How To Give Your Baby A Sponge Bath
- Keep things simple, but make sure you are prepared beforehand with supplies, such as a washcloth or baby sponge, a basin of water, and a towel.
- Clean your baby on a secure surface such as a changing table or bed. You can also lay a towel or blanket on the floor to soften it, or place your baby in your lap. If your baby is on an elevated surface, you must keep on hand on your baby at all times so they dont fall.
- Be careful not to get water in your babys eyes, and dont directly sponge their healing umbilical cord stump.
- Make sure you keep your baby warm during this process. You may consider wrapping your baby with a towel and only uncovering your babys different body parts when they are ready to be washed.
Your babys umbilical cord stump should fall off within the first one to two weeks of life, at which point you can immerse your baby in water.
How To Give A Baby A Traditional Bath
Once the babys umbilical cord stump has fallen off, they can have a traditional bath. The AAD recommends the following method:
thinner skin than adults, a temperature suitable for an adult will be too hot for a baby. To test the temperature of the water, dip an elbow into the water. If the water does not feel cooler or warmer than the elbow, it is likely for a baby.
To bathe a baby safely, caregivers can follow this advice from the NCT:
How To Dry A Newborn After A Bath
Heres how to wrap up your babys bath, including a bit about rinsing, drying and using lotion:
- Rinse well. Use clean, warm water for that final rinse cycle, holding your little one football-style, with the back of his head cradled in one hand, his body draped along your arm, and his head over the basin. Fill the cup with water and gently pour it over your baby’s head and then the body parts.
- Dry her gently. Next up, pat your baby’s skin with a soft dry towel. Be sure to thoroughly dry her bottom and any other areas where there are folds of skin. Chubby babies have lots of those!
- Go easy on the baby lotion. That beautiful and ultra-sensitive skin doesn’t need much, if any, in the way of lotions, oils or creams, though a little baby-safe lotion is okay. But avoid baby powders, which can irritate an infant’s breathing passages. If your practitioner recommends it , massage a hypoallergenic lotion into her skin after warming it in your palms.
- Diaper and dress. Slip on a fresh diaper and dress your baby in some clean clothes. If she needs a little soothing after the sponge bath, swaddle her up in a blanket, then get settled in for a snuggle with your clean, sweet-smelling baby.
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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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Why Should You Not Bathe Your Baby Every Day
Some people may find it odd to bathe their babies so few times in a week. However, it is important to note that you do not really need to. Babies do not get dirty the way that adults do and so babies need baths only a few times a week. Your babys skin is also so much more sensitive than yours, so bathing too often will have the opposite effect of what you actually want.
Bathing your little one too often could actually trigger skin problems such as eczema. Even if you bathe your baby too little, you will have problems like rashes, etc. If you want to avoid triggering problems like eczema, you can bath your baby and moisturize his skin with a good baby lotion that will not cause irritation.
If your baby already has a skin problem, you can speak with your doctor and get a proper skin care plan for your baby that will suit their issue and bring healing.
Cleaning A Babys Tongue After 6 Months Of Age
Once your baby is at least 6 months old and has their first tooth, you can use a soft, kid-friendly toothbrush, along with toothpaste. Use this to clean any teeth that have come in.
You can also use the toothbrush to gently scrub your babys tongue and gums, or continue to use a finger brush, gauze, or washcloth until theyre a little older.
When giving toothpaste to a baby thats at least 6 months old, you only need a small amount about the amount of a rice grain. Once your child is at least 3 years old, you can increase the amount to pea-size.
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How To Bathe A Newborn
Bathing a newborn may seem daunting at first, but with a little preparation and the right setup, babys first bath can be a stress-free, joyful experience. Yes, baby will likely cry, but it doesnt mean youre doing something wrong.
Dont worry about it so much! advises Mary F., a mom of two. We were so concerned about how to handle our first baby. She was so tiny! So breakable! And then we watched the nurse give our daughter her first bath in the hospital. You would have thought she was washing dishes! That was the moment where we were like, Ohwere not going to break her.
Here, we lay out step by step what you need to doand what you need to knowwhen it comes to bathing a newborn.
Bathing Your Baby Safely
You don’t need to bathe your baby every day, but if they really enjoy it, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t.
It’s best not to bathe your baby straight after a feed or when they’re hungry or tired. Make sure the room you’re bathing them in is warm.
Have everything you need at hand: a baby bath or clean washing-up bowl filled with warm water, 2 towels, a clean nappy, clean clothes and cotton wool.
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 To Bathe Your Baby
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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 Can You Disinfect Babys Clothes
It is important to not just wash but disinfect your babys clothes, here are a few ways you can disinfect your babys clothes.
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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 To Bath Your 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.
You can also shower with your baby. Keep your babys face away from the pouring water and make sure to use warm, not hot, water.
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