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Early Years


Nappy Days
From birth until your baby is potty-trained, he’ll go through over 4,000 nappies, so you’re going to get pretty slick at changing them. Your baby will love having his nappy off, so let him kick about on his changing mat for ten minutes or so every time you change him. Have some tissues or an old towel to hand in case of accidents!
Bath Time
When your baby’s tiny, it’s easier to use a baby bath. Don’t add bubble bath until you get the hang of things, because it will make him slippery. Put one arm around him – supporting his head in the crook of your arm and holding his upper arm securely with your hand – leaving your other hand free to wash him. Pay particular attention to his neck (if milk’s left to congeal in the skin folds, it can cause a rash), nappy area and between his toes. Afterwards, dry him carefully with a big soft towel.

When you feel confident, he can graduate to the big bath (use a non-slip bath mat) – he’ll love splashing about.
Did You Know?
At nine months, your baby saves his best smiles for his favourite people!
Cry Baby
Babies cry for many different reasons: because they're hungry, have wind or a dirty nappy, feel tired, too hot or too cold, are being over-stimulated or are just plain bored. Very soon, you'll get used to your baby's different cries, and will learn how to comfort him.

Sometimes, he just needs to have a good cry, so don't feel guilty about putting him in his cot and shutting the door. Chances are, he'll go to sleep and give you a much-needed break.

A high pitched cry may indicate that your baby is unwell. If you're concerned, or if your baby's constant crying is getting on top of you, seek help from your GP or health visitor. Alternatively, call Cry-Sis (020 7404 5011; Mon-Fri, 8am-11pm), a switchboard service that puts parents of crying or sleepless babies in touch with a counsellor.
First Foods
Your baby is ready for solids when he still seems hungry after a full feed, or is demanding an extra feed a day. Government guidelines state that you shouldn't start your baby on solids until he's at least 16 weeks old. For his first taste, start by giving his usual breast or bottlefeed.

Halfway through, using a special baby spoon, offer him a teaspoon of baby rice or fruit or vegetable pureed, mixed with his usual milk. Over the next few weeks, gradually introduce different foods, such as cooked, pureedd fruit (such as pears and apples) and vegetables (such as carrot, potato and parsnip), mixed with breast or formula milk.
  • Offer each new food on its own and wait 24 hours before giving it again to see how your baby reacts.
  • Don’t add any salt to his food until your child is at least four.
  • Encourage your baby to try different tastes: babies who enjoy a varied diet are less likely to become faddy about eating when they’re older.
Time For Bed
For the first few weeks, you'll probably have to feed your baby several times during the night, but this will gradually improve as he gets older. By six months, he may be sleeping through the night.add ALWAYS put your baby to sleep on his back. Doctors agree this is the safest position.
On The Move
From seven to 12 months is a time of discovery for your baby. He’ll learn to sit up unsupported, he may crawl, stand or even walk by his first birthday. At this age, he’ll try to put everything into his mouth. It’s amazing how fast babies can move around once they can roll or crawl, so keep his play space safe. Remove all small, sharp or toxic objects and provide plenty of interesting playthings to keep him occupied. The best toys are often the simplest ones: balls, wooden spoons and old saucepans never fail to entertain. • A playpen or travel cot is handy once your baby is mobile: if you need to answer the door or go to the toilet, you can put him in it and know he’s safe
Useful Tips
Don't worry if your baby becomes anxious when you leave him with someone else: it's a sign that he's formed a close bond with you. At nine months, your baby saves his best smiles for his favourite people!