Should You Use Lotion After Bathing A Newborn
Take a peek in any baby store, and youll see two items always side-by-side: baby soap and baby lotion. Its understandable to think you need to apply a moisturizer daily, but babies dont need lotion after baths. In fact, many pediatricians dont recommend it. Too much moisturizer on a newborns skin can interfere with the skin barrier function.
What if babys skin is looking a bit on the dry side? Or maybe baby has eczema or cradle cap? Rub a little coconut oil on those patches instead.
Washing And Bathing Your Baby
You don’t need to bathe your baby every day. You may prefer to wash their face, neck, hands and bottom carefully instead. This is often called “topping and tailing”.
Choose a time when your baby is awake and content. Make sure the room is warm. Get everything ready beforehand. You’ll need a bowl of warm water, a towel, cotton wool, a fresh nappy and, if necessary, clean clothes.
When Should A Newborn Have Their First Bath
Ideally, you should wait 5-7 days post birth to give baby a bath.
While that may sound stinky, adhering to this timeline is actually best for baby. Waiting to bathe baby allows the vernix to absorb. Waiting to bathe a newborn also
- : Studies show that delaying babys first bath decreases the rate of both hypothermia and hypoglycemia.
- Until your babys temperature regulates, he is susceptible to hypothermia. Early bathing can even cause breathing problems due to poor temperature regulation.
- Reduces babys stress levels: Anywhere but mamas arms can be stressful for a newborn. In fact, a study published in the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry and Allied Disciplines revealed that mothers touch can reduce cortisol levels in babies.
- Enhances breastfeeding success: Studies show that delayed a babys first bath can promote mother-child bond and enhance the breastfeeding connection. 30279-9/pdf” rel=”nofollow”> source)
If that wont work, according to the World Health Organization, you need to wait at least 24 hours to bathe baby. This gives baby time to recover from birth and regulate his/her body temperature.
Note: If a bath absolutely must occur before a baby is 24 hours old, the WHO states that the baby must be a minimum of at least six hours old.
Don’t Miss: Is It Bad For Newborns To Sleep On Their Side
Tips For Sponge Bathing Your Baby
Keep your baby covered in a warm towel while youre bathing them. Only uncover the parts of your babys body that youre washing, keeping the rest of their body warm and wrapped up in the towel.
Dont forget to wash hard-to-see areas, like behind your babys ears, under their arms, around their neck, and the genital area. And if your baby has sweet little rolls on their legs and arms, move their skin to wash in-between the creases.
How Do You Know If Your Baby Is Hungry
- They begin to suck on their hands or fist.
- They turn toward your chest or move their head in the direction of the baby bottle.
- Their eyelids start to droop, and they begin to lose focus.
- Their body tenses up, and they make fists with their hands.
- They open their mouth as if for a feeding.
- They cry because hunger is uncomfortable, but its a babys way of communicating their needs.
Don’t Miss: When Is A Newborn’s First Doctors Appointment
Giving Your Newborn A Bath: Steps
These steps make bathing your newborn easy:
Children can drown in a few seconds in very shallow water. Never leave your baby alone in the bath, even if youre using a bath seat or cradle. Never leave older children or siblings to supervise. If youre disturbed by the phone or another task, take your baby out of the bath.
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.
Read Also: How Often Can I Bathe My Newborn
Dont Forget All The Easy
Newborns have an abundance of adorable folds and rolls, which can be easy to miss when you’re bathing them. Specifically, make sure to wash the folds around your newborns neck, wrists, knees, and elbows.
And dont forget to clean behind your babys ears, as well as in-between their fingers and toes. Wash your babys genitals and diaper area thoroughly. Its extremely important to clean this area well, but this task should always be left for last.
That way, any bacteria or germs that get washed off wont dirty other areas of your loved ones body, which helps prevent rashes and other skin conditions.
How Often Does A Newborn Need A Bath
Growing up, you may have heard that babies and children must be bathed daily for optimum cleanliness. However, this isnt the case. Especially with a newborn, bathing daily can actually dry the skin, and irritate it.
Additionally, most newborns do not get very dirty, so its not necessary to fully immerse them in a bath each day or night. You can spot clean any areas of concern in between baths.
For these reasons, most doctors recommend only bathing your newborn baby a few days per week.
AAP recommends bathing your baby no more than three days per week. Of course, even that is not a hard and fast rule.
If you want to bathe your baby more often, thats fine, and if you only bathe your baby one or two days per week , thats fine too!
As your baby gets older and ventures into the toddler years, they are going to get dirtier, because they will be exploring everything and playing outside. Your bathing frequency will likely naturally increase during this time.
You May Like: What To Do When Newborn Constipated
Safety Tips For Bath Time
Its important to keep safety in mind at bath time. Babies and young children should never be left unattended in a bath, not even for a minute . Here are some bath time tips:
- Get everything ready ahead of your babys bath, so you have everything you need to hand.
- Make sure you always use the hot and cold taps at the same time when you run the bath.
- Check the bath water temperature first before putting your baby in. The standard way to check is to put your elbow in the water because your hand can cope with high temperatures.
- Dont be distracted away by another child, a phone call or doorbell. What feels like a couple of seconds can turn into a minute or two. Leaving your little one even for a few moments could be enough time for them to seriously hurt themselves or drown.
- If you forget anything ask your partner or another family member to grab it for you. Or take your baby with you to get what you need.
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.
Read Also: How Much Formula Can A Newborn Have
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.
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.
Don’t Miss: When Do Newborns Get Their First Shots
When Is The Best Time Of Day To Give Your Baby A Bath
There is no one perfect time to give your baby a bathâitâs your decision. Choose a time when youâre least likely to be interrupted and when your baby is calm.
You may like to give your baby a bath in the daytime because sheâll naturally be more alert. Or, you may give your baby a bath at nighttime as part of her bedtime routine.
If you plan to give your baby a bath after feeding her, wait a while to ensure her tummy has had a chance to settle.
Where Should You Bathe Your Baby
You can bathe your baby in the sink or in a baby tub. Avoid using bath seats, as they could be dangerous if your baby tips over. There are all kinds of cute baby baths out there. Just make sure the baby tub was manufactured after October 2017. This means it should meet all the latest regulations.
But you dont need to buy a tub at all your bathroom or kitchen sink will certainly work.
Read Also: What Do I Need For My Newborn Baby Checklist
How Often Should You Bathe Your Baby
Babies are naturally very cuddly when theyre born, but that doesnt mean they dont need a bath. If your baby is healthy, curly hair with lots of soft fuzz is all you have to worry about. But if their hair is dry or looks thin in some spots, you can use baby oil once a week to give them a baby massage.
If your baby has dry skin or any diaper rash, its best to wait until the problem clears up before bathing them. You can also delay their first bath if they were born via cesarean section since their skin is more sensitive at that time. When you do bathe your baby, use a baby-safe shampoo, a washcloth, and baby towels for sensitive skin.
When baby gets a little older, you can start bathing them twice a week since they produce more oil on their bodies as they get older. For children between six months and two years old, its important not to bathe them more than once a day so that you dont strip away their natural oils.
Taking care of your baby might be the most daunting thing in your life right now, Dad. But you know you can do this, and you know youre spending time with your baby. After all, thats what matters most.
Scrubbing The Baby Too Hard
If youre used to only washing yourself, you might momentarily forget that baby skin requires an extra sensitive touch. When you are washing the baby or massaging baby after bath, you need not apply much pressure. Using a special baby washcloth, which is thinner and softer than normal ones, is preferable. They also come in really cute patterns and colors.
There is nothing wrong with using just a bar of soap, your hands, and a cup to rinse baby off with. Baby bathing is not as complicated and expensive as some make it out to be. You dont have to buy a special rinsing cup or anything like that if you dont want to.
The only time you might need to gently scrub the baby is if they start to get cradle cap, which is the formation of dry, crusty skin. It is best to consult with a dermatologist with any baby skin issue before you try to take matters into your own hands.
Recommended Reading: What To Wear For Newborn Family Photos