The First Weeks At Home
When you first bring your baby home from the hospital, they are not quite ready for a full bath just yet. Typically, the stump of their umbilical cord will not fall off and heal completely until 1 to 3 weeks after they are born.
Until this happens, you can give your baby sponge baths while keeping their umbilical cord stumps clean and dry. However, even sponge baths should only be given 1-2 times a week, as bathing your newborn too often can cause skin dryness and even irritation. Read more about bathing babies with umbilical cords for more information on this.
When To Give Babys First Bath
It used to be the norm at hospitals to whisk newborns away right after birth for a bath. Not anymore. Recommendations have shifted in favor of waiting at least a few hours, if not longer, for babys first bath .
Research indicates that there may be significant physical and emotional benefits to delaying that initial newborn bath. Since young babies are especially sensitive to cold, it can decrease cold stress, says Katherine Williamson, MD, a pediatrician at Childrens Hospital of Orange County in Orange, California. Cold-induced stress can cause the body to work to keep itself warm, which can cause blood sugar levels to drop, she explains, citing studies that show delaying babys first bath decreases rates of hypothermia and hypoglycemia. Plus, babies are born with a waxy, cheese-like coating on their skin, called the vernix, which you dont want to wash off, Williamson says, since it helps retain heat and can serve as an additional barrier to infections. In addition, a 2013 study found that delaying babys first bath in the hospital until at least 12 hours after birth led to an increased breastfeeding success rate, since mom can nurse more quickly and have more time for skin-to-skin bonding, Williamson adds.
How To Bathe Your Newborn Baby Step
Fill the baby bath with water, to a depth of around 8 to 10 centimetres. Stir the water thoroughly to get rid of any hot or cold spots, and then check the baby bath temperature. Test the water by dipping your wrist or elbow into the water. It should feel warm, but not hot. If you use a bath thermometer, it should show around 37 degree Celsius, but itâs still a good idea to test the water with your own skin.
Hold your newborn on your lap and clean his or her face with wet cotton wool. Start at the nose and move outwards, cleaning around the eyes. Use a fresh piece of cotton wool for each eye, and another for cleaning around each ear.
Support your baby over the bath or bowl and carefully wash his or her hair with plain water from your cupped hand.
Gently dry your little oneâs hair , then remove the nappy and wipe away any poo.
Now, with one hand holding the upper arm and supporting the head and shoulders, lower your baby gently into the bath.
Keep your infantâs head clear of the water, and gently swish water over your babyâs body with your free hand. You might like to use a small sponge for this.
Carefully lift your baby out of the bath and pat him or her dry with the other towel. Take care to dry in all the creases and folds of the skin.
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Helping Baby Enjoy Bath Time
To help your baby enjoy bath time, you can try placing your hand gently on their tummy. You can also place a warm wet washcloth on their chest and tummy. This can help your baby feel safe and secure in the bath.
If your baby doesnt like baths, give them a top and tail bath one day and a proper bath the next. Generally, babies get used to baths by around three months.
What If My Baby Has A Skin Condition
Eczema, the name for a group of skin conditions including atopic dermatitis, contact dermatitis and seborrheic dermatitis, is characterized by red, itchy, localized skin inflammation. Its one of the most common childhood skin issues, affecting about 10 percent of children under 18, according to the National Institutes of Health.
It may seem counterintuitive to give as few as two baths per week to babies with eczema you want to keep inflamed areas clean, right? But soap and other cleansers can worsen eczema or make an infant more likely to develop the condition, especially if theres a family history.
In her practice, Dr. Cordoro recommends that parents use a bathing method she calls soaking and sealing: soaking the infant in lukewarm water without using soap, then patting dry and applying a gentle moisturizer to seal in the moisture layer. Applying a moisturizer to infant skin daily, not just after baths, can developing or worsening.
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Your Babys First Bath Will Be At The Hospital
Your baby will be given their first bath at the hospital, where the stump of their umbilical cord will also be cleaned. Most hospitals will have someone show you how to bathe your baby. Take advantage of their expertise. Nurses at the hospital will also be able to familiarize you with other aspects like how to nurse, burp, hold, or change your baby.1
How Often To Bathe A 1 Year Old Baby
At one year old, babies are real earthquakes that don’t stop for a moment. They are interested in exploring their environment and this causes them to get quite dirty while crawling, they like to hold food with their hands, they start taking their first steps so the frequency of your bath should also increase. From this age, babies will be bathed according to their parents’ preference, and they can bathe every day if they want.
Furthermore, the daily bath can mark your routine and help you organize the activities youre doing. It is usually a very pleasant time and they love to play in the bathtub. Take advantage of these moments to develop your personal autonomy, including them in hygiene routines and teaching them how to identify body parts.
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Best Kind Of Soap For Babies
Newborns dont need a ton of soap, and baby shampoo isnt strictly necessary.
Doctors recommend using the most mild soap you can find, as baby skin tends to be very sensitive. Unscented soaps are usually your best bet, and you can stay away from antibacterial soap or soap with many additives.
Read labels: If the soap has a long list of ingredients, its probably best to try something simpler. After bathing your baby, it can be helpful to follow up with some baby-friendly moisturizer, especially if your baby tends to have dry skin.
Bathe Thrice A Week After The Umbilical Cord Falls Off
Your baby doesnt need a daily bath in the early days. Bathing thrice a week will suffice during this period. In fact, more frequent baths may dry out their skin. Patting your baby dry and applying a hypoallergenic, fragrance-free moisturizer immediately after their bath can prevent dry skin. You could also use a natural moisturizer like virgin coconut oil.4
To give your baby a bath: Fill a basin with about 2 inches of comfortably warm water. Place your baby in the tub as soon as you undress them so they dont get cold. Support their head with one hand and use the other hand to gently guide them in. And tenderly clean them with a mild soap. Pour warm water over the body frequently so that they keep warm. Your babys first baths should be as brief and gentle as possible.5
Ayurvedic practices advocate a gentle oil massage using coconut, olive, or sesame oil before a bath. Wait for 15 to 20 minutes after the massage to bathe your baby. Finely ground green gram powder with 5 to 10% of soap nut powder mixed in can be used instead of soap to wash your baby. But do remember to do a patch test to ensure your babys not allergic to these or any massage oil that you use.6
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How To Give A Newborn A Bath
Once the umbilical cord stump has fallen off, you can start giving baby full baths. Bathing a newborn can be tricky at first, so if possible, enlist the help of a partner or family member. Its best if those early baths can be done with multiple caregivers around so you have extra hands if you need them, Smith says. After youve rounded up your baby bath supplies and decided where youll be bathing your little one, follow these steps.
Step 1: Fill the tub with a few inches of warm water. Aim for about 2 to 3 inches of water, to keep baby safe. Making sure to support babys head at all times, gently lower your little one into the water. The bath temperature for a newborn should be between 90 to 100 degrees Fahrenheit, never hotter than 120 degrees. While most parents are worried about making the bath too hot, be sure you dont err in the other direction, since babies get cold easily. Kelly B., whose baby is now 3, learned a thing or two when she nannied for a woman who had infant twins. She taught me that the water should be warmer than youd expect, she recalls. Dipping your wrist in is a good way to gauge the temperature, but if youre nervous about getting it right, you can use a thermometer.
Yes, theres a lot to think about when it comes to babys first bath. But soon enough bathing a newborn will become second nature, and before you know it, your child will be sitting up on his own and splashing away in the tub. Thats when things really start to get fun!
Mom Bathes Baby Once A Week Unleashing Online Firestorm
Bath time for babies is a cherished ritual for many parents, but one mother has set off a firestorm of debate with her confession that she bathes her 3-month-old son only once a week.
At least, that’s her goal, but Claire Goss said she doesn’t always achieve it.
“I aim for once a week. It might not happen. I will confess, it has gone longer than a week,” Goss, 32, told ABC News’ Paula Faris.
When asked how long she’d gone between baths for her baby, Charlie, she said, “It can be a good 10 days, but if you met my baby and held him, you’d probably think he smells as amazing as I do.”
The Ashland, Mass., mother of three says her bedtime routine for her son includes changing his diaper, washing his face and washing his hands.
Goss, a part-time blogger and stay-at-home mom, says nightly baths were once a routine for her, but five years later, she simply doesn’t have the time.
“My first baby got her daily baths sometimes, two bathes a day,” she said.
Now, with a full schedule that includes having to be home to meet the bus, getting her other son, Peter, to pre-school, going grocery shopping and getting dinner ready – she says she realized she couldn’t do it all.
“What I realized now after five years of parenting children is, he’s not a dirty kid, he’s a baby,” she said.
Goss wrote about her baby-bathing mindset on Babble, a parenting website.
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Follow These Basic Tips For A Baby Bath
Bath times should ideally be a relaxing and fun time for both you and your baby. Here are a few tips thatll help you during bath times:
Be prepared: Keep everything you need from clean towels and a basin filled with warm water to clean clothes and a clean nappy ready before you start.
Test the water first: Test the bath water on your elbow or the back of your wrist before you use it. It should be pleasantly warm but not hot or it could harm your babys delicate skin.
Pick the right time: While you can bathe your baby according to your convenience, its best not to do this immediately after a feed or when theyre tired or hungry.10
Clean The Area Around The Umbilical Cord After You Change The Diaper
The cord of the umbilical cord typically falls off in 515 days. You need to keep this area clean and dry so that it doesnt get infected. Use a slightly damp clean washcloth to gently clean around the base whenever you change the diaper. And make sure you wipe away any discharge from the cord. Continue to clean this area for a few days after the stump falls off.3
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Cutting Your Baby’s Nails
Some babies are born with long nails and it’s important to cut them in case they scratch themselves. You can buy special baby nail clippers or small, round-ended safety scissors. If you find the idea of cutting your baby’s nails too nerve-wracking, you could try filing them down with a fine emery board instead.
I Waited Until I Was Confident Enough To Bath Her
If youre a little nervous to wash your baby, youre not alone. For lots of parents, the thought of putting your tiny newborn baby in a bath, when theyre potentially slippery, can be a bit daunting. But there are work arounds to ensure you keep them clean until youre ready.
For example, Sam D says: I used cotton wool balls and cooled boiled water until I felt confident enough holding her in the bath, although it was my other half who usually did the bathing I was that nervous when she was so little!
From what I remember we gave her a bath twice a week and did the cotton wool and water wash the rest of the time.
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How Much Water Must Be Used To Bathe A Newborn
When bathing a newborn, you can simply fill a bowl with water and clean your baby using a sponge or gentle washcloth. It is important to make sure that your baby stays warm, so you should keep your baby wrapped up in a bath towel and only expose the parts of your baby that you are cleaning.
How often to bathe babies can sometimes be of concern to new parents. While at first, it may feel a little uncomfortable for you to not bathe your child every day, you will soon realize the many benefits of it. Do not over bathe your baby, or bathe your baby too little either. Babies need a good balance of bathing just as with everything else. If you are still unsure about something or your baby has a particular skin ailment that may require special treatment, you can speak with your doctor to formulate a plan to take care of your baby.