Babys First Bath Tips For Bathing A Newborn
The thought of handling a slippery, squirmy little baby can be a bit anxiety provoking. You may also have lots of questions: When should you bathe them for the first time? How often should you bathe them? Where should you bathe themtub or sink? And so on and so forth.
Have no fear! Here are some helpful tips to make bath time lots of fun and stress-free.
How Often Should You Bathe Your Newborn
Until a baby starts getting down and dirty on the ground, a daily bath isn’t needed . Your baby only needs a bath two or three times a week and in fact too much bathing can dry out your infants delicate skin. Newborns should only have sponge baths until their umbilical cords dry up and fall off.
If your baby’s umbilical cord stump is still intact or if a circumcised newborn’s penis hasn’t healed, avoid tub baths altogether and just use your hands or a baby washcloth for cleanups. When your baby is ready to give it a go, find a flat surface bathroom or kitchen counter, bed, even the floor and keep washing up with the sponge gently and briefly until she gets used to it.
When youre ready to graduate from a sponge bath, move the fun to a baby bathtub and eventually the big tub when your baby can sit up on her own and outgrows the infant tub. There’s nothing cuter than seeing a baby splashing in the bath, soapy suds dotting those chubby folds and dimples but always keep safety in mind. Never leave your baby alone in the bath water even for a second.
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All health-related content on this website is for informational purposes only and does not create a doctor-patient relationship. Always seek the advice of your own pediatrician in connection with any questions regarding your babys health.
FDA Acknowledges Qualified Health Claim Linking Early Peanut Introduction and Reduced Risk of Developing Peanut Allergy in 2017:
For most infants with severe eczema and/or egg allergy who are already eating solid foods, introducing foods containing ground peanuts between 4 and 10 months of age and continuing consumption may reduce the risk of developing peanut allergy by 5 years of age. FDA has determined, however, that the evidence supporting this claim is limited to one study.
If your infant has severe eczema and/or egg allergy, check with your infants healthcare provider before feeding foods containing ground peanuts.
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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.
Is Tummy Time Necessary For Babies
Tummy time is important for helping your child strengthen the muscles in her arms, chest, and neckmuscles needed for sitting, crawling, and walking! It also helps to lower your babys risk of developing flat spots on his head , which can result when babies spend less time on their stomachs or upright.
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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 Should Newborns Get Their First Bath
When should newborns get their first bath? Specialists recommend giving your baby her first bath between 7 and 15 days of life. By this time, the umbilical cord will probably have fallen off, so infection should no longer be an issue. Keep in mind the bath should be short no more than 5 minutes.
When to give your baby’s first bath and how often to bathe him? For babies between the ages of 1 and 3 months, bathing once or twice a week is recommended. After the stump is gone, you will be able to give your baby a normal bath. You can use a bathtub for your baby or give your baby a bath in the sink. Be very gentle as you bathe your baby or they might slip.
What do I need for baby’s first bath? In the beginning, a sponge bath with a warm, damp washcloth is all your newborn needs. Before giving your baby her first tub bath, wait until her umbilical cord falls off, which usually happens ten to 14 days after birth. When your baby is ready to go in the tub, it’s fine to use just water.
When should you first bathe your Newborn? Most hospitals will recommend that your baby gets her first bath one day after her birth. But if you want, and your baby is well, she can have a bath a few hours after the birth just as long as she is healthy and full term, her body temperature is normal, and the room is warm.
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When To Give First Bath To Newborn
3 mins readThe World Health Organization recommends delaying the first bath until at least 24 hours after birth, as your little ones bath is one of the firstWhen to give baby their first bath, researchers at the Boston Medical Center increased the wait time for newborn baths to at least 12 hours after birth from its standard two to four.
How To Bathe Your Baby
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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.
Preparing For Babys First Bath
1. The longer you wait for babys first bath, the better.
While many institutions used to bathe babies within an hour or two of birth, many have now changed their policies. The World Health Organization recommends delaying your babys first bath at least 24 hours after birth. If this is not possible due to cultural reasons, bathing should be delayed for at least 6 hours.
There are benefits to delaying baby’s first bath, roughly 24 hours or several days, in order to maintain the smell of baby’s first environment, said Sarah Weinstein, a certified nurse-midwife at Banner – University Medical Center South Campus Multispecialty Services in Tucson, AZ. This is thought to be soothing, and it also allows a more natural transition to the extra-uterine environment.
Newborns dont come out clean and ready to snuggle, but that creamy, white coating, called the vernix, has amazing benefits for baby and helps keep their skin moist. According to the Academy of Pediatrics, the vernix is especially important for preemies, whose skin is highly prone to injury.
2. Sponge baths are best until the stump of the umbilical cord falls off.
Until your babys tiny umbilical cord stump falls off, stick to a sponge or damp cloth bath. There are several reasons for this, but one of the biggest is to prevent infection.
We want to avoid submerging baby in water until this takes place, Weinstein said. This allows for the normal healing process whereby the umbilical cord stump dries and falls off.
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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.
If Your Newborn Hates The Bath
Its actually very common for newborns to dislike bath time, especially at first. You may be surprised to learn this, and even think you are doing something wrong or that there is something wrong with your baby if they cry or fuss during bathtime.
One reason some babies resist bathtime is that they dont like the sudden temperature changes that happen. You can mitigate this by gently transitioning your baby into the water. Wrap them in a towel at first and gradually immerse them in the water, keeping the towel on until they are all the way in.
You can also experiment with bath temperatures to see what your baby likes best. And always have a warm towel ready when they come out so that transition isnt too jarring.
Some newborn prefer bathtime if you are holding them completely. As such, many parents decide to bathe with their babies in their arms. This can be a wonderful bonding experience. However, you must consider safety here. Only bathe with your baby when you are fully alert. Make sure you have a towel ready, and possibly another grown-up to hand your baby to when you are done. Dont use soaps and other bath products geared toward adult skin.
Finally, keep bathtime fun for your baby! Newborns cant play with bath toys yet, but that doesnt mean they cant be entertained by them. Funny faces and games of peek-a-boo can be very helpful as well.
You can spot clean your baby in the meantime. And most babies will eventually enjoy bath timeall in good time.
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How Do You Give A Baby A Bath After The Umbilical Cord Falls Off
Once you bring your baby home, you can give them a sponge bath. You can clean their head, body, and diaper area. This is the safest way to bathe your baby until their umbilical cord falls off. Once the cord has fallen off on its own, you can begin bathing your baby by submerging their body in a shallow bath.
What Temperature Should Baby Bath Water Be
Temperature-wise, youre going for water thats warm but not too warmyou dont want your baby to be chilly, but you dont want to risk a burn, either. This can be pretty nerve wracking if youre a new parent, which is why we love the White Hot Ducky from Munchkin. Its a bath toy that doubles as a temperature gauge hot appears in white letters on the bottom of the duck if it senses the water is too warm. All for under three bucksgenius!
How much water should you use? While your little one is in a safe space, head over to the sink or your tub and fill either with a few inches with water. There should be enough water to dip a washcloth into, but not much more than that.
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