How To Give Baby A Sponge Bath
Your newborn should be bathed with a sponge bath for the first few weeks of life. This is the simplest way to clean your baby before the umbilical cord falls off.
Sponge baths are also the best way to bathe boys who were circumcised while the circumcision site heals.
You can also give your baby a sponge bath anytime you want to wash one part or all of their body without getting them soaking wet.
Before giving your baby a sponge bath, make sure you have all the supplies you need within easy reach. Youll also want to warm up the room to keep your baby comfortable.
Once youve gathered your supplies, follow these steps:
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
How Often To Bathe A Newborn According To Pediatricians
- The World Health Organization recommends that parents wait 24 hours to give their baby its first bath.
- After that, pediatricians recommend no more than three times a week for 10 to 15 minutes at a time.
- For the first two weeks, or so, pediatricians recommend sponge baths.
- This article was reviewed by Sara Siddiqui, MD, who is a clinical assistant professor with the Department of Pediatrics at NYU Langone.
Your baby is finally here and it is now up to you to set a routine for their day-to-day life.
This includes bathing. But when, how often, and how to bathe your child isn’t as obvious as you might think. Here’s what you need to know about keeping your baby clean, healthy, and happy.
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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.
How Frequently To Bathe Newborns
The AAP recommends bathing your infant three times a week until their first birthday. “Obviously there are unique messes that babies can find themselves in as they get older and more mobile that may require an extra bath from time to time,” says Dr. Grant. “But in general, this rule is sufficient as long as the diaper area is cleaned appropriately at each diaper change.”
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When Should I Give My Baby A Bath
- You dont need to give your newborn baby a bath in their first few days but you can if you like.
- If youre anxious about bathing your little one, you dont need to put them into a bath until you feel confident about it.
- You may prefer to just wash your little ones face and bottom to begin with. This is sometimes called topping and tailing.
- Choose a bath time when your little one is content and awake. Its better not to bathe your baby straight after a feed or when theyre hungry or tired.
- Some babies love bath time to begin with, others dont. You may need to try different ways of bathing your baby and at different times of day, to find out what suits you both.
How Often To Wash A Newborn According To A Pediatrician
Babies are so cute…but theyre also small and fragile and strange, which is why every aspect of caring for them can feel a bit intimidating, especially if youre a first-time parent. Naturally, you know the basics: Make sure the baby is fed, well-rested, cuddled and clean. But when it comes to that last part, you might have a couple questions. After all, there’s been a big personal hygiene debate going on ever since celebs like Ashton Kutcher and Kristin Bell started weighing in on how often they wash their kids. As such, you might be wondering how often to wash a newborn and, um, how to do it too. Good news: We spoke to Dr. Pierrette Mimi Poinsett, pediatrician and medical consultant for Mom Loves Best, and got the lowdown on what to do and how frequently you ought to do it.
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Safety Tips For Bath Time
Its important to keep safety in mind at bath time. Babies and young children should never be left unattended in a bath, not even for a minute . Here are some bath time tips:
- Get everything ready ahead of your babys bath, so you have everything you need to hand.
- Make sure you always use the hot and cold taps at the same time when you run the bath.
- Check the bath water temperature first before putting your baby in. The standard way to check is to put your elbow in the water because your hand can cope with high temperatures.
- Dont be distracted away by another child, a phone call or doorbell. What feels like a couple of seconds can turn into a minute or two. Leaving your little one even for a few moments could be enough time for them to seriously hurt themselves or drown.
- If you forget anything ask your partner or another family member to grab it for you. Or take your baby with you to get what you need.
How Often Should You Bathe Your Newborn
There’s a good reason to skip your baby’s bath tonight. Learn how frequently you should bathe your newborn according to experts, as well as tips for preventing eczema outbreaks between baths.
Bath time might be part of your nightly ritual, but doctors actually don’t recommend daily baths for babies. Excess exposure to water can zap their skin of moisture and worsen conditions like eczema. Then again, not bathing your baby often enough can also aggravate eczema, plus lead to other infections.
“It’s a delicate balance,” says Scott Grant, M.D., MPH, FAAP, at Detroit Medical Center’s Children’s Hospital of Michigan. But bathing itself is probably not the entire problem: “The use of bath products, including lotions that contain dyes or fragrances, can react with babies’ skin to make eczema worse even if there isn’t a ‘bath,'” says Dr. Grant.
So how often should you bathe a newborn? Read on for the guidelines.
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How Often Does A Newborn Need A Bath
Growing up, you may have heard that babies and children must be bathed daily for optimum cleanliness. However, this isnt the case. Especially with a newborn, bathing daily can actually dry the skin, and irritate it.
Additionally, most newborns do not get very dirty, so its not necessary to fully immerse them in a bath each day or night. You can spot clean any areas of concern in between baths.
For these reasons, most doctors recommend only bathing your newborn baby a few days per week.
AAP recommends bathing your baby no more than three days per week. Of course, even that is not a hard and fast rule.
If you want to bathe your baby more often, thats fine, and if you only bathe your baby one or two days per week , thats fine too!
As your baby gets older and ventures into the toddler years, they are going to get dirtier, because they will be exploring everything and playing outside. Your bathing frequency will likely naturally increase during this time.
How Hot Should The Water Be
The water temperature to bathe your baby should be warm, never hot. The ideal temperature is 98.6°F . You can use a bath thermometer to monitor the temperature, or check the water with your wrist or elbow to confirm its warm and not hot.
Also, check different sides of the tub or baby bath to confirm there are no hot spots. If using a tub or basin, turn on the cold water first and then the hot water to fill it.
If you live in a house, you can also adjust the water heater to ensure it doesnt go above 120°F , which can badly scald your babys skin. You likely cant adjust the water heater if you live in an apartment complex or condo.
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How To Wash Babys Scalp And Hair
Plan to wash your babys scalp or hair twice a week. To wash your babys scalp or hair, gently massage a baby shampoo into their hair, if they have any, or directly onto their scalp. Rinse it out by dabbing with a wet washcloth.
In a baby tub, you can also gently tip your babys head back and keep one hand over their forehead while you pour on some warm water. The water will spill over the sides of their head to rinse out the shampoo.
Gently washing your babys hair will not hurt a soft spot, but talk with your pediatrician if you have concerns. If your baby has cradle cap, you can gently brush your babys hair and scalp. But take care not to pick or scrape at their scalp.
How We Wrote This Article
The information in this article is based on the expert advice found in trusted medical and government sources, such as the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. You can find a full list of sources used for this article below. The content on this page should not replace professional medical advice. Always consult medical professionals for full diagnosis and treatment.
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Improper Care Of The Umbilical Cord
Caring for the umbilical stump until it falls off is something that worries a lot of parents. However, looking after the area is actually quite simple. Itâs ideal to avoid bathing a newborn until the stump falls off, as it should be kept as dry as possible. Check the area daily for signs of infection, which include redness, a bad smell or pus coming from the navel. Also, ensure when dressing your infant that their diaper isnât rubbing against the umbilical clip, and keep clothing loose and comfortable. After the stump falls off, usually within two weeks of birth, you can wash the navel and keep it clean just like any other part of the body.
What Time Is Best For Bathing A Newborn
Bathing at the end of the day around bedtime could be a soothing and relaxing experience for the newborn . You may make bathing a part of the babys bedtime routine. Bathe the baby at the same time each night so that they grow habituated to it.
Maintain a 20-30 minutes gap between the last feed and bathing. You may also feed the baby after the bath. However, avoid bathing the baby if they are fussy and hungry. Also, do not bathe the baby when they are tired and cranky since it may cause them to associate bath with negative feelings.
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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.
Not Preparing For Bathtime Properly
Itâs vital to make sure you have everything youâll need for bathing your infant before putting them in the tub. Babies can drown in even the tiniest depth of water, so they canât be left alone for even a second while you go to grab supplies. Itâs a good idea to keep a spare towel handy when bathing a baby, in case they have an accident when getting dressed. For the same reason, itâs also worth keeping some spare diapers and a clean set of clothes, just in case.
Some parents like using a bath seat or support to leave both hands free for washing the baby. These are a great idea, but itâs important to remember that a baby still needs supervision at all times when using one of these seats. Hopefuly, this helps you decide on how often to bathe your newborn.
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