How To Bathe A Newborn Baby With Umbilical Cord

What Are The Steps Of Bathing

How do I bathe my baby before the umbilical stump falls off?

Heres the step-by-step process to follow if youre taking a bath:

  • Rinse off!
  • Do a quick clean of your tub.
  • Fill your tub with lukewarm or slightly warm water.
  • Once youre in the tub, you can lather your body with soap using a washcloth or a loofah.
  • You dont have to wash your hair every time you take a bath.
  • When Can I Put Lotion On My Newborn

    Just like using soap and bathing itself, dont hurry to put any lotions or creams on your newborn. This needs to be done on an as-and-when-needed basis and is best avoided for the first month dry patches of skin may need a little moisturizer after bathing, if not then leave it.

    When it comes to which moisturizer, many pediatric dermatologists swear by petroleum jelly rather than something designed specifically for babies. Another option is some lanolin-based cream.

    How Often Should You Bathe A Baby

    First week at Home. Your newborn is quite not ready for a full bath in the first week of delivery.

  • Newborn to 6 months. You are free to bathe your newborn two or three times a week after the umbilical cord stump has healed completely,dried up,and fallen off.
  • 6 months to 1 year.
  • Emerging Toddlerhood.
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    How To Clean An Umbilical Cord Stump On A Newborn Baby

    This article was co-authored by Laura Marusinec, MD. Dr. Marusinec is a board certified Pediatrician at the Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, where she is on the Clinical Practice Council. She received her M.D. from the Medical College of Wisconsin School of Medicine in 1995 and completed her residency at the Medical College of Wisconsin in Pediatrics in 1998. She is a member of the American Medical Writers Association and the Society for Pediatric Urgent Care. This article has been viewed 25,912 times.

    Your babys umbilical cord will be cut immediately after theyre born, leaving a small umbilical stump thats usually ½ to 1 inch long.XResearch source Because your baby no longer needs their umbilical cord, the stump falls off after about 1-3 weeks and leave behind a belly button.XTrustworthy SourceMayo ClinicEducational website from one of the world’s leading hospitalsGo to source In the meantime, its important to keep your babys umbilical stump clean and dry to prevent infection and irritated skin. Until the cord stump falls off on its own, clean your newborn’s stump gently with plain water and let it dry thoroughly.

    When To Start Using Baby Soap & Shampoo When Bathing A Newborn

    How to Bathe a Newborn with an Umbilical Cord

    Firstly, do you even need to use soap when sponge bathing a newborn with umbilical cord still attached? The answer is probably not and if you can do without then so much the better the longer you wait until introducing soaps and products to your newborns delicate skin the better.

    However, if a drop of mild soap means you can avoid rubbing a dirty diaper area too vigorously, then that could be the better option.

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    The Natural Healing Process

    Part of the natural healing process is, once the cord falls off, it is normal for it to bleed a little bit for a few days before it completely heals. Just keep taking care of it and applying the cord care powder.

    You will have to wait to see if your baby has an innie or an outie. Generally speaking, the cord pulls in and becomes more of an innie when the baby develops and strengthens there abdominal muscles. So you will just have to wait and see.

    Do You Use Soap For A Newborn Sponge Bath

    Soap is only necessary for very sweaty areas or around the diaper area where cream has accumulated and become tricky to remove. The UK and Australia recommend against using soap for the first month. So use your judgment to decide which will irritate your delicate newborns skin the least: a touch of baby soap might be more gentle than the scrubbing you might need to do to give baby a good clean.

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    Gently Place Your Newborn In The Bath

    With one hand supporting the back of your babys head and the other under their bum, gently lower your baby into the bathtub. Dont let them dive in head first! Let your little one dip their toes in first.

    Expert tip: It may also be helpful to place a towel at the bottom of the bathtub, which makes it feel softer and prevents your baby from sliding around too much.

    Bathing Your Baby In The Sink

    Giving your baby a bath in the kitchen sink is another option. For this type of bath, you would use a sink insert instead of a traditional baby tub that you place in your bathtub.

    Sink inserts are recommended for infants up to six months of age and sit inside your sink to give your baby a nice cushion against the hard, cold sides. This way, your newborn is comfortable for their bath and can relax!

    These are also a great option if youre running low on space or are traveling. Whats more, giving your baby a bath in the sink is better for your back! You can stand up while giving your baby a bath, instead of having to lean over the bathtub.

    Step : Wash Your Newborns Head And Face

    Tips for Baby’s First Bath After Umbilical Cord ð? When, How-to’s & How NOT to

    In the first few weeks use cotton wool on the most sensitive areas of the eyes and face and use plain water .


    Dip the cotton w00l in the water, squeeze off the excess and wipe gently from the inner corner of the eye, across the eyelid out towards the ears. Use a fresh cotton ball for the second eye.


    Using another fresh cotton ball wipe the face and mouth with short, gentle strokes.


    The ears are slightly less delicate, so you can switch to one of those super soft washcloths now if you like. Only wash the outside of the ears and lobes, dont try to clean inside babys ears and never use a Q-tip inside either as you may damage the eardrum.


    Wash over the scalp and all around the neck, not forgetting all those little creases and folds where stray milk can fester and leave a red sore . You may find a drop of soap helpful, if your baby spits-up a lot.

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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.

    If Your Newborn Hates The Bath

    Its actually very common for newborns to dislike bath time, especially at first. You may be surprised to learn this, and even think you are doing something wrong or that there is something wrong with your baby if they cry or fuss during bathtime.

    One reason some babies resist bathtime is that they dont like the sudden temperature changes that happen. You can mitigate this by gently transitioning your baby into the water. Wrap them in a towel at first and gradually immerse them in the water, keeping the towel on until they are all the way in.

    You can also experiment with bath temperatures to see what your baby likes best. And always have a warm towel ready when they come out so that transition isnt too jarring.

    Some newborn prefer bathtime if you are holding them completely. As such, many parents decide to bathe with their babies in their arms. This can be a wonderful bonding experience. However, you must consider safety here. Only bathe with your baby when you are fully alert. Make sure you have a towel ready, and possibly another grown-up to hand your baby to when you are done. Dont use soaps and other bath products geared toward adult skin.

    Finally, keep bathtime fun for your baby! Newborns cant play with bath toys yet, but that doesnt mean they cant be entertained by them. Funny faces and games of peek-a-boo can be very helpful as well.

    You can spot clean your baby in the meantime. And most babies will eventually enjoy bath timeall in good time.

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    Cleaning And Caring For Your Babys Belly Button

    Wash your hands before handling the cord stump. Avoid touching it whenever possible.

    Use only water to keep your babys belly button area clean, except if the area gets wee or poo on it. If this happens, wash off the wee or poo using clean water and a pH-neutral cleanser. Look for pH-neutral on product labels or ask your pharmacist or child and family health nurse to recommend a product.

    Make sure the stump dries properly after bathing. Also, the stump will dry and heal much faster if you expose it to air as much as possible. Try not to cover it with plastic pants and nappies. Fold nappies down and away from the stump if you can.

    Never try to pull the stump off yourself, even if it looks like its ready to fall off.

    After the cord stump has fallen off, keep the area clean and dry until the area heals completely. It helps to fold the top of your babys nappy down so that the belly button is exposed to air.

    Dont Forget All The Easy

    How To Bathe A Newborn Baby Boy With Umbilical Cord

    Newborns have an abundance of adorable folds and rolls, which can be easy to miss when you’re bathing them. Specifically, make sure to wash the folds around your newborns neck, wrists, knees, and elbows.

    And dont forget to clean behind your babys ears, as well as in-between their fingers and toes. Wash your babys genitals and diaper area thoroughly. Its extremely important to clean this area well, but this task should always be left for last.

    That way, any bacteria or germs that get washed off wont dirty other areas of your loved ones body, which helps prevent rashes and other skin conditions.

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    Lather And Rinse Carefully

    As were sure you already know, babies have extremely soft, delicate skin. That means you need to be very gentle when lathering on cleansing products and shampoos.

    You may choose to use an ultra-soft washcloth, or you can simply use your hands. If you prefer to use your hands, remove any rings, bracelets, or watches youre wearing.

    After lathering, use a small plastic cup to rinse your baby off. Just scoop up a cup-full of water and gently pour it over a soapy area of your babys body. Be careful so that no soapy water gets in your loved ones eyes or nose!

    Potential Umbilical Cord Problems

    Although rare, there are some conditions that can affect the umbilical cord. Infection can also occur, which requires treatment from your babys pediatrician. Check the umbilical cord regularly to watch for any signs of a problem and contact your doctor if you have questions.

    Umbilical Hernia

    Similar to a hernia in an adult, an umbilical hernia occurs when part of your babys intestine pokes out through the muscles that are surrounding their belly button. This isnt considered a serious complication and usually heals on its own, but you can discuss treatment options with your doctor. It may take up to two years for umbilical hernias to resolve naturally as your baby continues to develop.

    Umbilical Granuloma

    This is an umbilical complication that occurs when a small, light red-pinkish part of the umbilical cord remains attached after the majority of the stump has fallen off. Although it may be alarming, it causes no physical pain to your baby and is easily treatable. Call your doctor if you notice an umbilical granuloma, as they can remove it by tying it off with stitches or freezing it using a liquid nitrogen solution.


    Give Your Baby the Best of You


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    Have All Of Your Supplies Handy

    First things first: make sure to have all of the supplies we listed above easily available. Choose a stable place to set out all of the items. Some parents like to use a bathroom countertop, or even just the bathtub itself.

    Other folks prefer to use a changing table or a kitchen countertop. Whatever surface you choose, just make sure that its safe and stable.

    How Soon Can Baby Take A Bath After Umbilical Cord Falls Off

    Infant Bath (with umbilical cord)

    Only give your newborn sponge baths until the stump of the umbilical cord falls off, which usually happens by about one or two weeks of age. If it remains beyond that time, there may be other issues at play. See the babys doctor if the cord has not dried up and fallen off by the time the baby is two months old.

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    Step : Wash Babys Lower Body

    More gentle wiping, soap as you see fit, around the legs, buttocks and private parts .

    Dont forget that cute butt crevice! Another place that can become sore if missed. Either lift baby high up by holding her legs and reach all the way under or hold her over your arm on her front, so you can see exactly what youre doing.

    Follow any specific instructions your pediatrician gave you regarding care of the umbilical cord.

    Warm Or Able To Accommodate A Heater

    When it comes to the step-by-step of how to bathe a newborn youll see youre not going to strip baby bare, but having said that, the warmer the room the better.

    In the womb, baby was floating around in about 98 Fahrenheit/37 Celcius so anything a lot lower than that will feel cold, especially since newborns have a much thinner skin than us and a larger surface area to volume ratio.

    The closer to that temperature, the less physically demanding your newborns first bath will be.

    As a guide, if youre comfortable in a t-shirt, the room is probably just warm enough for your newborns first bath. Instead of cranking the temperature of the entire room up, you can of course use a space or fan heater close to where youre going to carry out the sponge bath.

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