risk of overuse or ingestion.

Tips for breastfeeding once your baby has teeth

Most moms can keep breastfeeding without difficulty through tooth development. If baby bites, the feeding should be over immediately, baby will quickly learn that biting is not ok.

What foods are appropriate as teeth emerge

Babies as young as four months who have good head control can start pureed baby foods, and at six months we encourage parents to start solid food introduction. In fact, despite not having a full set of teeth, babies as young as nine months can “chew” solid foods by mashing bites with their jaw regardless of the number of teeth that have emerged.

When to start brushing baby’s teeth

I recommend parents start brushing baby’s teeth with a soft bristled brush when they notice the first tooth emerge. I recommend using a fluoride containing children’s toothpaste. Use a grain of rice sized amount or less depending on how many teeth are to be brushed. Make tooth brushing a twice daily habit.

For some ideas to make brushing teeth fun, click here.

Preventing Baby Bottle Tooth Decay

You can help prevent your baby from developing cavities or what is called Baby Bottle Tooth Decay or by beginning an oral hygiene routine within the first few days after birth. Start by cleaning your baby’s mouth by wiping the gums with a clean gauze pad. This helps remove plaque that can harm erupting teeth.

If you are bottle feeding, only give your baby a bottle with formula, breast milk or after one year of age, cow’s milk, and avoid giving them sugary beverages like juice or soda. Infants should finish their bedtime and naptime bottle before going to bed and not fall asleep with a bottle in their mouth.

Do babies need fluoride drops?

This depends on where you live. A good resource for this information is your county health department web site.

Intermountain Healthcare has pediatric dentists and adult dentists.

It’s important to establish care with a pediatric dentist by 18-24 month of age. Intermountain has pediatric dentists and family and special needs dentists. For more information about pediatric dentistry, click here.

For more information about family dentistry, click here.

The Baby Your Baby program provides many resources for all pregnant women and new moms in Utah. There is also expert advice from the Utah Department of Health and Intermountain Healthcare that air each week on KUTV 2News.


Keep kids safe from window falls



When the weather is pleasant outside, many people open their windows to let the breeze in. While the fresh air feels good, open windows can pose a danger to young children.

Jade Elliott spoke with Jessica Strong, Community Health Manager, Intermountain Primary Children’s Hospital, to discuss window safety and how to protect your kids on this episode of the Baby Your Baby Podcast.

Download & Subscribe on Apple Podcasts

Want to listen on another platform? Click here.

Each year in the United States, 15 to 20 children under the age of 11 die and nearly 15,000 are injured because of falls from windows, said Strong. Most of these injuries and deaths occur during spring and summer months, and most often when children are unsupervised.

To help protect children from accidental window falls, Strong offers the following tips:

• Don’t depend on window screens to protect a child from falling out of a window. Screens are designed to easily pop out in case of a fire or some other emergency when leaving through a window is necessary.

• Keep windows closed and locked.

• If you do open a window, make sure it is inaccessible to children.

• Keep furniture or anything children can climb on away from windows.

• Teach children only to open windows with permission and help from adults.

• Install locks, guards, and other safety equipment in your windows to make them safer and more difficult to open, or open wide, without an adult’s help.

• Set and enforce rules about keeping children’s play away from windows.

• Most window falls occur when children are left alone. There is no substitute for supervision.

For more information, please go to the Primary Children’s Hospital website at primarychildrens.org/safety.

The Baby Your Baby program provides many resources for all pregnant women and new moms in Utah. There is also expert advice from the Utah Department of Health and Intermountain Healthcare that air each week on KUTV 2News.


When Is Your Baby Ready for Solid Food?



Introducing your baby to solid foods is an exciting milestone for you and for baby. But when and how should you introduce table foods?

Jade Elliott sat down with Tyson Tidwell, a pediatrician with Intermountain Healthcare to talk about tips on how you can create healthy eating habits with your child’s first bites.

The best time to introduce solid foods is when baby is 4-6 months old.

Signs baby is ready for solid food:

  • Sitting up with limited support
  • Good head and neck control
  •  Interest in foods and others eating
  • Growing appetite
  • Able to keep food in the mouth and swallow it

If your child has developmental delays or special needs talk with your doctor about when to introduce solid foods.

What to feed baby

  • Softer textures are very important when first introducing foods. Infants usually start with pureed or mashed foods around six months.
  •  Consider protein sources such as pureed beans or meats or an iron-fortified cereal as first food. Pureed meats and poultry provide protein and valuable nutrition not found in cereal, vegetables and fruits.
  •  Offer pureed veggies and fruits at 6 months or later. Focus on veggies first so they’re more likely to like them. For other foods, follow baby package directions for age.
  • Keep breast-feeding or formula-feeding during this time. Breast milk or formula is still baby’s main source of nutrition and calories.
  • After introducing a new food, wait a few days or up to a week to see if there’s an allergic response before trying another type of food.
  • Do not add salt, sugar or honey to baby food to encourage eating.

How to feed baby

  • Start with small portion sizes of about 1-2 teaspoons, as most of the food will end up on the face, hand and bib. Gradually increase the amount of food over time.
  •  Have your baby sit up when eating. That could be on your lap or in a high chair.
  •  Allow infants to feed themselves – without a spoon – when they’re ready (6-8 months old). This helps with overall motor skill development.
  •  You can introduce a child-sized spoon and safe utensils as they get older.
  •  Sit and eat with your baby. They’ll want to copy what you do.
  • Never force-feed a baby. When they turn their head away or stick out their tongue, they’re probably telling you they’re done eating.

Should I make my own baby food or buy commercially prepared baby food?

That’s a matter of personal preference and convenience. If you make your own baby food, be sure to follow these safety guidelines.

  • Wash hands thoroughly.
  • Avoid cross contamination, especially when handling raw meats.
  • Cook meats to recommended temperature.
  • Rinse fruits and vegetables
  •  Don’t sweeten or add salt.
  • Use a hand grinder, electric grinder, blender, or food processor to puree
  • Can thin with breast milk or formula if needed

Is organic baby food better?

  • Organic costs more than conventional or homemade baby food.
  •  There is no evidence suggesting organic food is more nutritious than conventional.
  • Organic baby food may have a lower risk of pesticide contamination, but conventional baby food rarely exceeds pesticide limits set by the EPA. (2012 Stanford University Study, Crystal Smith Spangler, MD, Annals of Internal Medicine)

Pouches, plastic containers or jars

Pouches are convenient for just putting a small amount on the spoon, so usually there’s less waste. They are less likely to spill or break, but may cost more. Pouches don’t help your child develop as many motor skills as using a spoon, but are great for on the go.

Glass jars are economical, but can spill or break. Plastic is light weight and doesn’t break, but can’t always be resealed. It’s good to use jars or plastic containers at home when you can put food in a dish so your child can learn to use a spoon.

Once you’ve put a used spoon in the food, the saliva can contaminate the food, so throw away food that has saliva in it.

Increase the texture of foods as baby gets older

As infants develop chewing and motor skills, they are able to handle items like a Cheerio or a cracker or small pieces of soft fruit. As the child ages, a variety of healthful foods is encouraged. Don’t leave your baby unattended while they’re eating.

Foods to avoid

Don’t give honey or milk other than breastmilk or formula to babies under one year.

Help prevent your baby from choking

Your baby or toddler is still learning to chew. You don’t want your baby to choke. Cut solid food in very small pieces and keep an eye on your toddler especially if they’re eating firmer foods like hot dogs, grapes, raw vegetables or fruits. It’s a good idea for parents to know how to do the Heimlich maneuver or abdominal thrusts in case their child starts choking. There are different ways to perform the maneuver depending on if your baby is under one year old or over one year old.

Your baby will be able to eat most foods by the time they are one year old

It’s amazing, but after a few months of transition, as your baby becomes a toddler and gets more teeth, he or she will graduate to eating solid foods.

The Baby Your Baby program provides many resources for all pregnant women and new moms in Utah. There is also expert advice from the Utah Department of Health and Intermountain Healthcare that air each week on KUTV 2News.


Helping young patients cope with the COVID-19 pandemic through coloring



Being a child in a hospital can be scary – especially if you see people dressed in personal protective equipment worn for COVID-19 protection – the kind of equipment kids may see in a sci-fi movie.

Enter Intermountain Primary Children’s Hospital child life specialists, an artistically-inclined nurse practitioner, and a splash of color – and it’s not so scary after all for young patients.

Jade Elliott talked with Davi Vitela, Child Life Specialist at Intermountain Primary Children’s Hospital, to discuss how coloring is helping their patients on this episode of the Baby Your Baby Podcast.

Primary Children’s child life specialists have created a new PPE coloring book to help kids better understand why some caregivers wear strange clothes and equipment, like gowns and face shields and hoses strapped to their backs, instead of the colorful scrubs that they would typically see outside of the coronavirus pandemic.

They want kids to know that underneath the shields are the same friendly faces of the nurses and doctors who help them, and who many patients have come to know and love.

“We’ve noticed any child who comes into the Emergency Department, or any kiddos getting tested, are seeing a lot of our caregivers wearing PPE. We know this can make the hospital even scarier because the PPE is unknown and it’s covering people’s faces,” said Antonia “Davi” Vitela, a certified child life specialist at Primary Children’s Hospital. “We wanted a positive resource that kids and parents can use together to familiarize themselves with PPE, understand why people wear it, and express any emotion they’re feeling about it.”

Child life specialists help children to understand the hospital setting and express emotions about being in the hospital, most often through play. Child life specialists frequently use medical play, or toys of objects found in the hospital.

Medical play dolls wear a hospital gown, and kids draw in their own faces or stitches, and use toys such as a specially designed play IV pole, CT scan, and an anesthesia mask.

The PPE coloring book was compiled using medical clip art and inspiration from child life specialists and artistic skills of a palliative care nurse. It is available to all patients in English and in Spanish when they arrive at Primary Children’s. Children in other Intermountain Healthcare hospitals throughout Utah also can receive a coloring book from their child life specialist or nurse.

The coloring book has pictures and explanations of equipment like a PAPR and other PPE, spaces for children to draw what they see around them. It discusses germs and viruses, the hospital and emotions, and asks kids to make a list of things that help them feel better, like listening to a favorite song, to give them coping mechanisms during their hospital stay.

“The pandemic has been hard on kids with the visitor restrictions and siblings being unable to visit them,” Vitela said. “Even though some of the restrictions are being lifted, it’s a difficult time. We’ll keep making the effort to make the hospital a welcoming place for kids and helping them feel more comfortable.”

Downloadable PDF of coloring book: English or Spanish.

The Baby Your Baby program provides many resources for all pregnant women and new moms in Utah. There is also expert advice from the Utah Department of Health and Intermountain Healthcare that air each week on KUTV 2News.


Reading with your baby



It’s never too early to start reading with your baby.  Reading with your baby has multiple benefits.

Jade Elliott sat down with Tyson Tidwell, a pediatrician with Intermountain Healthcare, to talk not only about why to read with your baby, but also tips for how and when to do it.

Why reading to your baby is so important

When parents talk, read, and sing with their babies, connections are formed in their young brains. These connections build language, literacy, and social and emotional skills at an important time in a baby’s development. These activities also strengthen the emotional bond between parent and child and helps your child reach social and developmental milestones.

Hold your child in your arms and read with emotion

Infants as young as a few days or weeks old can know and prefer their parents’ voices and faces. Although they may not understand words, they’ll respond to the emotion in your voice and the expression on your face. They love to look at pictures with bright colors and feel secure when they’re in your arms.

Choose colorful and sturdy books

As babies get older, they’ll reach out to hold a book and then put it into their mouths to explore it. Board books and books made of fabric or with thicker pages are more durable for very young children. You can borrow children’s books for free from your local library or purchase some of your own. Look for colorful illustrations or photos. Some books have things with texture that can be touched, which makes them even more interesting.

Ask your pediatrician about the Reach out and Read program which offers free books starting at your baby’s 6 month well visit. You can receive a free book at your child’s well check visits through age five, for a total of eight free books. For more information visit https://www.reachoutandread.org/

Plan a special reading time

Active young children may lose interest in a book after only 1-2 minutes. Follow their lead, but keep reading, talking, and singing with your baby regularly and his interest and attention span will grow. Make this a special time. Give your baby your full attention. Turn off the TV and computers and put down your phone.

Read together every day

As babies grow into toddlers, reading aloud together can be a very helpful routine, especially when it’s part of your regular calming bedtime routine. Young children love having choices. Let them choose the book to read. Toddlers quickly develop favorites and may ask you to read the same story over and over, so offer choices you like too!

Talk about the book

Toddlers can point to pictures of objects (Show me the tree) and answer questions (Which one says moo?) As their language grows, they may be able to name the pictures you point to or finish the sentences in a book. Sometimes they even pretend to read the book themselves. As they get older they learn to point to letters in the alphabet or to count some of the pictures.

Make reading part of your routine

Building routines for meals, play, and sleep help children know what to expect and what is expected of them. Listen to our podcast on bedtime routines here.

Keep reading together

Even when your child can read by themselves, you can still read stories to them that are at a higher reading level than books they can read on their own. They will look forward to the next chapter and you will make lasting memories.

The Baby Your Baby program provides many resources for all pregnant women and new moms in Utah. There is also expert advice from the Utah Department of Health and Intermountain Healthcare that air each week on KUTV 2News.


Never leave a child in a hot car, even for a minute



Summer weather invites us to enjoy activities with our children, but we need to be extra careful about keeping them safe. This means never leaving a child in a vehicle – even for a minute – to prevent accidental heat stroke and even death.

Jade Elliott spoke with Jessica Strong, Community Health Manager, Intermountain Primary Children’s Hospital, to discuss the dangers of hot cars during this episode of the Baby Your Baby Podcast.

Hot vehicles can kill. About 40 children across the country die each year after being left in a hot vehicle. In Utah, 13 children have died in hot vehicles since 1990, and others have suffered injuries in “close calls.”

These tragedies can happen to anyone, and often occur when caretakers forget a child is in the car. Stress, fatigue, and change of routine can push a person’s brain into autopilot, making it easier to forget.

Summer is a time of heightened risk due to hot weather and changes in routine, including children out of school and families staying up late for activities. Family routine changes that have come with the coronavirus pandemic can add extra stress – and give us even more reason to be vigilant about safety.

To help provide caretakers with visual reminders that a child is in the vehicle, Primary Children’s is offering free Baby Safety Snaps at PrimaryChildrens.org/safety. The Safety Snap is a bright yellow lanyard printed with the words “Baby in Car.” The snap clicks into the car seat buckle where the straps connect in the 5-point harness. When you put your baby in the seat, you remove the lanyard and put it around your neck. When you arrive at your destination, the lanyard helps you remember the baby in the car.

Here are some additional tips to help prevent accidental heatstroke injuries:

– Never leave your child alone in a vehicle – even for a few minutes. A child’s body temperature can increase 3-5 times faster than an adult’s. Cracking a window has very little effect on the temperature inside the car.

– Always check your vehicle before leaving it.

– Keep a visual reminder that a child is with you, like a stuffed animal or diaper bag in the seat next to you, or your cell phone or purse in the backseat.

– If you see a child left alone in a car, contact the police or call 911.

The Baby Your Baby program provides many resources for all pregnant women and new moms in Utah. There is also expert advice from the Utah Department of Health and Intermountain Healthcare that air each week on KUTV 2News.


Common baby skin conditions



There’s nothing like the pure, beautiful, soft skin of a baby! But your baby’s skin is still developing and that makes it very sensitive and prone to some skin conditions.

Jade Elliott sat down with Dylan Alston, a dermatologist with Intermountain Healthcare to help us learn about some common baby skin conditions, and know which of these are normal, and how to treat them and when you should see a dermatologist.

“Baby Acne”

The medical term for “baby acne” or erythema toxicorum neonatalis is a benign acne-like eruption on the central part of the face. It typically starts 1-2 days after delivery. It is thought to be related to the immaturity of the oil glands of the newborn. No treatment is necessary, and the condition improves over the next 7-10 days of life.

There is another condition, neonatal cephalic pustulosis that looks similar to “baby acne.” Eruption occurs a little later, at 2-3 weeks after birth. The baby’s face and scalp can be affected. Neonatal cephalic pustulosis is thought to be related to skin colonization of a common yeast known as malassezia. Again, no treatment is necessary and the condition resolves without intervention.

Cradle cap

Cradle cap for all intents and purposes is baby dandruff. It again is thought to be related to the baby’s immune system reacting towards a common yeast on the skin. If the baby is over three months, using a safe dandruff shampoo would be helpful but not necessary. Under three months of age, just use a regular baby shampoo. Leave it on the head a about 2-3 minutes for best results. This is good advice for adults who have dandruff too.

Eczema

Because the newborn baby’s skin barrier is still developing, they are particularly susceptible to eczema. In infants, eczema often starts on the face, especially the cheeks and over time, moves to more common locations like the arms and legs. It has a red, rashy look. Introducing new foods to the child can make the eczema flare, so introducing one new food at a time and watching for skin rashes afterward can help provide clues to a potential food allergy. Steroid creams can help. Vaseline is a good moisturizer can reduce the risk of eczema later in life.

Diaper rash

The diaper area of a baby is particularly prone to developing rashes and irritation. The key is to change the diaper often enough to keep the baby’s skin from being injured by the alkaline nature of urine by keeping the area clean and dry. Skin protectants such as zinc oxide are great for creating a barrier between the delicate skin and the diaper contents.

Yeast can cause diaper rash. The chubby creases are susceptible to yeast. If the rash is in the crease, it may be caused by yeast. If the rash is not in the crease, then an irritant may be causing it.

Contact dermatitis from wet wipes

Unfortunately, dermatologists are seeing a significant increase in contact dermatitis in babies, or a rash that occurs when the skin is in contact with something irritating. A common ingredient that can cause contact dermatitis in babies is methylchloroisothiazolinone or MCI/MI, an ingredient in many manufactured wet wipes. Wipes should be hypoallergenic and preservative free. Parents with sensitive skin are more likely to have babies with sensitive skin.

Sunscreen sensitivity

Babies under six months have skin that is still developing and is very sensitive. Avoid using sunscreen on your baby until after six months of age. Instead, use hats and clothing. UV protective fabrics are best and should have a UPF (ultra-violet protection factor) rating of 50+. These fabrics have a higher thread count that can better block the sun’s rays than regular clothing.  To learn more about these clothes, click here.

After six months of age, you can use sunscreen on your baby, but a mineral-based sunscreen with zinc or titanium oxide is least likely to cause a skin reaction in your baby. Avoid using chemical-based sunscreens on babies.

If your baby has a skin condition that persists and you have questions or are concerned about, see a board-certified dermatologist, as they are specially trained to diagnose skin conditions.

For more information: https://intermountainhealthcare.org/services/dermatology/

Additional links mentioned during the podcast:

https://www.aap.org/en-us/Pages/Default.aspx

https://www.aad.org/

https://www.instagram.com/igskindoc/

The Baby Your Baby program provides many resources for all pregnant women and new moms in Utah. There is also expert advice from the Utah Department of Health and Intermountain Healthcare that air each week on KUTV 2News.


Encouraging your baby to walk



After children learn to crawl they start to pull up into standing position. This indicates that they could be getting ready to start walking.

Jade Elliott sat down with Jackie Swan, Early Intervention Program Director, Summit County Health Department, to discuss how parents can help prepare their child to start walking on this episode of the Baby Your Baby Podcast.

Babies pull to stand typically at the couch and learn to cruise by moving side to side against the couch. Placing something they want on the couch helps encourage the child to pull into standing position. Also, taking off the cushions of the couch allows for a lower surface for their height.

After the child is cruising they learn to bridge between two surfaces (couch and small table). Children use push toys for balance and standing by themselves. They will stand at small tables to play with toys. They learn to stand by themselves and stand in the middle of the floor when they learn balance skills. They want to learn to move around their environment.

The Baby Your Baby program provides many resources for all pregnant women and new moms in Utah. There is also expert advice from the Utah Department of Health and Intermountain Healthcare that air each week on KUTV 2News.