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.
Hospitals Give Parents Inconsistent And Sometimes Conflicting Bath Time Advice
Newborns enter the world wearing a protective coating, a layer of good bacteria and vernix a white, creamy biofilm that covers the skin of the fetus during the last trimester. How and when that layer is washed away has been connected to that babys ability to regulate temperature, develop normal blood glucose, and fight infection. So whats the best time and way to bathe newborns? A new study surveying nurseries across the country revealed theres no consensus or standard when it comes to a babys first bath. The truth is, we dont really know.
Theres some things we do in medicine because weve always done them this way, says Ann Kellams, MD, professor of pediatrics at University of Virginia and lead author of the study. But in reality, theres very little evidence to support most hospitals newborn skin care approach, she says.
Monitor Your Baby Closely
Keep a close eye on your little one and make sure theyre enjoying bath time! Some newborns take to the water naturally and have a blast in the tub. On the other hand, some infants need time to get used to the feeling of being in water and being bathed.
Whatever the case may be, just monitor your baby closely. If theyre having fun, let them play in the tub for a while! If they seem uncomfortable, try to get through bathtime quickly.
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By Step Of How To Bathe Your Baby
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.
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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.
Skin Care For Your Newborn
A baby’s soft and delicate skin needs special care. Generally, it is best to use products made especially for babies, but your baby’s healthcare provider can advise you about other products. Products for adults may be too harsh for a baby and may contain irritants or allergens. Many parents like to use lotions. But unless the baby’s skin is dry, lotions really are not needed. Powders should be avoided, unless they are recommended by your baby’s healthcare provider. When using any powder, put the powder in your hand and then apply it to the baby’s skin. Shaking powder into the air releases dust and talc that can harm your baby’s lungs.
Many babies have rashes and bumps that are normal. Some rashes may be a sign of a problem or infection. Diaper rash can be irritating to the baby and needs to be treated. If you have concerns about a rash, or your baby is uncomfortable or has a fever, call your baby’s healthcare provider.
Laundry detergents may cause irritation to a baby’s delicate skin. If your baby seems sensitive to detergent, you can use a special detergent for babies with sensitive skin and give the laundry an extra rinse with plain water to remove any leftover detergent.
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Delaying Babys First Bath: 8 Reasons Why Doctors Recommend Waiting Before Giving A Newborn A Bath
My newborn daughter was screaming during her first bath as I watched helplessly from my bed. She was only about an hour old. I was trying to breastfeed her when the nurse took her from my arms, telling me that the baby had to be bathed before I was transferred to a different room. We dont do it this way anymore it is now standard protocol at many hospitals to wait 8-24 hours to give a newborn his or her first bath, and up to 48 hours if the baby was delivered by cesarian section. Delayed newborn bathing is consistent with World Health Organization recommendations and based on medical research. As a hospital-based pediatrician, I know that delayed bathing is the safest medical choice for babies. As a mom, it just seems right.
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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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.
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
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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.
Circumcision And Umbilical Cord Care
Immediately after circumcision, the tip of the penis is usually covered with gauze coated with petroleum jelly to keep the wound from sticking to the diaper. Gently wipe the tip clean with warm water after a diaper change, then apply petroleum jelly to the tip so it doesn’t stick to the diaper. Redness or irritation of the penis should heal within a few days, but if the redness or swelling increases or if pus-filled blisters form, infection may be present and you should call your baby’s doctor immediately.
Umbilical cord care in newborns is also important. Some doctors suggest swabbing the area with rubbing alcohol until the cord stump dries up and falls off, usually in 10 days to 3 weeks, but others recommend leaving the area alone. Talk to your child’s doctor to see what he or she prefers.
An infant’s navel area shouldn’t be submerged in water until the cord stump falls off and the area is healed. Until it falls off, the cord stump will change color from yellow to brown or black this is normal. Call your doctor if the navel area looks red or if a foul odor or discharge develops.
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Create Your Own Routine
As your child gets older, their bathing cadence can continue to be around three times a week. The older they get, the more they tend to run around and get dirty or sweaty, so bathing frequency should vary based on their activity level.
Some families prefer to create a bedtime routine for their baby as soon as possible, and this typically includes a bath, followed by a feeding. For other families, bath time is a bonding experience or a fun way for their child to play. If daily baths work best for your child and lifestyle, be sure to sufficiently and consistently moisturize their skin.
One thing we always emphasize with new parents: Whether your child is 6 months or 16 years old, do what works best for you. What matters is that theyre safe and clean. Other than that, no two families bathing habits need to be the same.
Want to feel more prepared for childbirth and baby-care basics? Call to enroll in prenatal classes today. To request a new patient appointment, call or request one online.
When Should You Bathe A Newborn Baby
Before we talk about how to give your baby a bath, let’s talk about when to start.
While people frequently bathed their newborns immediately, research says that delaying that first bath at least 12 hours after birth could be beneficial for your baby. It can make latching easier when breastfeeding and protects their vernix, a waxy coating on their skin. The World Health Organization recommends waiting at least 24 hours for their first bath.
You don’t need to feel rushed here. Ideally, you should wait until you feel settled at home and have plenty of time to tackle that inaugural bath time.
As you get ready for the first bath, don’t worry. You’re not going to be dunking your newborn in water. Until their umbilical stump has fallen off, which usually takes between one and three weeks, they should only get sponge baths.
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Get Them Dressed And Enjoy
Put your baby in a clean diaper and, if you want, clothes or pajamas. Give your newly cleaned newborn a snuggle. You both did great.
Figuring out how to give your baby a bath can be intimidating for those first few bath times, but most parents get the hang of it quickly. If you have any questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to bring them up with your pediatrician.
The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.
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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.