What Soaps Are Best
Infant care is a multi-billion dollar industry, raking in close to $17 billion annually, and skin care products make up a large percentage of overall sales, according to the market research firm Grand View Research. The glut of products on the market coupled with flashy advertising and keywords that trigger the ever-present mom-guilt make it difficult to sniff out whats actually best for your baby versus who simply has the best marketing campaign.
Dr. Cordoro advises parents to use the less-is-more approach when choosing grooming products for their children: It is best to avoid or reduce fragrances, perfumes, dyes and other additives when it comes to cleansers and moisturizers, especially if your child has sensitive skin or eczema. Does that mean parents should opt for the more expensive organic products? Bear in mind that aromatics, botanicals and essential oils can trigger allergic reactions just as synthetic ingredients can. Some organic ingredients can also dry skin or worsen skin problems like eczema.
If your baby has a known skin condition, your safest bet is to consult with your pediatrician or dermatologist before choosing any topical grooming products. As with everything parenting-related, there is no one-size-fits-all answer. What works best for your baby may not be what works best for someone elses child or even what worked best for your other children. Talk to your childs health care provider and do what works best for your baby.
Delaying Babys First Bath: 8 Reasons Why Doctors Recommend Waiting Before Giving A Newborn A Bath
My newborn daughter was screaming during her first bath as I watched helplessly from my bed. She was only about an hour old. I was trying to breastfeed her when the nurse took her from my arms, telling me that the baby had to be bathed before I was transferred to a different room. We dont do it this way anymore it is now standard protocol at many hospitals to wait 8-24 hours to give a newborn his or her first bath, and up to 48 hours if the baby was delivered by cesarian section. Delayed newborn bathing is consistent with World Health Organization recommendations and based on medical research. As a hospital-based pediatrician, I know that delayed bathing is the safest medical choice for babies. As a mom, it just seems right.
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!
Don’t Miss: Why Does My Newborn Cry At Night
Cleaning Your Baby Between Baths
Just as you’d still apply deodorant when forgoing your own shower, certain baby parts need attention daily whether they’re getting a full-on bath or not.
“Be sure that you’re cleaning the diaper area well, especially following stool or ‘poopy’ diapers, in between skin folds,” Dr. Grant advises. For baby boys, gently retract the foreskin to clean the area underneath. For girls, the area around the vagina has similar folds that should be cleaned well.
Don’t skimp on the lotion, either. “Daily application can help prevent eczema outbreaks, so this might be a useful replacement for bathtime in the bedtime routine,” says Dr. Grant. “This is especially important for babies who have already shown signs of eczema or have siblings or parents with eczema.”
How Do I Wash My Baby
- If you want to top and tail your newborn, you can do this by washing them using cotton wool and bowls of warm water.
- You can wash your newborn in a small baby bath.
- If youd prefer to share a bath with your little one, see below for more details.
- It can help to have an extra pair of hands at bath time, so encourage your partner to get involved.
- You shouldnt use any cleansing products to bathe your baby only mild, non-perfumed soap can be used where needed. Plain water is safer for your babys skin during in the first month.
You May Like: Can You Give A Newborn Gripe Water
Can You Give Your Baby Bath Toys
Keep in mind that for infants, you donât need any bath toys at all, as splashing around in the water will be enough entertainment. As your baby gets older, you can add some floating baby toys or even waterproof books to keep him occupied.
Eventually, your baby will start to enjoy baths, and at some point, it will become more like playtime than bath time. When sheâs bigger, let your little one splash around and have some fun in the water.
Between your babyâs baths, youâll probably be doing a lot of diapering. Why not get rewarded for all your efforts? Download the Pampers Club app to turn your Pampers purchases into rewards like coupons, gift cards, and more.
How we wrote this articleThe information in this article is based on the expert advice found in trusted medical and government sources, such as the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. You can find a full list of sources used for this article below.The content on this page should not replace professional medical advice. Always consult medical professionals for full diagnosis and treatment.
- See all sources
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.
You May Like: How To Help Newborn Sleep Longer At Night
How Hot Should The Water Be
The water temperature to bathe your baby should be warm, never hot. The ideal temperature is 98.6°F . You can use a bath thermometer to monitor the temperature, or check the water with your wrist or elbow to confirm its warm and not hot.
Also, check different sides of the tub or baby bath to confirm there are no hot spots. If using a tub or basin, turn on the cold water first and then the hot water to fill it.
If you live in a house, you can also adjust the water heater to ensure it doesnt go above 120°F , which can badly scald your babys skin. You likely cant adjust the water heater if you live in an apartment complex or condo.
How Frequently To Bathe Newborns
The AAP recommends bathing your infant three times a week until their first birthday. “Obviously there are unique messes that babies can find themselves in as they get older and more mobile that may require an extra bath from time to time,” says Dr. Grant. “But in general, this rule is sufficient as long as the diaper area is cleaned appropriately at each diaper change.”
Read Also: What To Give A Newborn For A Cold
How To Give Your Baby A Bath
Get everything ready before you start your baby’s bath:
Ensure that all the supplies you need like shampoo, soap, a hooded towel, and a cup for rinsing are within armâs reachânever leave your baby unattended in the bath, so make sure you have everything you need on hand, including your babyâs fresh change of clothes
Make sure the room is warm before undressing your baby.
Follow these step-by-step guidelines for bathing your baby:
Line a sink or baby bathtub with a towel, and fill it about 2 inches full of warm water âtest it with your elbow or the inside of your wrist to make sure itâs not too hot
While supporting your babyâs head with your non-dominant hand, use your other hand to guide him into the water feet first. Youâll want to do this swiftly so he doesnât get cold, and youâll want to make sure his head and most of his body are above the water level
Wash his body from top to bottom with clear water, and, if you prefer, a mild baby soap. Keep him warm by pouring warm water over his body using a cup. Use a soft cloth to wash his face
If he has hair, itâs enough to shampoo once or twice a week. When you do, massage a drop of mild baby shampoo into his scalp, even the soft spots of his head. Be careful not to get any soapsuds or shampoo in his eyesâcup your hands over his forehead when rinsing his head. If some soap or shampoo does get into his eyes, go ahead and wipe them using a cloth dampened with clear water.
When To Give Babys First Bath
It used to be the norm at hospitals to whisk newborns away right after birth for a bath. Not anymore. Recommendations have shifted in favor of waiting at least a few hours, if not longer, for babys first bath .
Research indicates that there may be significant physical and emotional benefits to delaying that initial newborn bath. Since young babies are especially sensitive to cold, it can decrease cold stress, says Katherine Williamson, MD, a pediatrician at Childrens Hospital of Orange County in Orange, California. Cold-induced stress can cause the body to work to keep itself warm, which can cause blood sugar levels to drop, she explains, citing studies that show delaying babys first bath decreases rates of hypothermia and hypoglycemia. Plus, babies are born with a waxy, cheese-like coating on their skin, called the vernix, which you dont want to wash off, Williamson says, since it helps retain heat and can serve as an additional barrier to infections. In addition, a 2013 study found that delaying babys first bath in the hospital until at least 12 hours after birth led to an increased breastfeeding success rate, since mom can nurse more quickly and have more time for skin-to-skin bonding, Williamson adds.
Recommended Reading: How Do You Get Social Security Card For Newborn
Drying And Dressing Your Newborn After A Bath: Steps
Heres how to take your newborn out of the bath, ready for drying and dressing:
Bathing your baby takes practice, so try to relax and take your time. You might like to start by bathing your baby when someone else is around to help. If youre worried about losing your grip on your baby, you can make the bath less slippery by lining it with a clean cloth nappy or towel.
When To Give Your Baby A Bath
You can bath your baby at any time of the day. Its a good idea to pick a time when youre relaxed and you wont be interrupted. Try not to bath your baby when theyre hungry or straight after a feed.
If bathing relaxes your baby, you can use it as a way to settle your baby in the evening. Some babies sleep longer after an evening bath.
Don’t Miss: How To Put A Newborn On A Schedule
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.
Doctors Recommend Sponge Bathes To Start
For the first two weeks, or so, pediatricians recommend sponge baths. Two weeks is about how long it takes for the stump left from the baby’s umbilical cord to fall off and heal. If you completely submerge your baby in water before the wound heals, this could increase the risk of infection or cause irritation, says Daryznkiewicz.
Also, if your baby is circumcised, pediatricians recommend sponge bathing until the circumcision site is healed, as well.
“The sponge bath should start with washing the face and working downwards until you are done,” says Daryznkiewicz. “As you get comfortable you can extend the bath but you want to make sure your child stays warm.”
As they get older, you can transition to a warm bath in a few inches of water. When choosing a soap, Daryznkiewicz suggests a scent and fragrance-free option, since scents can irritate sensitive skin or cause flare-ups of eczema.
Read Also: Is It Safe For A Newborn To Fly