The first bath for a newborn is often met with apprehension from new parents. It feels bizarre to cover her body with water when you're still not used to handling this tiny person. Sponge bathing may seem difficult at first, but with practise, you'll be able to produce a spotless newborn. The first time you give your baby a bath is a special memory that you will want to hold onto forever. The process of bathing a slippery, writhing, and occasionally screaming Baby will become simpler with repetition.
What follows is a comprehensive guide to baby bathing.
How Frequently Should You Bathe Your Newborn?
Newborns only need to be washed twice or three times a week to be clean. However, a daily wash is fine if your infant enjoys them. You're washing your baby too much, which can be bad for his or her skin. When you don't have time for a full bath, you can use warm water or cotton wool to keep your baby's privates clean.
A new baby only needs to be submerged in water for about 5-10 minutes. Particularly if your infant has dry or reactive skin, this is something you should not overlook.
Top and tail bathing is washing your baby with a towel for their hand and bottom and cotton wool for their eyes and face. This method of "topping and tailing" allows you to focus on the specific areas that require cleaning, and young Baby can keep much of their clothing on while you are doing it.
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A Newborn's First Bath
Within the first few hours after birth, nurses will most likely give your newborn a wash. The World Health Organization, however, suggests waiting at least 24 hours before giving your newborn baby its first bath.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), these benefits include better control of blood sugar and temperature, enhanced bonding, increased nursing success, and prevention of skin drying.
Baby can't go in the newborn tub until the cord stump has fallen off. Typically, this takes at least two weeks. A sponge bath is what you'll use for your newborn in the meanwhile.
Your infant can be washed whenever you like. However, it's ideal to avoid showering your Baby because when Baby is hungry nor right after a feed, and to choose a time if you're comfortable and won't be distracted.
If you find that giving your baby a bath helps him or her unwind before bed, you can use this routine come bedtime.
Locations for Baby's First Bath
The kitchen sink or even a disposable plastic baby bath will do. In the beginning, you may have the most access to the kitchen sink. Similarly, once your infant is older, a plastic baby bath will likely be more easily accessible.
Babies can be washed in any place that meets these three criteria thus the bath isn't required.
The Baby can even join you in the shower! Baby's face should not come into contact with the water, and you should use lukewarm water at most.
Baby Bath: Getting Ready
A sponge bath will serve as the initial wash. First, choose a flat, warm place, such the counter in the bathroom or the kitchen, a change table, or your bed.
Use a thick towel to cover the area. A baby's delicate system can be easily chilled, so make sure the environment is at least a 10 degrees C.
Collect the items needed for a baby's bath:
- Clean washcloth or baby sponge for bath time
- Fresh bedding or a new towel
- Wet diaper that has been changed
- In pristine condition:
- Prepare with petroleum jelly and bandages
- Gentle heat
- Necessary: Never leave your baby alone in a bath -- not even for a moment. If you must get to the phone, the stove, or whatever, take the Baby with you.
Squeaky Clean: It's Sponge Bath Time for the Baby
Be sure you have everything you need before you start working. If you keep your hands of your infant for even a second during the bath, you could cause a serious injury.
If you're giving your newborn a sponge bath, you'll need the following supplies:
- Shampoo for infants
- Two dishtowels
- A piece of clean linen
- A mug of hot cocoa
- Cotton balls, several
- Changing pyjamas
- Altering one's attire
To properly wash your baby, just follow these easy steps:
Wrap a towel around the inside of a sink , baby bathtub and fill it with warm water — you may test the temperature with the elbow or the underside of your wrist to help ensure it's not too hot.
Guide your Baby into the water feet first while holding his head steady with your non-dominant hand.
Get him out of the water as soon as possible so he would not get cold, and keep his head and upper body out of the water.
Scrub him down from head to toe with lukewarm water and some mild baby soap if you like. Then, use a cup of warm water to pour over his body to keep him comfortable. In the end, wipe his face down with a soft cloth.
If she has hair, washing it once or thrice a week should be plenty. If you decide to give him a bath, use a very small amount of gentle baby shampoo and massage it into his scalp, making sure to get inside the fontanelles.
Keep your hands cupped over his face when you rinse his head to prevent shampoo and soap from getting into his eyes. Wipe his eyes with a towel soaked with clean water if any soap or shampoo gets in them.
After giving your baby a bath and drying him off, apply a hypoallergenic lotion without smell to help soothe his dry skin. This measure is useful for warding off dryness and even eczema.
If your infant has cradle cap, a condition characterised by flaky skin on the scalp, you can help alleviate the symptoms by gently brushing his scalp while washing his hair.
If you need a moment to grab something, remember that your infant should never be left unsupervised in the tub. Instead, pick him up and carry him along with you instead of letting him drown in the sink or bath.
Tips for Washing a Newborn Baby
Before giving your baby a bath, make sure you have the following items:
Never leave your infant unattended mostly in bath, so have everything you'll require on available, including a clean set of clothing for Baby, containing shampoo, soaps, a hooded towel, or a cup for rinsing. Before you undress your baby, make that the space is comfortable temperature-wise.
The moment you have everything you need, you can begin. Remember that your baby is likely to be very unhappy with her first bath and may cry out in protest.
They will get used to this routine eventually. Learn all about baby sponge baths right here!
To Parents: Please Clean Your Infant's Face.
Some infants have a panic attack if they are stripped down to their underwear, so make sure you wash their face before you start. Use a wet cotton swab or washcloth to gently wipe the inside of their eyes. To clean your eyes, use a cotton ball for each. Clean the area around their nose with another damp cotton ball. Don't bother washing their face with soap. Keep one touch on Baby at all times and avoid soaking the washcloth completely to prevent leaks.
Make Sure Their Ears Are Spotless.
Use a moist cotton swab / washcloth to wipe the area around Baby's ears. Don't use a swab to clean in there since you risk damaging the eardrum. Get them to the salon and give them a good shampooing.
Hold the baby's head back and off the floor while you wash their hair. Spray some warm water over their head and apply a small amount of soap. Apply soap, scrub gently, and then wipe down with a moist washcloth. To conclude, use a towel to dry your child's head.
Get the sponges out!
This is a good time to remove Baby's clothing and lay them down. Next, wet a soft washcloth with some mild baby wash, taking care not to rub the baby's skin too vigorously because it is so sensitive. Sensitive skin might be worse by the presence of additional fragrances and dyes, so it's best to avoid such in your product selection. Start at the top of their head and begin by cleaning on front of their body as you wash them. Take special care to scrub deep within the creases of the skin.
Use another wet washcloth to remove the soap, and then dry and rewrap your Baby in a napkin as you go. Do not attempt to clean the umbilical stumps, and do your best to avoid getting it wet. Tilt Baby's head to one side and flip them onto their bellies. It's recommended to wash, rinse, and dry again.
Last but not least, make sure you clean their privates. Don't try to pull back the foreskin if your youngster hasn't been circumcised.
Put on some lotion after you've dried off.
Babies are prone to getting chilly very quickly. To keep your infant warm, dry the regions you just bathed and wrap him or her in the towel. Make sure the cloth reaches into all the crevices. Lotion can be applied after a bath, notably if Baby suffers from eczema, before dressing and diapering.
Infant Bath Time: The Tub
You can give your newborn a bath in the tub when the cord falls off and the navel and incision have completely healed. Babies don't always take kindly to change, so if yours is unhappy, try going back to spon baths for a week or so and then trying again. Babies and their carers often need time to acclimatise to the routine of bath time.
Put together: Discover a plastic baby tub of the appropriate size and thickness. With an insert, Baby's head can stay above water, which is a huge plus for parents. The tub's nonslip base ensures it won't slide around as you soak. Don't try installing bath rings or sitting on bath seats. These are for young kids who can sit up for themselves — not for newborns.
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The First Time in the Bathtub
The initial tub soaks should be brief. To begin, fill the tub for only a few inches of warm (not hot) water. Finally, softly lower Baby's arms and legs while still supporting their heads with one hand. Remove all makeup and dirt from the hair and face with a washcloth or a baby bath sponge. Put your hand over Baby's forehead to shield his or her eyes from water while you wash his or her face. The rest of Baby should be washed gently with a bit of soap and water.
You can either use plain water or a baby wash. Use a mild baby shampoo as your hair gets longer. Cup your hands and pour handfuls of water over Baby's chest to keep him or her toasty warm as you bathe. Baby should be patted dry gently. Baby lotion should be applied liberally to lock in moisture. This baby needs a new diaper now. Make sure there is no irritation by using diaper ointment first.
If you want to keep your baby warm after a bath, you should immediately wrap him or her in a towel. Well done on a relaxing soak!
How soon do you anticipate your baby being ready to give his first bath in the tub?
Sponges can be replaced by regular bathing in the sink or indeed a baby bathtub once the umbilical cord stump has fallen off.
A baby's first bath in the tub should be brief and soothing, but if he or she exhibits significant distress, you may need to revert to sponge baths.
Is It Safe to Bathe a Newborn With the Umbilical Cord Still Attached?
In the first few weeks of your baby's life, while the human umbilical stump is still attached, you should only provide sponge baths. The process of giving your baby a golden shower is as easy as wrapping her in a towel and cleaning her down with some soapy water and a damp washcloth.
Use a comfy surface, like a changing table, for this. You should keep your infant wrapped in a towel and wash him or her in increments. In most cases, the remnants of the umbilical cord come off after a few weeks. If discomfort persists for longer than that, though, you should talk to your baby's doctor.
Soap-free sponge baths are advised until the cord stump has dried and naturally fallen off.
How to Get Your Newborn Dry and Dressed Following a Bath
When it's time to get your infant away from the bath and ready for washing and clothing, follow these steps:
Lift young baby out of another bath, cradling their head and neck, and lay them auf their back on a dry, plush towel.
Put your baby to dry on the floor if you can, but keep them close to you at all times. Keep one finger on the infant at all times, even if you have to change him or her on a table. Tuck your infant into a plush towel and gently massage him or her dry. Remove excess moisture from Baby's armpits, crotch, under the chin, neck, and ears.
Apply a fragrance-free cream or lotion to your infant if you notice that his or her skin is dry. Apply a heavy barrier lotion, such as zinc paste, to the nappy region if your infant has a rash. Nappy on first, then dress the baby. Get your infant settled in a crib or bassinet. Please drain the bath.
Learn to take your time and breathe deeply when you bathe your baby. Baby's first cleaning should probably be done with a helping hand. You can prevent yourself from slipping when bathing your Baby by lining the tub with a nice cloth diaper or towel.
When Should You Give Your Baby a Bath?
You can choose whenever you like to give your baby a wash. Pick a time wherein you won't be disturbed and your infant is relaxed.
If you want to give your infant a bath, consider doing it during the day, when she will be awake and alert. Alternately, you might clean your baby before putting her to bed at night.
Babies should wait a while after eating before being bathed to give their stomachs an opportunity to settle.
Toys in the bath: yes or no?
Remember that infants can have fun just thrashing within the water without any bath toys. Now that your Baby is bigger, he can enjoy some floating baby toy or perhaps even waterproof reading to keep him amused. Sooner or later, your baby will begin to enjoy baths, and at a certain point, it will be much more like play sessions than shower time. Let your small one enjoy the water and splash around when she is older.
Making Sure Baby Has Fun in the Tub
Putting your hand on your infant's tummy can help them relax and enjoy the bath. A warm, damp washcloth placed on the stomach and chest may also help. This can make the bathtime experience more pleasant for your infant.
Give your baby a 'tail and tail' treatment one day, then a regular bath the next if he or she dislikes getting wet. Usually by the time a baby is three months old, he or she is no longer distressed by bath time.
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It may be challenging to sponge bathe a newborn intially, but with effort, you'll be able to achieve flawless result. Babies are washed "top and tail," or by using a towel for their hands and bottoms and cloth for their eyes and faces. According to the World Health Organization, it is best to wait at least 24 hours when giving a newborn baby its first wash. Relaxing your baby with a bath before bedtime is a great way to help them sleep better. There is no need for a bath because babies can be bathed anywhere that fits these three conditions.
Take your kid with you whenever you take a bath, even if it's just for a second. Cradle cap can be treated by gently combing the scalp of a baby during a bath. Keep in mind that your baby may cry hysterically in protest throughout her first wash. They'll learn to accept the new normal. Find out everything you need to know about sponge bathing for infants right here!
If you plan on changing your baby into his or her undies, you should wash his or her face beforehand in case he or she has a panic episode. The baby's skin is quite delicate, so be gentle when rubbing it. You should wash their privates, but avoid scrubbing the stumps of their umbilical cords. As soon as the umbilical chord falls out and the incision and navel have healed, you can begin bathing your newborn in the tub. After a bath, before dressing up diapering Baby, lotion can be administered, especially if Baby has eczema.
It can take some time for babies and their guardians to become used to the schedule of bath time. That after umbilical cord stump falls off, sponge baths in the toilet or baby bathtub can be used instead. A newborn's first bath there in tank should be quick and relaxing, but you may need to resort to sponge washes if the infant shows signs of extreme distress. It's important to slow down and relax while giving your infant a bath. One day, do the 'tail and rump' treatment and the next day, just a regular bath. The average baby is no longer upset by bath time by the time he or she is three months old.
- Babies are washed "top and tail," or with a towel for their hands and bottoms and cotton wool for their eyes and face.
- The bathroom tub, the baby's plastic tub, or even the kitchen sink will do.
- If any soap or shampoo gets into his eyes, flush them out with a cloth drenched in clean water.
- Apply an odourless, hypoallergenic lotion after bathing and drying your kid to assist relieve his dry skin.
- No need to use soap on their face.
- Moisten a cotton swab or a washcloth and wipe the area behind and behind Baby's ears.
- After bathing your baby, be sure to pat him or her dry and wrap him or her in a towel to retain heat.
- It can take some time for babies and their carers to become used to the routine of bath time.
- When do you think your newborn will be ready for his first bath?
- Once the umbilical cord stump has gone off, sponge baths in the sink or a baby bathtub can be used instead.
- A newborn's first bath in the tub should be quick and relaxing, but you may need to resort to sponge washes if the infant shows signs of extreme distress.
- Before the cord stump has dried and naturally come off, sponge washes without soap are recommended.
- It's important to slow down and relax while giving your infant a bath.
- Bathing your baby should ideally be done during the day, when she is awake and alert.
- If you do this, your baby may enjoy taking a bath more.
FAQs About Baby's First Bath
Safety should be the top priority when it comes to bathing your little one. Choose a safe bathing location, use a small amount of mild soap, keep the water warm, and most importantly, never take your eyes off your baby in the tub.
Make sure you have everything you need nearby – for example, towel, washcloth, bath toys, lotion or shampoo, clean clothes and clean nappy. This way you can keep your eyes and hands on your baby at all times. Make sure all bath lotions, shampoos and electrical appliances are out of baby's reach
Wet the washcloth entirely and wash her face (a bit of soap is fine here), especially around the mouth and under the chin where milk and drool can pool, and inside and behind her ears.
Even if your baby loves the water, leaving them in the water too long can dry out their skin and, worse, cause hyperthermia. Keep bath time between five and 10 minutes, Phelps advises.
Help Them Stay Warm after Bath Time. Once bath time is over, your most important job is to scoop baby up in a towel and keep them as warm and snuggly as possible. Gently dry your little one off, and use a small amount of lotion (fragrance-free, hypoallergenic is preferable) on their skin.