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!
Proper Bathing And Skin Care For Your Newborn
A newborn’s skin is soft and delicate. Proper skin care and bathing can help maintain the health and texture of the baby’s skin while providing a pleasant experience for both of you.
Contrary to popular thought, most babies don’t need a bath every single day. With all the diaper changes and wiping of the mouth and nose after feedings, most babies may only need to be bathed 2 or 3 times a week or every other day.
Baths can be given any time of day. Bathing before a feeding often works well. Many parents prefer to bathe their baby in the evening, as part of the bedtime ritual. This works well especially if bath time is relaxing and soothing for the baby.
Sponge baths are needed at first. To prevent infection, bathing in a tub of water should not be done until the baby’s umbilical cord falls off, and a baby boy’s circumcision heals.
How To Keep Infants Clean Between Two Baths
Just because you dont keep bathing your baby every day, it does not mean that you dont need to make sure that your baby is clean. It is important to make sure that certain areas of your babys body remain clean.
As babies tend to dribble and drool a lot, you need to always ensure to wipe down their faces. Make sure that you gently lift the chin and clean under the neck as milk and drool can slide down and cause rashes if not cleaned.
In the same way, you should be sure to clean your babys genital areas frequently. If your little boy is not circumcised, you will need to gently pull back the foreskin and clean around the area. This way you will not have any build-up of urine. If you are unsure how to do this, be sure to ask the nurse at the hospital.
For girls, there are folds around the vagina that need a good cleaning every day as well. Your little one will need to have their bottom cleaned well.
Always ensure to use lotion to moisturize the skin that has been cleaned. This will make sure that the sensitive baby skin does not get dry.
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When Will Your Baby Be Ready For His First Tub Bath
After your babyâs umbilical cord stump falls off, you can transition from sponge baths to actual baths in a sink or a baby bathtub.
His first bath in a tub should be gentle and quick however, you might need to go back to sponge baths if your baby fusses a lot and simply doesnât like this new activity.
How Often Should You Bathe A Newborn
For newborns, a sponge bath one to three times a week should be sufficient. Babies dont need to be bathed that often, Williamson says. Newborns dont really get dirty. Keep in mind that you shouldnt fully immerse baby in water until the umbilical cord falls off. For circumcised baby boys, sponge baths should continue until their penis is healed.
Jacoba C. waited several weeks to give her daughter her first newborn bath at home, and rarely washed her after that. She was so clean and smelled so good, I didnt see any reason to, she says. Of course her diaper area was getting cleaned all the time, and I made sure to wipe down all the little fat roll crevices under her neck and behind her knees regularly.
Some parents prefer to give regular baths as part of a bedtime routine, which is fine as well. Baths can help soothe babies who are fussy and be part of a healthy sleep regimen, says Sabrina Fernandez, MD, a pediatrician at UCSF Benioff Childrens Hospital San Francisco.
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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 babyÃ¢â¬â¢s 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!
Topping And Tailing Tips
- Hold your baby on your knee or lay them on a changing mat. Take off all their clothes, apart from their vest and nappy, and wrap them in a towel.
- Dip the cotton wool in the water and wipe gently around your baby’s eyes from the nose outward, using a fresh piece of cotton wool for each eye. This is so that you don’t transfer any stickiness or infection from one eye to another.
- Use a fresh piece of cotton wool to clean around your baby’s ears, but not inside them. Never use cotton buds to clean inside your baby’s ears. Wash the rest of your baby’s face, neck and hands in the same way and dry them gently with the towel.
- Take off the nappy and wash your baby’s bottom and genital area with fresh cotton wool and warm water. Dry very carefully, including between the skin folds, and put on a clean nappy.
- It will help your baby to relax if you keep talking while you wash them. The more they hear your voice, the more they’ll get used to listening to you and start to understand what you’re saying.
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Lather Rinse And Moisturize
As for how much soap to use, and where to apply it, Dr. Bruckner recommends keeping it minimal. “It’s important to remember that the skin barrier in babies is still maturing, which makes them more sensitive to irritants and drying out,” she explains. “I recommend using a scant amount of cleanser for the dirty areas, such as the diaper.”
Also, be sure to cradle Baby’s head with one arm while you bathe them with the otherand also ensuring you’re steady in the tub as well.
Again, after rinsing off, don’t step up and out of the tub with your little one in your arms. If you have a partner or another adult nearby, hand them Baby first. If you’re alone, make sure you can safely remove your little one from the tub without standing up and stepping out of the bath while holding them. Finally, dry Baby thoroughly and wrap them in a towel so they retain body heat, ensuring all creases are water-free, before applying any lotion and diapering and dressing.
When To Bathe A Newborn For The First Time
According to the World Health Organization , caregivers should wait 24 hours after birth before bathing a baby. If this is not possible due to cultural or other reasons, they should wait at least 6 hours.
According to a 2019 study, in the past, hospitals best practice was to bathe a newborn around 2 hours after birth, but there is evidence that delaying a babys first wash can be beneficial. The study, involving around 1,000 newborns, found that delaying the first bath until 12 hours after birth improved the chances of successful breastfeeding.
In a smaller 2019 study , delaying the first bath until 48 hours after birth helped preserve the babys temperature, improved skin moisture, and might aid skin development.
Babies are often born with a white, creamy substance on their skin called vernix caseosa, which begins forming in the third trimester of pregnancy. This naturally occurring substance protects a baby in the womb and aids with delivery.
After that time, caregivers can give a baby a traditional bath. Learn about these methods below.
Sponge baths are a good way to clean babies without submerging them in water. It can often be quicker, and some people may find it easier.
People will need to gather the equipment they need beforehand. This will usually include:
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How To Take A Bath With Your Baby Co Bathing With A Baby
When it comes to dealing with a baby no matter the age, you shouldnt take any risks. Before you engage in any act of trying out any process, you need to ensure that you are fully aware of what you are doing.
What this means is that you need to be one hundred percent sure that you are doing the right thing and in the right method.
Another important point of note is that when it concerns dealing with a baby, you should be careful where you get your advice from. You must ensure that you are getting all your advice from a professional or medical expert.
In this article, we will discuss all the professional and expert tips on how to take a bath with your baby. Ensure that you read the article to the end to enable you to understand all the needed safety precautions and tips.
Babys First Bath At Home
Once you get your little one home, theres no set timetable for when to give baby her first sponge bath. Experts agree that the timing for bathing a newborn is up to the parents, and that theres no big rush. Many families are excited about giving a baby their first newborn bath at home, but waiting a few days is fine, says Justin Smith, MD, a pediatrician at Cook Childrens Medical Center in Fort Worth, Texas.
Holly S., a mom of two, gave birth to her second baby at home and didnt bathe him for more than a week. Theres no need to wash them right away in most circumstances, she says. Any blood from the birth can be wiped off, and you just need to wipe their diaper areas thoroughly in the meantime. She also made sure to rub the vernix into her babys skin to get the most out of its antimicrobial and moisturizing properties.
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When Is The Best Time To Give My Baby A Bath
There is no one perfect bath time any time of the day or evening is fine to bath your baby. Try to pick a time when theres less chance of your baby getting cold and youre not rushed.
You may choose to have your partner or another trusted adult with you when you bath your baby, at least in the early weeks.
Preparing For Babys First Bath
1. The longer you wait for babys first bath, the better.
While many institutions used to bathe babies within an hour or two of birth, many have now changed their policies. The World Health Organization recommends delaying your babys first bath at least 24 hours after birth. If this is not possible due to cultural reasons, bathing should be delayed for at least 6 hours.
There are benefits to delaying baby’s first bath, roughly 24 hours or several days, in order to maintain the smell of baby’s first environment, said Sarah Weinstein, a certified nurse-midwife at Banner – University Medical Center South Campus Multispecialty Services in Tucson, AZ. This is thought to be soothing, and it also allows a more natural transition to the extra-uterine environment.
Newborns dont come out clean and ready to snuggle, but that creamy, white coating, called the vernix, has amazing benefits for baby and helps keep their skin moist. According to the Academy of Pediatrics, the vernix is especially important for preemies, whose skin is highly prone to injury.
2. Sponge baths are best until the stump of the umbilical cord falls off.
Until your babys tiny umbilical cord stump falls off, stick to a sponge or damp cloth bath. There are several reasons for this, but one of the biggest is to prevent infection.
We want to avoid submerging baby in water until this takes place, Weinstein said. This allows for the normal healing process whereby the umbilical cord stump dries and falls off.
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Baby Bath Time: How To Bathe Your Newborn Baby
Giving your baby their first bath can be intimidating, but these simple steps will make you a pro.
The thought of bathing your newborn can be panic-inducing. What if they get too slippery? What if you get soap in their eyes or water up their nose? What if they lose that precious new baby scent?
Take a deep breath. When you know how to give your baby a bath, the process can be relatively easy — and maybe even enjoyable for both of you. Here, you’ll learn all the must-know info, from what to gather up before bath time to each step of the process.
How To Give Your Baby A Quick Clean
Like we mentioned earlier, should you need to do a quick clean-up, try our No Rinse Cleansing Water, which is gentle enough to use on newborns! This is perfect to use when youre out and about and not near your cleanser, a tub, or a sink.
It gently cleans your babys face, body, and diaper area while softening their skin. To apply, squirt a little bit of the cleansing water on a soft cloth, diaper wipe, or cotton ball and glide it over your babys skin.
When youre done, simply pat your little ones skin dry. No need to rinse or apply water!
You can also try our Organic Micellar Water with Olive Oil and Aloe. Made with EWG-verified olive oil and aloe, its ideal for your little ones delicate skin!
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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.
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!
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