Excerpt: 'Eat, Sleep, Poop' by Scott Cohen

Diapers: You are going to go through so many diapers that you may start having dreams about them. Disposable diapers are inexpensive and simple to use. I recommend buying them in bulk. Some infants go through ten to twelve diapers per day. If you want to go green, you can choose cloth diapers. Keep in mind, however, that while you won't be filling up a landfill with disposable diapers, the overall effect on the environment may be no different if you take into account how much water is involved in washing reusable diapers. The new cloth diapers come with waterproof diaper covers that clip or Velcro close for quick, easy use. Diaper wipes: While some hospitals recommend using small square gauze pads and water as diaper wipes, I think this is a challenging test for new parents. Try and scrape off tarry newborn poop with a tiny gauze pad! I have seen parents use a whole stack for one diaper change. Yes, your child's skin is sensitive; and yes, we do want to decrease the risk of an allergic reaction. But baby wipes are safe and very effective. Choose a wipe that doesn't have a lot of extra additives or fragrances, as this will decrease the risk of irritating your newborn's skin.

Diaper creams: These are used to treat or prevent diaper rash, which every baby will get at some point—even if you are the parent of the year and change every diaper immediately. Diaper creams create a barrier to protect the irritated skin from being re-irritated by the baby's poop and pee, thus allowing the skin to heal. The thicker the cream the better. I recommend using it when you notice a rash rather than as a preventative measure. Why put it on if it's not necessary?

Note: Doctors no longer recommend using talc powders because they can be dangerous for babies to inhale.

Bath/Hygiene
___ Infant bathing basin
___ Sponge/washcloth
___ Baby soap and moisturizer
___ Nail file/clippers

Bathing basin: It is very difficult to hold a newborn in a sitting position while you bathe her, especially when she doesn't yet have good head and neck control. I recommend a bathing basin in which your child can lie down. This type of basin has a sling that goes over it like a tight hammock, so the baby lies in the sling and the water seeps through into the basin. This is helpful because your child is not sitting directly in the water, which reduces the risk of drowning.

Baby lotions: Just like baby wipes, baby lotions, shampoos, and soaps are safe. Parents have been using them for decades. You do not have to use them if you do not want to, but they smell good and are safe. Deciding whether to use organic or nonorganic products is a matter of personal preference. In the end, my wife and I used what our parents used on us as babies—good ol' Johnson and Johnson.

Nail files: It seems every newborn has nails like Freddy Krueger, and you'll be surprised at how often they scratch themselves. (Fortunately, a child's facial scratches will heal without scarring, so no need to worry.) Nail files tend to work better than clippers because you don't have to worry about clipping your child's cuticle, which can be painful and bleed. If you do nick her by accident, just place a little Neosporin on the cut and it should heal fine. Some nails even peel off. I recommend nail care while your child is sleeping. A moving target is always more difficult.

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