Newborn Hair & Cradle Care
Not every baby is blessed with a full head of hair at birth, but if your baby was, wash it with a gentle baby shampoo as needed. Simply apply a dab of shampoo to her hair, gently massage it in and let it sit for a short while before rinsing it out. Wash your baby’s hair last so she doesn’t have to sit in soapy water.
Bathing Your Newborn In A Bath
Youâll still want to give your baby girl or boy a proper bath every few days or so. If you feel a bit nervous about giving your newborn his or her first bath, donât worry. Bathing a slippery, squirming newborn baby can take some practice, but youâll soon get the hang of it.Bath time is also a great time for your partner, a grandparent or other close relative to lend a hand. Delegating bath duties isnât just a fantastic bonding opportunity for the person doing the bathing, it can be an opportunity for Mum to grab a little extra âme timeâ â especially during the whirlwind first few weeks with your newborn.When the time comes, itâs important to be prepared, so make sure the room is warm enough and get everything ready before you start giving your baby a bath:
Your babyâs bath â this can be a special baby bath or you could use a clean washing-up bowl. A smaller baby bath might help your child feel more secure.
A clean nappy
How We Wrote This Article
The 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.
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Water Isnt Enough For Your Babys Bath
Water as a cleanser doesn’t remove the fat-soluble impurities left behind under nappies and clothes, and if they remain, they can cause the delicate skin barrier to break down. And water alone can actually dry your babys skin. Repeated use of water only, especially when hard or chlorinated, has been shown to cause moisture loss from the skin cells, which can leave baby skin irritated or red.
A gentle baby specific cleanser like JOHNSON’S® TOP-TO-TOE® Wash is recommended to help cleanse effectively.
How Often Do Babies Need Baths
In your babys first year, they may only need about three baths a week. This is usually frequent enough if you wash the diaper area thoroughly every time you change your baby.
Bathing once a day or every other day is also OK, but any more frequently than that could dry out your babys skin. Thats especially the case if you use soap or other baby wash.
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Babys First Bath Time
When that first bath time comes, theres a lot for parents to consider, from what products you need to use to the water temperature and depth. However, for babys first bath, its best to keep things simple and stick to a few tried and tested tips, including:
- Bathe them with someone else around for support and confidence
- Stick to gentle sponge baths initially
- Start with a short bath and a quick clean to let them get used to the experience
Remember, while your babys umbilical cord stump is still attached (this will fall off anytime between around five and 15 days after birth1 its best to avoid getting it wet to avoid infection, so sponge bathing may be the best method for keeping your little one clean in their first couple of weeks.
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.
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Tips For Safely Bathing Your Newborn
Besides keeping your baby happy and getting them clean, safety should be a top concern when it comes to bathing your baby. Unfortunately, drowning is something all parents of newborns need to be aware of.
As the AAP notes, ost child drownings inside the home occur in bathtubs, and more than half of bathtub deaths involve children under 1 year of age. These are sobering statistics, but they are not meant to scare you instead, they are reminders to take safety very seriously when it comes to bathing your baby.
Here are some other safety recommendations to keep in mind:
Why Not Every Day
While it may feel odd to bathe your baby so infrequently, babies simply dont need to bathe as often as adults. They dont sweat or get dirty in the same way as older people, and their skin is much more sensitive than that of adults. Frequent bathing can actually do more harm than good.
To avoid drying out babys skin and worsening conditions like eczema, bathe your little one to two times per week and wash them with a mild, fragrance- and dye-free soap. When you get them out of the bath, pat them dry before applying a dye- and fragrance-free baby moisturizer and promptly dressing them.
If your little one has a known skin condition, consult their pediatrician to make a plan for exactly what products and routines you can follow to help them stay comfortable.
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Bathing A Baby: The First Tub Bath
Make the first tub baths quick ones. Fill the tub with only 2 or 3 inches of warm — not hot — water. Use one hand to support babyâs head, then slowly lower them.
- Using a washcloth or baby bath sponge, wash the face and hair. When rinsing, protect eyes with your hand across the forehead. Gently wash the rest of baby with water and a small amount of soap.
- Use water or a cleanser designed for babies. As hair grows, try gentle baby shampoo.
- To keep baby warm during the bath, cup your hand to let handfuls of water wash over baby’s chest.
- Gently pat baby dry. Apply baby lotion all over to seal in moisture.
- Now it’s time for a fresh diaper. Apply diaper ointment to protect against irritation.
When bath time is over, wrap baby in a towel right away, covering baby’s head for warmth. Congratulations on a successful bath!
Where Should I Bathe My Newborn
You can give your newborn a bath in a small plastic bath or even in the kitchen sink. The kitchen sink might be easiest in the first few weeks. A plastic baby bath is probably easier once your baby gets bigger. You can bath your baby in any room thats warm, safe and clean it doesnt have to be a bathroom.
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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.
When Should You First Bathe Your Newborn
Youve just had a baby, congratulations! It is an extraordinary experience to hold such a precious gift in your hands. But now comes the tough part! You will receive tons of advice on how to take care of the new baby, when should you first bathe a newborn, when you should first feed them, etc. Chances are a lot of the advice you receive will be outdated.
If your baby was born in a hospital, chances are a nurse will give your baby a quick rub down herself in a small tub in your room. This is done so that the pediatrician can get a clear look at your babys skin and skin coloring.
Remember that bathing your newborn isnt just about getting them clean. As you can imagine, newborns dont get very dirty. Bathing is an opportunity that allows the parent and child to bond and share the babys new experiences together. The majority of babies enjoy a soothing warm bath. Chances are a fussy baby will calm down when you give them a warm bath. But women tend to keep wondering when should you first bathe a newborn. This is down to being overly cautious about the babys health.
When should you first bathe a newborn depends on who you get advice from! Some will tell you that it all depends on when the baby is born. If your baby was full-term and healthy, things will be different in comparison to if your baby was born premature or has any medical concerns.
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What Are The Steps To Bathe A Newborn
Bringing home a new baby is an exciting time for many families. Especially for first-time parents, there can be lots of questions about how to best care for a newborn baby. Along with learning to change diapers, feed, and dress a newborn, it’s important to know how to bathe a newborn.
Giving your newborn baby a bath can feel a bit intimidating, but if you follow some easy steps to bathing a newborn, those first baths can be not only safe but also calming, memorable, and even fun.
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.
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Staying Clean Between Baths
On the days you dont bathe your baby, they might still need a bit of freshening up. When your little one isnt dirty enough to warrant the baby bathtub, simply give them a quick wipe-down, kind of like the sponge baths they got the first couple of weeks. Baby wipes to the rescue!
With Babo Botanicalss 3-in-1 Sensitive Baby Face, Hands & Body Wipes, you can quickly, easily, and safely clean not only your babys bum but also their hands, face, and body. Made with oat milk and organic calendula oil, these plush wipes are non-drying and good for daily use. And the cherry on top is that the natural cloth fabric is 100% plant-based and biodegradable. Great for your family and the earth!Now, lets look at the best and safest way to wash your baby when you do put them in the baby tub.
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.
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Additional Newborn Bath Tips
- As you move from one area of the body to another, change the washcloth parts to keep the clean cloth on cleaner parts of the body.
- Pat the skin with a washcloth and blot dry with a towel rather than vigorously scrubbing, which may irritate your bathing babys sensitive skin.
- Spot-cleaning works best for babies who do not like either a total sponge bath or an immersion bath. Clean the areas that get the oiliest, sweaty, or dirty.
- Clean the eyes on an as-needed basis rather than during the regular bath. Infants often protest eye cleaning, which may set off a protest for the entire bath. Using cotton balls and warm tap water , wash accumulated discharge out of the corners of your babys eyes.
- Cotton-tipped applicators are handy when cleaning little crevices in and behind the outer ear, but never try to clean inside the ear canal, as you may damage the canal or eardrum.