Having a new baby is a wonderful thing but it's also a pretty scary time. They don't come with instructions and there is so much conflicting information out there, it can be tough to know if you're making the right decisions. The information overload starts with friends and family. As soon as you say the two magic words, "I'm pregnant", everyone in your life will be sure to tell you how they handled their infant and why you should do the same. And it isn't uncommon for many mothers to receive unsolicited advice from strangers.
You will probably visit a bookstore or ten, in order to gain some credible insight as to what's best for the new addition to your family so you don't have worry. The selection of books on this subject will not disappoint. Whether it's the much touted and widely read, "What To Expect When You're Expecting", The Mayo Clinic's "Guide To A Healthy Pregnancy", or "The Girlfriend's Guide To Pregnancy", you’re sure to end up with more than one book full of wisdom on pregnancy and the art of child rearing.
The truth is that you probably know more than you think you do. Birth has been happening since long before medicinal science, printing presses and omnipresent mother in laws. If you're expecting, thinking about expecting, or just know in your gut that you have what it takes to care for infant children, then this is the quiz for you. Test your knowledge!
It is best to breastfeed your baby for at least 6 months. True or False?
Whether or not to breastfeed is usually among the first decisions to be made when becoming a new parent. Especially if you're a first timer. It bears mentioning that there is a lot of conflicting information on the subject of infant care. Breastfeeding has been described by some mothers as a quiet, peaceful time between mother and child. It's a bonding ritual that may last a lifetime. It has also been described by some mothers as a nightly sacrifice of the flesh that will make you consider buying stock in Udderly Smooth Udder Cream. Yup, that's a thing .
Sterilizing bottles and pacifiers are necessary after every single use. True or False?
Children, despite your best attempts, will inevitably end up crawling across, playing on or dropping their essential items on the floor. This brings up questions about how to sterilize and how often to sterilize the things that your wee one comes into contact with often such as toys, bottles, pacifiers, and eventually teething rings. There are some mothers who would tell you to sterilize everything after every use, Other mothers will profess a slightly less intensive and regimented sterilization schedule.
Babies will often sleep through the night at 5 months. True or False?
Sleep is a very fluid concept in the first year to year and a half of parenthood. Many parents become sleep deprived and stay that way for months. There are many guidelines published by many so called experts that will tell you exactly when things will get better, and therefore when you may hopefully be able to get more than 2 or 3-hour bursts of sleep in any one given night. Sleep regression is not an exact science and changes from child to child.
You can spoil your baby by holding him/her too much. True or False?
The concept of spoiling a child is an interesting one indeed. Some believe that it happens when you are a, so called "Yes parent" and lavish the child with anything he or she asks for without limit or exception. Others believe spoiling can happen before the child is old enough to ask for anything other than being held. But it this true? We all know touch is important to children. It can gift them security and trust along with a healthy self-image as a young one.
There is something wrong if the child doesn't sleep soundly for the first six months. True or False?
As you have probably realized by now, adequate sleep is an issue you will revisit often as a parent. But when does sleeplessness suggests a problem? Babies need to sleep a good deal but they don’t always sleep when you would like them too. Many parents naturally go from feeling ok, to sleeplessly irritated, and move right into worried if their baby isn't sleeping through the night by six months of age. Who could blame them? Look online and you'll find a ton of answers often bearing little in common with one another.
Green baby poop is not common. True or False?
As you have probably already realized, there are plenty of things to worry about when you have a newborn. Literally, everything around that child provides another possible avenue of sheer heart-pounding potential for disaster. Poop is no exception. In fact, you will learn more about feces than you ever wanted to know. So if green poop makes an appearance your initial instinct may be to gather the child and drive at warp speed to the nearest hospital and demand an immediate battery of diagnostic tests.
It's always good to wake a sleeping baby for feeding time. True or False?
Nutrition is important in the development of a newborn. Especially if your wee one doesn't always eat like you'd like him or her too. Schedules play a big role in feeding a newborn so you to be as consistent with feedings as you can be. Feedings should be every so many hours, as close to on the dot as you can get. But what if your child is rather nocturnal and for once he/she is actually sleeping for more than 2 hours straight?
I should dress my baby warmer than myself to go outside. True or False?
Body heat is something we as mammals often take for granted. We naturally regulate our body temperatures pretty efficiently, especially as adults. Babies do the same thing but to what degree? It's tempting to assume that a little body cools faster and with less outside stimuli than a larger body would. When winter comes or if your baby is born in the colder months of the year, is it necessary to dress or bundle them up any differently or more warmly than you would dress yourself?
It is not good to have wine or alcohol while nursing. True or False?
As a mother, many will be the days that you will want, deserve, and even to some extent NEED a drink. If for no other reason than because of the fact that your mother in law will not leave or stop trying to teach you how to deal with your little bundle of joy's many ups and downs. But if you are breast feeding, many say you should resist the urge to sip. But really, can a drop or two be a problem for your little one?
Babies should wear a hat all the time. True or False?
A baby’s head is a curious worry for many a parent. It's understandable, I suppose. The head is a very important thing. It houses the brain, and humans do lose a great amount of heat from the head. The soft spot or fontanel is certainly a vulnerability at this age. But why the constant need to cover it with all manner of garb from bonnets, to little pint-sized toboggan caps? Is it really necessary to cap your child's dome full-time?
Doctors recommend nursing the baby every 3 hours. True or False?
Feeding is a very important and often tricky thing for new parents. In fact, there are actually medical professionals such as nurses, nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists and Lactation Consultants who specialize in helping those who are having a problem with breastfeeding. If you're expecting a newborn, you've no doubt asked the question how often should I be feeding my infant? It may be obvious that they should be fed more than three times daily, but how often is often enough?
Newborns can get their days and nights confused sometimes. True or False?
Has your child rendered you sleepless? Has he or she decided against your will, that night-time is the right time to make all of their pint-sized dreams of household domination come true? Have you been reduced to an inarticulate zombie prone to bouts of sleep deprived rage with little to no provocation? Have you begun speaking in Teletubby language while at the checkout line at the local grocery store? Is it actually possible that your child has managed to scramble the differences between night and day and your sense of sanity along with them?
The best way to test the temperature of a bottle for your baby is to sprinkle some of the contents on your wrist. True or False?
Bottle temperature is a natural concern for any parent. There are many ways to test the temperature of the contents of the bottle. There are thermometers made especially for this purpose. You could use one of those. You could memorize the time it takes to properly heat a bottle in a warm water bath. Then there's the time honored tradition of dripping some of the contents of said bottle on your wrist as a test. If when the milk touches your wrist you curse and throw the bottle across the kitchen emotionally scarring the dog for life, it's probably too hot. But is that really the best way?
The best time to start potty training is 1 ½ - 2 years old. True or False?
Potty training. An exciting time in any parent’s journey. It's the next step in your baby's independence. The confidence it builds or destroys can have a lasting impact on the rest of your child's life. You'll need patience, a half sized training toilet, Pull-ups, a song or two about potty-time and lots and lots of bathroom cleaner. Really. No, seriously, I can't stress that last one enough. Your little one will test your resolve the moment you open the bathroom door only to see your son hose down the bathroom with excitement in his eyes. So, when does this brand of fun begin?
You can start giving your baby solid food at 6 months. True or False?
One of the most exhilarating milestones as a parent is giving your baby solid food. It's one of the first activities in which his or her personality begins to shine through. Will he like Cheerios or will he prefer Apple Jacks? Will she like strawberry yogurt or will she prefer vanilla? The faces they make the first time they taste something a bit sour is something most every parent can remember seeing and laughing quietly at. But when can you start serving solid foods? Is it necessary to wait until they have a mouth full of teeth before you do so, or can it be a bit sooner?
Babies don’t have kneecaps. True or False?
A human’s skeleton is an ever changing thing. Many transformations take place over the course of one’s life especially while we're still growing. Some bones that start as more than one piece and then fuse together as the body grows. It is often said that babies are born without knee caps. There have even been a few x rays taken that appear to show that babies do not have knee caps. But is this really true, or is there something else going on here?
Babies have more taste buds on the sides and roof of their mouths which eventually go away. True or False?
Babies are a natural wonder of scientific oddities that in many ways, we are still learning about. What people don't often know is that children are born with physical features and characteristics that are far different than those they will have as adults. This also gives rise to some pretty interesting myths and wives' tales. In order to gain as much insight into the needs and experiences your little bundle of joy is or will be subject to, it's important to know the truth from the fiction. Could it actually be true that babies start out with more taste buds?
Babies can simultaneously breathe and swallow until around 7 months of age? True or False?
Ok so by now, you're probably picking up on the idea that babies differ greatly from adults or even slightly older children. Even the most basic and often overlooked aspects of the human form can be dramatically different for a baby. Something as simple as swallowing (in fact, a very complex neuromuscular function that is often taken for granted) would often be assumed to be very similar to that of adults. Babies have specific needs though and when born DO require more oxygen than an adult. Could this be accurate, or are we seeing the work of medical fiction?
Babies can see in full color at birth. True or False?
When one starts to undertake the almost certainly daunting task of shopping for your new arrival, one of the first things that one might notice is how bright, colorful and aurally natured babies toys can be. From cute plush over-stuffed animals to the cradle adorning mobiles (which for the record you WILL have to put together and WILL more than likely throw it against the nursery wall in a fit of futile frustration) you will notice that everything lights up, makes noise, and is brightly colored. So infants must be able to see color. Right?
Babies have 300 bones at birth, which is more than an adult’s 206 bones. True or False?
The body of an infant is made to be able to handle living in the womb for nine months. This means that they must be somewhat flexible and that their bodies are able to move through some pretty tight spaces. Often what starts as two or three bones will fuse later in life after the baby's need to be able to fit through the birth canal is no longer an issue. For instance, if the cranium started out as one bone, it wouldn't be able to flex as it moves through the birth canal. So there are more bones to a baby than an adult. But 300?
Smirks, smiles and cooing are possible immediately after being born. True or False?
Being a parent and caring for an infant at times can often feel like a thankless job. So it comes as no surprise that parents love to be rewarded with a cute grin, smirk, giggle or coo from their little bundle. Often, it's one or any combination of these things that get you through the day or night as a new parent. But can babies consciously smile, giggle, smirk and coo from the get go? Are they armed with those often heart-melting weapons of emotional manipulation immediately, or is it just gas?
A baby’s umbilical cord (also called a stump) falls off a few days after birth. True or False?
The umbilical cord is truly one of nature's most ingenious devices. It acts as an anchor, nutrition source, a blood transfer mechanism allowing for said blood to go from the baby's body to the mother to be filtered and then back to the fetus, and a conduit for oxygenation of the baby's blood supply. It's often also the first truly fatherly act of a man's life when he gets to cut the cord after the baby is born. It's also a source of anxiety for parents. How long should the stump of the cord stay attached to your baby?
A newborn loses 5 to 8 percent of its birth weight within the first week after birth. True or False?
You'll find that in the beginning assessing your baby's nutritional needs can be a bit difficult. You know that you feed them, and (if you happen to be so lucky) you know that your wee one is eating. But how much is enough? This is a very difficult question, especially if the mother is breastfeeding. When questions of this nature come up, weight is among the first trends that will be assessed in order to get an idea of how your baby is doing.
A newborn’s skull will be perfectly round upon birth. True or False?
The act of childbirth is not only physically difficult on the mother. Birth asks a tremendous amount from your baby's body as well. He or she has a musculoskeletal system that is purposefully very flexible in order to be as compact as possible. Think about it. The baby is going from being folded up to being forcibly straightened and pushed through a very narrow, very tight passageway. The head is one of the larger pieces and it usually goes first. What does your gut tell you about the answer to this question?
On average a healthy baby coming out of the newborn phase will have 5 to 6 wet diapers a day and at least one to two stools. True or False?
As the baby moves out of its first weeks and months of infancy, weight isn't the only metric by which we can glean answers as to whether or not the child is doing well. You will find that as a parent, you will be paying more attention to feces and urine production that you ever thought you'd have to. If the child isn't eating very much, it naturally won't have as many stools and urine output as it would otherwise.
Babies are born with the eye color they will have all their lives. True or False?
One of the most exciting questions you as an expectant parent will have is, what will my little guy or girl look like? Will she have my nose? Will he have his mother’s smile? Will she grow to have thick hair like her grandmother? Will he have my eyes? Some of these will be able to be answered immediately upon meeting your new arrival after his or her birth. Others will take a while to finalize as your baby's body changes from it's more fetal form, into that of a baby resembling your many familial traits. So how about those eyes?
Mild bleeding from the umbilical stump is normal. True or False?
By now as a new parent, you're prepared to freak about most everything for the first couple of months or possibly years. You've never done this before, and babies don't come with handbooks. But few things will deliver a nice big shot of anxiety like the sight of blood. From anywhere! So if when you are sponge-bathing your newborn, the umbilical stump begins to bleed a bit, you're initial reaction may be to scream, pluck the child from the bathing seat, run to the car while trying to avoid tripping over the dog, and haul ass to your nearest ER. But wait is that necessary?
Dry skin or even mild acne is common in wee ones. True or False?
Not everyone suffers from acne or eczema. But those of us who have, remember the dermatological hell that was our teen years. But what about babies? If we see some dry skin or even a bit of acne on our little guy or gal, is it a sure fire bet that their skin based nightmare has started even earlier in life than possibly our own? Is it necessary to call a pediatric dermatologist and start them on a steady diet of antibiotics and proactive at this, the youngest stages of life?
Any baby body temperature over 100.4 should be treated as an emergency. True or False?
Temperature is always a concern in medicine and the monitoring of health as a whole. But it's so personal. In the animal world, any temperature in a dog or cat between 100 to 102.5 degrees is considered normal. In human medicine, we see fluctuation as well. Some people run a little warmer than a perfect 98.6 degrees and some run a bit cooler. So if your favorite little person is experiencing temperatures of 100.4 of above, is it time to call the doctor or can we just chalk this up to individualistic homeostasis/ thermoregulation?
Circumcision is medically necessary for male babies. True or False?
You'll find that decisions regarding your child's future start fairly immediately. What will his or her name be? Will she be raised with a strong religious background or do you prefer a more pseudo-spiritual or even scientifically based upbringing? The decision whether or not to circumcise your bouncing baby boy is no different. Some people employ this practice for religious reasons. Some for aesthetic reasons. Some believe hygiene is a solid basis for making this decision. Many even admit to looking to their child's future confidence in sexuality as a factor in this decision. But in reality, is there actually a health based reason for this practice in the twentieth century?
Most mothers will need to drink a minimum of 8-10 cups of liquids and maintain around 2400 calories daily to maintain a healthy milk supply for their wee one. True or False?
If at this point you haven't realized that you as a new mother have just or will be soon to inherit a load of responsibilities regarding your child, you haven't been reading or paying attention. But how much time are you spending taking care of you in all of this? Often one of the most overlooked parts of this whole parent thing is remembering to take of you first so you can be the best parent you can be. What does this mean for your nutritional needs? You tell us.
It is necessary to cover your baby’s head during sleep. True or False?
Anne Geddes has made several mountains of cash dressing little ones to the nines in all manner of tailor-made accouterment. Much of it snuggly and warm in nature. How often have we seen her calendars and books filled to the brim with cute snuggly little babies bundled up tight and sleeping what looks to be the best sleep in the history of the earth? With the newfound diagnosis of SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome) in the 90's many feel that a minimalistic philosophy is best for bedtime. Others still feel that little babies should be surrounded by fluff and stuff from head to toe to avoid the shivers during sleep.
Red streaks on breasts accompanied by pain is normal and will dissipate on its own. True or False?
Aches and pains are all part and parcel of the new the new parent game. And true enough, breastfeeding is often no exception. Many a woman has and will have to deal with painful, sore, and possibly raw nipples or swollen breasts as a result of the influx of milk and the rigorous schedule of breastfeeding. But when is it too much to be healthy? At what point does one throw in the towel and call the doctor for advice? This is as good a time as any to find out.
“Baby blues”, and/or Postpartum depression are normal and should not be taken as signs that you’re not meant to be a mother. True or False?
Having a newborn child is one of the great experiences of life. Naturally, it should be filled with merriment and joy at every corner, no? The father seems to be fine. No problem there. All of the in-laws turned grandparents are absolutely stoked and cannot get enough of the new arrival. God knows, they love nothing more than to tell you how to handle every moment of parenthood. Is it normal then for a new mother or your wife feel so down?
Google is a qualified source of medical information and there’s no need to consult or listen to your doctor if you’ve already got an answer from the internet. True or False?
With all of the answers that are readily available on the internet, it's easy to assume that Google is just as good a place as any to look for said answers without going through the ever-often pain of calling a doctor, nurse or otherwise qualified medical professional for advice or waiting for an often elusive callback or time slot for an appointment. And even though you more than likely have no medical training whatsoever, you feel that you with a whole life full of experiences of taking care of yourself, can recognize quality medical advice from that of interweb dwelling nutjobs.
It is never okay to touch your baby's “soft spot” on their head.
You may or may not have heard that your baby has a soft spot in his or her head called the fontanel. Since it was discovered centuries ago, people have been warning new mothers not to touch or let anyone else touch this soft and vulnerable part of a baby’s head. To the naked eye, a baby's skull appears to be one large bone, but in reality, there are multiple bones that are connected together. These are called the fontanelles. This spot should never ever be touched under any circumstances.
Dry skin is the not normal for newborns.
One of the most wonderful aspects of a newborn baby is it soft and supple skin. There is a reason that "baby soft skin" and "as smooth as a baby's bottom" are the cosmetic cliches toted by skin care companies the world over. It seems that adults spend the rest of their lives trying to re-obtain that smooth and silky feeling. So when your baby has dry skin you should be very alarmed and seek the help of a dermatologist immediately.
You should teach your baby’s older siblings to only touch baby's feet instead of the hands and face to help prevent the spread of infection.
Having a new little brother or sister is exciting for many children. They look at the baby as someone new and fun to play with. Many parents want to encourage bonding between their children and possibly even have them become an active role in the babies care to the extent that they can at their age. Unfortunately, older children can also be a source of germs and bacteria that could be passed to the infant and can lead to infection.
Newborns and their mothers must stay in the home for a period of 2 - 3 months after the baby is born.
When a newborn comes home from the hospital, it is greatly advised that the mother and child stay indoors in the home for at least 2 to 3 months in order to allow the child's Immune system to fully develop. Babies are extremely susceptible to germs and extra care must be taken to prevent illness and infection. You should only be taking your baby from home to the doctor's office and back. This is the one and only exception to the rule.
If your baby begins to sneeze a lot you should worry and call a doctor.
If when you bring your baby home after a few days, you begin to notice that he or she sneezes a lot and there is no air conditioning on, you should begin to worry. Babies have tiny noses so the excessive sneezing Is particularly disturbing to their systems. More than three sneezes of days cause for concern and should prompt you to call your pediatrician Immediately. Your baby could have allergies or worse a respiratory infection and will need allergy medicine or antibiotics right away.