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COOPERATIVE EXTENSION SERVICE • UNIVERSITY OF KENTUCKY COLLEGE OF AGRICULTURE, LEXINGTON, KY, 40546

FCS3-131

1 Month Old
PARENT
EXPRESS
A Guide for You and Your Baby

Dear Parent:
You and your baby are learning about each other.
During this first month, both you and your baby will spend time
getting to know one another. Most of your baby’s time will be spent
sleeping, crying, or eating. Most of your time will be spent figuring
out the best way to meet your baby’s needs.
Sometimes, you may feel tired and nervous and may lose your
temper. Most parents feel like this at one time or another. Don’t
worry; these feelings will pass with time.

In This Issue What It’s Like to How I Talk

ZZ What It’s Like to Be 1 Month Old


Be 1 Month Old ZZ I’m beginning to make some
throaty sounds.
ZZ Teenage Parents: You Are Not Alone How I Grow ZZ I cry when I’m hungry, wet, tired, or
ZZ I wobble my head if you don’t when I want to be held.
ZZ Keeping Your Baby’s Record
support my neck.
ZZ An Accident Can Happen in How I Respond
Any Home ZZ I turn my head sideways when I’m
ZZ I make eye contact with you.
on my stomach.
ZZ Feeding Your Baby ZZ I stare at things, but I don’t grab for
ZZ I roll partway from my back to my
ZZ Bathing Your Baby them yet.
side.
ZZ A Question about Colic ZZ I don’t show much expression on
ZZ I keep my hands in a fist or slightly
ZZ The Baby Blues my face, but I will soon!
open most of the time.
ZZ I may smile when I see or hear you.
ZZ I root around and try to suck, even
when I’m not feeding. ZZ I get scared by loud noises, bright
lights, or rough handling.

Agriculture and Natural Resources • Family and Consumer Sciences • 4-H Youth Development • Community and Leadership Development
EXTENSION
It is a good idea to keep handy the toll-free phone number of
the Kentucky Regional Poison Center, (800) 222-1222. Your
healthcare provider can tell you what items are useful to have
handy in case of small accidents or mild illness and what you
should do if something more serious occurs.

How I Understand Keeping Your By now, your baby probably has a


fairly regular feeding pattern. She may
ZZ I prefer looking at patterns instead
of solid colors.
Baby’s Record get hungry anywhere from every two
One way of checking on your baby’s to every four hours.
ZZ I know that I’m going to be fed at a
health is to keep a record. You can Don’t worry if your baby is a slow
certain time.
keep a small family health notebook drinker or drinks less than you think
How I Feel in which you write down items such she needs. If she doesn’t want that last
as height, weight, immunization ounce of milk, don’t force her. Overfeed-
ZZ I feel comforted when you hold me
schedule, how many teeth your baby ing your baby can make her fat. An
close, smile, and talk gently to me.
has and when she got them, and your overweight baby is not necessarily a
Don’t be afraid of spoiling me. baby’s blood type. healthy baby. Overeating will only cause
problems for your baby in later life.
Teenage Parents: Write down dates of illnesses and
briefly describe the symptoms. The Hold your baby close in the bend of
You Are Not Alone school will need a record of immu- your elbow while feeding. Remember
Many teenagers give birth, but the nizations completed by your child’s that food and loving are both impor-
number of teenage births nationally doctor. It also will be fun to look back tant. This is a time for getting to know
fell in 2005 to the lowest level in 65 through the book to see how your each other—a time for snuggling,
years at 41 per 1,000 teen women, baby grew. cuddling, and talking.
according to the 2008 Kentucky Kids Hiccups are not unusual, especially if
Count Data Book. The Kentucky teen
birth rate was down from 54 per 1,000
An Accident Can your baby is bottle-fed. They may be
caused by air bubbles your baby swal-
teen women in 1999-2001, to 51 per Happen in Any Home lows from sucking hard on the bottle.
1,000 teen women in 2004-2006. It is a good idea to keep handy the Air bubbles can be painful. A small
As a younger parent, you may have toll-free phone number of the Ken- bottle of warm water may help. Burp-
some special concerns—living with tucky Regional Poison Center, (800) ing your baby at least once during
your parents, being accepted by your 222-1222. Your healthcare provider a feeding and then again when the
friends, or finishing school. If you feel can tell you what items are useful to feeding is finished also helps.
you need extra guidance or coun- have handy in case of small accidents
seling, here are some places to get If you breastfeed, you now need about
or mild illness and what you should do
information: 500 extra calories a day. For example,
if something more serious occurs.
two additional glasses of milk and a
ZZ Your high school principal or coun- Your local chapter of the American peanut butter sandwich gives you
selor can tell you about programs Red Cross can advise you about first more than enough extra calories. Re-
designed especially to help you aid kits for the home. In many areas, member to drink plenty of liquids and
finish your education while taking the Red Cross offers basic first aid and to choose foods that are good sources
care of your baby. cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) of nutrients.
ZZ Your local chapter of the American courses. You can find your chapter’s
phone number in the white pages of
Red Cross has information and can
refer you to other organizations in the phone book. Bathing Your Baby
Bath time can be fun for you and your
your community.
baby. Make it as easy and pleasant as
Feeding Your Baby possible so both of you will enjoy it.
All of your baby’s food and nutrition
Your baby will be ready for a daily tub
needs for the next four months can be
bath as soon as his navel (belly button)
met with breast milk or iron-fortified
and circumcision have healed. Until
formula.

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that time, wash your baby with a soft
cloth dipped in a basin of warm water.
off his diaper and wash, rinse, and dry
his stomach, bottom, legs, and feet.
A Question
Some babies like to be bathed before A Tub Bath
about Colic
the morning or evening feeding. Oth- My daughter has colic. After the 6
ers hate to be bathed before eating Use a plastic tub filled with warm wa- p.m. feeding, she starts to cry and
and like their baths after meals. Choose ter and place it on a table or the sink won’t stop. What can I do?
a time to suit you and your baby. counter. This is easier on your back
than leaning over a regular-size bath- Some babies have crying attacks al-
Babies may cry when they have their tub. If you are using the kitchen sink, most every evening, usually between
first bath but, by the time they are place a towel in the sink as a cushion 6 p.m. and midnight. They scream
about 6 weeks old, they usually like and turn the faucets away from your loudly, draw their legs up sharply,
the feel of water. baby. Fill the tub or sink with warm frown, and turn bright red. These
water and test the temperature. Start attacks can last for hours and are a
A Sponge Bath out with just a few inches of water symptom of what doctors call colic, a
Make sure the room is warm (between until you feel more comfortable. Hold name to explain any hard, continual
75 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit) and your baby securely in the tub or sink crying in infants.
draft-free. Fill the tub or basin with by cradling him in one arm. Wash No one knows for sure what causes
warm water. Test the temperature him the same way you would with a colic. Colicky babies are thought to
with your elbow or wrist to make sure sponge bath. have a lot of gas and cry because they
the water is not too hot. Don’t put any are so uncomfortable. Some doctors
softeners or bath lotions in the water, Baby Lotion or Oil believe that too much stimulation
as they can cause a skin rash. If your baby’s skin is dry, apply baby may cause colic. By the time a baby is
Wrap your baby loosely in a large lotion. Put a little lotion on a cotton 4 to 6 months old, daily colic attacks
towel. Keep his diaper on but not ball and gently wipe his skin. You usually stop.
pinned. Sit next to the tub or basin of also could try bathing him less often.
Watch for a possible allergic skin reac- You cannot do much except comfort
warm water with your baby in your your baby until she stops crying.
lap. Have soap, a washcloth, and a soft tion to a particular lotion or oil. Use
only one product at a time until you Sometimes it helps to hold her across
drying towel nearby. your knees on her stomach and
are sure it is safe for your child’s skin.
Gently wipe your baby’s face and massage her back or rock her while
neck. Babies don’t usually like this, so Fathers, if you haven’t tried giving constantly humming like a machine.
get it over with quickly. About twice a your baby a bath yet, now is a good Listening to a colicky baby and not be-
week, wash his hair and scalp, rub- time to start. You can use bath time ing able to help can be frustrating. But
bing your palms with soap and gently for sharing giggles, being close, and remember, it is not your baby’s fault or
lathering his hair. To rinse, hold your giving undivided attention to your your fault, and she will eventually get
baby’s head and back over the basin little one. over it. If your baby continues to cry
with your hand and arm in a football- Babies love to coo, splash, and play hard all day long and nothing seems
carry hold. Rinse thoroughly to make games with water toys while fathers to help, have her checked by a doctor
sure all the soap is gone. Pat his scalp observe, hum, and carry on a conver- or at a clinic. If you are breastfeeding,
dry. Avoid getting water in his eyes. sation with them. examine your diet for foods that may
be irritating her digestion.
Now move to his chest, arms, and Babies feel especially loved and loving
hands. After soaping and rinsing with when they are swept up in a big, fluffy
the warm cloth, pat dry. Patting in- towel with a cuddle thrown in before The Baby Blues
stead of rubbing with a towel is easier the dressing game starts. As a new mother, you may be going
on a baby’s tender skin. Turn your through what is known as the baby
baby on his stomach to wash his back. The happy times shared with your
blues or the post-partum blues. The
Then turn him on his back again. Take baby during his bath go a long way.
baby blues come from the many

Listening to a colicky baby and not being able to help can be


frustrating. But remember, it is not your baby’s fault or your
fault, and she will eventually get over it

3
changes your body goes through
after your baby is born. You may be
Sources and Contact
discouraged, tense, or sad. Many new Recommended Carole A. Gnatuk, Ed.D., Extension
Child Development Specialist
mothers feel this way. Don’t worry—
these feelings are perfectly normal. Readings Adapted from a publication originally written by
American Academy of Pediatrics (2005). Dorothea Cudaback, D.S.W., and colleagues at the
Some mothers worry that they look Your baby’s first year (2nd ed.) (Shelov, S. University of California Cooperative Extension.
as if they are still pregnant. Don’t be P. (Ed.). New York: Bantam Books. Professionals at the University of Kentucky who
upset. It takes at least six weeks for Birckmayer, J., Mabb, K., Westendorf, B. J.,
have assisted in the preparation of the Parent
Express series: Sandra Bastin, Ph.D., R.D., L.D.; Donna
the uterus (womb) to shrink back to & Wilson, J. (1997). Teens as parents of Clore, M.S.; Ruth Ann Crum, M.S.; Darlene Forester,
normal size. babies and toddlers: A resource guide for Ph.D., R.D.; Starr Gantz, R.D.; Carole Gnatuk, Ed.D.;
educators (2nd ed.). Ithaca, NY: Cornell Peter Hesseldenz, M.A.; Janet Kurzynske, Ph.D.,
There are no strict rules about being Cooperative Extension Service. R.D.; Alex Lesueur, Jr., M.S.L.S.; Suzanne McGough,
a parent. If you are uncertain about Brazelton, T. B. & Sparrow, J. D. (2006). M.S., R.D.; Marilyn Peterson, R.N., B.S.N.; Larry Piercy,
what to do, trust your gut feelings. Ph.D.; Sam Quick, Ph.D.; Michael Rupured, M.S.;
Touchpoints: Your child’s emotional Tammy Stephenson, Ph.D.; Diane Strangis, M.S.;
and behavioral development (2nd ed.).
Here are some ways to help you Janet Tietyen, Ph.D., R.D., L.D.
Cambridge, MA: Da Capo.
through these blue days:
Fogel, A. (2009). Infancy: Infant, family, and
ZZ Talk with your partner, a family society (5th ed.). Cornwall-on-Hudson,
member, or a good friend about NY: Sloan.
your feelings. It helps to talk with Gnatuk, C. A., & Quick, S. (2002). Care for
someone who is close to you. yourself, Key No.1, FCS7-179. Keys to Parent Express guides
great parenting: Fun and learning with
ZZ Find out if there are any parent your baby or toddler (Rev. ed.) Lexing- you through parenting
groups in your community where ton: Kentucky Cooperative Extension of children through age
parents get together to talk and Service.
36 months. For other
work out solutions to common Kentucky KIDS COUNT data book (2008).
Jeffersontown, KY: Kentucky Youth publications in the 27-part series,
problems.
Advocates, Inc./Annie E. Casey Founda- contact your county Cooperative
ZZ Call the Comprehensive Care tion. http://www.kyyouth.org.
Center (listed in the white pages
Extension Service office.
Lerner, C., & Dombro, A. L. (2000). Learning
of your phone book), the Parent and growing together: Understanding
Teacher Association (PTA) at the and supporting your child’s development.
nearest school, the local school Washington, DC: Zero to Three. Phone:
(800) 899-4301.
district, or a religious group in your
Marotz, L. R., Cross, M. Z., & Jeanettia M.
community for names of groups or Rush, J. M. (2004). Health, safety, and nu-
for help in solving problems. trition for the young child (6th ed.). Flor-
ZZ Call the health department (listed ence, KY: Thomson Delmar Learning.
in the white pages of the phone Pruett, K. D. (2000). Fatherneed: Why father
book under your city or county) care is as essential as mother care for
your child. New York: Broadway.
and ask about the public health
nurse visiting service. In many
cases, this service is free.
ZZ Ask a good friend or a relative to
help you out once a month. She
might be able to come in for a few
hours to watch your baby while
you take time to relax, go out, or
just have some time for yourself.
ZZ For information on Parents Anony-
mous groups and for general sup-
port and information on parenting,
call Prevent Child Abuse Kentucky
at 1-800-CHILDREN (1-800-244-
3736).

Educational programs of Kentucky Cooperative Extension serve all people regardless of race, color, age, sex, religion, disability, or national origin. Issued in furtherance of Cooperative Exten-
sion work, Acts of May 8 and June 30, 1914, in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, M. Scott Smith, Director, Land Grant Programs, University of Kentucky College of Agriculture,
Lexington, and Kentucky State University, Frankfort. Copyright © 2009 for materials developed by University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension. This publication may be reproduced in portions or
its entirety for educational or nonprofit purposes only. Permitted users shall give credit to the author(s) and include this copyright notice. Publications are also available on the World Wide Web at
www.ca.uky.edu.
Revised 10-2009

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