How To Give A Baby A Traditional Bath
Once the babys umbilical cord stump has fallen off, they can have a traditional bath. The AAD recommends the following method:
thinner skin than adults, a temperature suitable for an adult will be too hot for a baby. To test the temperature of the water, dip an elbow into the water. If the water does not feel cooler or warmer than the elbow, it is likely for a baby.
To bathe a baby safely, caregivers can follow this advice from the NCT:
When Should Baby’s First Bath Be And When Should You Bathe Your Newborn
Wondering whats a good time to give your newborn a bath and when baby’s first bath should be? The scheduling of this event is entirely up to you as long as you pick a moment when you wont be interrupted or tempted to hurry through the bath. You should probably plan for baby’s first bath within a week after birth. Just avoid bathing your newborn right after a feeding or when she’s overtired.
Babies tend to be more alert in the morning, which is appealing to some, though others may slate it in the early evening as part of her goodnight activities. When its time to wind down, make her bathtime part of a relaxing bedtime routine that also includes a final bottle or nursing session, a book and a little song.
Keep in mind, however, that newborns dont need a lot of washing and at first, youll just be giving her a quick a sponge bath until her umbilical cord stump falls off, which usually happens about one to three weeks after birth.
Baby Bath Time: Step By Step
Here are basic steps for giving your baby a bath:
Try to keep soap, shampoos and bubble baths to a minimum they can irritate skin and cause nappy rash. A mild non-soap cleanser is a good alternative.
Your baby will probably try to pull themselves up or stand up in the bath. If you cant stop them trying this, at least make sure youre holding them so they cant slip. You might like to use a non-slip bath mat and have a non-slip surface in your bath.
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Having Your Bath Or Shower Soon After Birth
A lot of our mums shared how they were able to have their first bath or shower around an hour or 2 after giving birth.
For example Lucy G tells us: I think it was about two hours after Id given birth. Made me feel human again to wash all the blood off and have clean hair!!
Plus I could have a wee in the shower so my stitches didnt sting so much!
Chelsee G had a similar experience: Within a couple of hours once the bleeding had eased. I had amazing midwives who kept changing the mat under me every 10 minutes whilst I had skin to skin. Once it eased I was straight in the shower while daddy had cuddles.
And Nicola I didnt even wait that long: I had a water birth and as soon as I was out of the water I was off for a shower
When To Give Your Newborn A Bath
You can bath your baby at any time of the day. Its a good idea to pick a time when youre relaxed and you wont be interrupted. And its best to avoid bathing your baby when baby is hungry or straight after a feed.
If bathing relaxes your baby, you can use it as a way to settle your baby for sleep in the evening.
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Delaying Babys First Bath: 8 Reasons Why Doctors Recommend Waiting Before Giving A Newborn A Bath
My newborn daughter was screaming during her first bath as I watched helplessly from my bed. She was only about an hour old. I was trying to breastfeed her when the nurse took her from my arms, telling me that the baby had to be bathed before I was transferred to a different room. We dont do it this way anymore it is now standard protocol at many hospitals to wait 8-24 hours to give a newborn his or her first bath, and up to 48 hours if the baby was delivered by cesarian section. Delayed newborn bathing is consistent with World Health Organization recommendations and based on medical research. As a hospital-based pediatrician, I know that delayed bathing is the safest medical choice for babies. As a mom, it just seems right.
Getting Ready For A Baby Tub Bath
Select a plastic baby tub that meets current safety standards.
- It should have a sloped design and textured surfaces, designed to keep baby from slipping.
- An included sling or cushion, that can keep baby from sliding, may also help.
Keep the bathroom at a comfortable 75 degrees Fahrenheit, so baby won’t lose body heat too quickly.
- You can also have a warm washcloth ready to help keep baby’s exposed tummy warm while in the bath.
Before placing baby in the tub, fill the baby tub with about 2 inches of warm water. This should be just enough to cover the bottom of their body.
- Never fill the tub with baby inside!
The water should be comfortably warm — not hot, so it doesn’t burn baby
- Make sure the water isn’t too hot by testing it with your elbow or the inside of your wrist.
Gather all your supplies, and set them up within arm’s reach.
- You’ll need the same supplies you used for the sponge bath, minus the blanket and extra towel.
- Grab a cup to rinse off baby, instead of the bowl.
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What About A Sitz Bath
Almost every physician interviewed for this piece praised the sitz bath. âNearly all women who deliver â whether by cesarean or vaginal â can take a sitz bath, which is a warm, shallow soak for up to 20 minutes in the bathtub for the perineum . It can be soothing, decrease the risk of infection and increase blood flow to the area,â as Dr. Jane van Dis, Medical Director and board-certified OB/GYN at Maven Clinic, tells Romper. The other physicians agree. âUsually with a little baking soda and antibacterial soap, a lukewarm bath just for your bottom can be very soothing,â says Dr. Williams. Some hospitals offer a sitz bath for patients, as noted in Romper, or you can buy a sitz bath kit at most drugstores.
Washing And Bathing Your Baby
You don’t need to bathe your baby every day. You may prefer to wash their face, neck, hands and bottom instead. This is often called “topping and tailing”.
Choose a time when your baby is awake and content. Make sure the room is warm. Get everything ready beforehand. You’ll need a bowl of warm water, a towel, cotton wool, a fresh nappy and, if necessary, clean clothes.
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Is It Safe To Shower With Your Baby
Without the proper tools, its not the safest option, and here are some reasons why:
Youre slippery. Babys slippery. The floor is slippery. In other words, theres a greater fall risk in the shower.
Depending on the pressure of the water, a shower can be quite shocking. Water hitting babys body can cause a struggle, which is not what you want with an increased fall risk.
Typical shower gels and shampoos that you use on yourself may hurt babys sensitive eyes or delicate skin.
And just using these items in the first place without planning ahead of time to use a sling or some other carrier for baby necessitates a one-handed baby hold, which isnt safe, either.
When Can Your Newborn Go Outside
Rachel Gurevich is a fertility advocate, author, and recipient of The Hope Award for Achievement, from Resolve: The National Infertility Association. She is a professional member of the Association of Health Care Journalists and has been writing about womens health since 2001. Rachel uses her own experiences with infertility to write compassionate, practical, and supportive articles.
The idea that newborn babies should stay inside is a myth. Getting fresh air and natural sunlight is good for both you and your baby, no matter how recently they were born. In fact, there is no medical reason not to take your little one outside the day after you bring them home from the hospital, as long as you both feel up to it.
However, you should take some precautions to support your baby’s health and safety when you taken them outside. Know where it’s safe to go with your newborn, how to dress them appropriately, and how to protect them from the elements.
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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.
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!
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Washing And Rinsing Baby In The Baby Tub
Wash baby with a washcloth and a bit of soap, using a similar process to the sponge bath.
- Remember: babies don’t need much soap!
You can also use the cup to wet baby with the warm water, as you bathe them.
Doulas Jessica and Kristi from Helping Hands Doula share more on bathing your little one in the baby tub:
End the bath when the water in the baby tub starts to get too cold.
Then, rinse baby with a cup of clean, warm water.
- Cradle the back of baby’s head in one hand and drape their body over your arm. Hold their head over the baby tub.
- Slowly pour the water on their head.
- Next, hold their body over the baby tub. Slowly pour water over their body parts, making sure all the soap is rinsed off.
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.
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