In 2015, I served as a contract copywriter for Ovia Health. I created customizable content for Ovia Parenting: a social app for iOS and Android that was officially launched in October of 2016. Designed for new moms and dads, Ovia Health offers each user a curated stream of articles covering everything from their baby's first teeth to security objects. I worked with Head of Content Andy Blackett and Co-founder/Chief Product & Marketing Officer Gina Nebesar to identify the most effective voice for the articles and an expedient production schedule.
A pair of articles that I authored is viewable below. (The name "Salter" is substituted for [your baby] and all gender pronouns.)
I. When can I move baby to the big tub?
Baby baths are cute and convenient early on, but sooner or later, Salter will look past the walls of his plastic tub with the flinty gaze of a fishing boat captain and wonder what uncharted waters await beyond. That, or Salter will outgrow his fun-size bath spot. Either way, at some point you'll need to start washing Salter in a regular bath tub. And when that time comes, you can make the transition easier for both of you by sticking to these baby-centric traditions for the high seas.
Provide a captain's chair
Many parents will start the baby-bath-to-big-tub transition once their babies are able to sit independently for short periods of time, which might happen around 7 months after birth. But since there's so much space in a grown-up tub, even the parents of strong sitters sometimes add a baby bath seat to the tub floor. Not only will a bath seat offer Salter plenty of support, it will also keep him from laying down or crawling around in the tub.
All hands on deck!
Baby bath time needs to be supervised at all times, especially when the bath tub itself is designed for adults. Big tubs present some potential hazards such as water level and on-demand water that can range from icy to scalding. For Salter's first big-time baths, fill up the tub with no more than 1 to 2 inches of lukewarm water, as any more could frighten or shock him off-balance from his seated position. And if the temperature is hot to touch for you, there's no doubt it's too hot for Salter's sensitive skin.
Stick to clear waters
By the time Salter has comfortably settled into the big tub, you can keep the cleaning routine simple and safe by using only tear-free soaps and shampoos that are specifically designed for infants. This way, when he splashes some bath water around the tub, the odds of getting irritating soap residue in his eyes will be comfortably low.
II. When will baby's teeth start coming in?
Most babies experience teething by the time they’re 4 to 7 months old, though this can vary widely. 1 of every 2,000 to 3,000 babies is born with teeth, and many dentists aren’t concerned until teeth still haven't erupted by 16 months. The front teeth come first and the molars usually show up last, over a gradual timeline of 3 years.
But once any tooth starts to emerge, chances are Salter will let you know, loudly! Each primary tooth typically takes between 3 and 5 days to push through the gums, and depending on the baby, this process can range from painless to downright disagreeable. You might notice swelling around his gums, excessive drooling (and possible accompanying dry skin), and a change in his appetite, or Salter might simply seem a little fussier than normal. Other classic signs of teething include chewing or gnawing on things, or pulling on his ear as a way to try to relieve the pressure of teething pain. Diarrhea, rashes, and fever are not signs of teething, and should be treated as possible signs of illness.
Babies under 6 months should not be given topical, over the counter remedies like Orajel. Some parents choose to avoid them altogether. These medications can be accidentally swallowed, and the numbing effect in the throat can lead to a choking risk. Thankfully, teething can also be treated with some simple yet soothing home remedies instead.
Go for the gums
Because gum soreness can be the most uncomfortable symptom of teething, many parents find that gently massaging their babies' irritated gums with a clean finger can temporarily numb the pain.
A change in sensation can distract Salter from teething pain. Come mealtime, try offering Salter some chilled water in a bottle (if he has passed the 6-month mark). You can also cool down his food by refrigerating it before mealtime, or by pressing gently on swollen gums with a finger, cool spoon, or wet gauze.
Put a ring on it
A teething ring can be a fantastic stress reliever for both you and Salter. After all, once the first primary tooth emerges, Salter will want to put it to use! Having a soft ring to chew on will keep him happily occupied while the rest of the teeth make their entrance. Even better, you can place the teething ring in the freezer for a cool treat.
When all else fails, sometimes a hefty helping of love can bring Salter to a happier place. After all, a well-timed hug or kiss can melt our stress away well into adulthood. Why not try it when the teething gets tough?