Bath times are the best bonding time for mother and child beside breastfeeding. Between the baby’s coos and giggles, as a mother, you derive substantial satisfaction from it. Some newborn babies find baths thrilling while others can turn into little monsters during this time. Don’t worry if she does not find baths soothing when you understand her needs; bath times will be magical moments.
Newborns tend to be delicate with their umbilical cord stump still healing, their skin barrier still trying to adjust to their new environment, and the soft spots on their scalp (called fontanels). Nonetheless, bathing your baby is essential. We address the critical things to factor in when bathing your newborn baby.
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After How Long Should I Bathe My Newborn?
After her first bath since arrival, you can wait a little longer to bathe her maybe after an hour or so. Newborns tend to have lots of fats in their poo which needs to be wiped away or cleaned. They also wee and poo unexpectedly so be mindful of this. For newborns, it is not recommended to wash them frequently as they barely get dirty so 2-3 times a week is enough. Nevertheless, as they start crawling or they become toddlers, the frequency of baths must increase.
Where To Bathe Her?
Your kitchen sink or a plastic bath can suffice for a newborn. You may also opt to use your regular bathtub, but it is not advisable because you will have to lean over to reach her which can be strenuous to the back. It is better to stay safe as your baby depends on you. Otherwise, if you find using the bathtub pleasant, using a bath support for your baby is beneficial.
How To Maintain Her Cleanliness Using The Head-to-toe Method
Firstly, devote bath times when you are confident there will be no distractions. It is crucial because your baby needs undivided attention for a safe and prosperous bath. Health practitioners and experienced mothers alike recommend head-to-toe baths as the ideal way to maintain a newborn’s cleanliness.
A head-to-toe bath involves wiping the baby with a dampened flannel and cotton pads that are warm.
For starters you need to grab the bath supplies; these include a bathing sponge or clothe, a bowl, at least one towel, and cotton pads. Before starting, ensure the room is warm, shut any door and window to maintain the room temperature.
Lay out a towel on a flat surface, undress her without removing any diaper then lay her on it. The diaper remains on for now because like mentioned earlier babies evacuate any time. Start cleaning her face, neck, eyes, and hands. Using the dampened cloth, gently wipe her face then use fresh cotton to clean her eyes starting from the tip of the eye next to the nose going outwards. For each eye, use fresh cotton wool.
For the neck pass, the wet cloth on every crease, as dirt may accumulate in those areas. It is best to avoid the ears as a newborns eye drums can be easily damaged or any intrusive regions whatsoever.
Head over to their bottom part and her genitals. Now is the time to remove their diaper. Since baby poo is fatty, a mild cleanser made for newborns comes handy. Wipe her with gentle care. Wrap her in the towel and cuddle her to generate warmth.
For a newborn, steer clear of perfumed wipes or any cleanser not formulated for newborns. Their skin can easily be irritated by the wrong products. Test any product on her skin and monitor if there is any reaction, if there is none, then it is okay. It is essential because you do not want to disturb the baby’s natural skin balance.
You can routinely keep your baby clean using these steps in between baths or anytime you change her diapers.
How You Should Bath Your Newborn
As we stated, keep the room warm during bath times. Wash your hands first to get rid of any germs that you can pass to the baby. Then prepare the bath supplies that include a bathing cup, a pair of clean clothes, diapers, bathing sponge, and a towel.
Add cold water to the bathing bowl then top it up with hot water. Swirl the water to ensure the water’s temperature is even. The water’s heat should be about 37-38 degrees Celsius. You can test the water with a thermometer or with your elbow. It must only be warm not on the opposite extremes. Otherwise, the baby might get burnt if you do not practice caution.
The bathing water should be just enough to immerse the baby up to shoulder length.
Cover the newborn with a towel the moment you undress her but keep her diapers. Then using the cloth clean her facial area, eyes, neck, and hands. Now is the best time to wash her head especially if she has hair, a mild shampoo is excellent.
Afterwards, remove your baby’s towel and diaper. With one hand securing her head and her neck and the other one beneath her bottom with one finger firmly on her thigh, slowly slip her into the water feet first.
Using your palm or clothe clean your baby’s torso, genitals and bottom. For a girl clean their genitals from front to back and do the same for the boy. Make sure you are not rubbing their skin with force as this is damaging to their skin barrier.
During the entire bath time, keep using the cup to pour water on your baby as a way of keeping her warm.
Use mild cleanser moderately (too much can dry the skin of your baby) during your baby’s bath and cover all their body’s area for a thorough clean. Rinse off the baby thoroughly and immediately end the bath time which should not take more than 10 minutes. Cover her with a towel, preferably a hooded towel then pat your baby dry.
You can use a baby moisturizer to keep your baby’s skin smooth and to prevent drying. Then dress her up because it is easy for your baby to get chilled quickly.
Bathing Guidelines To Consider
- Never leave the baby unattended even if the doorbell rings, cover your baby with a towel and take them.
- Always double-check the water’s temperature.
- Avoid baby’s ears to prevent damage to their eardrums.
- If you reside in hard water areas, a baby cleanser mixed with the bath water is one way to prevent drying of the baby’s skin.