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.
How Often Should You Bathe A Newborn
Bathing a newborn is something many new parents eagerly look forward to. After all, there is nothing sweeter than a tiny baby getting gently soaped up and cleaned, while splashing around.
But the reality of bathing our babies may be different than expected and you may also be concerned about how to bathe your baby safely.
Maybe you have a baby who seems to really dislike baths. Or you feel unsure of how often to bathe them. Too much to bathe them daily? What if you cant get in a decent bath more than once or twice a week?
Rest assured, bathing your baby doesnt have to be as complicated as it seems. A few basic tips can go a long way.
As for how often you need to bathe your baby? There arent too many rules. If your baby can only get in a good bath a few times a week, you are actually totally on track. Its also usually OK if you want to bathe your baby more frequently, too.
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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How Often To Give A Newborn A Sponge Bath
Cotton balls for the eyes and earsEven a blanket or towel on the floor is ok.Find baby bath procedure and tips below.First, make sure the room is nice and warm.
For newborns, a sponge bath one to three times a week should be sufficient.For newborns, a sponge bath one to three times a week should be sufficient.For newborns, a sponge bath one to three times a week should be sufficient.For the first two weeks, or so, pediatricians recommend sponge baths.
For the first week or so its best to give your infant sponge baths with a warm, damp washcloth.For these reasons, most doctors recommend only bathing your newborn baby a few days per week.Get everything you need ready so you dont have to leave your babys side once you start.Give only sponge baths till umbilical cord falls off.
How do you give a sponge bath?How often do you need to bathe your baby?How often should i give my newborn a sponge bath?How often should i give my newborn a sponge bath?
How often should you bathe a newborn?How to bathe your baby in a bath tubHow to give a baby a sponge bath.How to give a baby a sponge bath.
How to give a newborn a sponge bath until the umbilical cord stump heals, you should keep your infant clean with sponge baths.How to give a sponge bath.How to give your newborn a sponge bath.In the first year of your babys life, you really only need to bathe them once or twice per week.
About The Umbilical Cord
The umbilical cord is also called as a navel string, or a birth cord. It is a channel between the placenta and the growing fetus. The main purpose of umbilical cord is to deliver oxygen, and nutrients to the embryo in the womb. This cord is filled with a fluid called as umbilical cord fluid.
This fluid has plenty of stem cells present in it. It is around ten times greater than the fluid collected from the bone marrow. This fluid is effective for the treatment of cancer, immune system disorders, blood ailments like anemia, that has the ability to disturb the defensive ability of the body.
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Newborn Babys Belly Button Bleeding
The mother should first observe whether there is redness around the babys umbilicus. If there is simply a little blood seepage, it is not a big problem. In some cases, it may be due to improper care, as the rubbing of clothes or blankets may break the blood scab just formed on the belly button, causing it to bleed. This is the time for parents to take good care of their babys belly button. The clothes and blankets that you wear for your baby must be soft.
When the belly button bleeds, parents should wipe away the blood with a clean cotton swab and then wrap the umbilicus with sterile gauze. Usually, it will heal in a few days, and there is no need to use hemostatic drugs, but attention should be paid to the dryness of the navel.
Red Flags: When To Get Medical Attention
Since the umbilical stump is very sensitive and delicate, there are a few warning signs that you need to be mindful of. For instance, if your baby develops a fever of 38 C or higher, it is considered an emergency. Here are some of the common medical conditions that require medical attention right away:
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How To Care For The Umbilical Cord
The doctor or the hospital staff will give you instructions on how to care for your babys umbilical cord stump. The rule of thumb is to keep the area clean and dry until it eventually falls off on its own. In caring for your babys umbilical cord stump, remember the following:
Expose the area to air as often as possible.
This will help the cord dry out quickly and fall off sooner. As long as the temperature is warm and tolerable for your baby, you can leave that area uncovered.
Use a newborn diaper or a diaper with special cut-out on the front.
It is essential to keep the cord out of the diaper not only to help it dry out sooner but also to prevent urine and feces from contaminating the area. If your babys umbilical cord accidentally gets soiled, it will need to be cleaned.
If you dont have a diaper with a special cut-out in front, you may simply fold down the upper front portion of the diaper. This way, you can prevent it from covering the umbilical cord stump.
Do not submerge the umbilical cord stump in water.
We know how excited you are to bathe your baby, but while the cord stump is still there, it is advised that you stick with sponge baths for a while. In a sponge bath, you can clean your babys face and other body parts using a damp wash cloth without actually placing your baby into the water.
Do not try to pull the umbilical cord stump.
Frequently check the area for signs of infection.
Do not cover or bind the umbilical cord.
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.
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Caring For Your Newborns Umbilical Cord
Newborn umbilical cord care is one of the most important tasks you must learn once you bring your baby home. If youre a new or expecting parent, knowing how to keep a babys umbilical cord clean and free from infection is a very valuable skill in keeping them healthy during the first few days of their life.
Failing To Monitor The Length Of Time Cord Stump Is Healing
Some cord stumps take longer to heal than others. What is an appropriate time frame? The answer is two months. Most cord stumps fall off in a matter of a few days or weeks. This is normal and this is good. The quicker they fall off the easier it is on the new parents.
Some cord stumps like to be a little more stubborn than others, though. If after two months your baby’s cord stump hasn’t completely fallen off then give your doctor a call. There may be something else at work that needs addressed.
Days seem to blend together as a new parent, so it can be difficult to keep track. Thankfully, we live in a digital age. Set a reminder for yourself to follow up on the time frame each time you clean your baby’s cord stump.
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Delayed Bathing Also Improves Bonding And Breastfeeding Success
Time post-delivery should be spent encouraging that first breastfeed and as much skin-to-skin as possible. Both help mother-baby bonding and get breastfeeding off to a good start.
So dont rush your newborns first bath theres no harm in waiting several days, even a week after delivery a thorough clean of the diaper area and any spills and messes from the other end, will be perfectly good enough and allow that vernix to do its job.
So, the full answer to when should newborns get their first bath, is between 24 hours and 7 days after delivery.
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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What To Do If Babys Umbilical Cord Does Not Fall Off
After the fetuss birth, the umbilical cord is tied, and the stump turns brownish-white for a few hours, then gradually dries up, thins out, turns black, and eventually falls off.
Under normal circumstances, most newborns umbilical cords fall off at different times depending on the babys condition, usually 1-2 weeks after birth. If your babys umbilical cord has not fallen off after two weeks, it is essential to observe the umbilical cords condition. If there are any abnormalities, it is recommended to take the baby to the hospital for consultation.
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.
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Best Time Of Day For A Bath
Similar to the question of how often to bathe your baby, what time of day to bathe your baby is really up to you!
Many families adopt the bath before bed routine, as baths can help your child relax before bedtime, and can become part of a routine that signals to them that sleep is coming.
Evening is also when parents usually have the time to dedicate to bathing their baby. However, if you prefer bathing your baby in the morning or during the day, thats perfectly OK.
When considering what time of day to bathe your baby, also consider when you are going to be most alert. Bathing babies, and especially newborns, takes good hand-eye coordination, patience, and must involve vigilance on the part of the parent.
If you think you will be distracted with other responsibilities, or with your other children, choose another time to bathe your baby.
What Are The Signs Of Umbilical Stump Infection
Umbilical cord can act as a portal of entry for infections. This could be particularly morbid in newborn babies. Keep an eye out for following signs and symptoms to seek early treatment.
These symptoms can be generalised i.e, those which occur in any infection with/without signs infection of the umbilical cord stump or localised i.e, those which occur around the umbilicus.
Warning Signs Of Umbilical Cord Infection
Signs of an umbilical cord infection may include if your babys umbilical cord stump:
- appears red or swollen in the surrounding area
- has a strong odor
- is streaked with red around the navel, or is discharging fluid
While its normal for a few drops of blood to appear when the stump separates, if you notice any of these signs of infection, call your babys pediatrician.