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How to Safely Bathe your newborn baby?

Updated: Nov 7, 2023

Although giving a baby a bath can be fun, new parents tend to feel nervous about it, especially in the first few days, for fear of hurting the newborn or not doing it the right way.

Unfortunately, most hospitals send us home without proper guidance. They don’t teach us how to hold, feed, or bathe our little ones, so when we get home it can be so overwhelming and extremely frustrating.
I'm here to share with you, Mama, everything I've learned about bathing a newborn.
The following care is essential for the bath:
  1. Do it where it's not too hot or too cold.

  2. Don't bathe right after feeding.

  3. Use products that are made for babies.

  4. Use a bathtub that is the right size for the baby.

Bathing a newborn every day is not a must, but it is up to the parents to decide how often. Because excessive water and products can cause skin irritation and allergies, it is best to only wash their face twice a week. Most hospitals advise against bathing your newborn during the first week.
Personally, I only used warm water and a cotton towel to wipe my baby for the first week and his umbilical cord felt off after only 4 days.

Before initiating the bath, select a location with a warm temperature between 22oC and 25oC (71.6°F and 77°F), gather all the necessary products, leave the towel, diaper, and clothes ready, and check the temperature of the water in the bathtub, which should be between 36oC and 37oC (96.8°F and 98.6°F). Because the infant is losing a lot of heat at this time, the bath should last no longer than 10 minutes.

How to keep bath time safe

To make sure the baby is safe in the bath, he or she should never be left alone in the tub and should always be watched when in the water. A baby can drown in less than 30 seconds and with very little water. For babies who can sit up, the water level in the tub shouldn't be higher than the child's waist.

1. Wipe the baby's face

To minimize loss of body heat, the face, as well as around the ears and neck folds, should be washed while the baby is still dressed, using a cotton ball or cloth soaked in warm water.

When cleaning a baby's ears, avoid using cotton swabs because they could accidentally pierce the baby's eardrum. A moist cloth can be used to clean the eyes, but it must be used in a way that keeps debris and droplets from building up around the eyes.

2. Cleaning the Intimate Area

After cleaning the baby's face, undress him or her, and remember to wipe the intimate area with a moist cloth before putting him or her in the bathtub so the water does not become dirty. I recommend washing the genitals after the face to prevent infections , so its better to do it whilst the water is clean.

For little boys remember to gently push the foreskin until it's possible to see the glans of his penis, to be able to clean underneath using only water. Do not scrub as it is a very sensitive area. For girls, it's important to always clean from the front to the back so that feces don't get into the vagina to prevent infection.

3. Washing the head

At this point in the bath, you need to be very careful because the baby's head has soft spots called fontanelles that should close by the time the baby is 18 months old. Because of this, you shouldn't squeeze or put pressure on the head or it could hurt the baby. But you have to wash it well from front to back, being careful not to get foam or water in the ears or eyes, and then dry it well with a towel.
First, the child's head should be rinsed with clean water; next, baby shampoo or soap can be used, and the hair should be rubbed with the fingertips.

4. Washing the baby's body

When putting the baby in the water, you shouldn't put the whole body in at once. Instead, you should start with the feet, support the head with your forearm, and hold the baby's armpit with the other hand.

With the baby already in the water, you should keep soaping and rinsing the baby's body thoroughly, cleaning the folds on the thighs, neck, and wrists, and don't forget to clean the hands and feet, since babies love to put these parts in their mouths.

5.Drying the baby's body

After you're done cleaning the baby, take him out of the tub and lay him on the dry towel, making sure to wrap him up so he will not get slippery. Then, use the towel to dry the baby's whole body, making sure to dry the hands, feet, and folds as well. If moisture builds up in these places, it could lead to wounds.

6.Dry the intimate area

After drying the whole body, you need to dry the area between the legs and check for rashes, which are a common problem in babies.
When the baby is clean and dry, you must put on a clean diaper right immediately so that it doesn't get the towel dirty.

7. Applying the moisturizer and dressing the baby

Since a baby's skin is drier, especially in the first few weeks of life, it is important to keep it moisturized. This can be done with baby-safe ointments, oils, creams, and lotions.

To put on moisturizer, start with the baby's chest and arms and work your way down. Next, put moisturizer on the baby's legs and dress the baby from the bottom up. It is important to pay attention to the baby's skin, especially if it changes in color or texture. This could be a sign of an allergy.

Lastly, you can brush the baby's hair, check to see if the nails need to be trimmed, and put socks and shoes on a baby who can already walk.

I hope this post was helpful , strong hug .

Mommylu 😘


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