Share this post:

Share on email
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

Planning and Nesting: What do you actually need?

©MFMER

The pop-up ads will start soon after the positive pregnancy test. You must have this safety feature! Your baby cannot survive without that gadget! Co-hosts Angela Mattke, M.D., and Nipunie Rajapakse M.D., sort out what you actually need from what you don’t, what to look for — and look out for — and why it matters. Topics include a wide variety of products, including:

*          Pacifiers

*          Sleep sacks

*          Exercise balls

*          Cribs

*          Car seats

*          Baby monitors

*          Strollers

 

Read the transcript:

Dr. Angela Mattke:

Welcome to the “Mayo Clinic Moms” podcast. We’re having candid conversations and answering difficult questions about pregnancy, raising kids, and everything mom-related. I’m Dr. Angela Mattke, and I’m a mom of two and a pediatrician at Mayo Clinic Children’s Center in Rochester, Minnesota. My co-host is Dr. Nipunie Rajapakse, who’s a pediatric infectious disease doctor, also at Mayo Clinic, and is also pregnant.

Dr. Nipunie Rajapakse:

On today’s episode, we’re going to talk about what you need for the baby and what you don’t. I feel like from the moment that I saw those two lines on the pregnancy test, I have been absolutely bombarded by ads telling me that I can’t live without certain things. Angie, you’ve done this a couple times before. I want to hear from you–what do I actually need, and what can I do without?

Dr. Angela Mattke:

Oh! That’s such a good question, because sometimes you will end up with a bunch of things that you never use, and it doesn’t matter who you ask. Everyone’s going to tell you something different, and there’s not research on this. Since we’re doctors, we always want to know–what’s the research that I actually need? This is all opinion–my expert opinion; that’s what we call it in medicine. It’ll be expert opinion, which is a level of evidence. We could not live without these three things. The first one’s going to be controversial, but it was a pacifier. Okay, so my first child, from the moment he came out, wanted to suck, and he still sucks everything and he is old now. Everything goes in his mouth, and he wanted to breastfeed 24/7 and that just does not work.

A pacifier was needed, and actually the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that if you haven’t already introduced a pacifier by two weeks of age, to introduce it because there is an associated decreased risk of sudden infant death syndrome. Establish breastfeeding first or your feeding plan and then introduce a pacifier later. Or in my case, being pragmatic, I introduced it early on because that was the only way I was going to survive. And you need a lot of pacifiers. Do you have any pets in the home?

Dr. Nipunie Rajapakse:

We do not.

Dr. Angela Mattke:

Oh my gosh. My cat was a pacifier thief.

Dr. Nipunie Rajapakse:

Oh, goodness.

Dr. Angela Mattke:

He could get cupboards open or anything, looking for these pacifiers. I don’t know what the deal was. It was like a cat magnet. I had to have a special, Tupperware container that was cat-proof. You can’t make this up. My cat couldn’t get into it, but the pacifiers are everywhere. And in the middle of the night, when you need a pacifier, there’s going to be 85 of them behind the crib that you can’t get to. When you move the crib, you’ll be like, “That’s where all the pacifiers went.” You need a couple different varieties, sometimes people will say, because you don’t know which one your baby’s going to like. I always like the circle or oval ones that’re very similar to a nipple. If you’re breastfeeding, it’s going to be a little bit different than the ones that kind of mold to their mouth and stuff like that. Some people swear by one or the other. You’ll see what your baby likes. At our hospital, they’ll give you the little circle ones, if they do give them to you. But I had to sneak some of them from the hospital. The second thing is a sleep sack. We want babies to not be having excessive bedding or excessive clothes, things that can be a suffocation risk for their safe sleep, but a sleep sack usually has some type of zipper. And then it’s a straitjacket on top.

Dr. Nipunie Rajapakse:

Can’t move.

Dr. Angela Mattke:

Yes. It’s got to be a straitjacket, but only on top. The key is you do not swaddle their hips or anything below their chest. The reason is that increases the risk of development of developmental dysplasia of the hips. Babies like to have their hips flexed, so pulled up and kind of rotated out. And that’s a good, healthy position for the development of the head of the leg, the femur, in the acetabulum. We want them to develop a really nice, healthy hip in that area. You swaddle them here and you swaddle them with their arms down. Always with the arms down…every parent tells me, “They don’t like it that way.” And I’m like, “Well, if you want your baby to sleep”. Honestly – again, mom-hat, not doctor-hat–because babies have this natural startle reflex. And that does not go away for many, many months.

It’s something that was developmentally and evolutionarily very helpful. As soon as they hear anything or even in their sleep, as they go through different stages of sleep, they will startle themselves awake, and they’ll cry. Anytime they’re going to go through a different stage of sleep, they have an arousal period, and they’re going to startle themselves awake. If you want to sleep, you swaddle their arms down only, not their legs. And you always put them to sleep on their back. Buy some sleep sacks with a straitjacket style.

Dr. Nipunie Rajapakse:

Sounds good. Okay. Add those to our list.

Dr. Angela Mattke:

Those were a lifesaver. You can’t swaddle with their arms down, or you shouldn’t be swaddling tight after about two months of age because of the risk of them rolling to their side or being in the prone position where they’re going face down.

Dr. Nipunie Rajapakse:

Right.

Dr. Angela Mattke:

That is going to increase their risk of potentially suffocating. Around two months of age, you need to start weaning them off. The other key thing, and this is weird; people listening are probably going to wonder what I’m talking about, but for anybody out there who’s had a colicky baby, this is clutch – we had an exercise ball.

Dr. Nipunie Rajapakse:

Oh, no way!

Dr. Angela Mattke:

Yeah. Babies like that up-and-down bouncy movement. Think about when you’re walking: up and down, the baby’s going up and down. They’re used to that. They’re not necessarily used to the back-and-forth. They like the bouncing up and down, and there’s even some fancy machines that you can buy that go up and down instead of doing the side-to-side sort of thing. We just used our exercise ball from our little workout area. And we bounced on it so much for nine months straight.

But also, it’s very good for pelvic floor rehab. Bonus there, especially after vaginal delivery–so those were the three things that I couldn’t live without because I had a colicky baby–but anything you could bounce in. Sometimes a carrier, anything that’s going to allow you to be hands-free but in a safe position. With some of the carriers, there are concerns for potential asphyxiation or not being able to breathe well. Making sure that your baby’s airway is open is going to be important in that situation.

Dr. Nipunie Rajapakse:

Especially in those first few months where they–

Dr. Angela Mattke:

They don’t have good control. As they get older, it becomes less of a concern.

Dr. Nipunie Rajapakse:

Yeah. So that’s great. We’ll definitely add all of those to our list of things.

Dr. Angela Mattke:

I can just loan you my exercise ball.

Dr. Nipunie Rajapakse:

That’s true. Maybe I can borrow some of those from you. Obviously, we need a safe place for the baby to sleep. What can you tell me about safe sleep?

Dr. Angela Mattke:

It can be anything that’s flat without any extra fluffy stuff–bumpers, we don’t need them. They don’t need big fluffy blankets that everyone makes for you that are beautiful and very kind, but they are not safe. In Finland, have you heard about what they do there?

Dr. Nipunie Rajapakse:

No, I haven’t.

Dr. Angela Mattke:

Every baby in Finland, for over 75 years or more, when [moms] are pregnant, they get a cardboard box. And they encourage the babies to sleep in cardboard boxes. They have very, very low rates of sudden infant death syndrome. It comes loaded with a bunch of other things now. It’s their “Welcome to Finland as a Baby” package; but it can be a flat cardboard box, as long as it’s something that’s safe and separate from where you are sleeping. We recommend co-rooming. Sleeping in the same room for at least the first six months, if not first year of life, which we’ll get into later, but not co-bedding. Sleeping in the same bed presents risk of falling asleep, rolling over, asphyxiating your baby–all those things. Pick some kind of safe place. It can be a bassinet. It could be some type of portable play yard, like a pack-and-play. It could be a crib, something hard, a firm mattress, and you’re good.

Dr. Nipunie Rajapakse:

Yeah. Sounds good. What about car seats? We’ve started to look at some of the sites and there are so many different things to look at and choose from. What are the key things that I need to think about for these?

Dr. Angela Mattke:

Yeah. Most parents in the beginning use the infant carrier where you can pick them up and carry them around. And those are all going to be rear-facing. The key thing is that you don’t buy a used car seat. You don’t want to use a car seat that’s been in a crash because you don’t know about the safety of it. You also want to make sure that it’s not expired when you get it. It’s not an interesting gimmick to sell more car seats because you’re not really buying them that often. It’s that the quality of the materials can break down over time. There’s usually an expiration date. The big thing about car seats is to learn how to install them correctly, and learn how to put your infant in them correctly. Some really scary statistics, and I’m sure that I have been included in this–94% of infants are not properly installed in their car seats. Whether it’s how the car seat is installed or the belts, the snaps, everything–94% are not.

Dr. Nipunie Rajapakse:

Not?! Oh, wow.

Dr. Angela Mattke:

Six percent of parents are doing it correctly. Pretty much all of us are in that boat. And then if you look at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Board, the United States says about 50% or so of car seats are not installed correctly. The other one was looking at the infant carriers, whether the infants are in them correctly or not. Either way, the statistics are not good. There are car seat classes. There are car seat checkup clinics you can go to that are usually free.

Dr. Nipunie Rajapakse:

Yeah. I saw, actually, they sent us in some of our second trimester pregnancy information; there was a listing of the car seat clinics. And the one in our area is literally down the street at one of the fire stations.

Dr. Angela Mattke:

It’s great. I did that. You can search it online and find out where you can find this in your local neighborhood, often at fire stations or hospitals or things like that. But they’re really, really helpful. Be prepared. You’re going to have to completely uninstall it and install it in front of them.

Dr. Nipunie Rajapakse:

Oh, really? It said it took a little bit of time. I was wondering.

Dr. Angela Mattke:

And you have to bring the kids with you. But I definitely do recommend that. It was eye-opening.

Dr. Nipunie Rajapakse:

Yeah. It seems to me, just thinking about it, I’m like, “Oh, how hard could it be?”. But clearly, many people are managing to do it wrong.

Dr. Angela Mattke:

Interesting story. I remember when we were installing our first infant car seat with our child. My husband and I are both doctors. We’ve had a good amount of education, but that does not mean you can install car seats correctly in any way, shape, or form. I remember getting in a pretty good fight about it because neither of us looked at the instruction manual when we did it; we thought it would just be simple. And then we eventually pulled out the instruction manual, watched a video, and then installed the car seat.

Dr. Nipunie Rajapakse:

I feel like this should be taught to us in medical school or something. It seems like a critical skill.

Dr. Angela Mattke:

As pediatricians, parents do expect that we know all this stuff, so I do know it now because that’s what I do. I’m a primary care doctor. But it was not intuitive. You’re not born knowing this stuff.

Dr. Nipunie Rajapakse:

Yes. What about baby monitors? Again, I’ve been seeing a lot, some with sound, some with video, things that you can attach to the baby to monitor their heart rate and their oxygen saturations. Do I need all of these things? Will they make my baby safer? What are your thoughts on this?

Dr. Angela Mattke:

Yeah. Good question. We do recommend that you’re going to be co-rooming with the infant. You might not need it while they’re sleeping at night, but you might need it for nap time. It’s pretty helpful to know when the infant’s asleep or when they’re not, or especially when they get a little bit older, and you’re trying to do some sleep training to see when you really need to go in, versus when it’s not as emergent of a situation. For us, when we did sleep training, it was the level of threshold. Eventually it was, “Did they vomit because they were so excited or, not?”. I loved my video monitors. I loved them. I never did any of those cardiorespiratory monitors that monitor oxygen saturation and heart rate. In general, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends against those, even though there are claims that they do prevent sudden infant death syndrome.

When you look at it in actual studies, it really hasn’t born out. There’s also something called alarm fatigue. Something’s constantly going off. You start to ignore it. I mean, we see this all the time in ICU settings and stuff like that, where all we constantly hear are beeping and alarms going off because you assume it’s not something real. I wouldn’t say that you need to have those. Every family can pick what they want. Sometimes just having that extra level of comfort may help them, but I’m not sure that the evidence actually bears out that it will completely, say, prevent your child from sudden infant death syndrome.

Dr. Nipunie Rajapakse:

Yeah. And I can imagine every time the thing goes off, I think I’m going to be feeling kind of anxious as well. Most of the time it ends up just being–it’s not picking up really.

Dr. Angela Mattke:

It’s not picking up, right. As we know in the hospital, majority of the time, it’s not picking up right. And, in fact, with bronchiolitis and RSV infections, the recommendation is not to have continuous pulse oximetry because everyone looks at the number and not the child … it led to a lot of overtreatments in the hospital setting. Imagine the kind of increased anxiety it’s going to give to a parent.

Dr. Nipunie Rajapakse:

Yeah. Well, that makes sense. We’re due in the winter. I think it’s going to be a little bit challenging to be outside in Minnesota in December, in January. But I’m looking at things like strollers. If we want to go out for a walk or something like that, any advice or tips you have on picking one?

Dr. Angela Mattke:

I think strollers are great. Getting one that you can attach to your infant carrier to is going to be helpful because in the beginning, especially if it’s winter, you don’t want to take the baby out of that; some families will just start with a convertible car seat that’s installed, and you don’t take and carry that into places. But one that you can put an adapter onto is very helpful. We used a jogging stroller because we like to run. We like to exercise. It could be dual purposes. Those tend to be a little bit heavier duty; they’re heavier. That’s a downside. They’re a little bit harder to transport than some of the lighter ones you can just fold up and take with you. But I do think most families find strollers are helpful. If you like to travel and other things, it’s pretty helpful because you can’t just carry the infant all the time.

Dr. Nipunie Rajapakse:

Build up some pretty big arm muscles doing that, though.

INTERMISSION

Dr. Angela Mattke:

Are you thinking about getting pregnant, or maybe you’re a current mom-to-be, or you’re like myself and you’re in the midst of raising kids, and you’re looking for practical evidence-based advice from Mayo Clinic experts? Mayo Clinic Press has got you covered. We have a series of four books, starting from Fertility and Conception to Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy, Guide to Your Baby’s First Years, and the last book in this series, the one I was the medical editor of, Guide to Raising a Healthy Child. You can find these amazing books from Mayo Clinic Press wherever books are sold, or on the Mayo Clinic Press website.

BACK TO THE SHOW

Dr. Nipunie Rajapakse:

When babies come, you need a lot of accessories to take them out anywhere it sounds like, at least from what I’ve seen.

Dr. Angela Mattke:

The whole house, you pack the whole house with you.

Dr. Nipunie Rajapakse:

Yeah, exactly. What do you pack the house into? What kinds of diaper bags and what features did you find helpful?

Dr. Angela Mattke:

Oh, this is so interesting. I’m not like a purse lady per se, but there are a lot of really cute ones out there. I think this is totally a personal preference, but you do need something to put some stuff in. Sometimes with subsequent children, you’ll see people don’t even carry them because they’re just grabbing the kids and going–they don’t even have room for it. We had an over-the-shoulder one, and I ended up switching to a backpack one because, especially as we had more kids, I don’t have the opportunity for it to slip off of my shoulder. I can just put it on and go. I really, really love the backpack option. I think it was great. Having one that had a little built-in cooler was pretty fantastic for breast milk.

Definitely not necessary. You can have a little cooler that you slip into it, but the clutch thing is what do you need to put in that diaper bag? Having some type of plastic bag is really key because you’re going to have blowouts. You’re going to have poop and pee and vomit and all the above. If you travel and if you’re flying, you need a lot of them because sometimes there are a lot of things that happen on that flight. From personal experience–too many times to count. I would always take a Ziploc baggie and pack their clothes in it real tight, shrink it down. I had lots of Ziploc baggies, so I’d have a clean change of clothes, and I’d put the dirty ones in that.

Dr. Nipunie Rajapakse:

Oh, nice! Yeah, that’s great.

Dr. Angela Mattke:

Another mom sent that tip on to me, one of my patients, and I’ve used it ever since. You need the wipes in there. You need your diapers, change of clothes, change of clothes, change of clothes. I don’t know how many times to tell you that because it’s going to happen. Probably having some diaper cream in there. Some snacks for you is going to be key. Maybe a couple toys, and then pretty soon, it becomes your purse too. Just so you know.

Dr. Nipunie Rajapakse:

Everything else ends up in there as well. There are a lot of accessories that I’ve seen that are out there to help with sleep. Sound machines have been one that I seem to be getting a lot of advertising for as well. What are your thoughts on those? Do you use one? Do you think they’re helpful?

Dr. Angela Mattke:

Yep. Game changer.

Dr. Nipunie Rajapakse:

Yeah? Okay.

Dr. Angela Mattke:

Yep. But you don’t need any quiet, sweet, little lullaby. You need like a 747. You need something loud. I mean, it can be a fan. You don’t need to go buy one of these. Just put a fan in. But I know, in some cultures, actually having a fan while you’re sleeping is something that is concerning. Whatever you’re most comfortable with–but yeah. We have sound machines. I still travel with sound machines. I don’t know what it is about medicine. I had to start sleeping with a sound machine in residency. I think you’re always waiting for that pager to go off.

Dr. Nipunie Rajapakse:

Oh, probably.

Dr. Angela Mattke:

My kids’ sound machines are huge, because then they’re not going to be waking up at every little startle. Remember that startle reflex we talked about previously in our other episodes? They’re used to the loud sounds inside your body–your heartbeat and those kinds of things.

Dr. Nipunie Rajapakse:

Would be comforting for them and will be nice to not have to tiptoe around whenever they’re sleeping as well. Hopefully we’ll cover up a bit of that ambient noise also. That was all super helpful. I think a lot of things for us to add to our list, and I’m sure I’ll be hitting you up for some more tips and advice on that as well. Our current place right now is relatively small. We don’t really have a great space for a nursery because our spare bedroom is actually on a different level than our bedroom. Do I need a nursery, or what are your thoughts?

Dr. Angela Mattke:

Oh, so interesting. In different parts of the world too, some families always sleep in the same room. But going back to the American Academy of Pediatrics’ recommendations for safe sleep, to reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome, is to co-room for a year. A year–let’s just let that sink in. You’re sleeping in the same room as your infant for a year because it has been shown to decrease the risk of SIDS by almost 50%–and the greatest risk for sudden infant death syndrome is really in those first four months but can occur later as well. This recommendation was not a hard recommendation when my kids were born, but I had read the data because it was a soft recommendation in their policy. I read all the studies, and I could not sleep with my kids in my room–every little sound I was attuned to. I never slept. Sleep deprivation is a form of torture, and I was not sleeping. If you don’t sleep, your mood and everything is going to be worse.

Eventually, my kids did get moved earlier than four months. That’s maybe where that nursery comes in. Long story to summarize your question–you’re probably, eventually, especially in the United States, traditionally, kids will eventually sleep in their own room, which is a good thing. When those recommendations came out as a hard recommendation, there were some studies that looked at, “How does this affect everyone’s sleep?”. What they found–and not surprising–is everyone sleeps worse. This was the 2017 study from pediatrics–and babies don’t sleep as well. Parents don’t sleep as well. So, there’s a trade-off of that. Co-rooming together, parents are going to be more likely to wake up if something is going wrong, but also, there’s the risk of poor sleep and what that does for your mental and physical health as well. People will need to balance that. Another benefit of room sharing in the first couple months is it promotes breastfeeding. It’s a lot easier to breastfeed while your baby is in the room with you and whatnot, but generally the recommendations are to co-room. But you’re going to probably want to move that baby later. You might want to be thinking about nursing, but you might not need it right away in the beginning, is basically the short answer.

Dr. Nipunie Rajapakse:

Great. Sounds good. Actually, I’ve been reading a bit about different cultures and parenting and some of the different philosophies around things like infant sleep and where they sleep and how they sleep. It’s really interesting to see that there are a lot of different approaches to it and recommendations in different countries.

Dr. Angela Mattke:

Yes, very different.

Dr. Nipunie Rajapakse:

Can be quite variable as well. Very much so. One more relates to diapers. I thought [this] would be a relatively simple decision to make, but it seems like for all of these things now, there are multiple options to choose from. There are cloth diapers, there are disposable diapers, and now there’s even an in-between kind of hybrid of cloth and disposable that you can get as well. What are some of the benefits and downsides of the different options here?

Dr. Angela Mattke:

Oh, yeah, so this is a hot topic. I’m going to get killed for this one. I went with disposable. I did research before because I really want to make sure I’m looking at my carbon footprint, but they both have a similar effect on your carbon footprint from the research that I saw, but for different reasons.

Dr. Nipunie Rajapakse:

Yeah, I was surprised by this as well because I thought for sure cloth was going to be the environmentally friendly way to go.

Dr. Angela Mattke:

Yeah, but then when you start to think about how there’s a higher amount of toxic waste; that can have an impact on human health. Electricity, water use, detergent, softeners used to wash them. That adds up, but then you have the carbon footprint with disposables and the impact on ozone depletion to think about with all the disposable diapers. I ended up going with disposables. My sister went with the cloth diapers; I think to each their own–everyone choose what works for them. Cloth diapers eventually may be less expensive. That’s another benefit. It is a higher cost upfront but maybe lower costs later, especially if you’re using them for multiple children. Something else to think about. The new cloth diapers are incredibly absorbable. I think with all cloth diapers, the ones that we were probably raised with, there was a lot more diaper rashes. They were not very absorbable. The disposable diapers are incredibly absorbent. They’re pretty good with diaper rashes and things like that. I find that most people that use cloth diapers will have some disposables available too, for certain situations or travel or when the kid’s sick and they have diarrhea.

Dr. Nipunie Rajapakse:

Okay. Sounds good. But are you aware of anything to suggest that there’s a major kind of health implication between the two options? I haven’t seen anything.

Dr. Angela Mattke:

I’m not aware of that. No, I haven’t seen anything. I think it’s more of a personal preference that people decide.

Dr. Nipunie Rajapakse:

Yeah. Sounds good. Hopefully, obviously, we all hope the baby won’t get sick with anything, but are there medications that you recommend keeping at home on hand, just in case we need to?

Dr. Angela Mattke:

All infants are going to need to be on vitamin D, whether they’re formula-fed or breast milk or breastfed, usually because they need to have 32 ounces of formula per day to get enough vitamin D in their diet. They need 400 IU, or international units, per day of vitamin D supplementation. Breast milk does not have very much in it, so they’re always going to need to be supplemented. If they’re up to 32 ounces a day of formula, you can stop the vitamin D. I would just pick that up now and have on hand. You don’t need to start it the first day, but you need to get started within the first couple weeks or so after feeding is well-established and going well. Pick that up. I would have some infant acetaminophen available, also known as Tylenol, and other kind of brand names.

There are things like grape water or gas drops, which is known as simethicone. I never bought that stuff because when you look at it in studies, it’s not been shown to be better than placebo when parents are blinded to whether they’re giving it, but some parents absolutely swear by it. I think the risk is very low. They’re safe to give to your infants. If you feel that your infant’s very fussy, colicky or having lots of gas, you certainly could try those things to see if they’re helpful. Newsflash: all infants are fussy. Okay? And I think that’s one thing parents aren’t expecting for. They’re going to have little tummy aches, and that’s normal. They don’t have a lot of gut microbiome. You probably know more about this than I do, but they’re going to be establishing that over the first couple months and stuff. Digestion is a little bit different. But just expect that your baby’s going to have a little bit of discomfort. If they have a lot, certainly go ahead and try it, but, you know, a little bit is resilience-building, right?

Dr. Nipunie Rajapakse:

Yes.

Dr. Angela Mattke:

There are some other things, like diaper creams to have on hand. I recommend usually anything with 40% zinc oxide content. There are lots of different brands, but that’s going to be a lot more water impermeable than something else to really create a barrier on your skin. Most parents do not put that on thick enough. I usually say put it on like it’s frosting, or I’ll say a quarter inch thick, because half of that is going to be going on into that super-absorbable diaper, whether it’s cloth or it’s disposable. And then maybe, probiotics, which is a hot-button question. I bet you could answer this even better than I can, but some studies in other countries have shown it decreases the risk of colic. Other studies have not shown it does. There are more studies that have looked at it in premature infants. Anything you know about that?

Dr. Nipunie Rajapakse:

No, I think it’s been on both sides for them. I think, generally, for healthy babies, there’s not really a downside to it. As to whether there’s significant benefit to it, I think we still don’t know, but yeah, definitely something to think about.

Dr. Angela Mattke:

Yeah. I love the analogy. I think some infectious disease doctor said to me once, “Taking probiotics is like putting one type of tree in a rainforest.”

Dr. Nipunie Rajapakse:

Yes. Exactly, yeah.

Dr. Angela Mattke:

There are so many gut microbes, but usually probiotics have one or two or something.

Dr. Nipunie Rajapakse:

Exactly. It’s hard to replicate just a good, healthy variety of bacteria in the digestive system. This is one of the things that we have to try, to do that, but it doesn’t really come close to the normal microbiome that they build up over the first few months, especially.

Dr. Angela Mattke:

One other thing I would add to buy is to have a rectal thermometer and a thermometer available. We tell families that a fever in the first two months of life is going to be an emergency. We want you to be going straight to the emergency department because sometimes fevers in those first two months of life [can be dangerous] for a baby’s immune system, which isn’t really fully up to speed. They’re not immunized yet. It can suggest a serious bacterial infection that can be life-threatening. Then you have one to check. You’re not running out to get it when you’re stressed and your baby’s sick.

Dr. Nipunie Rajapakse:

Right. That’s great. Thank you so much for all of those great tips, Angie. I think it’ll help me to wade through all the different things that are being advertised and thrown my way. And it’s great to hear some of the practical things that you actually ended up using as well.

Dr. Angela Mattke:

You’re welcome. And we’ll get into breastfeeding later–some of the things to have on hand and buy because there’s a lot marketed towards women in that area as well. I know I didn’t hit everything, but those are some good places to start.

Dr. Nipunie Rajapakse:

The highlights.

Dr. Angela Mattke:

Thanks everyone for joining today. Make sure you don’t miss any of our upcoming episodes by subscribing and following along on either Apple Podcasts or Spotify. If you enjoyed this episode and you want other moms out there to hear this valuable information, make sure that you leave a review wherever you listen. Thanks for joining us. We’ll see you next time.

Angela Mattke

Angela C. Mattke, M.D.

Dr. Mattke is the medical editor of Mayo Clinic Guide to Raising a Healthy Child and  a pediatrician in the Division of Community Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine at Mayo Clinic Children’s Center in Rochester, Minnesota.

Nipunie Rajapakse, M.D.

Dr. Rajapakse is a pediatric infectious diseases physician at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. Her clinical focus includes management of pediatric infections. Her primary research interests include studying ways of optimizing antibiotic use in children (antimicrobial stewardship) to decrease antibiotic resistance and other harmful effects. She has worked for the World Health Organization and has an interest in global health and outbreaks of emerging infectious diseases.

Share this post:

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on email
Related Content

Tips for helping kids build resilience

Most parents instinctively recoil when it comes to thoughts of their children facing failure or dealing with a difficult situation. In fact, parents typically think

Comments