Parents

5 smart, uncommon tips for expecting parents

So you're expecting a new baby — congratulations! Now what?? Especially for first-time parents, knowing everything you need to know and finding places for help can be an overwhelming task. The folks at TheNestBaby.com provided 5 tips you may not have even thought about:

Visit the dentist
Obviously visits to your obstetrician are very important to monitor the baby's progress, but don't forget to do a full body check-up of your own. and the one check-up you definitely need — the dentist.Be sure to visit the dentistat least once during your pregnancy. Did you know that with higher levels of estrogen and progesterone running through your body, you're much more likely to develop a bacterial infection of the gums (which can lead to gum disease)?

What then happens is that the bacteria can spread through your bloodstream, increasing your risk of delivering prematurely. So dental health is of utmost importance, along with your other routine examinations.

Eating for two? Or too much?You always hear the expression that when you're pregnant, you're “eating for two,” but don't go overboard with this as if you're eating for two grown adults. Here's how much you really need to eat: Consuming twice as much doesn't double your chances of having a healthy baby — instead, it's likely to mean excessive weight gain for you, which can increase your risk for pregnancy complications. In fact, you need only 300 or so extra calories a day when you're pregnant, even fewer during your first trimester. That's about the number of calories found in a turkey sandwich.

So instead of helping yourself to extra servings at mealtime, think in terms of a healthier snack — a couple pieces of fruit with a cup of yogurt and a couple of slices of whole-wheat toast — to boost your calories during your pregnancy.Around 5 months in, start assembling a "baby team"
Think about things like: Will you need a doula or a baby nurse? What about a lactation consultant? You will also need to interview and find a pediatrician. A good way is to ask friends and family for recommendations; local online communities also offer great word of mouth and real-world advice about those in your area.Is direct sunlight bad for your newborn?
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, babies under six months should NEVER be under direct sun. To shield that virgin skin without blocking the breeze, dress baby in thin, loose, light-colored clothing, and cover as much skin as possible. Use a bit of sunscreen to protect any exposed skin, or simply keep baby shaded with hats, umbrellas, etc. Though many sunscreen bottles tell you not to use it on babies under six months, the American Academy of Pediatrics recently said that it's okay to put a little sunscreen on your infant if you have to. Before you slather it on, though, put it on a small bit of baby's skin and watch for any reaction.

Diaper wipes for newborns?
A lot of people keep their baby's behinds clean with pre-moistened wipes, but for newborns, not so fast.Most doctors recommend avoiding pre-moistened diaper wipes for the first month of your baby's life, since some of their chemicals could irritate your newborn's tender skin. Instead, use cotton balls or squares (they'll probably give you some in the hospital) dipped in warm water. When baby is ready for regular wipes, choose ones that are alcohol-free and unscented to prevent irritation.

For more tips and information, visit TheNestBaby.com.

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