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How your baby's growing
Your baby has been able to recognize you since he was just a few days old, but now he may actually be able to show it. About half of babies this age begin to exhibit an obvious recognition of their parents.
Your baby will probably continue to smile at strangers, especially when they look him straight in the eye and coo or talk to him. But he's starting to sort out who's who in his life, and he definitely prefers you, your partner, and perhaps a few others.
Your baby may quiet down and make eye contact with you, or he may search for you in a room and move his arms in excitement or smile when he sees you. He may even find your scent calming and comforting.
- Learn more fascinating facts about your 3-month-old's development.
Your life: When the baby blues don't pass
Do you feel anxious and moody a lot but chalk it up to new-mom nerves? As the weeks go by, has your partner or a friend wondered if your "baby blues" may be more serious? Don't let embarrassment or pride keep you from talking with your doctor. About 10 to 15 percent of women develop symptoms of depression or anxiety after having a baby.
If you're still not feeling like yourself three months after giving birth, take our postpartum depression quiz. Alternatively, ask yourself the following questions, which were developed by the Postpartum Stress Center in Rosemont, Pennsylvania. Do you:
- have trouble sleeping?
- feel exhausted most of the time?
- have less of an appetite?
- worry about little things that never used to bother you?
- wonder whether you'll ever have time to yourself again?
- think your children would be better off without you?
- worry your partner will get tired of you feeling this way?
- snap at your partner and children frequently?
- think other moms are better mothers than you are?
- cry over small things?
- no longer enjoy the things you used to enjoy?
- isolate yourself from your friends and neighbors?
- fear leaving the house or being alone?
- have anxiety attacks?
- have unexplained anger?
- have difficulty concentrating?
- think something is wrong with you?
- feel like you'll always feel this way and never get better?
If you answered yes to three or more questions, the Postpartum Stress Center recommends that you seek advice and treatment.
Learn about: Diaper rash
What causes it?
The telltale reddish rough skin of diaper rash is usually caused by wetness and chafing. Urine or stool trapped for long periods in the diaper area causes irritation and the growth of bacteria or yeast. Sometimes a skin infection (dermatitis) can result. Less often, the diaper itself, its fragrance, or baby wipes may cause the irritation. (Try changing brands to see if that solves the problem.)
How can I make it go away?
Dryness is the cure for garden-variety diaper rash. Change your baby's diaper frequently – don't let her wait around in a dirty or wet one. Apply diaper-rash cream to create a barrier between your baby's skin and the waste products that cause irritation and infection. Try a cream that contains white zinc oxide – these are thicker than petroleum jelly, stay on the skin longer, and provide more protection, and they don't need to be removed entirely at each diaper change.
Instead of wipes, try using plain warm water in a squirt bottle to clean your baby's diaper area without rubbing. When your baby needs a more thorough cleaning, use a soft cloth or cotton pad and wipe gently but thoroughly. You can use a mild soap with no added fragrance. Then allow your baby's skin to air-dry or use a blow-dryer on a low setting. Another idea: Let your baby play bare-bottomed for a while in a crib or play yard. You can put a waterproof pad down for protection if you want.
In cases of severe rash caused by yeast, you can use an over-the-counter yeast cream, but it's a good idea to check with your doctor first. Call the doctor if the diaper rash gets worse, persists for more than a few days, or is accompanied by large sores.
How can I prevent diaper rash?
Keeping your baby dry, clean, and cool is the surest way to avoid diaper rash. Change your baby often and clean the genital area thoroughly. But avoid overcleaning with wipes that may irritate the skin.
Make sure your baby's diapers aren't too tight. Leave space for air to circulate around her bottom.
If you're breastfeeding, continue as long as you can, as breast milk changes the pH of your baby's urine and stool, making diaper rash less likely. Studies support this finding, suggesting that babies who are breastfed and wear disposable diapers have fewer rashes.
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