Step : Lay All Your Baby Bath Supplies Out Remove Any Unnecessary Distraction
Lay the towel on top of the change mat, lay out diapers, change of clothes, baby soap, diaper cream so everything is in easy reach.
Ensuring any distraction is minimized/elimimated is mostly for safety you dont want to keep your eyes off your newborn for even a minute but also so you can focus your attention on your newborn, while keeping the environment calm and relaxing.
So, put your phone on silent or leave it in another room and close the door to any potential noise and disturbance.
Also, take off your watch and any jewellery which may get in the way or scratch your newborn.
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:
Complications Of The Umbilical Cord
Sometimes, there may be a formation of red lump tissue on the babys navel after the cord has dried and fallen off. This condition is known as an umbilical granuloma. It is mostly seen in the first few weeks of life. The doctor may prescribe silver nitrate to apply on the lump which burns the tissue ànd helps in drying. Usually, it is a very minor problem and goes away within a week, if not, contact your doctor.
Other than umbilical granuloma, there are other complications that may arise during healing of the stump including-
- Umbilical hernia- It is a condition, which involves protrusion of a babys intestines through the muscles near their navel. Its a very uncomfortable condition, requires treatment.
- Omphalitis- It is the infection of the stump of the umbilical cord and the baby may experience symptoms like pain, tenderness, pus discharge or bleeding from the stump, fever and poor feeding. It needs treatment with antibiotics, analgesics and antipyretics.
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How Do I Care For My Babys Umbilical Cord
Keep The Area Clean
Pediatricians used to recommend cleaning the base of the cord with rubbing alcohol. However, most now recommend leaving the stump completely alone because alcohol is believed to irritate the skin and sometimes delays healing. Other methods in caring for your babys cord include the use of Goldenseal Root and Echinacea. It is best to consult your childs pediatrician for his/her recommendations before using either of these alternative methods.
Keep The Area Dry
Allow the cord to be exposed to air as often as possible. This allows the base of the cord to dry and will decrease the amount of time that is required for healing to occur. Using newborn diapers that have a special cut out or folding your babys diaper down will help keep the cord from becoming irritated. If weather permits, dress your baby in just a t-shirt and diaper to allow more time for the cord to dry out.
Only Give Sponge Baths
Do not bathe your baby in a sink or special tub until after the umbilical cord has fallen off. If your baby does take a bath, make sure to fan the area to dry it completely. You do not want to rub it dry as this could cause irritation.
Allow The Cord to Heal Naturally
It may be tempting to help the cord dry out and fall off especially if it appears to be hanging on by a thread, but it is best to allow this to happen naturally. Refrain from picking and pulling the cord off.
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Fill Your Babys Bathtub With Water
The second step is to fill the bathtub with water. You only need two to three inches of water to bathe your newborn.
The water temperature should be roughly the same temperature as the human body98.6 degrees Fahrenheit. Anywhere between 90° F and 100° F is perfect. Use a thermometer to make sure youve got the temperature just right.
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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.
Inflammation Of The Newborns Belly Button
Suppose the babys umbilical cord falls off late. In that case, the umbilical cords jelly tissue will also quickly become a place for bacteria to breed and cause inflammation in the babys umbilicus. The belly buttons inflammation will initially reveal redness and swelling of the umbilicus and surrounding tissues, with sticky or purulent discharge and a foul odor. If left untreated, it can cause cellulitis of the abdominal wall, forming abscesses and necrosis, and bacteria can invade the blood circulation along the umbilical vessels that have not yet closed, causing sepsis.
If the belly button inflammation symptoms are not very serious, parents can help the baby wipe it with 75% alcohol and keep it dry and clean.
When the skin around the babys belly button becomes red and swollen, the skin surface can feel slightly warm when touched with the hand, and purulent secretions with foul smell appear in the umbilical fossa. The baby also shows anorexia, vomiting, and fever, which means that the babys umbilicus has become septic. If there is a lot of pus, you should take your baby to the hospital every day to change the dressing and use antibacterial drugs in time under the doctors guidance. Once an abscess is formed, it should be incised and drained to avoid further deterioration of the situation.
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How To Dry A Newborn After A Bath
Heres how to wrap up your babys bath, including a bit about rinsing, drying and using lotion:
- Rinse well. Use clean, warm water for that final rinse cycle, holding your little one football-style, with the back of his head cradled in one hand, his body draped along your arm, and his head over the basin. Fill the cup with water and gently pour it over your baby’s head and then the body parts.
- Dry her gently. Next up, pat your baby’s skin with a soft dry towel. Be sure to thoroughly dry her bottom and any other areas where there are folds of skin. Chubby babies have lots of those!
- Go easy on the baby lotion. That beautiful and ultra-sensitive skin doesn’t need much, if any, in the way of lotions, oils or creams, though a little baby-safe lotion is okay. But avoid baby powders, which can irritate an infant’s breathing passages. If your practitioner recommends it , massage a hypoallergenic lotion into her skin after warming it in your palms.
- Diaper and dress. Slip on a fresh diaper and dress your baby in some clean clothes. If she needs a little soothing after the sponge bath, swaddle her up in a blanket, then get settled in for a snuggle with your clean, sweet-smelling baby.
Change Of Clothes For Baby If Necessary
Its only necessary to change your newborns clothes when they are actually dirty newborns are comforted and soothed by familiar smells, including their own smell, so no need to bring out new clothes just because youre bathing. If baby has only been in her pre-bath clothes a few hours or even a day and theyre still relatively clean, refrain the urge to bring out clean clothes.
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Should You Bath Baby In A Sink Or Full Bath
There are sink inserts available to bathe a newborn. This can be a good option if youre traveling or short on space in your home. Follow the bathtub steps above for giving your baby a bath in the sink, but take care that the water coming from the sink faucet isnt too hot.
When your baby is able to sit up on their own , you can use the full bathtub. Fill the tub with only a few inches of water and supervise them at all times, making sure their head and neck stay well above water.
Changing Your Babys Diaper And Protecting The Umbilical Cord Stump
You can read about how to change a diaper here, but keep in mind that in these first few weeks youâll need to be extra careful to protect the umbilical cord stump area.
If the cord stump hasnât fallen off yet, use notch-cutout diapers or fold down the top of the diaper to prevent urine from reaching the stump and to prevent the diaper itself from irritating the stump.
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How To Wash & Clean A Newborn Baby Girls Private Parts
Learning how to bathe a newborn includes knowing exactly how to clean those delicate private parts. Whether a boy or girl, start by loading up some cotton wool with warm water and squeezing out the excess.
For a newborn baby girl hold the labia apart with your fingers and gently wipe. Just like when using the toilet, make sure you wipe from front to back.
Try to wipe away any excess diaper creams as you dont want these to accumulate excessively. However, dont worry too much about cleaning away any vaginal discharge, which is perfectly normal this can be left.
Some Recommended Creams For Moisturizing Your Newborn Post Sponge Bath
Again, just like when choosing baby soap, avoid perfumed lotions and creams and avoid nasties such as phthalates, parabens, dyes and other chemicals. So try:
- petroleum jelly recommended by pediatric dermatologists above lotions and moisturizers designed specifically for babies according to this article from Web MD
- lanolin-based creams, such as this nipple cream its 100% natural and extremely moisturizing so also ideal for your newborns dry skin .
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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.
How To Care For And Clean The Umbilical Cord Stump
The key is to keep the stump area clean and dry. It might be most convenient to clean your little oneâs stump when you change her diaper or when you bathe her.Here are some umbilical cord care tips to follow:
â¢ Keep the umbilical cord stump clean and dry. Experts recommend âdry cord care,â which means allowing air to reach the cord stump and not covering it in water or ointments. You may have heard of dabbing rubbing alcohol on the stump, but nowadays experts tend to recommend just letting it be. Ask your healthcare provider for advice if youâre not sure what to do.
â¢ Prevent irritation. Try to prevent your newbornâs diapers from rubbing against the stump by folding the top of the diaper down under the cord stump, or choosing a disposable diaper with a cutout notch at the top.Pampers Swaddlers have this feature, for example.
â¢ Check for signs of infection. Clear liquid oozing from the stump, drops of blood, and scabbing can be normal, but if you notice any signs of an infected umbilical cord stump or if your baby has a fever, let your healthcare provider know right away.
â¢ Donât pick at the stump. Let the umbilical cord stump fall off on its own rather than picking or pulling it, even if itâs hanging off. It will fall off in due course.
â¢ Keep an eye out for bleeding. A few drops of blood when the stump falls off is normal. If it bleeds any more than this, contact your babyâs healthcare provider.
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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.