Diapers… Diapers…

The universe of diapers is something that can not be missed by any new family. Starting with the quantity, types, models, environmental and economic impact, something as simple as a diaper, can take hours of sleep and rest to the future parents and have a real impact on the health and well-being of the baby.

Let’s go, step by step…

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Amount:
A newborn can need between 8 and 12 diapers a day.
Further forward decreases slightly but never drops more than 5 a day until about 2/3 years.

Types and Models:
There are disposable (use and throw away after it) diapers and reusable (wear, wash and reuse) diapers.
In the disposables there are those of fast absorption, those of great capacity for longer periods (ex: night), the ones of absorption by the fibers (less effective to keep your baby dry), the ones of polymers (better at isolate the humidity), the biodegradable ones, the specific ones to use in water (ex: swimming pool, sea), the diapers of adhesives and pull-ups like underwear (that help in the transition to leave the diapers).
In the reusable ones there are the one-size adjustable ones (accompanying the child’s growth), the traditional ones in various sizes, the pocket ones (they have absorbents that are inserted in an inner pocket), those integrated with bathing suits for use in water (ex: pool, sea, …), etc …

Environmental and Economic Impact:
Obviously, non-biodegradable disposables are the ones which increase the most our ecological footprint by far. The practicality is paid with environmental impact. Halfway there are biodegradable disposables that, while not 100% degradable, always relieve our ecological conscience.
The footprint gets smaller with reusable ones, of course. However, we must not forget the necessary washes, the pollution of water with detergents, the consumption of electricity, etc … right?
Economically speaking, every option has a big impact on the family budget. The reusable ones require a higher initial investment that is monetized later (and especially when the second child arrives), the disposables require a regular and more or less constant expenditure over 2 to 3 years.

And myths related with diapers… Do you know some? Look up for our next post… 😉

Pacifier: yes or no?

Many parents face this doubt and, like much other life’s issues, you have to make a decision. You should not offer only because… Does every baby need a pacifier? There are a bunch of them who never have touch one and “survived”.

It’s not mandatory to use a pacifier. It was invented in 1680 and, as we can still assume by its name, it was created to soothe babies. And, we must tell you, it’s very effective!

The sucking reflex is innate, that is, the (full-term) baby is born with the ability to suck whatever is placed in its mouth. This ability is what allows the baby to feed itself outside of the womb, that is, to nurse. And it’s precisely this fact that can cause problems when introducing a pacifier too early. It activates the reflex that allows the baby to feed itself by not feeding it … Therefore, the pacifier should not be introduced before the proper establishment of breastfeeding. It is only when the mother and baby are perfectly comfortable with breastfeeding and this is happening without any associated difficulties that you should consider to introduce (or not) the pacifier.

Pros:
It helps to soothe the baby when it is sleepy or having a tantrum.
There is some evidence that shows some protection from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) when used during the night after the 1st month of life (till 6th months).

Cons:
It’s an addition. They will (probably) need our help to deal with it in future.
Can cause allergies (to latéx, to drool, etc.)
It’s easily a source of microbes (virus, bacterias, etc.)
Less hygienic.

There are only a few things in life there are “all or nothing” but like everything else in life, it’s a decision that has to be made and this one should be discussed by both parents.

How to help a baby to sleep through the night

Babies get into routines very easily, the trick is to make them the right ones.

The baby will only be able to sleep through the night when he does not need to feed at night.
After the recovery of the birth weight and the beginning of the stabilization of the growth, +/- after the first month, the baby will begin to increase the time of continuous sleep progressively. At this age, a bigger nap (about 4 or 5 hours) is already very good.

Normally, at 3 months a period of intense growth begins and babies tend to regress regarding to sleep time because they need more food during the night. After this phase, they quickly return to longer sleep. At this age, 6 or 7 hours in a row is great.

Later, at 6 months, we have a new peak of growth. After this, the true complete nights begins with between 8 and 12 hours in a row …

What to take into account: a baby only sleeps well if he/she is well fed and with nothing to bother. A tooth that is sprouting, a cold or even a colder night and we will have wake-ups during the night, the important thing is to calm the baby without letting him really wake up. Never start cuddling, talking, or any other activity that stimulates your baby. Keep the light as low as possible and only change the diaper when it is absolutely necessary.