From the initial sponge bath to the transition to the infant tub, here is the information you need to know about how to bathe your baby and keep them clean.
Most infants will fuss and cry during their first bath, but after some time, your child will enjoy this routine and even look forward to it. They are likely to become more alert as soon as they hear the sound of running water, and it will be difficult for you to coax them out of the bathtub.
In the meantime, here is your reward: There is nothing more enticing than the aroma (and sight) of a freshly bathed baby wrapped in a towel. There is simply nothing more delightful.
Here are some helpful tips for bathing your newborn and older baby.
How to Give a Newborn Baby a Sponge Bath
Approximately two weeks after delivery, your baby’s umbilical cord will fall off on its own. Until that point, parents must sponge-bathe their newborn children. If the incision from your baby’s circumcision hasn’t yet healed, you will also need to give him a sponge bath. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that you bathe your newborn child approximately three times per week.
Soap, a washcloth, cotton balls, a towel, a diaper change, and a change of clothes should all be placed within arm’s reach of you so you can focus on your child. When you are bathing your baby, you should always begin with the part of the body that is the cleanest and work your way to the part that is the dirtiest. Below are the steps involved in the process of cleaning your baby:
- To begin, clean the face with cotton balls or a washcloth that has been dampened with water. Pay attention to the eyelids and work from the inside corner to the corner on the outside; additionally, use a different cotton ball for each eye.
- Using a cotton swab that has been dampened, clean the exterior of the ears (avoid sticking the swab in the ear, or you risk puncturing the eardrum).
- You can clean your child’s skin using a wet washcloth and a few drops of gentle soap.
- If your infant’s hair is dirty, use a wet washcloth and the same gentle shampoo.
- The diaper area of your baby should be washed last.
- Immediately after you finish bathing your child, use the towel to quickly wrap them up so they don’t lose too much body heat. Before you diaper and dress them, make sure that their skin is completely dry, paying special attention to the crevices.
How To Bathe Your Baby Using An Infant Tub
After the umbilical cord stump remnants have been expelled, it is safe to give the infant a bath in a small tub. Pick an infant tub that has a contoured design or an internal sling to keep your child from sliding around while they are being bathed. Never put your child in a bath seat because if the suction cups fail, the seat can topple over, causing the child to become submerged in water.
Get your supplies together, and then fill the bathtub with warm water to a depth of about two inches. Because a baby’s skin is more sensitive than an adult’s, it should be kept at a temperature that is slightly lower than your ideal temperature (aim for around 100 degrees F). Think about setting the temperature of your water heater to 120 degrees Fahrenheit so that if your child turns the handle of the hot water faucet, they won’t get scalded.
The following is a step-by-step guide to cleaning your baby in a mini tub:
- While keeping your baby’s head and neck supported with your arm, slowly lower your infant into the bathtub.
- Wash your infant’s face with a gentle soap and a washcloth just as you did when you were giving him or her a sponge bath.
- It only takes few inches water for a baby to drown, so make sure you never turn your back on your child for even a second.
Taking Care Of Areas That Are Particularly Delicate
Including certain routines as part of your child’s bathtime routine can contribute to the maintenance of healthy skin. Children’s Hospital of Michigan’s Scott Grant, M.D., MPH, FAAP, suggests concentrating on cleaning the “rolls” that frequently develop around babies’ necks, arms, and legs. Dr. Grant works at the Detroit Medical Center’s Children’s Hospital of Michigan. Dirt and dead skin cells tend to accumulate in these areas, which can irritate the skin and lead to infections such as cellulitis or cause conditions such as eczema to worsen.
After the wound from the circumcision has healed, you will be able to clean the penis in the same manner as you would any other part of the body. Wipe from front to back to clean female genitals, avoiding getting soap in the groin area because it has the potential to irritate the skin there.
When giving your baby a bath once or twice a week, use baby soap or a drop of gentle, tear-free shampoo. If your child has developed a cradle cap, which is characterized by scaly patches that appear on the scalp, use a baby brush with soft bristles to help loosen the scales while you shampoo their hair.
After ensuring that your child is spotless, gently pat them dry. According to Dr. Grant’s explanation, the loss of moisture in the skin can be caused by spending an excessive amount of time outside after taking a shower or bath.
Finally, after applying a thick hypoallergenic lotion free of dyes and fragrances, lock in the moisture your infant so desperately needs. A study published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology found that using a moisturizing lotion on a baby’s skin regularly during the first 32 weeks of life can help reduce the likelihood that the baby will develop eczema.