Savannah pediatricians answer questions, provide a start guide for diaper bag

Savannah pediatricians Dr. Ben Spitalnick and Dr. Keith Seibert, authors of the new book “Baby Care Anywhere: A Quick Guide to Parenting on the Go” (American Academy of Pediatrics, July 2015, $12.95), is a simple-to-read book with answers to questions that get straight to the point.

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It addresses common baby questions including what to do if your baby has colic; how to properly give your newborn a bath and what is thrush and how to treat it.  Spitalnick and Keith Seibert will be at a book signing in Savannah on Sunday, Sept. 20 at Barnes and Noble (Ogelthorpe Mall, 784 Abercorn Ext. 72. Savannah, GA 31406. The event starts at 2 p.m.

The book also covers the essential items to always have with you in a diaper bag. The AJC recently connected with Spitalnick and Seibert asking them to provide a quick start guide for the diaper bag. They provided the following via e-mail:

To first time parents, the “diaper bag” is probably a new concept.  It’s more than just a bag for diapers…it’s the travel companion for your baby, that should contain all the things you might need when away from home base.  And by everything, this should include items someone else (less prepared than you) may need in the event of a “baby handoff”, whether to a spouse, grandparent, sitter, etc.  The list below is a starting point, use it as either the foundation for starting your own bag…or the inspiration for a really helpful customized baby shower gift!  And with time, you may find items to take away, or to add.

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To start, diaper changing time comes with a little preparation:

·       Diapers- well of course.  The key here is to have several more than you think you will need.  Especially with your first visits to the pediatrician, you may be surprised that the “stimulation” of temperature taking can produce several more dirty diapers than you are used to seeing.  Also, diapers are the one item you need to restock every time you get home if you used any, and not “dip into” the bag for home diaper changes, or indeed you will find your supply empty when you are furthest from your supply.

·       Plastic baggies– as you may not always be somewhere that you can, or will want to, dispose of a freshly soiled diaper.

·       Diaper changing pad– this helps ensure your baby will always be able to lie on a clean, and cleanable, surface; and your friends will appreciate a barrier between the diaper change and their carpet.

·       Diaper cream, ointment, powder, or whatever your choice of rash remedy may be, just in case.

Beyond diaper change items however, the diaper bag should carry all the items you may need to get through both a normal day, and unusual circumstances.

·       If breastfeeding, a nursing cover for you, and a burp cloth for your baby.

·       If bottle-feeding, you will still want the burp cloth (and a bib if you have a messy feeder), but also bottles and formula.  You will probably find it easier to have pre-measured powder packaged and ready, so all that’s left is to add water; dry powder takes up much less space, is lighter, and lasts longer than ready-to-feed mixed formula.

·       Snacks or baby food, if your baby is old enough for these.

·       An extra outfit or two for your baby- no telling what kind of messes lie ahead.  And pajamas are handy, in case you end up staying out later that your baby’s usual bedtime.  You will appreciate the ease of slipping your sleeping baby into the crib when you get home, without risking waking her up for a clothing change.  Also, a large plastic bag is helpful for storage of wet/dirty clothes.

·       Books, toys, or other distraction items.  These are especially handy at restaurants, in waiting rooms, and anywhere that requires an unknown length of sitting still.  Also, a small blanket is handy for a surface to lie on for play time.

·       Hand sanitizer– you may already keep some in your purse, but it’s good to have extra in case, especially after diaper changes, and before/after feedings.

·       Extra pacifiers, if your baby uses one.  Those seem to find a way of disappearing, the moment you turn your back, often never to be found again.

·       Just-in-case sick items, as your baby may show signs of illness when you are furthest from home.  Basics to keep in your diaper bag include a thermometer, fever reducing medicines (acetaminophen or ibuprofen, depending on your baby’s age and the advice of your pediatrician), and gas drops if you are using them (again, with the advice of your pediatrician).


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