Staying Clean Between Baths
On the days you dont bathe your baby, they might still need a bit of freshening up. When your little one isnt dirty enough to warrant the baby bathtub, simply give them a quick wipe-down, kind of like the sponge baths they got the first couple of weeks. Baby wipes to the rescue!
With Babo Botanicalss 3-in-1 Sensitive Baby Face, Hands & Body Wipes, you can quickly, easily, and safely clean not only your babys bum but also their hands, face, and body. Made with oat milk and organic calendula oil, these plush wipes are non-drying and good for daily use. And the cherry on top is that the natural cloth fabric is 100% plant-based and biodegradable. Great for your family and the earth!Now, lets look at the best and safest way to wash your baby when you do put them in the baby tub.
Take Your Time And Focus
- Choose a time when youre not trying to tackle a million things at once. Whether its early morning or in the evening before bedtime, make sure youre focused on the task at hand.
- Dont rush it! Bathing a baby the right way takes time. Set aside a chunk of time to allow you to get it done without frustration.
- Turn off your phone. Now is not the time to check your Instagram feed. Not fully attending to your baby is dangerous and puts them in harms way.
Best Temperature For A Bath
You can experiment to see what temperature your baby likes their bath best. In general, lukewarm temperatures are ideal. You dont want the bath to be too cold, but you certainly dont want it too hot.
Some parents err on the side of heating the bath up too much, and risk scalding their babies. The AAP recommends that your babys bath be no more than 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Its helpful to fill the baby tub or sink with a few inches of water before immersing your baby in it. Test the water first to see if it is an appropriate temperature for your baby.
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How Do You Give A Baby A Regular Bath
If youre ready to take the plunge and start giving your baby regular baths, the expert has some advice to see you through. One of the most important things to keep in mind when your baby has graduated from sponge baths to regular baths is that you only need to fill the tub or sink with a couple of inches of lukewarm water the more water, the more riskso dont overdo it. Dr. Poinsett also recommends testing the temperature of the water on the inside of your arm to ensure its not too hot for your babys delicate skin. Finally, its incredibly important that you never leave your baby unattended in a tub or sink…not even for a second.
Where To Bath Your Newborn
You can give your newborn a bath in a small plastic bath or even in the kitchen sink. The kitchen sink might be easiest in the first few weeks. A plastic baby bath is probably easier once your baby gets bigger.
You can bath your baby in any room thats warm, safe and clean it doesnt have to be a bathroom.
You can also shower with your baby. Keep your babys face away from the pouring water and make sure to use warm, not hot, water.
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Why Not Every Day
While it may feel odd to bathe your baby so infrequently, babies simply dont need to bathe as often as adults. They dont sweat or get dirty in the same way as older people, and their skin is much more sensitive than that of adults. Frequent bathing can actually do more harm than good.
To avoid drying out babys skin and worsening conditions like eczema, bathe your little one to two times per week and wash them with a mild, fragrance- and dye-free soap. When you get them out of the bath, pat them dry before applying a dye- and fragrance-free baby moisturizer and promptly dressing them.
If your little one has a known skin condition, consult their pediatrician to make a plan for exactly what products and routines you can follow to help them stay comfortable.
How To Give Your Baby A Sponge Bath
- Keep things simple, but make sure you are prepared beforehand with supplies, such as a washcloth or baby sponge, a basin of water, and a towel.
- Clean your baby on a secure surface such as a changing table or bed. You can also lay a towel or blanket on the floor to soften it, or place your baby in your lap. If your baby is on an elevated surface, you must keep on hand on your baby at all times so they dont fall.
- Be careful not to get water in your babys eyes, and dont directly sponge their healing umbilical cord stump.
- Make sure you keep your baby warm during this process. You may consider wrapping your baby with a towel and only uncovering your babys different body parts when they are ready to be washed.
Your babys umbilical cord stump should fall off within the first one to two weeks of life, at which point you can immerse your baby in water.
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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
Bathe Your Baby 1 To 3 Times A Week
After that, pediatricians recommend no more than three times a week for 10 to 15 minutes at a time.
“One to two times may be fine as well,” says Dr. Rob Darzynkiewicz, MD, Chief Medical Officer of Hazel Health. “This will help make sure your baby stays clean. Doing it more than that can dry out the skin, which is very sensitive.”
Over bathing can actually decrease the bacteria that naturally occur on your baby’s skin. This can not only cause dry and irritated skin but in some rare cases, it can cause an infection. But not bathing your baby enough also has consequences.
Bathing your newborn less often than once a week could result in rashes between the folds of the baby’s skin or in their diaper, Darzynkiewicz says.
So stick with the goldilocks range of one to three times a week.
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Safety Tips During Bath Time
Bath time with a baby has its own set of challenges, but with some tips and tricksyoull be a master. Some best practices for bath time for kids include:
- Bathing a baby the right way requires time, so you dont need to rush. Set aside enough time to allow you to get it done without frustration.
- Dont leave your little one alone in the tub bath, even for a second.
- Make sure you have everything you need within your reach before bathing your baby. Set out a towel, washcloth, body wash, shampoo, a cup for rinsing and any other bath time essentials before putting the baby in the bath.
- Not attending to your baby is dangerous. So switch off your phone, as this is not the best time to check your Facebook or Instagram feed.
- Make sure you check the water temperature before putting your baby in the tub. You can use a thermometer or the inside of the elbow or the wrist to test the water, which should be warm and not hot.
- Gently sock up your baby in warm water with shampoo. Make life more comfortable, find a multitasking all-in-one baby bubbles, and wash.
- Keep your baby warm by exposing only the body parts youre bathing to the air.
- Always hold your baby during bath. Use your hands to support the baby head during bath time while your arm should be kept at the back.
Bathing A Baby: The First Tub Bath
Make the first tub baths quick ones. Fill the tub with only 2 or 3 inches of warm — not hot — water. Use one hand to support babyâs head, then slowly lower them.
- Using a washcloth or baby bath sponge, wash the face and hair. When rinsing, protect eyes with your hand across the forehead. Gently wash the rest of baby with water and a small amount of soap.
- Use water or a cleanser designed for babies. As hair grows, try gentle baby shampoo.
- To keep baby warm during the bath, cup your hand to let handfuls of water wash over baby’s chest.
- Gently pat baby dry. Apply baby lotion all over to seal in moisture.
- Now it’s time for a fresh diaper. Apply diaper ointment to protect against irritation.
When bath time is over, wrap baby in a towel right away, covering baby’s head for warmth. Congratulations on a successful bath!
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Baby Bath: Time For A Sponge Bath
Gentle sponge baths are perfect for the first few weeks until the umbilical cord falls off, the circumcision heals, and the navel heals completely.
The basics of bathing a baby:
- First, undress baby — cradling the head with one hand. Leave the diaper on . Wrap baby in a towel, exposing only those areas that you are washing.
- Using a baby bath sponge or wash cloth, cleanse one area at a time. Start behind the ears, then move to the neck, elbows, knees, between fingers and toes. Pay attention to creases under the arms, behind the ears, around the neck.
- The hair comes toward the end of bath time so baby doesn’t get cold. While newborns don’t have much hair, you can sponge the few wisps that are there. To avoid getting eyes wet, tip the head back just a little. There’s no need for shampoo just use water.
- Now it’s time to remove the diaper and sponge baby’s belly, bottom, and genitals.
- Wash little girls from front to back. If there’s a little vaginal discharge, don’t worry — and don’t try to wipe it all away. If a little boy is uncircumcised, leave the foreskin alone. If circumcised, don’t wash the head of the penis until it’s healed.
- Gently pat baby dry. Rubbing the skin will irritate it.
Bath time is over, and your fresh little baby is ready for a clean diaper and clothes!
Children Ages 6 To 1: Guidelines For Bathing
If your child is in this age group, taking a daily bath is fine. However, children in this age group may not need a daily bath. Children aged 6 to 11 need a bath:
At least once or twice a week
When they get dirty, such as playing in the mud
After being in a pool, lake, ocean, or other body of water
When they get sweaty or have body odor
As often as directed by a dermatologist if getting treated for a skin disease
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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.
Give Only Sponge Baths Till The Umbilical Cord Falls Off
During the first couple of weeks or so, specifically, till the umbilical cord stump falls off, your baby should only have sponge baths. This is so the stump doesnt get wet.
To give a sponge bath: Lay your baby on a flat comfortable surface in a warm room. If the surface is above floor level, place a hand next to the baby to make sure they dont fall. Dampen a clean washcloth with plain water and wash the face before using soapy water to clean the rest of the body. Pay attention to skin creases and do the diaper area last. Keep your baby wrapped up during the sponge bath and only expose the part that youre actively cleaning.2
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Why Should You Not Bathe Your Baby Every Day
Some people may find it odd to bathe their babies so few times in a week. However, it is important to note that you do not really need to. Babies do not get dirty the way that adults do and so babies need baths only a few times a week. Your babys skin is also so much more sensitive than yours, so bathing too often will have the opposite effect of what you actually want.
Bathing your little one too often could actually trigger skin problems such as eczema. Even if you bathe your baby too little, you will have problems like rashes, etc. If you want to avoid triggering problems like eczema, you can bath your baby and moisturize his skin with a good baby lotion that will not cause irritation.
If your baby already has a skin problem, you can speak with your doctor and get a proper skin care plan for your baby that will suit their issue and bring healing.
How Often Should I Bathe My Baby
Giving baby a bath without harming that delicate skin is one more minefield for new parents to traverse. Here are a few tips.
- Read in app
When you bring your baby home, you also bring home a bundle of new questions. Everyone has different opinions on the best way to do everything when it comes to raising babies even a simple question like, How often should I bathe this kid? can turn into a heated debate. To help you navigate the minefield of parenting advice, I spoke to a few experts to get the dirt on keeping baby clean.
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