Have All The Supplies Ready
Whether its a diaper change, a sponge bath, or a bath in the sink, before you start cleaning your newborn, it is imperative that you have all of the supplies that you will need ready and placed within easy reach.
A general list of things you will need to have ready before you start your cleaning regiment include: diaper, powder, washcloths, towels, a basin of warm water, baby soap, lotion or petroleum jelly, an infant brush, a clean change of clothing, a nail file or baby nail clippers , and a ball syringe
You should make sure that all supplies are in arms reach. Also, ensure that you are in a safe and secure environment. And, always make sure that you have at least one hand on your newborn the entire time. Your little one may not be able to roll over yet, but he can be quite squirmy. If he is left unattended even for a split second, there is a chance that he could fall off of whatever surface you are working on and sustain a very serious injury. If you are unsure of yourself or unsteady, you might want to enlist the help of another person.
Use The Right Products
- If your baby has cradle cap or eczema, be sure youre using the right shampoo and wash for their skin. Look for naturally moisturizing ingredients, such as jojoba, shea butter, colloidal oatmeal, and calendula. Colloidal oatmeal is known to relieve eczema. Try Babo Botanicalss Sensitive Newborn Foam Baby Wash.
- If you want an amazing baby scent made from natural essential oils and packed with moisturizing ingredients, try our Moisturizing Baby Shampoo and Wash, which was made specifically for dry and sensitive skin on babies.
Shower Tips To Make It A Safer Experience
If you take your baby into the shower well-prepared, you can make it a safer and more fun! experience for both of you. Just keep this in mind from the get-go: You may not get as clean as youd like. Expectations can put a damper on the experience, so keep em low.
First off, make sure to have a grippy mat securely placed on your shower floor. This helps prevent slips and falls and gives you secure footing as you shower with your little one.
To further handle potentially slippery situations, some parents prefer to use bath gloves rather than their bare hands when holding their baby in the shower. These gloves allow for a tighter grip.
A water sling can also provide a more secure way to hold your baby in the shower, especially if youre just rinsing them off with lukewarm water which is often fine for an infant who isnt yet eating solids or crawling around, getting dirty.
If going with this option, its best not to take your baby out of the sling while in the shower.
Make sure you have an easy way to dispense any shower products while youre in there, keeping in mind that you likely wont be able to pick up the shampoo bottle in one hand and squeeze product into the other. Pump bottles or hands-free dispensers are good options.
And while youre at it, be mindful of what you fill these bottles or dispensers with when it comes to baby.
Use lukewarm water not so hot you steam up the bathroom quickly and avoid having the spray hit your babys face.
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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.
How To Give Your Newborn A Tub Bath
Once your baby’s umbilical cord has fallen off and after a boy’s circumcision has healed, you can give your baby a tub bath. This can be a pleasurable experience for you and your baby. However, some babies may not like to be bathed, especially the first few times. Talk softly or sing and try some bath toys if your baby protests.
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Take Your Time And Focus
- Choose a time when youre not trying to tackle a million things at once. Whether its early morning or in the evening before bedtime, make sure youre focused on the task at hand.
- Dont rush it! Bathing a baby the right way takes time. Set aside a chunk of time to allow you to get it done without frustration.
- Turn off your phone. Now is not the time to check your Instagram feed. Not fully attending to your baby is dangerous and puts them in harms way.
Your Baby’s First Bath
Your midwife or public health nurse will show you how to bathe your baby for the first time. Don’t be afraid to ask for help or to see it done once or twice before you try.
You can also give your baby a ‘top and tail’ clean instead of a bath. When you are more confident, you can wash your baby in the main bath or in the sink, or in their own small baby bath. You could also have them in the bath with you.
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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.
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.
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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 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:
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Is It Safe To Shower With Your Baby
Without the proper tools, its not the safest option, and here are some reasons why:
Youre slippery. Babys slippery. The floor is slippery. In other words, theres a greater fall risk in the shower.
Depending on the pressure of the water, a shower can be quite shocking. Water hitting babys body can cause a struggle, which is not what you want with an increased fall risk.
Typical shower gels and shampoos that you use on yourself may hurt babys sensitive eyes or delicate skin.
And just using these items in the first place without planning ahead of time to use a sling or some other carrier for baby necessitates a one-handed baby hold, which isnt safe, either.
Best Temperature For A Bath
You can experiment to see what temperature your baby likes their bath best. In general, lukewarm temperatures are ideal. You dont want the bath to be too cold, but you certainly dont want it too hot.
Some parents err on the side of heating the bath up too much, and risk scalding their babies. The AAP recommends that your babys bath be no more than 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Its helpful to fill the baby tub or sink with a few inches of water before immersing your baby in it. Test the water first to see if it is an appropriate temperature for your baby.
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Dont Forget To Moisturize
A newborns skin is very thin, which makes it extremely fragile, sensitive, and prone to drying out. If its allowed to dry out, the skin can become irritated and the risk of developing eczema, a condition that causes itchy, scaly, and sometimes painful bumps, increases.
To keep your newborns skin baby smooth, make sure you apply moisturizer on a regular basis. If your LO appears to have normal skin, moisturizing once a day after bathing, especially should be sufficient. If your newborn seems to have dry skin, you should apply lotion a few times a day.
Use a dye-free and fragrance-free lotion. Alternatively, you could use petroleum jelly. Make sure that you apply a liberal amount and that you work it in very well. Concentrate on areas that seem dry, but dont forget to moisturize all of the skin even the areas that dont seem like they may not be dry.
Also, it is important to note that you should make sure that any lotion or petroleum jelly you apply is worked in very well before picking up your baby. The last thing you want is to have slippery hands when you pick up your newborn.
Can You Bathe Your Baby While The Umbilical Cord Stump Is Still Attached
During your babyâs first few weeks, while the umbilical cord stump is still attached, you should only give sponge baths.
A sponge bath is as simple as wrapping your baby in a towel, and wiping her with a damp washcloth and soapy water. Youâll want to do this on a comfortable surface such as a changing table. Keep your baby wrapped in the towel, bathing one part at a time.
The umbilical cord stump typically falls off in a few weeks. If it stays on longer than that, you might want to check with your babyâs healthcare provider.
Youâll want the umbilical cord stump to dry up and fall off on its own, which is why only sponge baths are recommended until that time.
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Tips If Your Baby Is Fussy
Not all babies will enjoy having a bath. If your baby is fussy while bathing, don’t worry. You can try some of the suggestions below to see things improve:
- avoid bathing your baby when they are hungry or tired
- wash a little at a time, rather than giving your child a full bath
- wrap your baby in a towel and then gently lower them into the water as you unwrap them
- place a warm face cloth on top of your babys tummy in the bath
- gently splash water on your baby
- bathe your baby with an adult.
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Don’t Soak The Baby In Water
Though it might be tempting to give a newborn a bath in a sink or an infant tub, dont do it. Submerging a newborn in water can damage the umbilical stump, delay healing time, and potentially cause an infection.
Until the stump has fallen off and healed, its best to avoid taking a traditional bath.
How can you bathe your newborn without putting him or her in water? Give the baby a sponge bath with a washcloth and dye-free and fragrance-free soap. Fill up a bowl with warm water , undress the baby and lay him on a flat surface. Leave the diaper on and wrap the little one in a towel.
Add soap to the water, dip a washcloth in the water, and wring it out. Work from the head down, exposing only the area that you are cleaning and keeping the other parts of the body covered with the towel. After washing each section down, cover it back up with the towel. Save the diaper area for last. Carefully remove it and wash down the area. Use a towel to pat dry and put a new diaper back on immediately.
Apply lotion, dress the baby, and voila, youre all done!