Baby Care Basics

baby careDuring an infant and toddler's first years, major developmental milestones are reached. In fact, at times it seems that babies grow and accomplish at rates incomparable to other times of life. During the first years of life a newborn will learn how to crawl, walk, talk, solve problems, express themselves and create loving relationships. Baby care during this developmental stage becomes increasingly important, to ensure that babies are provided with the optimal tools necessary to grow and flourish.

Perhaps the most essential and overlooked baby care necessity in early life is companionship. Infant's minds and subsequent emotions and attachments form at a very early age. If children are neglected early on, they will develop self defense mechanisms to protect them from hurt and abandonment later in life. Baby care during the early years must incorporate an adequate amount of touching, hugging, caressing and loving.

A parent truly can't spoil an infant. Infant care needs are perhaps the greatest of all other ages. Only during early infancy is a baby truly helpless; they rely on their caretakers to feed them, change them, love and protect them.

As children grow and develop, they begin to form opinions and preferences of the world. They start to understand relationships, and how their behavior affects the behavior of others. The more attention, love and affection infants and young children are offered early on, the more likely they are to form healthy and beneficial attachments and relationships with others later in life.

Naturally, baby care also requires that a baby's or toddler's basic needs are cared for. This includes the need for proper hygiene, entertainment, stimulation and socialization. Children who are raised at home exclusively should be afforded the opportunity to meet with other children to learn how to socialize and interact with others. Developing this skill early on will only help your baby to develop the tools necessary to interact with others once the school years begin.

Young children are impressionable and easily influenced. They learn from observation and often will take up the bad habits exemplified by others. Thus it is important that babies are exposed to caring caretakers early on, and proper role models.

Aside from the emotional perspective, babies will, of course, need someone to help change their diaper, feed them, bathe them and cuddle with. These basic necessities are often the first considered when the concept of baby care comes to mind. Baby care items include shampoo, soaps, diapers, wipes, and lotions all formulated with sensitive skin care needs in mind. Burp cloths, bibs, endless onesies, digital thermometers and rattles also often come to mind as traditional baby care items. There are even special nail clippers designed with baby's sensitive and soft tiny nails in mind. Among the top items that parents put on their list of must-haves regarding baby care include the following:

  • Baby bath tub
  • Bottles
  • Diapers (cloth or disposable)
  • Baby Mobile
  • Bibs
  • Baby Swing
  • Crib
  • Mattress Pad
  • Changing Table Pads
  • Diaper Ointment
  • Baby Soap
  • Changing Table
  • Car Seat

Of all of these items, the car seat is perhaps the most essential. You won't be able to leave the hospital without one. No matter how short the drive, a baby can't be toted along without being strapped in an age appropriate car seat. Most babies and young children should remain in some type of car or booster seat until they are large enough to fit in a regular seat and use an adult seat belt. For most children this is easily accomplished when they are 80 pounds or more.

Caring for a baby requires much consideration and a few key items. Be sure to consult with other parents to gain their take on what items they found most beneficial during baby's early years.