Bathing your Baby
Bathing your baby does not only make him clean. Bathing him will also allow you to thoroughly check your baby’s body allowing you to evaluate your child’s physical condition. It also relaxes your baby so he easily goes to sleep after a warm bath.
Many new mothers are intimated by the idea of bathing their tiny newborn baby. By learning how to bathe your baby though, you are bound to make the bath time one of the most memorable experiences of you caring for your new baby.
Your baby’s first bath
Submerging your baby in water may increase his risks of infection if his umbilical stump has not yet fallen off and, if circumcised, his circumcision has not yet healed. It is therefore recommended that newborns be given a sponge bath.
Instead of dipping your baby in a bath tub, you can moisten a washcloth or sponge with warm water and wipe your baby’s skin starting from the head to the rest of his body. You may use a mild unscented soap when your baby’s skin is too oily and dirty. Make sure to pay special attention to areas that get dirt easily such as the diaper area and skin creases. Rinse your baby with warm water and dry him well.
Caring for the umbilical stump
Your baby’s umbilical stump needs special attention. It is not advised to give your baby a tub bath until the stump is healed as dirty water in the bath tub may cause infection. You must always therefore keep the umbilical clean and dry.
Your doctor may tell you to clean your baby’s umbilical stump with cotton balls dabbed in alcohol. It is also advised not to cover the umbilical stump with diaper so it will not be exposed to urine and germs.
Never pull off the cord as it will come off on its own. By their second week, most babies drop off their umbilical stump.
How to bathe your baby
You can give your baby a tub bath if his umbilical cord has already fallen off and if his circumcision has already healed.
Remember that young babies should be undressed and bathed in a warm room because they can’t regulate their body temperature well yet.
Fill the tub with 3 inches of warm water. You can use your elbow to test whether the temperature of the water is comfortably warm.
You also need to prepare your bathing kit before you bathe your baby so you will not be leaving your baby behind to get the things that you need. Never leave your baby alone in the bath.
Your bathing kit should have the following:
Mild soap or baby cleanser
Diaper rash ointment. Avoid using baby powders because they can irritate your baby’s respiratory system
Avoid adding alcohol, soap and bubble bath to the water as this may dry your baby’s sensitive skin.
You must also always support your baby’s head with your other hand to prevent water from getting into his ears and nose.
You may also opt not to use soap during the first few baths because this can make your child slippery and difficult to bathe.
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