This article provides helpful information about expanded newborn screening blood test, preparing your nest, clothing tips, and designing your baby's nursery.
Expanded Newborn Screening Blood Test
Expanded Newborn Screening Blood Test
Every newborn gets a blood test twenty-four hours after birth to check for a variety of inherited conditions that could have a significant impact on an infant's health. These include phenylketonuria, or PKU, and hypothroidism. There is, however, an aspect of this testing that you should consider well in advance of your baby's birth. Currently there is no worldwide or even national standard for deciding what conditions a baby should be tested for. Many states test for only three or four conditions, which is only a fraction of the dozens of genetic and metabolic diseases that can be detected by newborn screening. If these conditions are detected and treated early, in many cases their harmful effects can e prevented. Some states are now offering expanded newborn screening tests for dozens of conditions. If you live in a state that does not offer expanded testing, you can order a testing kit from a commercial lab in advance, and the health care provider can collect blood for the expanded testing at the same time the standard test is done. The cost is usually between $50 and $100. Look for advertisements in pregnancy and childbirth magazines. Many of the cord blood stem cell banks also offer expanded newborn screening.
Preparing Your Nest
You've glanced wishfully through those baby magazines for months, admiring the dazzling colors of designer nurseries, the animal-appliqued bedding and matching ensembles. Now, with birth only weeks away, you too can design your nest and outfit your baby as plain or as fancy as your imagination and budget allow. Just the thought of your baby-to-be brings back the doll-dressing instinct and the spendthrift in you. Pocket your credit cards. You will be amazed how few items you absolutely have to buy.
By the basics. Purchase only what you will need for the first couple of weeks. As soon as baby arrives, so do the gifts. Grandparents splurge and gifts come pouring in from baby showers.
Plan now -- buy later. Make a list of items you need and items you want. Check off the items that you are given or able to borrow, and purchase the rest as the need arises. Periodically update your list according to baby's developmental needs and your strength to resist the tempting delights in the baby-product catalogs.
Buy large. Plan at least one size ahead. Buy a few three-month-sized outfits, but most of baby's early wardrobe should be size six to nine months. Letting baby live with the baggy look is not only more comfortable but gets more mileage from the clothing.
Buy few. Buy only a few of the clothing basics at each stage of development, as the steady stream of gifts will likely continue. Babies outgrow their clothes long before they outwear them, leaving a closet filled with rows of hanging mementos of a state that passed too soon.
Buy safe and comfortable. The beads and buttons on a tight knit outfit may look irresistible in the catalog, but will it be safe and comfortable on baby? Buttons are out; snaps are in. Baby can choke on buttons -- and besides, who has time for them anymore? Also watch out for loose threads and fringes that could catch and strangle baby's fingers and toes, and avoid strings and ribbons longer than eight inches (twenty centimeter) -- they are strangulation hazards.
Choose easy-access clothing. When examining an irresistible outfit, imagine dressing your baby. Does it have easy access to the diaper area? Is the head opening roomy enough, and does it contain neck snaps to make it easy to slip on?
Think cotton. The most comfortable fabric is 100 percent cotton. Many babies find synthetic clothing irritating, yet in order for sleepwear to comply wih federal fire codes, it must be flame-retardant. The good news is that his becoming available in 100 percent cotton.
Designing Your Baby's Nursery.
The patterns are endless -- so is the fun. Hold on to your credit cards as you journey through nursery fantasyland. There is the heirloom look with a four-poster crib that may have housed decades of family babies. You have the country look -- a collection of wicker and patchwork quilts. For he delicate, there is the marshmallow motif, the elegance of white with he soft and puffy feel. An in your vision of the perfect nursery, there is mother, sitting peacefully crib side in her padded rocking chair reading Mother Goose. As you take your fantasy walk down nursery lane, dad may throw in a few plain and simple hints, "I can fix up ---, I can repaint ..., and remember the garage sales."
Undaunted by your quest for the perfect next, you continue leafing through baby-furniture magazines imagining how your precious babe will look in each setting. You're not only feeling soft, you're thinking pretty. Then along comes a friend of yours, an infant stimulator (alias a mother, hip on things baby)who puts a new twist in your soft designs. "Pastels are out, black and white is in," she informs. Ms. Stimulator extols the mind-building virtues of contrasting stripes and dots (which have geen shown to hold baby's attention longer than pastels). She subscribes to all the right baby magazines. You've become confused as to whether a nursery should help by think or sleep. The zebra or Dalmation look is not what you envisioned.
By the time you've been through the nursery mill, you mind is filled with visions of every dazzling color and imaginable motif. Just as you are about to reach the end of your designer rope, you meet a group of experienced parents who know the nursery scene. There is your pediatrician, who admonishes you to, above all, think safety. Dad runs into a seasoned survivor of the shopping scene who suggest you buy the basics and spend the extra money on the mother. Your psychologist friend warns that the terminal dependency that occurs in babies that sleep with their parents, and your mother reminds you that you were one of those high-need babies who wanted to sleep snuggled next to your mom and dad and who was unwilling to join the crib-and-cradle set. It begins to dawn on your: "What's wrong with these nursery pictures? My baby may not be in any of them. Perhaps we should wait to see what the sleep temperament of our baby is."
By now you're still thinking pretty, but practical. "Perhaps we can borrow a crib and splurge on a king-size bed for us." Finally along comes the fairy godmother to add a happy ending to the nursery tale. She advises, "Have fun with your nursery -- that's what it's for."
A wonderful innovation to joining the crib and cradle selection is a co-sleeper, a bedside bassinette that attaches safely and securely to he side of the parents' bed. A co-sleeper allows you and your baby to have separate sleeping space, yet it keeps baby within arm's reach for easy nursing and comforting.
Preparing for Baby
The following checklists should help you get organized as you prepare to welcome a new member into your family. Don't be overwhelmed by a long shopping list of "things" for baby. Most of what your baby really needs you already have -- warm milk, warm hearts, strong arms, and endless patience -- and these don't cost any money.
Outfitting Baby's Layette and Nursery
* Four terry-cloth sleepers
* Three pair of bootees or socks
* Two receiving blankets
* Three undershirts
* Three lightweight tops (kiminos, sacques, and/or gowns)
* Burp cloths (cloth diapers work well - if you can still find them)
As baby grows
* Four rompers (snap-at-the-crotch outfits)
* Two washable bibs
* Outing clothes, according to age and occasion.
* Two hats: sun hat, lightweight with brim; heavier-weight ear-covering hat for cold weather
* Two sweaters, weight according to season
* One bunting with attached mitts for cold weather
* Two blankets, weight according to season
* Packages of disposable diapers (three-dozen)
* Cotton balls, cotton swabs
* Pre-moistened disposable baby wipes/washcloths
* Diaper-rash cream (zinc-oxide type)
* Black and white mobile to hang above changing area
* Four bottles, four-ounce (120-milliliter)
* Four nipples (there are three types: expandable nubbin, standard bulb-type and orthodontic)
* Utensils: tongs, measuring pitchers, spoons, can opener, bottle brush, sterilizing pot
* Three nursing bras
* Breast pads, no plastic lining
* Nursing blouses and dresses
* Baby sling
* Footstool to prop feet while feeding
* Extra pillows, or a nursing pillow
* Two rubber-backed waterproof pads
* Three crib or bassinet sheets
* Soft comforter
* Bassinet blankets, weight according to season
* Two soft washcloths
* Two terry-cloth towels with hoods
* Baby soap and shampoo
* Baby bathtub
* Baby brush and comb
* Baby nail scissors or clippers
Toiletries and Medical Supplies for First Couple of Months
* Mild laundry soap
* Petroleum jelly
* Rectal thermometer
* Antiseptic for cord care
* Nasal aspirator (an ear syringe may be used)
* Antibacterial ointment
* Cotton balls cotton swabs
* Infant acetaminophen
* Vaporizer, type to be recommended by doctor
* Penlight, tongue depressors for checking mouth (sores, thrush and so on)
Nursery Equipment and Furnishings
* Bassinet or cradle, or
* Crib and accessories, or
* Changing table or padded work area
* Changing-table covers, two quilted mattress pads
* Rocking chair
* Storage chest for clothing
* Car-seat cover
* Car-seat head support
* Diaper bag
* Baby sling for carrying baby
* Car seat
Packing for Birth
Clothing for Mother
* Two old bathrobes (count on stains)
* Two nightgowns
* Loose-fitting clothes for going home
* Slippers or scuffs, washable
* Two pair of warm socks
* Two nursing bras (if nursing)
* Nursing gown (if nursing)
* Your favorite pillow
* Watch for timing contractions
* CD player with favorite music
* Massage lotion
* Rubber ball for back rubs
* Snacks, your favorite: lollipops, honey, dried and fresh fruit, juices, granola, sandwiches for father.
* Soap, deodorant, shampoo, conditioner (avoid perfumes; may upset baby)
* Hairbrush, hairdryer
* Toothbrush, toothpaste
* Sanitary napkins (supplied by hospital)
* Glasses or contact lenses
Homecoming Clothes for Baby
* One undershirt
* Socks or booties
* Receiving blanket
* One sacque or gown
* Bunting and heavy blanket if cold weather
* Infant car seat
* Diapers for going home
* Video and regular camera
* Insurance forms
* Hospital pre-admittance forms
* Cell phone
* Address book
* Favorite book and magazines
* "Birthday" gift for sibling(s)
There will be more articles on infantsFree Web Content, breast or bottle feeding and other related topics to follow. So please keep an eye out for more of my articles.