Baby the baby – A Doula’s Q & A on parenting and products
Parents, especially new parents, often ask for my advice. As a mother of four (age range 3 to 24), grandmother of two and a doula I would refer to myself as “seasoned”. And relaxed around babies. The number one rule I have for all first time parents is trust your instincts. The second? Choose your baby products carefully! I recently sat down for a Q & A with Susan from EO products.
Susan: Why is massaging your baby important?
Jake: Infant massage is great for baby’s central nervous system and can assist with colic. Massage is also comforting to your baby and is an essential bonding component – another way for parent and infant to sync up breathing and connection through touch.
Susan: What are some tips for making sure my massage is effective and beneficial for both of us?
Jake: It’s best to create a routine, ideally at bedtime and after bath. Using an organic massage oil lightly blended with a calming essential oil is ideal. Creating a special time and ritual for parent and child is another way to build a connection.
Susan: What is it and why does it happen? Both of my kids had it as babies….
Jake: The cause is actually unknown and not related to hygiene. It is likely hormonal and yeast related. Washing your baby’s hair and scalp massage help, too. As does using a soft washcloth during bath time. You can also try a soft baby brush. It’s not permanent or as scary as it looks. Again, you can use a bit of organic massage oil on the scalp.
Healthy Little Skin
Susan: What does healthy skin mean for a baby? How is that different from adults?
Jake: Healthy skin for baby means clean and moisturized skin. A baby’s skin is prone to dryness. A baby’s skin is more fragile and vulnerable to skin conditions such as diaper rash and dermatitis. Adult skin is also prone to dryness and should be well moisturized. As we age, our skin cells multiply & thicken, our collagen increases, and weight gain increases thermal protection.
Bathing Your Baby
Susan: What are some helpful tips for new parents who might be nervous bathing their newborns and babies?
Jake: In the beginning, it’s easier if there are 2 people helping at bathtime – an older, willing sibling is a good option. I recommend using a baby bathtub that fits securely in your kitchen sink with a mesh sling. Look for ergonomic options. Keep the bath time quick and use a washcloth and gentle, dye-free products.
Susan: How often should parents bathe their baby? How does this frequency change with age?
Jake: Bathing 2-3 times a week for newborns is recommended until they start crawling. You want to increase baths and make sure you change their clothes during crawling and toddler years.
Babies… in general
Susan: What would you most like people to know about newborns?
Jake: They sleep a lot, make lots of funny noises and have squeaky cries. It is such a small window of time so please enjoy every minute of it. Though some days feel like eternity, in hindsight, it’s the blink of an eye.
Susan: What are some of the biggest issues facing new parents in 2016?
Jake: Purchasing the best products. Studies about product safety have increased in the past few years especially in regard to skin care. Many big name companies have negative press all over the internet. Product recalls are also very common in car seats and strollers. It’s so scary to think you might use a lotion with known cancer causing ingredients on your baby! Everyone Baby is great, your products are so safe.
Article originally posted on EO products blog post “Oh Baby? Susan Interviews Jake Ibarra, Doula”
Jake McKenna Ibarra is a mother, writer and 4th generation San Francisco native. She studied early childhood education at S.F.C.C. and is a certified SBD doula, focusing in postpartum, certified in perinatal mood and anxiety disorders through Postpartum Support international and is also a P.S.I. member. In her spare time you might find her walking around San Francisco.