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Important Information for Parents


What is it?

Babies cry for many reasons and some cry more than others

  • Usually crying peaks around 3-12 weeks of age; and lessens by 3-4months

Remember to:

  • Stay calm
  • Call someone to help if you need a break
  • Never shake, smother or hit baby

Why is it important?

It is how babies communicate their needs.

  • Common reasons babies cry and how to help:

Common reasons babies cry and how to help:

  • Hungry — feed often
  • Upset — hold, rock, bounce baby, do skin to skin, go for a walk
  • Uncomfortable —burp, change position, change diaper
  • Too hot/cold — babies should be dressed as warmly as you are, plus one more layer
  • Tired or overstimulated —rock baby in a quiet dark room, do skin to skin, wrap or safely swaddle
  • Sick — monitor for fever or signs of illness and seek medical attention if necessary

For more information on Colic and PURPLE crying, please visit Caring for Kids — Colic and Crying

Skin to Skin

What is it?

Placing naked baby (with or without diaper) on your bare chest; and may also cover with blanket to keep warm.

  • Can be done with any caregiver, at any time

Why is it important?

  • Helps regulate baby’s temperature, breathing and heart rate
  • Calms and relaxes mother and baby
  • Promotes early attachment
  • Stimulates the release of hormones to support breastfeeding

Tummy Time

What is it?

Placing baby on their stomach while they are awake; and someone is watching them

  • Place baby on a clean blanket on a clear area of the floor, then lay beside baby and use toys to encourage interacting with their surroundings
  • Can be done by laying baby on your chest (facing one another)

Why is it important?

  • Babies benefit from having regular tummy time; start with a few minutes several times a day and gradually increase as baby gets older
  • Helps to strengthen neck, shoulder and arm muscles
  • Improves baby’s motor skills
  • Helps prevent flat spots on their head

Vitamin D

What is it?

Vitamin D comes from exposure to sunlight, certain foods (like cow’s milk) and vitamin supplements – BUT baby’s are protected from the sun and don’t yet eat vitamin rich foods so they may need a supplement

  • Vitamin D deficiency puts babies at risk of rickets (a disease affecting bone growth)

Babies at risk of deficiency:

  • Breastfed babies
  • Those living in northern communities
  • Having darker skin
  • Mothers with vitamin D deficiency

Why is it important?

  • Helps in the absorption of calcium; to promote healthy bones and teeth
  • Health Canada recommends a daily Vitamin D supplement of 400 IU for exclusively and partially breastfed infants from birth to one year
  • Can be purchased at any pharmacy without a prescription