pullups vs diapers

Baby Pull-Ups: What Are They, What Age To Switch & More

As a new parent, you’re going to do an astronomical amount of diaper changes and go through many disposable diapers.

As your exhaustion levels rise, you will likely start wondering how soon you can potty train your child.  

While the answer will vary pretty dramatically from child to child, experts stress the importance of waiting until your child is ready.

The good news is, you may not need to wait as long as you think to start the process.  

By making use of a transitional product, “baby pull-ups”, you can begin preparing your child for potty training a little bit sooner.

Treating potty training as a work-in-progress and adding this extra stage is also a great way to ensure success.  

What Are Pull-Ups?

Pull-ups are a transitional diaper type designed for use as you work towards potty training your child.

The main purpose is to start encouraging independence while still providing leak-proof protection.

The main difference between pull-ups and diapers is that pull-ups are designed to easily slide on and off so that children can put them on and take them off on their own.

Why Should You Use Pull-Ups Instead Of Diapers

should you use pull ups for potty training

So, what is the function of making the switch to pull-ups as part of your potty training journey? 

For starters, involving your kids in the process and giving them some independence is a great way to get them excited about potty training.

Kids will love helping out and will be more motivated to make the switch to “big boy/girl” underwear.  

Plus, learning to pull up and pull down their own pants is an essential skill that you will need to teach them anyway- both for potty training and for dressing themselves later down the line.  

Pull-ups will also make changes much easier for you. Once your child is old enough to be involved, they are likely to become quite squirmy and difficult about diaper changes.

If they can take some ownership over the process, you likely won’t have to fight with them as much and only have to clean up for them.

This will hopefully reduce the time spent changing too.  

Pull-ups can help to reduce and eliminate messes caused by accidents. If you were to skip straight to underwear from diapers, you would likely have extra cleaning and laundry to do.

On the other hand, Pull-ups are easy to change and are (almost) as absorbent as diapers are. 

They also reduce embarrassment for potty training children who may be upset at the mess if they have an accident.  

Cons Of Switching To Pull-Ups

are pull ups as absorbent as diapers

While pull-ups are a useful tool for beginning your potty training journey, there are a couple of pitfalls to be aware of before choosing to use them:  

Do pull-ups make bedwetting worse? 

While pull-ups are often an excellent solution for preventing messes and extra laundry caused by bedwetting, they may not be supportive of solving the actual problem. 

Unfortunately, children are able to use a pull-up like a regular diaper, meaning that bedwetting may continue.

Many parents state that children will choose to use the pull-up throughout the night versus making the trip to the bathroom if they feel they need to go.

In a lot of cases, the safety net of the pull-up creates reliance.

Eventually, children will need to be weaned off of the pull-ups to effectively stop bedwetting from happening, so many parents would recommend skipping the use of them at night.  

Do pull-ups prolong potty training? 

In the same way that pull-ups can lead to reliance issues when it comes to bedwetting, you might find that reliance on pull-ups causes your potty training journey to take a little longer.

Unfortunately, without the physical discomfort caused by an accident in regular underpants, there’s not much incentive to get up and use the toilet instead of using the pull-up like a diaper.

That being said, experts say that if your child is truly ready for potty training, this shouldn’t become much of an issue. If it persists, it’s possible that your child is just not ready to be potty trained.

Are pull-ups as absorbent as diapers? 

Most pull-up brands claim to be equally as absorbent as their diapers.

In some cases, they might even state that they are designed to be more absorbent since they are meant for overnight use by older children who need greater leak protection.

However, real parents would almost unanimously agree that this is almost never the case.

If you take some time to browse parenting forums (or just ask a friend with older kids), you’ll find that most parents find them to be less absorbent, with more leakages. 

Are pull-ups more expensive than diapers?  

Since diapers are already such a significant monthly cost, you might be wondering how the cost of pull-ups compares.

If you choose to incorporate them into your potty training plan, should you be budgeting for an extra investment?

In general, pull-ups are more expensive, but only by a few cents more per unit. If you only use pull-ups overnight or for a short transition period, the difference may be inconsequential.

But if you are using them all day long for several months, this extra cost can add up. 

What Age To Switch From Diapers To Pull-Ups 

what age to switch to pull-ups

The truth is, there is no one-size-fits-all answer to these questions. Many experts recommend starting to potty train around two years old.

That being said, some children are ready as young as 18 months, and others are not ready until they are nearly three.

Rather than sticking to the “right age” to switch to pull-ups and start your potty training journey, pay attention to your child’s behavior.

When the time is right, there will probably be some tell-tale signs that your child is ready.  

Waiting until your child is ready to start potty training is definitely the key to success. Since potty training relies on self-motivation and independence, your child needs to be interested in the process.

If your child is not ready, they will simply continue choosing to use their diaper instead of making their way to the potty.

There needs to be enough interest and incentive to keep them engaged in the process. 

Signs Your Child Is Ready To Start Potty Training  

So, what exactly will your child do if they are ready to start?

While your child probably won’t tick off every sign, exhibiting a few of these behaviors is a pretty good indicator that it’s time to start preparing for potty training. 

Here are some of the signs to look out for, according to child development experts:  

  • Started to display interest in the bathroom 
  • Shown interest in “potty talk”  
  • Likes to be in the bathroom with you  
  • Can tell you when they are about to go to the bathroom  
  • Can follow basic instructions  
  • Has asked to use the potty/toilet  
  • Has decent fine motor skills (i.e., putting on some of their own clothing or shoes with some assistance)  

How To Transition To Pull-Ups

how to transition to pull ups

A quick google search will provide you with dozens of tips for beginning potty training with your toddler.

After all, making it fun, keeping them engaged, and using incentives are all essential in creating a positive experience and finding success.

That being said, there are a few that are specifically handy when it comes to switching to pull-ups:

Communicate

If one of the main signs that your child was ready for potty training was an increased interest in talking about potty time, then it is important to keep encouraging this open discussion.

Explain what you are doing, what they are doing, and encourage them to tell you what they need.  

If you’re dealing with a toddler who struggles with bedwetting, let them know if you or your spouse struggled with it when you were younger. If you didn’t, make it clear that everyone has had an accident- even you.

Keeping this dialogue open will help your child communicate their needs with you and lessen the impact of regressions caused by embarrassment from accidents.  

Use positive reinforcement, not shame.

Accidents happen, and potty training isn’t instant – it’s a process.

Do your best not to shame your child if they make a mistake since embarrassment will only lead to regression. Instead, have them help you clean up and move on.  

You will want to focus on celebrating their successes – no matter how small – and incentivize them to keep trying.

You can do this with just your words (a high five and a “way to go buddy” can go a long way), or you can use a rewards system.  

No matter how you choose to celebrate, letting them know that you are proud that they made it through the night, asked to use the potty, or even pulled up their own pants will make a world of difference.  

Give them the best chance of success.

You need to make it easy for your child to succeed.

During the day, this might mean making the potty easily accessible to them by keeping the door open, putting them in pants that are easy for them to pull up and down, and offering additional bathroom trips.

This becomes increasingly important for nighttime routines, though it may look a little bit different.

A child who has just had three glasses of milk with a scary dark hallway to stumble down is far more likely to have an accident in bed.  

Be sure to reduce drinks right before bedtime, and give them a clear, well-lit path to the bathroom. Maybe even let them pick out a fun nightlight as one of their potty training rewards.

You may also want to consider waking them up partway through the night to provide them an opportunity to get up and use the washroom, though this isn’t ideal for every family.

If your child is easy to get back to sleep, this is certainly worth a try.  

Take breaks from pull-ups.

Since pull-ups are meant to be a transition product, it’s essential to give your child a chance to phase out of them once they have adjusted.

Rather than getting them used to their pull-ups and then stopping using them flat-out, consider giving them “nights off”.

Every so often, switch the pull-up out for some “big kid” underwear and see if they can make it through the night.  

You don’t want to rush this before your child is ready, but this will also help to reduce reliance and nighttime laziness.

Give them a chance to show you they can make it through the night (or day) without an accident. If an accident does happen, it’s no big deal – they can simply try again another night.  

Using Pull-Ups For Older Children 

It’s not uncommon for children as old as 12 years old to have bedwetting regressions.

Thankfully, you can use pull-ups to help tackle bedwetting in older children as well. You may need to shop around to find the right fit, though.  

Using a youth or teen-sized pull-up is a much better choice than a diaper, especially for older children, since this can be an embarrassing and upsetting problem for them.

We recommend seeking the advice of a doctor on how to best remedy their bedwetting problem, but the use of pull-ups should help drastically with cleanup, and reduce embarrassment caused by mid-night messes. 

baby ear is smelly

Smelly Baby Ears: Potential Causes & What To Do About Them

When you have a new baby, you’ll be hypersensitive to their needs and changes to their behavior or body.

One of the most common things that new parents notice about their babies is a distinctive smell coming from their ears. 

Earwax (Cerumen) is a naturally occurring substance that helps to protect the ear canal from damage and keeps it waterproof, so if you notice that your baby has a lot of earwax, it could be completely normal.

Babies’ earwax is much softer and lighter colored than adult wax. This is completely normal, and it tends to toughen up and develop a yellowy color as they get older. 

The wax works on a cycle and gradually makes its way to the outer ear, carrying any bacteria or germs to keep their ears clean.

However, if the earwax starts to take on an unpleasant smell, there may be a problem. 

What Could A Smelly Baby Ear Mean?

Fungal Infection

Anaerobic bacteria – bacteria that can survive without oxygen – thrives in your baby’s ears and can develop into a severe fungal infection if it’s not managed correctly.

Your baby may also experience earache, itching, dizziness, feel off balance – which can be particularly dangerous if they’ve just started walking and they may hear ringing in their ears. 

If left untreated, it could have a long-term impact on their hearing as they get older. Ear infections are especially problematic in young children, as their ears are still developing. 

How To Treat An Ear Infection

If you suspect an ear infection, you should always see your pediatrician for advice. Prescribed ear drops can treat minor infections.

However, if the infection is more severe, your pediatrician may need to scrape out any excess wax using a curette (a small scraping tool used to pull out wax clumps). Don’t worry, it won’t hurt. 

Your baby’s ear should be kept as clean as possible throughout the ear infection treatment, avoiding any water. 

How To Clean A Baby’s Smelly Ears

babies ear smells like vinegar

To prevent a build-up of wax and that awful earwax smell, you should always make sure your baby’s ears are clean.

Wash Cloth

Using a washcloth is the easiest way to clean their ears if there’s not too much wax build-up. 

  1. Soak a cloth in warm water.
  2. Squeeze out any excess water – don’t let droplets get into their ears. 
  3. Gently sponge off any excess ear wax from around the ears. 
  4. DON’T put the cloth inside their ears – it could make the issue worse. 
  5. Dab the ears dry with a soft towel. 

Ear Drops

If there’s a substantial amount of wax and you’re worried that it might develop into an infection if not cleared, you should see your pediatrician for advice.

They may tell you that baby ear drops would be a suitable solution. 

DON’T buy ear drops over the counter without consulting your pediatrician. Some ear drops aren’t suitable for babies. 

  1. Always administer ear drops when your baby is calm and laying down – wriggling will mean that you miss their ears. 
  2. Warm the bottle up between your hands first to make sure the drops aren’t too cold. 
  3. Tilt their head gently to one side.
  4. Allow the correct amount of drops to fall into their ear. 
  5. Try to get your baby to lay still for a few minutes to let the drops take effect. 
  6. Wipe off any excess that runs out of the ear. 

Hydrogen Peroxide

Your pediatrician may also recommend diluted hydrogen peroxide as an alternative to ear drops.

If you’re making this solution up yourself, you’ll need to mix 50% hydrogen peroxide with 50% fresh water in a clean bottle.

Shake thoroughly to ensure it’s properly diluted, then use it in the same way as ear drops. This method is slightly gentler on your baby’s ears if the infection is minor. 

How To Prevent A Baby Ear Infection

baby ear smells like sour milk

Cleaning Techniques

One of the leading causes of ear infections in babies is the way that they’re cleaned. Many people try to use Q-tips to get the wax out or even the end of their fingers.

Anything that you put into your baby’s ear could have bacteria on there, which you’re transferring into their ear canal. 

Your Q-tip may also crush the earwax into the eardrum or to the side of the ear canal, making it uncomfortable for your baby and impacting their hearing and balance. 

NEVER put anything into your baby’s ear to clean them. 

Viruses

Many baby ear infections are hangovers from viral illnesses, so they aren’t necessarily avoidable unless you avoid the virus. Unfortunately, this means that antibiotic drops probably won’t work. 

If you’ve tried drops to no avail, then speak to your pediatrician. They may be able to gently scrape away any infected wax to make your baby feel more comfortable and smelling fresher. 

Why Does Your Baby’s Ear Smell Like Vinegar?

baby ear smells like sour milk

Ears sweat. If the smell from your baby’s ears is intensified when it’s a warm day, it could be because they’re too hot. There are lots of tiny sweat glands behind your baby’s ears.

The vinegar-type smell could be caused by the sweat not being wiped away correctly. You should always make sure you wipe behind your baby’s ears thoroughly with a damp cloth – especially on hot days.

It’s a spot that’s often missed, but as long as you wash behind their ears, you should be able to avoid the pungent smell. 

Baby Earwax In Hot Weather

The hot weather is a bit of an enemy of your baby’s perfectly clean ears.

Damp earwax smells and could become watery and appear a darker, greenish color if left for too long. The problem is that when it solidifies later, it might cause a blockage. 

What To Do

Remove a few layers if it’s clear that your baby is too hot. This should stop the problem from becoming worse.

Never sit your baby in direct sunlight – always make sure they’re in the shade. 

When it’s a scorching day, you should make sure that the outer ear is completely clean at all times by using a damp (not wet) cloth. 

Baby Waterlogged

Although earwax does contribute to making your ears waterproof, it can’t remove every drop of water from the ear.

If your baby’s ear fills with water and isn’t dried correctly, the wax inside will start to give off a damp, musty smell – sort of like wet clothes that have been left out. 

What To Do

If you’re concerned that your baby’s ears are waterlogged, you should gently dry the outside of their ear with a soft towel. 

Your priority should be to get all of that water back out, even if that means tilting their head gently to the side to allow stray droplets to run out themselves naturally. 

Don’t put anything in your baby’s ear to try to dry it out – you’ll only make the problem worse. 

How To Prevent

Whether your baby is having a bath or is at the pool, you should always make sure that their ears don’t go below the waterline. 

If they do, dry their ears immediately with a towel to remove any excess water. It’s the damp wax that smells if it’s left to dry on its own.

Summary

Your baby’s ears could begin to smell because they have a fungal or viral infection. Don’t panic right away, as most minor infections can easily be cleared up using drops.

The key is always to make sure that your baby’s ears stay clean and dry, and you shouldn’t have any issues. 

baby hands really hot

Baby Hot Hands & Feet: Normal, Dangerous, Or Catastrophic?

When you’re a new parent, it’s natural to be hypersensitive to any changes in your baby’s appearance and behavior.

And many parents become worried when they notice that their baby’s hands and feet are very hot compared to the rest of their body.

However, most of the time, the heat coming from your baby’s feet and hands is completely normal and could even be a good sign – so don’t worry!

Why Are Your Baby’s Hands And Feet Hot?

Why Are my Baby’s Hands hot

There are a few reasons that your baby’s feet might feel warmer to you than the rest of their body, but most of the time, it’s caused by something completely normal and natural.

The World Health Organization suggests that newborns’ hands and feet are supposed to be much warmer than adults.

It shows their healthy blood flow. They may even remain warmer than the rest of their body until they’re around two years old. 

However, it could also be because of these following reasons.

Room Temperature

Babies are much more sensitive to temperature than we are. A warm room might seem perfect to us, but they might be feeling a little too hot, especially in the summer.

Just like we have to consider the bathwater temperature, we should consider the overall room temperature too. Try putting a fan on to see if this helps. 

Layers

It’s tempting to wrap your baby in layer upon layer of woolly clothing, especially in the winter.

But babies are actually hardier than you think, and overheating your baby could lead to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). 

Obviously, you need to make sure they’re wrapped up if you go outside, but when you come into the warm house, make sure you remove a layer; otherwise, they could overheat. 

Other common signs of overheating include red, sore-looking ears, red cheeks, rashes on legs and chest, or lethargy – leading to unresponsiveness in severe cases. 

Activity

Even babies get hot when they’re doing a lot of moving around. If you’ve had a full-on play session, it could be that they’re just a little excited and are warm from the exertion. 

Mood

Having warm hands and feet could just be a sign that they’re content and having a good time. Warm hands, warm heart – as they say. The heat coming from their hands and feet can indicate happiness and comfort. 

Conversely though, if their hands and feet are cold, it could indicate stress and discomfort.

Check if they need a diaper change if they’re hungry or if they just need to get out of an environment where they aren’t comfortable. 

Fever

If your baby’s hands, feet, and heads are hot and they have accompanying behaviors such as excessive crying, mood swings, or a loss of appetite, it could indicate a fever. 

Don’t’ worry too much, actually, a fever could be the sign that your baby is fighting off an infection, which shows that their immune system is working correctly.

If you notice fussy behavior alongside the temperature, take them to a doctor to see if there’s anything you can do to make them feel more comfortable. 

Infection

Any cuts or scrapes exposed to the elements may invite bacteria that could develop into an infection. The infection is caused by your baby’s body trying to fight off any illness as a result. 

While this is a positive sign for their immune system, you should go to the doctor right away to seek treatment. Infections can develop into sepsis if not treated properly. 

As soon as you notice a cut on your baby’s skin, you should wash it out with warm water and monitor the skin around the wound to ensure it heals properly. 

How Can You Tell If Your Baby Has A Temperature?

Why Are my Baby’s feet hot

A baby’s temperature should always be taken orally if you believe that there’s something wrong.

Their hands, feet, and heads are usually much warmer than the rest of their body, so judging whether they have a fever using the touch of their hands or touching the back of your hand to their forehead is likely to make you worry.

Always take your baby’s temperature using an oral thermometer (but ensure you hold onto the other end to prevent a choking hazard). 

Your baby’s temperature should be 97-100.4 degrees Fahrenheit. 

What Should You Do If Your Baby Does Have a Temperature?

If you’ve used a thermometer to find that your baby’s temperature is a little too high, you should immediately try to bring the temperature back to normal levels.

  • Ensure the room you’re in is well ventilated. 
  • Remove any excess layers of clothing (but make sure that their body is still warm enough – keep the bottom layer of clothing on, your baby could still catch a chill).
  • Prepare a bath of water that’s slightly cooler than normal – Not cold!

If your baby’s temperature remains high, you should seek professional help from your pediatrician. It’s probably nothing serious, but it’s better to be safe than sorry. 

What If Your Baby’s Hands Are Cold?

why are my baby's hands cold

If you notice your baby’s hands or feet are excessively cold, especially in a warm climate, this could be something to check with your pediatrician.

It could be just that they are cold – in which case, you should just put on an extra layer. 

However, if they have cold, clammy hands, it could be a sign that they’re struggling with blood circulation or that they have the beginnings of something much more severe, such as meningitis. 

If in doubt, take a trip to the doctor straight away. 

Summary

It’s normal to be worried about any changes to your baby’s temperature, but most of the time, it’s something completely normal, so try not to panic.

It’s usually your baby’s behavior that will alert you to something serious; if they’re crying more often or have lost their appetite, this could signify that there’s something wrong. 

Typically, having hot hands and feet is normal for babies, but there’s no harm in seeing your pediatrician to put your mind at rest. 

exercises to help baby walk independently

24 Effective Exercises & Tips To Help Your Baby Walk

A few moments in life can top the moment when your baby takes his or her first steps—but if you’re not there yet, you’re probably wondering what you can do to help your child achieve this small yet great feat?

In this article, I’ll give you a few suggestions.

A baby’s first small steps are a giant stride towards independence—a proud moment for any parent.

Physical development is the foundation on which all other building blocks rest, and walking is an excellent milestone by which you can measure overall physical development.

Most babies will probably start walking at around 9 to 16 months. It is important to note that the time it takes for a baby does not say anything about intellect or athletic ability later in life.

However, if your baby isn’t even trying to walk by 18 months, you should consult your physician.

The good news? There are many exercises you can (and should) do to promote walking.

how to encourage baby to walk

Lay A Solid Foundation

A baby’s journey towards walking already starts in the uterus. Your child’s spinal cord has been forming since the first trimester (in the first 6 – 7 weeks).

Therefore, it’s crucial to take folic acid as soon as possible and continue throughout your pregnancy to prevent spina bifida.

Spina bifida is a congenital disability that develops when a baby’s spinal cord fails to develop properly. It might be treated through surgery, but it’s best avoided. 

So, have those vitamins! A little goes a long way in this case.

Develop Your Baby’s Senses

A child’s senses form the building blocks for stable physical development. Our singular senses (touch, taste, and smell) are the first to develop. 

So, one of the best ways to develop a baby’s senses to aid walking is through baby massage. Specifically, a foot massage. 

During the first year, a foot massage can have numerous benefits, such as:

  • Improving his or her locomotor system.
  • Preparing the child for walking.
  • Boosting blood circulation.
  • Enhancing muscle tone.
  • Preventing flat feet.
  • Boosting the baby’s immune system.

Develop Your Baby’s Muscles

If the senses are the foundational bricks of physical development, the muscles are the cement.

Muscles must be developed in a specific order – neck strength, sitting, crawling, and walking. Though you can skip any one of these phases, it is not advisable.

This is because each set of muscles developed in each phase has a crucial function later in life. For instance – a child who never crawled might struggle with mathematics or develop hand problems such as an improper pencil grip.

Though it might feel unnecessary, a baby must have tummy time to develop a strong neck (and rolling skills). After rolling, a child will learn to sit up on their own (well-done core muscles), and then crawling should follow. 

After crawling comes standing and then the literal first steps to independence!

Work on each of those phases diligently, and you’ll ensure their path to success!

Activate Cruise Control

Cruising is a vital stage before walking. It can continue until 12-14 months.

Experts agree that walking is the most variable physical milestone for toddlers and should not be used to gauge developmental success unless there are other indicators of giftedness or serious delay.

Some babies start walking at nine months, and others only at sixteen months. But, your baby will cruise while holding onto furniture.

Ensure that all pieces are sturdy because a baby will push all his or her weight onto it. Couches and coffee tables give ample room for a cruising baby to strut his or her stuff.

Keep Them Barefoot

Tiny shoes are adorable, but they are not the best tools when your little one is trying to take his or her first steps.

Pediatricians will generally recommend that you keep the baby barefoot as often as possible. This way, they can feel the ground and adjust their balance accordingly.

Different surfaces require the use of different joints, muscles, and postures. If a baby cannot feel the floor under his or her toes, it hinders the learning process.

Use Sturdy Shoes

Though barefoot is best, it is not always practical. When you are out and about, your child will need shoes.

But, your baby needs shoes with a supportive ankle and sole. It is important to understand that your baby has not yet used their ankle and lower leg muscles a lot and needs extra support to get those muscles working. 

Sturdy shoes will keep ankles from rolling or wobbling. It will also help the baby feel sturdier.

Avoid Obstructive Clothes

Science shows that girls will usually start walking sooner than boys. Yet, that beautiful little dress might be cramping her style!

Ensure that your baby is dressed in clothes that allow him or her to move freely. Playsuits without fitted feet and short trousers with elastic waists are perfect.

Fitted feet will restrict a baby’s ability to move freely and naturally. Lightweight fabrics are also better than coarse fabrics like denim.

Watch your child’s movements in the clothes you have chosen. If he or she seems unhappy, consider that there may be something about the clothes restricting movement and causing frustration.

Remember that clothing suitable for a newborn baby will not be right for a child moving about the room. Their clothes should always facilitate the level of movement that they reached.

Firm Surfaces

It can be terrifying to allow your wobbly, unbalanced infant to walk on hardwood floors or tile, but this is the best place for them to learn.

Once they are steadier on their feet, use those soft or uneven surfaces to challenge their balance a bit more.

Once they get the hang of standing and walking a bit, use various textured surfaces (carpet, beds, sofas, and grass) to improve their balance. It is also a great sensory experience. 

Note: Never let your little one walk on a bed or sofa without supervision.

Give Them A Reason

Why did the chicken cross the road? To get to something on the other side. It had a purpose.  Just like this cliché chicken, we all need a reason for our actions.

The same applies to a baby. If you place a favorite toy or snack just out of reach, it will encourage your child to move.

(A bonus is that your child also learns that it is worth putting in extra effort to obtain the things he or she really wants in life.)

Provide An Enticing Journey

The destination is important, but the journey is also part of the fun! Make walking fun with squeaky shoes or a bubble-wrapped walking surface.

The funny sounds might encourage them to keep moving on their feet for more squeaks. You might also consider adding bells to shoelaces or Velcro straps for a delightful jingle-jangle sound. 

Baby Steps

Do not expect your baby to run across the living room when they first start to walk. They will slowly begin to take one or two steps at a time.

While you are teaching them, remain close at hand. If they can only take two steps, do not sit on the other side of the room. You can always increase the distance as they gain confidence.

Reduce Their Fear

Keep objects and furniture close so they know that they always have something sturdy to hold onto. 

Remain close and keep your arms open wide, ready to catch them if they fall. Once they realize that they will not get hurt if they fall, their fear should be reduced, and they may be more confident to take a few more steps.

Gradually Reduce Support

You can hold your baby under their arms, trunk, or on their hands. As they gain muscle strength, they will need less support.

Make sure you decrease the amount of support you give them gradually as they learn to walk. When a child learns to walk, it is best to have two adults instead of one.

This can provide the encouragement and motivation that your child needs to get started. One adult can encourage the child, while the other gives him support on the other end.

Place Them On Their Feet

After you have held your child, place him or her down in a standing position instead of sitting.

It might be easier for them to be placed in a seated position, but you want to take every opportunity to get them bearing weight on their feet.

Even when they plop down as soon as you place them down, you are still letting them know that your expectation is for them to stand up.

Childproof Everything

Just because you want your child to become a strong walker does not mean that you need to have a heart attack every step of the way.

The way to maintain sanity while your baby learns to walk is to babyproof your house. 

Knowing that you live in a safe home will give you great peace of mind, and you will be able to focus on the important thing: Helping your child develop.

Play Music

Music activities for infants engage the child’s aural and physical being. Age-old activities include tickling, wiggling, bouncing, and finger playing. 

Music not only stimulates brain development, but it can help strengthen a baby’s muscles when bopping to a tune.

Studies have shown that music might help turn your baby into a walker sooner than you think! 

Use Words Of Encouragement

Never underestimate the value of words of affirmation! We all love hearing words of encouragement from loved ones, and babies are no exception.

If your child knows that you believe he or she can accomplish the feat of walking, it will encourage him or her to try even harder. Not only that – it will also build your child’s self-esteem.  

Remember: Just because your child does not have a broad vocabulary yet, does not mean that they do not understand what you are saying.

They can pick up on your tone of voice and body language. They will love the attention and the feeling of making their parent proud. 

Give A Hand

Holding your child’s hand or hands while he or she is trying to walk might be a good idea.

Not only do they know that you are there for them, but they also get the feeling of what it’s like to stand upright. This might be the type of encouragement your little one needs to take his or her first independent steps. 

Just keep in mind that your baby’s legs and feet will get tired quickly. Make sure to rest often.

Role Models

Children are great copycats. Therefore, kids of your child’s age – or a little bit older – could be of great help through their example.

Having another baby walking around might be the motivation that they have been looking for. 

This theory’s basis is that a baby will be encouraged to walk because they will need to walk to keep up with the competition! 

Put Them Down

It is tempting to pick up and carry your baby everywhere, but the time has come to let your little one come to you. A baby that is carried everywhere has no need to walk. They know their mom will do it for them.

Even though you do love your child dearly, it is time for them to gain some independence by navigating the world independently. 

The best way to do this is to let them stand on their own two feet.

Remove Obstacles

For years you have been honing your house to be a cozy, welcoming nest for all that enters. 

Unfortunately, all the creature comforts might make it an extremely uncomfortable obstacle course for a baby just learning to walk. 

Take a step back and observe the room. Maybe there is too much furniture in the space or too many small objects in their way.

Toys That Assist Walking

Pull along toys will encourage your toddler to walk. In fact, they will feel very independent taking their favorite duck or doggy out for a spin.

A push trolley, pram, or toy lawnmower might also encourage a child to walk. But stay close. A toy with wheels could “run away” from your little one, leaving them plunging.

Do Not Push

It may be frustrating, but every parent needs to realize that every baby is their own person.

They are creating their own personality with their own personal interests. This might be the reason why they are not quite ready to walk just yet. 

A child who walked late probably also sat late and crawled late. Walking probably will not be the first milestone that you are concerned about. 

If you are concerned, consult your doctor. It is important that the child’s walking should be viewed in the context of other skills to try to figure out where he or she is on the motor development continuum. 

Walking Rings Are Not Your Friend

A walking ring might keep your baby out of mischief for a while. They free up your hands while cooking supper or washing up. But they might not be the best idea due to two reasons:

  • They contribute to falls.

In the USA, tipping over walking rings is one of the biggest causes of head injuries in babies in the first year of life. 

  • They hamper development. 

Walking rings are usually used at a stage when your baby should be practicing the skill of crawling.

The ring not only hampers the development of crawling but also diminishes the motivation to crawl.

Why would you crawl (which is hard) if you can go anywhere in your walking ring (which is easy)?

The standing position also negatively affects the development of hips, legs, and feet as weight-bearing limbs for walking. 

how long can a baby sleep in a pack n play

Babies Sleeping In Pack N Play: How Long, Is It Safe, At What Age & More

What Is A Pack N Play?

what is a pack n play used for

The Pack ‘N’ Play product is a crib-come-play area constructed by several different brands, Graco being the main one across the US.

These products are easily portable, foldable, and safe for your baby to both sleep and play in throughout the day. 

The cribs have mesh sides, allowing for excellent airflow while your baby is sleeping, and come equipped with different attachments to give you a whole baby care solution in one.

The Pack ‘N’ Play structure’s crib section comes away to reveal a safe play area underneath. You’re also able to attach mobiles and other toys to the sides of the playpen underneath to keep your baby safe and happy while you’re busy. 

The upper section above the crib even comes with a changing mat base so you can change your baby while you’re out visiting other people too. 

The Pack ‘N’ Play set is designed to be a convenient way to travel with your baby and is completely safe for your baby to sleep in.

So can a baby sleep in a Pack N Play? Yes, babies can sleep in a Pack N Play, but you should follow some measures before going ahead with the idea.

At What Age Can Babies Sleep In Pack N Play?

what age can baby sleep in pack n play

Your baby can sleep in a Pack ‘N’ Play when they’re young quite comfortably. If your Pack ‘N’ Play set comes with a bassinet, then you can use this until they reach around 13-14 pounds.

Because of the way the bassinet is suspended between the walls of the playpen, it can be dangerous to put a baby heavier than this in. Depending on their size, it may also be quite uncomfortable for them as they grow older. 

If you remove the bassinet when your baby gets a little older, you may also have a crib attachment which fits over the whole area, providing more space for your baby to grow. 

The crib attachment is built to hold more weight, and it’s safe to let your baby sleep here until they’re around 30 pounds in weight, which could be anywhere between 12 and 24 months of age. 

You shouldn’t let a baby of over 24 months sleep in a Pack ‘N’ Play as it could be dangerous if it doesn’t support their weight. They may also be large enough to start climbing over the sides. 

How Long Can Babies Sleep In Pack N Play?

how long can babies sleep in pack and play

Babies will sleep in a Pack ‘N’ Play crib in precisely the same way as they do in a static crib.

So, you’re OK to leave them overnight as long as you’re confident that your crib has been built by the manufacturer’s specifications and you’ve checked it’s sturdy enough.

An entire 8-hour sleep session shouldn’t be a problem. 

However, the amount of sleep that your baby gets in the Pack ‘N’ Play is more to do with the environment around them.

You’re most likely to use a ‘Pack ‘N’ Play kit when you’re traveling, staying in a hotel, or at someone else’s house. The unfamiliar surroundings may mean that it takes your baby longer to fall asleep.

A brand-new Pack ‘N’ Play set will also have a different smell and feel to the places that your baby is used to. It may take them a while to feel safe enough to drop off to sleep in the new crib. 

Is It Safe For A Baby To Sleep In A Pack N Play?

is it safe for babies to sleep in pack n play

Pack ‘N’ Play equipment is entirely safe for portable use. However, there are some concerns about the way in which parents are using it against advised instructions, which could cause some health concerns. 

Extra Bedding

You should only provide the light bedding that the Pack ‘N’ Play set comes with when your baby is sleeping in there.

One of the biggest causes of cot death when using a portable crib is because the parents have placed thicker mattresses, quilts, or longer blankets in the crib that it wasn’t made for.

The mattress and sleep equipment that comes with a Pack ‘N’ Play kit is suited explicitly for comfortable sleeping in that area. Putting more bedding in could cause your baby to move awkwardly and pull the covers above their head. 

Building The Structure

You’ll need to ensure the structure is built firmly to the manufacturer’s specifications. Check that the structure is sound and solid before placing your baby inside.

If the structure is built incorrectly or modified in any way, it could cause your baby to catch themselves on loose edges resulting in injury – or the whole structure may even collapse, trapping your baby inside. 

Strangulation

Ensure your baby isn’t wearing loose-fitting wool clothing. If any rivets are sticking out that you haven’t noticed, the material could easily get caught and cause injury or even strangulation. 

Folded Sides

The sides of most Pack ‘N’ Play structures are made of mesh, specifically to allow air to flow through the crib and playpen. 

However, if you let your baby sleep in the crib, with one side folded down, the material edges will double over, removing the mesh’s benefit and potentially causing a suffocation hazard. 

Multiple Children

Pack ‘N’ Play structures are only made for one child at a time. If you have more than one, you will need a different crib for each. This is because:

  • Two children’s weight could be too much to maintain the cribs integrity – meaning it’ll fall down. 
  • Even if your babys’ combined weight is less than 30 pounds, your babies may end up rolling into each other in the confined space, crushing each other, or pulling blankets, causing suffocation hazards. 

Older Models

Make sure you have an up-to-date model. Some older models aren’t as structurally sound, and the mechanisms can deteriorate over time. Remember that they aren’t as well built as a normal, stationary crib.

It’s best to get a new Pack ‘N’ Play structure if you have a new baby, rather than repurposing one from someone else or from a previous baby. 

Can Babies Sleep In Pack N Play Every Night?

can baby sleep in pack n play every night

Although a Pack ‘N’ Play set is equipped for sleeping, your baby should have a proper crib that gives them a little more space to move around as they grow. 

A Pack ‘N’ Play crib will only be suitable until your baby reaches 30 pounds, but a crib will be needed for much longer than this. 

Although a Pack ‘N’ Play set should be completely fine for a whole night’s sleep, it’d be best to have a more permanent crib that accommodates their needs for longer. 

It’s also less hassle for you having to rebuild the Pack ‘N’ Play in the house every time you take it elsewhere. 

Can Newborns Sleep In A Pack N Play?

can newborns sleep in pack and play

Yes, newborns can sleep in Pack ‘N’ Play. In fact, there are bassinet attachments that come specifically equipped for this.

The bassinet is ideal for attaching to the top of your Pack ‘N’ Play area during the early days of breastfeeding, when you’ll want to be as close to your baby as possible.

It allows you to be close enough to your baby to see them turning, crying, or becoming uncomfortable and helps you to develop your bond, but it still provides the safe barrier so that they can’t fall out of bed and so that you can’t roll on them. 

Summary

Pack ‘N’ Play kits are an essential part of every new parents’ armory.

They allow for flexibility when traveling, closeness with your newborn, and you can be confident that your baby is safe if you ensure that you build your structure soundly and replace it when it gets a little old. 

How to relieve constipation in babies quickly

Baby Constipation: How To Tell & How To Relieve Using Home Remedies

Constipation, for some babies, is just a natural part of growing up.

It may occur if they’ve eaten something different that doesn’t agree with them, if they’re switching between baby formulas with different ingredients, or moving up to solid food and aren’t consuming enough fluid.

In most cases, it’s easy to resolve with home remedies, if you know how.

First, How To Tell If A Baby Is Constipated

sugared water for baby constipation

Babies should poop every day. If you notice a change in their frequency or the consistency of the poop, it could mean that they’re constipated. Look out for:

  • Pooping less than four times per week.
  • More solid poop.
  • Small, round pellets.
  • Noticeable discomfort when pooping.
  • Excessive gas.
  • Loss of appetite.

What Are The Reasons For Baby Constipation

Reasons For Baby Constipation

Babies often become constipated due to changes in their diet. Breast milk is relatively easy to digest because this is their initial, natural food source; it needs to be easily digestible as it’s when their digestive system is at its most delicate.

However, if your baby switches to formula and later, on to more processed foods, it can take a while for their digestive system to register the change.

Constipation occurs in around 15% of babies and is a natural part of growing up. 

When Should You Worry?

Constipation can be a natural part of growing up for some babies as they develop their digestive systems.

However, if you notice regular constipation, blood in their poop, weight loss, or a loss of appetite, you should take your baby to the doctor immediately for an assessment.

Quick Home Remedies For Baby Constipation

when can babies have juice for constipation

Some quick-fire solutions to cure minor constipation are:

  • Have a warm bath. The sensation of bathing helps to loosen your baby’s bowel. 
  • Drink more fluids. If you’ve recently switched to more solid food, ensure you’re including lots of water in their diet. 
  • Baby cycling. Lay your baby on their back and move their legs around in a cycling motion. 
  • Baby massage. Massage your baby’s tummy in a clockwise, circular motion.

Other Remedies

home remedies for baby constipation

Orange Juice For Baby Constipation

Orange juice is one of the best cures for constipation. You should dilute this so it’s half water and half orange and give this to your baby alongside their regular meals. It shouldn’t replace their meals. 

The extra fluid coupled with the high fiber content of orange juice will help to stimulate their bowel. Orange juice is also full of a flavanone called naringenin which is known to ease any discomfort caused by constipation.

Plus, your baby will love the sweet taste, so giving them orange juice shouldn’t be a problem. 

Be careful to monitor their stool closely and ease off the orange juice when they start to poop normally again. Too much could have the opposite effect and cause diarrhea if you’re not careful. 

Oatmeal For Baby Constipation

Oatmeal is excellent for a baby with constipation. Mixing a high-water content oatmeal allows your baby to take in lots of fluid and the single grain oat, which is a natural laxative and full of fiber.

It’s a great choice if your baby is just about to start eating more solid foods as it can act as the first step on the ladder and works as a preventative measure as well as a remedy for constipation. 

Brown Sugar For Baby Constipation

Brown sugar should be given in a water solution just before a feed to soften the stool. You shouldn’t give your baby sugar by itself as it’s hard for them to swallow and can cause choking, and will also be bad for their gums when directly applied. 

Instead, boil some water and let it cool completely. Add half a teaspoon of brown sugar to half a glass of the water and allow it to dissolve. 

You should give this to your baby three times a day immediately before feeding until their poop softens and becomes easy to pass. 

Warm Bath For Baby Constipation

A warm bath is the most natural and enjoyable solution to constipation for your baby. The warm water and motion of the water movement stimulates your baby’s bowels and makes it less painful when they poop. 

You should try splashing around a little near their bum to create waves that mimic the bowel’s movement, and it encourages your baby to try and poop because it feels more natural. 

This will only work for very minor constipation issues though. If you’ve tried this a couple of times and you’re still witnessing obvious discomfort, then it’s time to take more drastic action. 

Chamomile Tea For Baby Constipation

Chamomile tea is an excellent laxative for babies over six months old. It shouldn’t be given to newborns or any baby younger than six months. 

It’s best to give the tea to your baby warm but not hot, as the taste can be off-putting when cold. You shouldn’t give more than 15 milliliters 3 times per day to stabilize their digestion. 

The tea’s gentle effects relieve any discomfort and soften the stool, but more importantly, don’t go too far the other way as they can also be an effective remedy for diarrhea and colic.

For this reason, chamomile tea can be a constant in your baby’s life after the first six months, and it should improve their digestion as they grow up and try new food groups. 

Chamomile has also been known to be a boost for the baby’s immune and digestive system if taken by the mother during pregnancy or breastfeeding. 

Prune Juice For Baby Constipation

Prune juice is great for babies over six months of age if taken in small doses. It’s a natural source of bran which provides lots of fiber to keep your baby pooping regularly. 

However, too much prune juice could irritate your baby’s intestinal tract and cause longer-term health issues, especially if given when they’re too young. 

Twenty-five milliliters twice a day just before food is enough, and the treatment shouldn’t continue after your baby’s constipation is resolved. 

Applesauce For Baby Constipation

Applesauce is absolutely one to AVOID when it comes to constipation. While apple juice contains fiber to help pass poop, applesauce is actually a culmination of the whole of the apple, rather than just the juice. 

This means it contains a high pectin level, which binds poop and gives it more body. Because of its firming qualities, it can actually cause constipation rather than relieving it. 

Avocado For Baby Constipation

Avocados contain a high amount of potassium and fiber and are great for babies over nine months old to help relieve constipation. Their taste and texture also make them the ideal baby food, and your baby will love it. 

Although avocado can help to relieve constipation, you can feed a couple of spoonsful to your baby every couple of days as common practice. This can help to prevent constipation too. 

Make sure you don’t feed avocado to a baby under nine months though, as the high potassium levels can cause issues with your baby’s under-developed intestinal tract. 

Sugar Water For Baby Constipation

White sugar can be provided in precisely the same way as brown sugar, although it’s not quite as effective. 

Adding half a teaspoon of white sugar to half a glass of cooled, boiled water will soften your baby’s poop and allow them to pass it. 

It’s great to remedy constipation but isn’t a long-term solution or preventative measure as excessive sugar can cause diarrhea if it’s consumed too often. 

Three times per day before food will be more than enough, and you should stop the treatment when you see results. 

How long can a baby wear a diaper at night

Baby Wearing A Diaper At Night: How Long, When To Change & More

Changing diapers throughout the day seems to be a never-ending task. It feels like you’ve only just changed one, and they suddenly need changing again. 

However, changing a diaper during the night is a whole different process. Your baby needs their sleep, and actually, it can be more detrimental to their development if you constantly wake them for a change.

In fact, you can leave your baby all night without changing their diaper if necessary, and it can even be better for them. 

So, Can A Baby Go the Whole Night Without A Diaper Change?

Can A Baby Go the Whole Night Without A Diaper Change

Yes! At first, you’ll be overly keen to keep changing their diaper to make sure they’re comfortable, but it’s a myth that they need changing more often when they’re younger.

Yes, they’ll wet their diaper reasonably often, but they usually don’t even notice when they’re sleeping.

A nighttime diaper is designed to last for up to 12 hours without a change as long as it’s just wet. Their heightened absorption rate (20-25% more effective) will allow you and your baby to sleep throughout the night without having to worry.

What Happens As Your Baby Grows?

Your baby’s bladder will naturally get stronger as they get older, and they’ll be able to recognize when they need to go.

This is when they’ll start to wake up and let you know about it. An older baby is actually a more demanding one. They know when they need changing and will likely scream to make you aware of it.

Again, changing a baby due to this will give them the impression that you’ll change them whenever they cry. You want to avoid this habit. Check if they’re okay, then go right back to bed. As long as your diaper is absorbent, there’s nothing to worry about. 

Should You Let Your Baby Sleep In A Poopy Diaper?

Do you wake a sleeping baby if they pooped

Unfortunately, diapers can only do so much and won’t soak up poop. And the acid in baby poop can affect your baby’s skin and cause uncomfortable rashes.

Usually, if your baby has pooped in their sleep, they’ll wake up and let you know that they need a change. 

You should change a poopy diaper ASAP to keep their skin clean and healthy. However, poopy diapers during the night are likely to clear up long before wet diapers.

When babies grow, a combination of their developing muscles and more solid food means that the baby poop isn’t as soft, meaning they cannot pass it without waking up.

Their body will gradually start to retain it until they’re able to wake up in the morning. Excessive changing of wet diapers during the night can actually delay this process, and your baby will rely on you to change poopy diapers for longer.

“But I Feel Guilty For Not Changing Their Diaper”

Guilt is a common emotion for new parents to feel. It’s natural to want your baby to feel comfortable all the time. However, constant disturbances overnight can affect their sleeping pattern and may result in them having sleeping problems.

As long as you’re not leaving them with a poopy diaper, it’s perfectly acceptable to let the diaper do its job. They’re specially equipped for absorption, so your baby will be completely fine until morning. 

How Often Should You Change A Baby’s Diaper At Night?

my baby is asleep but has a dirty nappy

Your baby will only need a diaper change if they’ve pooped overnight. This will likely happen at the beginning of the night, before they’re fully asleep, or just as they’re about to wake up in the morning.

This is because the act of pooping requires more muscle control which your baby won’t have during sleep. 

If you need to change their diaper due to this, then it’s likely to only be once during the night. If they just have a wet diaper, this can be left until morning – so there would be no need to change.

But How Will You Know When Your Baby Needs Changing During the Night?

That’s just it; you won’t. You should always have a baby monitor next to your baby’s bed to check for any sounds of discomfort. However, they will usually wet their diaper while they’re asleep.

Babies don’t gain control of their bladder until around two and a half years old, and at night, they may not wake up when they feel the need to pee until they’re 4 or 5 years old – even after a diaper has become unnecessary during the day.

Because they’ll likely remain asleep while they wet their diaper, you won’t even know about it until the next morning. But even they pooped, you’ll most likely hear about it.

Top Tips For A Diaper Change Free Night

Should I change a dirty nappy if baby is asleep
  • Always make sure the diaper fits well. Babies lose mass overnight. Their stomach visibly reduces as they digest any milk that they’ve had.
    You should make sure that the diaper is stretchy to allow it to change shape with your baby. This prevents any leakages and means that your baby will feel comfortable for longer. 
  • Buy good quality nighttime diapers. Nighttime diapers need to be super absorbent to soak up any pee.
    Your baby may wet their diaper two or even three times per night, so you need a diaper that’s equipped to absorb all that moisture. Good quality diapers will make your baby’s night feel dry. 
  • Diaper rash is one of the main reasons that parents obsessively change diapers. A good rash cream with no additives or perfume can remove any diaper rash, despite leaving your baby with a wet diaper at night. 

How To Change A Baby’s Diaper During The Night

Should I change diaper if baby is sleeping

Ultimately, your baby getting the right amount of sleep is much more important than changing a wet diaper.

However, if you do need to change a diaper (whether it’s poopy, or they’re seemingly uncomfortable), you should be as stealthy as possible – your main aim is to do a complete change without waking them at all. 

  • Don’t turn on the light (unless you absolutely have to). You want to keep the nighttime ora, so your baby doesn’t fully wake up during the change. If they wake up, you can kiss goodbye to your good night’s sleep. 
  • Your baby will typically sleep on their back, so they’re already in the optimum position for a change. Gently unwrap the diaper and slide from underneath their legs. 
  • Warm up a wet diaper wipe before the change. A cold wipe is more likely to wake them. 
  • If your baby does wake up during the changing process, you can use this as an early introduction to potty training. Although you can’t punish your baby for not controlling their bladder – they can’t help it – it shouldn’t be an opportunity for fun during the night. Your baby has to not associate wetting their diaper at night with a positive experience. Make the change as quick and silent as possible and slip back to bed. They’ll soon fall back to sleep.

Summary

Your baby doesn’t need you to change their diaper during the night if they’re just wet. In fact, leaving them alone will actually benefit their sleep cycle and develop bodily functions for the future. 

Unless your baby has a poopy diaper, resist the urge to keep them constantly dry and make sure you invest in high-quality nighttime diapers to help them feel comfortable. 

is vicks vaposteam safe for babies

Is Vicks VapoSteam Safe For Babies: What About VapoRub & BabyRub

The truth is, most babies get sick A LOT. 

As their immune systems begin to develop and they start to navigate the world, your baby is undoubtedly going to come down with a common cold or two. While this isn’t necessarily a cause for panic, it can be pretty stressful for new parents.  

And since babies can’t use most over-the-counter cold medication, finding some baby-safe relief for your little one can be a struggle.

So, more and more moms are interested in using vaporizers as a cold/flu treatment at home, and Vicks VapoSteam, particularly for babies, has been dominating the market. That being said, its safety for young children has been consistently called into question.

Here, I have put together everything you need to know about the safety concerns associated with Vicks Vaposteam for babies and some easy (and better) alternatives.

Of course, it’s always best to consult your pediatrician before using any methods on your infant or young child.  

What Is Vicks VapoSteam? 

vicks vaposteam for babies

Vicks Vaposteam is an inhalant pod that is added to your standard vaporizer. It is used to increase the effectiveness of a vaporizer for cold relief use by using essential oils and active medicinal ingredients.

The formula was developed to relieve sore throats, suppress coughs, and help open the breathing passages.

In a nutshell, you can thank natural ingredients such as eucalyptus, turpentine, and cedarwood oils, as well as menthol and nutmeg, for most of this product’s soothing and medicinal effects.

However, medicinal ingredients such as Thymol and Camphor are also added for antiseptic and anti-inflammatory effects. And this is where it gets complicated.  

So, Is Vicks VapoSteam Safe For Babies?  

Long story short, no, Vicks Vaposteam is not safe for infants. Safety guidelines do not recommend the use on anyone below two years old. There are some safer alternatives, however, depending on the age of your child.  

Why Vicks VapoSteam Isn’t Safe For Toddlers Under 2 Years Old

The medicinal ingredient camphor is used to promote pain relief and relieve dry coughs. However, it poses a serious risk to small children, especially young babies.

Camphor absorbs extremely quickly in young children and can cause a wide range of adverse effects.

You may notice that it irritates your child’s airways, increases mucus to the point of extreme excess, or worsens “cold symptoms” such as nasal congestion. Prolonged exposure and camphor poisoning could even lead to brain damage.

Some studies even show that camphor can be lethal to babies.

Is Vicks VapoRub Safe For Babies?

Is Vicks VapoRub Safe For Babies

Some parents might wonder if Vicks VapoRub is a reasonable alternative to the vaporizer version, but it is not. The active ingredient, camphor, is consistent between both products.

Camphor is also easily absorbed by the nose and skin, which is really dangerous, as pointed out in the previous part.

As is true with vapor containing camphor, poisoning through absorption could also lead to nausea/vomiting, stomach aches, and irritability. On the mild end of the spectrum.

More severe reactions are also possible based on the level of exposure and the age/weight of the child.

It’s also worth mentioning that products like VapoSteam and VapoRub should be kept far out of babies’ and childrens’ reach, as ingestion could lead to very severe side effects.

Children who eat products containing camphor could suffer seizures, liver damage, or even fatality. 

Is Vicks BabyRub Safe For Babies?

Vicks has released a baby version of the rub, called Vicks BabyRub. This pediatric alternative is not suitable for an infant. However, Vicks Babyrub is considered to be safe for babies under three months old or ten pounds.

Vicks VapoSteam vs Vicks BabyRub

Vicks VapoSteam is a medicated vaporized treatment, while Vicks Baby Rub is a non-medicated topical ointment.  

You can apply the ointment by gently massaging it onto your baby’s chest, neck, back, and feet in small doses. This product aims not to treat a common cold but to help make your baby more comfortable and less agitated.

Still, it will have similar effects to the vaporized product, reducing coughs, throat irritation, and opening the airways. Most importantly, this product does not contain camphor. Instead, it is made of coconut oil, aloe, and paraffin wax. 

Vicks BabyRub Safety Measures

Is Vicks Babyrub Safe For Babies

While Vicks Vaposteam is not recommended for any baby below the age of two, the pediatric version, BabyRub, is considered safe for older babies, defined as above three months old and a minimum of 10lbs.

That being said, you will want to take some things into account to ensure safe usage: 

  • Always be sure to cover your baby’s hands and feet to avoid ingestion (baby socks and mittens work great!) and avoid putting it on areas that could easily be licked.
  • Semi- loose clothing is necessary for the vapor to reach the nasal passage and soothe your baby effectively, but do not use anything loose enough to pose a hazard.
  • Make sure your baby is not allergic to the product before covering them in it and having them breathe it in. You can do this by applying a tiny amount to the skin on the back of their hand. As long as a rash or skin irritation does not appear after 1-2 hours, you should be okay to continue.
  • Do not put the ointment on or near your baby’s eyes, forehead, or nose to avoid irritation and respiratory distress.
  • If you have any concerns, cease use immediately and contact your pediatrician. If your child is experiencing a severe allergic reaction or respiratory distress, call 911 and seek emergency care right away.  

Alternative Congestion Relief For Babies & Toddlers

is vicks vaposteam safe for toddlers

Whether you have a young infant who is not eligible to use any of the aforementioned products, or you are simply interested in a safe, natural alternative, we have good news!

There are plenty of other ways to help make your baby more comfortable as they fight off their common cold.

Natural Vapor Rub For Babies

Why not make your own vapor rub ointment for your baby? This way, you know exactly what you are putting on their skin. All you need is:

  • Two tablespoons of beeswax.
  • Some eucalyptus oil.
  • Some coconut oil. 

Simply melt the wax, add a few drops (not more than four) of the essential oil, and one tablespoon of the coconut oil.

Then, it’s as easy as mixing it together and storing it in an air-tight container. You can refrigerate the mixture for a cooling effect, but this is not necessary.  

Disclaimer: Make sure that you are using high-quality, pure essential oils when making ointment from your baby, and follow the same precautions as you would with the BabyRub to avoid ingestion.

In the United States, essential oils are not regulated by the FDA, meaning they are not guaranteed to be safe for consumption, no matter what you may read online.

Topical use is okay in most circumstances, but you can always consult your doctor if you have any questions. Overly repetitive use may cause airway irritation.

Saline Nasal Drops For Babies

Lots of saline nasal drops are safe for infants! After using a common syringe or “snot sucker” to clear your baby’s nasal passages, you can likely use an over-the-counter saline nasal drop.

Ask your doctor to recommend one that is safe for young children, or look at the approved ages on your standard drug store brands and be sure to follow safe-use instructions precisely.

Vaporizers And Humidifiers For Babies

A plain old humidifier will have many of the same benefits as VapoSteam, without the extra (unsafe) ingredients.

A cool-mist humidifier is safe for babies since there is no risk of burns, and the added moisture can soothe irritation in the nose and throat and relieve headaches without the worry.

Conclusion

At the end of the day, choosing a cold relief product that is safe for your baby is of the utmost importance.

Taking the time to understand the ins and outs of a product, safe use instructions, and the alternative options is already a huge success- so congratulations, mama!

All that’s left to do is consult with your pediatrician and choose the cold relief option that is right for your baby. Before you know it, your baby’s cold will be over, and you’ll feel confident that you can make him/her comfortable in a breeze the next time they get sick.