How Often To Bathe Baby And Toddler
How often you bathe your baby or toddler is entirely up to you. Many children sleep well following a bath, which is why a lot of parents include it in the bedtime routine. However, bathing too often can bring more harm than good.
In general, once the umbilical cord stump has fallen off, I recommend bathing infants no more frequently than every 2 days. If you have a baby boy who was circumcised, it is best to wait until the area has healed before giving him a bath . Exceptions to less frequent bathing are if the baby passes a very large stool or has diarrhea, and when the infant has been involved in family activities that are messier than normal .
Small babies dont require daily baths three times a week should suffice during their first year . Even at birth, the recommendation for when to do the first bath has changed over the years. It has been found that delaying this bath until 24 hours after birth is more beneficial. This delay improves the likelihood of breastfeeding and prevents hypothermia . For now, a good wipe down following spit-ups and diaper changes is enough. Once your little one begins to crawl, you can increase bath times if you prefer.
If you worry about germs as your baby is crawling, you can wipe their hands whenever you get the chance. Although, dont stress it bacteria arent always harmful.
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:
Your Babys First Bath Will Be At The Hospital
Your baby will be given their first bath at the hospital, where the stump of their umbilical cord will also be cleaned. Most hospitals will have someone show you how to bathe your baby. Take advantage of their expertise. Nurses at the hospital will also be able to familiarize you with other aspects like how to nurse, burp, hold, or change your baby.1
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What Do I Need For A Tub Bath
Nonslip mat or pad
Bath thermometer . These often have “safe” bath temperature ranges marked on them.
When bathing your baby in a tub:
Clear the counter or table top of breakable objects and electrical appliances to prevent injury.
Fill the tub with warm water, making sure the water is warm, not hot. Always test the water before placing your baby into the tub. Some parents feel most comfortable using a baby bath thermometer to confirm the correct temperature of the water.
Follow the same general bathing instructions for a sponge bath.
NEVER take your hands off your baby, or walk away, even for a moment.
Be sure to clean the bathtub after each use.
Fill Your Babys Bathtub With Water
The second step is to fill the bathtub with water. You only need two to three inches of water to bathe your newborn.
The water temperature should be roughly the same temperature as the human body98.6 degrees Fahrenheit. Anywhere between 90° F and 100° F is perfect. Use a thermometer to make sure youve got the temperature just right.
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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.”
Make Sure To Use A Mild Soap
As your baby’s skin is very sensitive, it’s best to use the mildest soap that you can find. It’s good to look for baby soaps that don’t have any additives or any antibacterial ingredients. This is because based on studies, antibacterial ingredients don’t really kill more bacteria than regular soaps.
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When Is The Best Time Of Day To Bathe Your Newborn
There is no one perfect time to give your baby a bath â itâs your decision. Choose a time when youâre least likely to be interrupted and you arenât in a hurry.As a general rule, youâll find bathing your newborn is usually easiest when he or she is wide awake and content.Itâs best not to bathe your newborn baby when he or she is tired or hungry. If you plan to give your baby a bath after feeding, wait a while to give your childâs tummy a chance to settle.When your infantâs a little older , you might like to schedule bath times for the evening as part of his or her bedtime routine.
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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Sponge Baths Are Good
Sponge baths are an easy way to make sure that your baby stays clean. Doctors recommend sponge baths for newborns until their umbilical cord falls off. This usually takes a week or two.
If you want to give your baby a sponge bath, make sure to place them on a clean and flat surface, and prepare some warm water, baby soap and shampoo, and towels to dry your baby.
Baby Bath: Time For A Sponge Bath
Gentle sponge baths are perfect for the first few weeks until the umbilical cord falls off, the circumcision heals, and the navel heals completely.
The basics of bathing a baby:
- First, undress baby — cradling the head with one hand. Leave the diaper on . Wrap baby in a towel, exposing only those areas that you are washing.
- Using a baby bath sponge or wash cloth, cleanse one area at a time. Start behind the ears, then move to the neck, elbows, knees, between fingers and toes. Pay attention to creases under the arms, behind the ears, around the neck.
- The hair comes toward the end of bath time so baby doesn’t get cold. While newborns don’t have much hair, you can sponge the few wisps that are there. To avoid getting eyes wet, tip the head back just a little. There’s no need for shampoo just use water.
- Now it’s time to remove the diaper and sponge baby’s belly, bottom, and genitals.
- Wash little girls from front to back. If there’s a little vaginal discharge, don’t worry — and don’t try to wipe it all away. If a little boy is uncircumcised, leave the foreskin alone. If circumcised, don’t wash the head of the penis until it’s healed.
- Gently pat baby dry. Rubbing the skin will irritate it.
Bath time is over, and your fresh little baby is ready for a clean diaper and clothes!
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Have All Of Your Supplies Handy
First things first: make sure to have all of the supplies we listed above easily available. Choose a stable place to set out all of the items. Some parents like to use a bathroom countertop, or even just the bathtub itself.
Other folks prefer to use a changing table or a kitchen countertop. Whatever surface you choose, just make sure that its safe and stable.
Give Only Sponge Baths Till The Umbilical Cord Falls Off
During the first couple of weeks or so, specifically, till the umbilical cord stump falls off, your baby should only have sponge baths. This is so the stump doesnt get wet.
To give a sponge bath: Lay your baby on a flat comfortable surface in a warm room. If the surface is above floor level, place a hand next to the baby to make sure they dont fall. Dampen a clean washcloth with plain water and wash the face before using soapy water to clean the rest of the body. Pay attention to skin creases and do the diaper area last. Keep your baby wrapped up during the sponge bath and only expose the part that youre actively cleaning.2
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Parenting Tips: Should You Bathe Your Newborn Everyday
Did you know that you don’t always have to bathe your newborn daily? Read on to learn more about tips to keep your baby fresh and clean!
As a rule, it really depends on you as a parent when it comes to how often you want to bathe your baby. A lot of babies love baths, and bathtime is a fun bonding activity for both you and your baby.
However, there are some things to always keep in mind when it comes to keeping your baby clean.
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.
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Start With Your Babys Head And Face
When bathing your newborn, its best to start with their head and face because you want to wash those areas before the water gets too soapy. This reduces the chance your bundle of joy will get soap in their eyes when youre rinsing them off.
Again, you can use a washcloth or your hands. Some parents like to use cotton balls for their babys head and face, and thats also a great option!
Maybe your baby has cradle cap and youre not sure how to tackle it during bath time. First of all, cradle cap can present itself as thick and flaky skin on your babys scalp. It can be more trouble to deal with than it is harmful.
To effectively treat your babys cradle cap, try our Cradle Cap Duo. It gently exfoliates your babys scalp and rinses away flakes. It can also help reduce the chance of your babys cradle cap recurring.
This is important because cradle cap is most common in babies up to three months old but can last up to a year or longer.
To use correctly, apply a small amount to your babys wet hair and gently massage into their scalp. Let it sit for one to two minutes and then rinse it off carefully.
How To Bathe A Newborn
You must give the baby a sponge bath with soapy water until the umbilical cord stump dries and falls. You may then bathe the baby the usual way using baby soap and water in a bathtub. Make sure you wash the babys hair and scalp. A good after-bath routine of moisturizing and diapering the baby is also vital. You may read all about bathing the baby and the steps to follow here.
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