Baby first aid: How to treat injuries + when to call the doctor

7 common injuries in babies + exactly what to do for each

baby first aid
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Babies are so precious, and we always want to protect them and keep them safe. But minor "owies" can happen even when you're the most thoughtful, careful parent ever: babies can get bug bites and stings, babies can sometimes bonk into household items while crawling or cut themselves before you can intervene. That's why it's smart to have some baby first aid basics under your belt, so that you'll know what to do if and when the need arises.

As part of keeping our babies safe, it's important for all parents to know when to seek care with your child's pediatrician or an Emergency Department—and parents should learn infant CPR just in case.

Here are common injuries in babies and how to manage them:


Burns

Warm drinks and foods are comforting on cool days, but they should be handled with care around babies and infants—your stroller's cup holder is actually not a safe place for a cup of hot coffee, even with a lid (unless it's a secure traveler's cup with a leak-proof, screw-top lid). Keep babies out of the kitchen, especially when cooking. And when hot foods are outside the kitchen, remember to place them above the ground because babies who are mobile can easily reach them out of curiosity and sustain a burn.

If your child sustains a burn, the care they need depends on the severity and location of the burn. Immediately after a burn, take them to a safe place and cool the burn with cool or lukewarm water (please avoid ice). You should call your pediatrician to evaluate the burn and decide if home care is appropriate or evaluation in the emergency department is needed. Some burns may look mild, but burns involving the face, ears, hands, feet or groin and burns that cross the joint have to be evaluated for proper care.

Bleeding

Some parts of the human body have a lot of blood vessels and bleed easily even with minor injuries—anywhere in the mouth, for example. If your baby gets an injury that starts bleeding, it's easy to get overwhelmed by the sight of blood. The first step is to try to stay calm; then place a gauze or cloth over the wound and apply steady pressure for at least 5 minutes to help control bleeding. If bleeding persists for about 5-10 minutes after steady pressure, call your doctor for further recommendations.

Insect bites + bee stings

Insect bites and bee stings are common when babies and children are outside. If your child gets stung by a bee, stay calm and leave the area immediately, and if possible, go inside.

Most bee stings leave a stinger so remove this as soon as possible with a tissue or gauze (avoid tweezers, because squeezing the stinger may release venom). Wash the area with mild soap and water, and apply ice (be sure ice is wrapped in a cloth to protect the skin from cold burn).

Your child should be taken to the emergency room if they develop signs of anaphylaxis (severe allergic reactions) such as swelling of the face or lips, vomiting, difficulty breathing or wheezing.

Nosebleeds

Nosebleeds are common in children and can be scary for caregivers to witness. The good news is that most nosebleeds in children are minor and easily managed at home.

If your child gets a nosebleed, have them sit down and lean forward. If they are too young to sit alone, place them on your lap and lean them forward. Using your thumb and index finger, pinch the soft part of the nose, at the bottom of the nostrils, firmly and steadily for about 10-15 minutes. They can breathe through their mouth while you do this.

Call your pediatrician or go to the emergency room if bleeding persists for more than 15 minutes or your child is on blood thinners or medications that can cause bleeding.

Splinters

A splinter is a sharp piece of material that gets lodged underneath the skin. Sometimes it is noticed immediately and other times it's only noticed when it starts causing discomfort over time. A splinter can be removed at home if it is small and visible.

First, clean the area with soap and water. Then use a tweezer sterilized with rubbing alcohol to gently pull it out. Clean the area again and apply ointment, and observe over time for any signs of infection. If the splinter appears deep or you are unable to remove it, call your child's pediatrician for further recommendations.

Minor cuts + scrapes

A baby on the move can easily get injured if they fall, but minor cuts and scrapes can be managed at home. Wash with mild soap and water and apply some topical antibiotic ointment such as bacitracin (avoid neosporin because it can cause an allergic reaction). You can leave minor cuts and scrapes open to the air or cover with a bandage for 1-3 days.

Bites

No parent loves to hear their child got bit by another child, but children are active and bites can happen by accident while playing. The good news is that most bites in children are harmless and rarely cause skin breakdown. If your child sustains a bite from a sibling or another child, their need for medical intervention depends on if the skin is broken or not.

  • If the skin is not broken, clean with mild soap and water.
  • If the skin is broken and bleeding, allow for slight bleeding then control bleeding (as discussed above). Clean with mild soap and water. In most cases of bites from children, this is enough for wound care.
  • Antibiotics may be needed depending on the depth and location of the bite injury.
  • Confirm your child's tetanus immunization status.
  • Speak to your child's pediatrician if there is concern.

When to get care

When injuries happen, it's easy to be too overwhelmed to estimate what type of care a child needs. The first step is to stay calm and reassure your child. Start with first aid as recommended and call your child's pediatrician for recommendations.

Injuries that require immediate call to 911 include—but are not limited to:

  • a serious burn
  • burn to the face
  • injuries leading to an unconscious child
  • persistent uncontrollable bleeding
  • signs of anaphylaxis: swelling of the face or lips, vomiting, difficulty breathing or wheezing.


Keep the number of the poison control center (PCC) — 800-222-1222 — on your phone contacts as well, and use it if you suspect your baby has ingested something harmful.

American Academy of Pediatrics, HealthyChildren.org, First Aid Guide for Parents & Caregivers, January 2017

KidsHealth from Nemours, First Aid Guides.

23 kid-approved lunch ideas you'll want to steal

Looking for some tried-and-true lunch time suggestions? We've got you covered, mama.

mrs/Getty Images

Whether your little one will eat anything you put in front of them or prefers to stick to their favorite foods, coming up with healthy lunch ideas for your kids every day can be stressful. We're here to help. That's why we're rounding up some fun, healthy meals for you to try. Many of these feature leftovers or options you can make without cooking anything new.

We hope you'll find some great ways to help make lunchtime fun in your house. Whether it's a new idea for a wrap or simply a snack that your child has yet to try, read on for 20+ great lunch ideas for kids.


A version of this story was published in July 2021. It has been updated.

Food

12 baby registry essentials for family adventures

Eager to get out and go? Start here

Ashley Robertson / @ashleyrobertson

Parenthood: It's the greatest adventure of all. From those first few outings around the block to family trips at international destinations, there are new experiences to discover around every corner. As you begin the journey, an adventurous spirit can take you far—and the best baby travel gear can help you go even farther.

With car seats, strollers and travel systems designed to help you confidently get out and go on family adventures, Maxi-Cosi gives you the support you need to make the memories you want.

As a mom of two, Ashley Robertson says she appreciates how Maxi-Cosi products can grow with her growing family. "For baby gear, safety and ease are always at the top of our list, but I also love how aesthetically pleasing the Maxi Cosi products are," she says. "The Pria Car Seat was our first purchase and it's been so nice to have a car seat that 'grows' with your child. It's also easy to clean—major bonus!"

If you have big dreams for family adventures, start by exploring these 12 baby registry essentials.

Tayla™️ XP Travel System

Flexibility is key for successful family adventures. This reversible, adjustable, all-terrain travel system delivers great versatility. With the included Coral XP Infant Car Seat that fits securely in the nesting system, you can use this stroller from birth.


Add to Babylist

$849.99

Iora Bedside Bassinet

Great for use at home or for adventures that involve a night away, the collapsible Iora Bedside Bassinet gives your baby a comfortable, safe place to snooze. With five different height positions and three slide positions, this bassinet can fit right by your bedside. The travel bag also makes it easy to take on the go.


Add to Babylist

$249.99

Kori 2-in-1 Rocker

Made with high-quality, soft materials, the foldable Kori Rocker offers 2-in-1 action by being a rocker or stationary seat. It's easy to move around the home, so you can keep your baby comfortable wherever you go. With a slim folded profile, it's also easy to take along on adventures so your baby always has a seat of their own.


Add to Babylist

$119.99

Minla 6-in-1 High Chair

A high chair may not come to mind when you're planning ahead for family adventures. But, as the safest spot for your growing baby to eat meals, it's worth bringing along for the ride. With compact folding ability and multiple modes of use that will grow with your little one, it makes for easy cargo.


Add to Babylist

$219.99

Coral XP Infant Car Seat

With the inner carrier weighing in at just 5 lbs., this incredibly lightweight infant car seat means every outing isn't also an arm workout for you. Another feature you won't find with other infant car seats? In addition to the standard carry bar, the Coral XP can be carried with a flexible handle or cross-body strap.


Add to Babylist

$399.99

Pria™️ All-in-One Convertible Car Seat

From birth through 10 years, this is the one and only car seat you need. It works in rear-facing, forward-facing and, finally, booster mode. Comfortable and secure for every mile of the journey ahead, you can feel good about hitting the road for family fun.


Add to Babylist

$289.99

Pria™️ Max All-in-One Convertible Car Seat

Want to skip the wrestling match with car seat buckles? The brilliant Out-of-the-Way harness system and magnetic chest clip make getting your child in and out of their buckles as cinch. This fully convertible car seat is suitable for babies from 4 lbs. through big kids up to 100 lbs. With washer-and-dryer safe cushions and dishwasher safe cup holders, you don't need to stress the mess either.


Add to Babylist

$329.99

Tayla Modular Lightweight Stroller

With four reclining positions, your little ones can stay content—whether they want to lay back for a little shut-eye or sit up and take in the view. Also reversible, the seat can be turned outward or inward if you want to keep an eye on your adventure buddy. Need to pop it in the trunk or take it on the plane? The stroller easily and compactly folds shut.


Add to Babylist
$499.99

Tayla Travel System

This car seat and stroller combo is the baby travel system that will help make your travel dreams possible from Day 1. The Mico XP infant seat is quick and easy to install into the stroller or car. Skipping the car seat? The reversible stroller seat is a comfortable way to take in the scenery.


Add to Babylist
$699.99

Modern Diaper Bag

When you need to change a diaper during an outing, the last thing you'll want to do is scramble to find one. The Modern Diaper Bag will help you stay organized for brief outings or week-long family vacations. In addition to the pockets and easy-carry strap, we love the wipeable diaper changing pad, insulated diaper bag and hanging toiletry bag.


Add to Babylist

$129.99

Mico XP Max Infant Car Seat

Designed for maximum safety and comfort from the very first day, this infant car seat securely locks into the car seat base or compatible strollers. With a comfy infant pillow and luxe materials, it also feels as good for your baby as it looks to you. Not to mention the cushions are all machine washable and dryable, which is a major win for you.


Add to Babylist
$299.99

Adorra™️ 5-in-1 Modular Travel System

From carriage mode for newborn through world-view seated mode for bigger kids, this 5-in-1 children's travel system truly will help make travel possible. We appreciate the adjustable handlebar, extended canopy with UV protection and locking abilities when it's folded. Your child will appreciate the plush cushions, reclining seat and smooth ride.


Add to Babylist
$599.99

Ready for some family adventures? Start by exploring Maxi-Cosi.

This article was sponsored by Maxi-Cosi. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.


Boost 1

This incredibly soft comforter from Sunday Citizen is like sleeping on a cloud

My only complaint? I've slept through my alarm twice.

When it comes to getting a good night's sleep, there are many factors that, as a mama, are hard to control. Who's going to wet the bed at 3 am, how many times a small person is going to need a sip of water, or the volume of your partner's snoring are total wildcards.

One thing you can control? Tricking out your bed to make it as downright cozy as possible. (And in these times, is there anywhere you want to be than your bed like 75% of the time?)

I've always been a down comforter sort of girl, but after a week of testing the ridiculously plush and aptly named Snug Comforter from Sunday Citizen, a brand that's run by "curators of soft, seekers of chill" who "believe in comfort over everything," it's safe to say I've been converted.


Honestly, it's no wonder. Originally designed as a better blanket for luxury hotels and engineered with textile experts to create this uniquely soft fabric, it has made my bed into the vacation I so desperately want these days.

The comforter is made up of two layers. On one side is their signature knit "snug" fabric which out-cozies even my most beloved (bought on sale) cashmere sweater. The other, a soft quilted microfiber. Together, it creates a weighty blanket that's as soothing to be under as it is to flop face-first into at the end of an exhausting day. Or at lunch. No judgement.

Miraculously, given the weight and construction, it stays totally breathable and hasn't left me feeling overheated even on these warm summer nights with just a fan in the window.

Beyond being the absolute most comfortable comforter I've found, it's also answered my minimalist bed making desires. Whether you opt to use it knit or quilted side up, it cleanly pulls the room together and doesn't wrinkle or look unkempt even if you steal a quick nap on top of it.

Also worth noting, while all that sounds super luxe and totally indulgent, the best part is, it's equally durable. It's made to be easily machine washed and come out the other side as radically soft as ever, forever, which totally helps take the sting out of the price tag.

My only complaint? I've slept through my alarm twice.

Here is my top pick from Sunday Citizen, along with the super-soft goods I'm coveting for future purchases.

Woodland Snug comforter

Sunday-Citizen-Woodland-Snug-comforter

The bedroom anchor I've been looking for— the Snug Comforter.

$249

Braided Pom Pom Throw

Because this degree of coziness needs portability, I'm totally putting the throw version on my list. It's washable, which is a must-have given my shedding dog and two spill-prone kiddos who are bound to fight over it during family movie night.

$145

Lumbar pillow

sunday-citizen-lumbar-pillow

What's a cozy bed without a pile of pillows?

$65

Crystal infused sleep mask

sunday citizen sleep mask

Promoting sleep by creating total darkness and relaxation, I've bookmarked as my go-to gift for fellow mamas.

$40

We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.

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15 toys that will keep your kids entertained inside *and* outside

They transition seamlessly for indoor play.

Keeping kids entertained is a battle for all seasons. When it's warm and sunny, the options seem endless. Get them outside and get them moving. When it's cold or rainy, it gets a little tricker.

So with that in mind, we've rounded up some of the best toys for toddlers and kids that are not only built to last but will easily make the transition from outdoor to indoor play. Even better, many are Montessori-friendly and largely open-ended so your kids can get a ton of use out of them.

From sunny backyard afternoons to rainy mornings stuck inside, these indoor outdoor toys are sure to keep little ones engaged and entertained.


Stomp Racers

As longtime fans of Stomp Rockets, we're pretty excited about their latest launch–Stomp Racers. Honestly, the thrill of sending things flying through the air never gets old. Parents and kids alike can spend hours launching these kid-powered cars which take off via a stompable pad and hose.

$19.99

Step2 Up and Down Rollercoaster

Step2 Up and Down Rollercoaster

Tiny thrill-seekers will love this kid-powered coaster which will send them (safely) sailing across the backyard or play space. The durable set comes with a high back coaster car and 10.75 feet of track, providing endless opportunities for developing gross motor skills, balance and learning to take turns. The track is made up of three separate pieces which are easy to assemble and take apart for storage (but we don't think it will be put away too often!)

$139

Secret Agent play set

Plan-Toys-Secret-agent-play-set

This set has everything your little secret agent needs to solve whatever case they might encounter: an ID badge, finger scanner, walkie-talkie handset, L-shaped scale and coloring comic (a printable file is also available for online download) along with a handy belt to carry it all along. Neighborhood watch? Watch out.

$40

Stepping Stones

Stepping-stones

Kiddos can jump, stretch, climb and balance with these non-slip stepping stones. The 20-piece set can be arranged in countless configurations to create obstacle courses, games or whatever they can dream up.

$99.99

Sand play set

B. toys Wagon & Beach Playset - Wavy-Wagon Red

For the littlest ones, it's easy to keep it simple. Take their sand box toys and use them in the bath! This 12-piece set includes a variety of scoops, molds and sifters that can all be stored in sweet little wagon.

$17.95

Sensory play set

kidoozie-sand-and-splash-activity-table

Filled with sand or water, this compact-sized activity set keeps little ones busy, quiet and happy. (A mama's ideal trifecta 😉). It's big enough to satisfy their play needs but not so big it's going to flood your floors if you bring the fun inside on a rainy day.

$19.95

Vintage scooter balance bike

Janod retro scooter balance bike

Pedals are so 2010. Balance bikes are the way to go for learning to ride a bike while skipping the training wheels stage altogether. This impossibly cool retro scooter-style is built to cruise the neighborhood or open indoor space as they're learning.

$121

Foam pogo stick

Flybar-my-first-foam-pogo-stick

Designed for ages 3 and up, My First Flybar offers kiddos who are too young for a pogo stick a frustration-free way to get their jump on. The wide foam base and stretchy bungee cord "stick" is sturdy enough to withstand indoor and outdoor use and makes a super fun addition to driveway obstacle courses and backyard races. Full disclosure—it squeaks when they bounce, but don't let that be a deterrent. One clever reviewer noted that with a pair of needle-nose pliers, you can surgically remove that sucker without damaging the base.

$16.99

Dumptruck 

green-toys-dump-truck

Whether they're digging up sand in the backyard or picking up toys inside, kids can get as creative as they want picking up and moving things around. Even better? It's made from recycled plastic milk cartons.

$22

Hopper ball

Hopper ball

Burn off all that extra energy hippity hopping across the lawn or the living room! This hopper ball is one of the top rated versions on Amazon as it's thicker and more durable than most. It also comes with a hand pump to make inflation quick and easy.

$14.99

Pull-along ducks

janod-pull-along-wooden-ducks

There's just something so fun about a classic pull-along toy and we love that they seamlessly transition between indoor and outdoor play. Crafted from solid cherry and beechwood, it's tough enough to endure outdoor spaces your toddler takes it on.

$16.99

Rocking chair seesaw

Slidewhizzer-rocking-chair-seesaw

This built-to-last rocking seesaw is a fun way to get the wiggles out in the grass or in the playroom. The sturdy design can support up to 77 pounds, so even older kiddos can get in on the action.

$79.99

Baby forest fox ride-on

janod toys baby fox ride on

Toddlers will love zooming around on this fox ride-on, and it's a great transition toy into traditional balance bikes. If you take it for a driveway adventure, simply use a damp cloth to wipe down the wheels before bringing back inside.

$79.99

Meadow ring toss game

Plan Toys meadow ring toss game

Besides offering a fantastic opportunity to hone focus, coordination, determination and taking turns, lawn games are just plain fun. Set them up close together for the littles and spread them out when Mom and Dad get in on the action. With their low profile and rope rings, they're great for indoors as well.

$24.75

Mini golf set

Plan Toys mini golf set

Fore! This mini golf set is lawn and living room ready. Set up a backyard competition or incorporate into homeschooling brain breaks that shift focus and build concentration.

$40

We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.

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How to talk to your kids about Indigenous history and issues

In honor of Native American Day.

MoMo Productions

No matter who you are and where you're from, there's likely an indigenous population that was displaced by colonialism wherever you live, or you yourself might have this heritage. While each situation varies widely based on exactly where you're from, it's still important to discuss indigenous history with your children. Allow them to ask questions to truly understand the scope of their experience through education.

Indigenous history education is important for kids of all backgrounds—even those who aren't indigenous. Some may even argue that it's especially important for kids who aren't indigenous.

Indigenous history is an integral part of the history of any nation with a history of colonialism. And although parts of it may be uncomfortable, it's important to learn about it in order to become better citizens in the present day. Indigenous populations are filled with many rich cultures and populations of people still being affected today by the events of history—and current events taking place right now.

No matter where you are or when you're getting started, here are a few effective tips for how to talk to your kids about indigenous history and issues.


Don't Rely on Stereotypes

Much of what we have to go off of in our common culture in terms of indigenous stories and representation are actually based on stereotypes and narratives perpetuated by colonizers. Sometimes it can be difficult to wade through a sea of stereotypes and unreliable sources, but in order to find legitimate information about sensitive topics, you may need to look for better sources — likely sources that come directly from indigenous people, records, and organizations.

Even academic history textbooks are often filled with lies and constructed narratives. From the stories of the first Thanksgiving to Disney movies featuring native characters, common cultural narratives of indigenous people are often much less than accurate.

Be Honest With Them

It can sometimes be difficult to talk to kids about sensitive topics, especially when those topics inherently contain discussions of wrongdoing and injustice. However, that makes it even more important to be honest about the events that have taken place.

Of course, it's always important to talk about things in an age-appropriate manner, especially with kids who are sensitive to graphic information. But age-appropriate doesn't mean bending the truth. It means telling the truth in ways they can understand and process.

Talk About Both Past and Present

Especially for those not as in touch with the indigenous community, indigenous history can feel just like how it sounds at first glance—history that lives completely in the past.

On the contrary. Indigenous populations are as alive as ever, from reservations to bigger cities. Indigenous people face unique issues that they didn't in previous generations, and it's important to recognize indigenous people as more than a history—they are a community of people.

When it comes to how to talk to kids about indigenous issues, one of the biggest things to remember is that current events are a large part of that narrative.

Listen to Actual Indigenous Voices

As previously discussed, much of the common cultural narrative—including educational materials—are filled with stereotypes and manufactured histories from the perspective of European colonizers. No matter what, the best way to get an accurate view of indigenous history and issues is to seek out accounts and sources from actual indigenous people, tribes, and organizations.

When trying to learn about any subject, it's always best to head right to primary sources. So check out the tribes in your area and learn directly about them. Plus, check out books, speeches, and resources from indigenous authors and scholars.

Be an Active Force for Positive Change

Again, it's important to disrupt the "people of the past" narrative, which means actively participating in positive change as a part of the learning experience. Donate money to indigenous organizations, go to events that feature and give back to the indigenous community in your area, and sign petitions for current events as a part of your conversation.

It's important both to make reparations and to create a participatory learning experience when talking to kids, and there are plenty of ways to do that.

Discuss Non-Colonialist Culture and History

One of the big missteps—even with well-intentioned educators—is centering the conversation of indigenous history around colonialism. By starting the conversation with the colonizers showing up and stealing land, you participate further in a euro-centric worldview and miss so much valuable information that indigenous history and culture have to offer.

Instead, learn about indigenous culture, tradition, spirituality, and history outside of the colonial narrative. While it may feel like a no-brainer to some, many don't realize what they miss out on.

Encourage Them to Ask Questions

Just like any topic you're teaching kids, they will likely have questions and curiosities about indigenous peoples and experiences. Questions are a good thing, especially if the subject is new to you, too.

Encourage your kids to ask questions throughout the conversation or lesson. And if you have answers, you can lead them to those answers. However, if you don't know the answers, you can take it as a learning opportunity to discover something new together.

Keep the Conversation Going

One of the primary ways to create a well-rounded education on indigenous history and issues for anybody of any age is to keep the conversation active. Just like any history lesson, you don't just talk about it once and drop it afterward—you keep the conversation going with new lessons and topics of discussion.

At the end of the day, indigenous culture is rich and diverse—much too much for you to tackle it all in just one sitting.

Talking to Your Kids About Indigenous History

There are so many ways to discuss indigenous issues and culture, and exploring them with your kids is an amazing opportunity to educate them (as well as yourself) to be better citizens of the community and world. Indigenous history is inherently a part of the history of your country, which means it's imperative that you bring it into the educational conversations you're having.

Parenting

Mandy Moore brought her breast pump to the Emmys and it's everything

She called the pump her 'VIP accessory.'

Rich Fury/Getty

Breast pumps have come a long way over the years, but no matter what type of pump you use, there's pretty much nothing discreet about them. And you know what? Why should it be discreet? Our babies have to eat, right?

Well if you're looking for some breast pump inspo, look no further than Mandy Moore at last night's Emmy Awards.


While she looked absolutely stunning in her red gown and her hair and makeup were on point, she also brought along one very essential 'VIP accessory': her Motif Luna breast pump. (Which is a very good pump, IMO.)

Mandy Moore/Instagram


Moore gave birth to her first child, son Gus, back in February and she's easily become one of our favorite celebrity moms ever since. Her husband, Taylor Goldsmith, is currently away on tour and was unable to join her for the awards show.

Over the summer, she documented a very relatable notch on the ol' Mom Belt: traveling with an infant where absolutely nothing goes right. But she handled it like a champ (and so did Gus), and we all nodded along in sympathy because we've all been there. Babies might be tiny, but they require A LOT of equipment, and doing anything outside of their normal at-home routine is a gamble.

Also this summer, Moore shared photos and videos from a mountain-climbing expedition she did with her friends. And yes, her "VIP accessory" made it to the top of a volcano, too. Because who wants engorged breasts when you're doing one of the most athletically challenging and physical things a person can do?

Basically, Mandy Moore is awesome and we love watching her motherhood journey. She may not have won an Emmy last night, but she's still a winner in literally every other way.

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