How To Sponge Bathe A Newborn
For the first week or so after birth, youll want to give baby a quick, gentle sponge bath. Heres how.
Step 1: Gather supplies. Use our handy baby bath supplies checklist to make sure youve got everything you need. At a minimum, youll want a dry towel, clean diaper, washcloths and baby soap at the ready. Have all your supplies within arms reach so you dont have to step away, Smith advises. Never leave a baby alone in the bath, even for a second.
Step 2: Pick a place. Decide where youll be giving baby that newborn bath. While not strictly necessary, baby bathtubs are convenient. They can be placed in the sink or tub, and some have a hammock-style sling that supports babys head. Choose a spot thats fairly warm and where its comfortable for you to kneel or stand while keeping a hand on baby at all times.
Step 3: Wash small sections at a time. After removing her clothes and diaper and placing her in the baby bathtub , youll want to cover baby with another towel, lifting only a small area at a time and patting dry as you go. Using a washcloth dipped in warm water, gently wipe baby all over, paying special attention to her diaper area and any creases and rolls.
When Is The Best Time Of Day To Bathe Your Newborn
There is no one perfect time to give your baby a bath â itâs your decision. Choose a time when youâre least likely to be interrupted and you arenât in a hurry.As a general rule, youâll find bathing your newborn is usually easiest when he or she is wide awake and content.Itâs best not to bathe your newborn baby when he or she is tired or hungry. If you plan to give your baby a bath after feeding, wait a while to give your childâs tummy a chance to settle.When your infantâs a little older , you might like to schedule bath times for the evening as part of his or her bedtime routine.
Clean And Clear Special Circumstances
When youre bathing your baby two or three times a week, skin hygiene is critical:
- Stool can quickly irritate the skin, so change your babys diapers frequently, and wipe thoroughly using a front-to-back motion for female babies.
- While bathing a circumcised male baby, shake the water slightly so it runs over the penis. Do the same for an uncircumcised male, but gently retract the foreskin first you wont be able to pull it back very far, so dont force it or worry youre not being thorough.
- If your baby has cradle cap, a scalp condition that causes scaly patches to appear on the skin, you can wash the affected area with an anti-dandruff shampoo or gently rub it with a soft brush and baby oil. Use a gentle, circular motion to pull up the skin flakes rubbing too hard can pull out hair and the underlying layers of skin.
Use the same brushing method for skin rashes, such as eczema or diaper dermatitis. Harsh soaps can cause rash flare-ups, which is another reason to use mild, chemical-free soaps and bathe your baby less often. After cleaning the affected areas, apply a thick layer of Vaseline or Aquaphor to moisturize the skin and protect it from further irritation. Use more than you think you need most new parents dont use enough.
Also Check: How To Help Relieve Colic In Newborns
Cutting Your Baby’s Nails
Some babies are born with long nails and it’s important to cut them in case they scratch themselves. You can buy special baby nail clippers or small, round-ended safety scissors. If you find the idea of cutting your baby’s nails too nerve-wracking, you could try filing them down with a fine emery board instead.
Bath Water Temperature Safety For The Elderly
The temperature of bath water is not often considered as a major safety hazard to adults, but to the elderly with impaired senses and slower movement, it is a significant risk. Bathing in water that is too hot obviously runs the risk of burns but there is also danger in water that is hot yet not hot enough to burn the skin and on the other end cold bath water. Some of these bath water temperature risks applies to younger adults, children and infants as well.
Read Also: What Rights Does A Father Have To A Newborn Baby
Temperatures Suitable For A Hot Water Bath
Hot bathing water for the elderly should not exceed 42 degrees Celsius . If the elderly is renowned for impaired temperature perception and lives alone, his/her thermostat should get adjusted to slightly below 42 degrees Celsius . Same should get done to the elderly who responds quickly on contact with hot water. Burns may not result from water at this level, but it can affect the body in various ways. How fast one gets out of the water, and how long he/she has been in the water gets to determine the intensity of the damage done.
Blood vessels found on the skins surface dilate when in contact with hot water. As a result, blood flows from the bodys internal organs towards the skins surface. The body reacts this way as its way of dispelling excess heat to maintain the normal temperature level. But this excess blood flow is not good. Together with the subsequent compensatory mechanisms, it causes cardiovascular strain.
To the elderly, the heart starts working harder at 39 degrees Celsius , and it can result in a lot of problems. Now that you are aware of the right temperature for a hot bath, you may wonder if cold water is ideal for bathing. Continue reading to grasp some knowledge. You may also add essential oils for a relaxing bath.
Safe Baby Bath Temperature
Most babies love bath time. But even though bath time can be fun, there are serious safety tips to follow to avoid accidents. In this article, part of our National Bath Safety Month series, well cover the importance of safe bath temperatures for your baby.
Since babies can be scalded by hot water in merely a second, water temperature safety is a critical component to overall bath safety. There are many things you can do to prevent running an overly hot bath, even if you have a problematic faucet.
One of the first things you can do is adjust your water systems temperature setting. Most hot water systems have a temperature control. If you adjust the temperature at the source, you can avoid potential problems with the heat of the water coming out of the faucet. If you can set it below 120 F that makes it easier to run a bath thats between 90-100 F, which is not too hot and not too cold.
Use the elbow test to determine if the bath is the correct temperature. Instead of feeling the water with your hand, put your elbow in it. If your elbow feels warm, the bath temperature is good for your baby. If the water feels hot on your elbow, the water will be hot for baby.
If you find that your bath water is too hot, you can add cold water to cool it down. Just make sure you swirl the water to eliminate any hot spots. Also, make sure you dont make the bath water too deep2-4 inches of water is plenty! If its too deep, let the water drain out.
Read Also: How To Wrap A Newborn
Safe Bath Temperature For Babies And Children: What You Need To Know
A safe bath temperature for babies and children is between 37°C and 38°C.
Scalds can happen in seconds if bath water is too hot. Many scalds happen in the bathroom when:
- a child is placed in a dangerously hot bath
- a child is already in the water and puts a hand or foot under running hot water
- water in the bath hasnt been swirled, so there are hot and cold areas
- children turn on the taps themselves.
A child can be severely scalded in under a second when the temperature of water coming out of your taps is around 65°C. When the water coming out of your taps is at a maximum of 50°C, its much safer. At this temperature, it takes five minutes to severely scald a child.
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.
Don’t Miss: What Causes Sids In Newborns
How To Bathe Your Baby
How Often Do You Bathe A Newborn
Newborns need not bathe daily, and two to three baths a week are sufficient to keep them clean . Take the pediatricians opinion if you wish to bathe the newborn more than thrice a week. You may wash the babys face, hands, neck, and bottom every day with water or a sponge since these areas are most likely to become dirty easily.
You May Like: Why Do Newborns Get Fussy At Night
Is Very Hot Water Ideal For Bathing
Too hot water cause burns. The extent of the damage gets determined by the fragility of your skin. The duration at which the very hot water was in contact also determines the damage. Very hot water ranges from 46 50 degrees Celsius . Water within this range is quite hot for bathing with, but you can make it suitable by adding some cold water.
You can also leave it for a while to lose heat into the environment until it reaches a temperature ideal for bathing. But temperatures ranging from 60 70 degrees Celsius are a real danger even when exposed for a short term. In this regard, you may question what temperature suits a hot water bath. It is as follows
What Is A Swaddle Bath
If youve got a fussy baby, especially in the earliest weeks, a swaddle bath can help make babys first few bath times go a lot smoother.
A swaddle bath is when you loosely swaddle your baby before putting them in the tub, keeping your baby wrapped while theyre in the water. This helps them feel secure and warm, and it helps you keep a grip on your slippery, wiggly little one.
Heres how to do a swaddle bath:
Heres a helpful video showing how to do a swaddle bath.
If you give your baby a swaddle bath, the same guidance applies as for regular baths: dont bathe baby every day , make sure baby is sitting up in their tub or sink, use warm water and keep one hand supporting baby as much as possible.
Recommended Reading: What Are The Signs Of Colic In Newborns
How Do I Know If My Babys Bath Is Too Hot
The best, most reliable option to check the temperature of your babys bath water is a bath temperature thermometer. This is what we use, and I appreciate that it lets me know if the bath temperature is too hot or too cool, which is especially helpful when adding fresh hot or cold water for refills during long, play filled toddler baths.
You can also test the water temperature without gadgets by dipping in your elbow. This safety tip may sound bizarre to dip your elbow rather than your hand but elbow skin has different heat sensitivity to the rest of your body, and most resembles how hot water would feel to your babys skin.
Do I Really Need Special Soap
To bath your baby, support the head, neck and back on one arm, while using your free hand to gently wet, wash and rinse their body.
Only use soaps that are specially formulated for babies. Adult soaps contain ingredients designed to remove oil and cleanse the skin. These detergents tend to dry out a babys skin very easily, says PaedIQ paediatrician Dr Iqbal Karbanee.
Also Check: How To Help With Newborn Congestion
Suitable Bath Water Temperature
The ideal temperature for bathing water gets decided based on personal preferences of many people. The perfect bath water temperature gets recommended to be a degree or two higher than your average body temperature. But people come with different preferences and to some, the recommended temperature may not suit them. People should get cautious of their water temperatures as it may affect them differently. Bathing water above 39 degrees Celsius or 102.2 Fahrenheit causes a physiological effect that leads to compromise a persons health.
It is important to note that our bodies perceive temperature by comparing our internal temperature and that of the environment. Your bathroom air temperature should be at a comfortable range adaptable by your body before deciding on the temperature to use for your bathing water. The temperature in the bathroom air, and that in your bathing water should have slight or no difference at all. Your body then wont have to go through many changes to compensate for the temperature difference between the two. But some people prefer bathing with very hot water and leaves us wondering if its ideal for bathing. Here is the insight.