In the long list of firsts that come with a newborn, a bath is sure to be one of the more memorable ones. Parents often look back fondly on their time spent bathing their infant. This is a wonderful opportunity to spend quality time together without any outside distractions as your new little family member relaxes in the soothing warmth of the bath. However, this everyday occurrence as a parent is often accompanied by questions and even anxiety regarding the best time and way to carry it out.
Taking a bath isn't always easy, but that's okay. The first infant bath, and every one after that, will go off without a hitch if you follow the steps outlined in this comprehensive guide.If you're looking for baby supplies, go no further than My Baby Nursery. Babies don't need to be bathed every day unless they are becoming dirty from crawling about on the floor. Two to three times per week is all that's required for bathing your newborn: a sponge bath till the umbilical stump heals (usually between one and four weeks after delivery), then a tub bath after he can sit for himself and outgrow the infant tub. Nothing is more adorable than a baby playing in the bathtub, suds dotting his plump folds and dimples.
Preparing For Baby's First Bath
In the past, it was common practice for hospitals to immediately remove babies from their care to give them a wash. As of now, no longer. World Health Organization guidelines now advise waiting at least 24 hours before giving a newborn their first bath.
Delaying the first bath for a newborn has been linked to positive psychological and physiological outcomes. Young infants are especially vulnerable to the effects of cold, thus this can help reduce their anxiety caused by the weather. Delaying the baby's first bath has been shown to reduce the incidence of hypothermia and hypoglycemia, both of which can be brought on by the stress of being exposed to cold. To add insult to injury, newborns have a waxy, cheese-like covering on their skin the vernix, which should not be washed off since it aids in the baby's body temperature regulation and acts as an extra barrier to infections. Additionally, a 2013 study indicated that a higher percentage of mothers were successful at breastfeeding when the first hospital bath was delayed till at least 12 hours following birth. This is because the mother has more time to nurse and engage in skin-to-skin bonding. World Health Organization guidelines advise waiting at least 24 hours before giving a baby his or her first bath. A lot of people recommend at least 48 hours of waiting.
A Home-Bathing Newborn
A daily bath isn't necessary once you bring your newborn home. You should only take sponge baths till the umbilical cord has completely healed. After that, once or twice a week is recommended. Wipe down your privates, hands, and face on the frequent to stay clean. As they get older, you can make bath time a regular part of their schedule by increasing the frequency of the baths. There are many who think it's a great approach to help kids relax before bed.
There is no specific time after bringing your newborn baby home to give her first sponge bath. There is no pressing need to get a newborn baby washed as soon as possible, and experts believe that the parents should make that decision. While the first bath at home with a newborn is often eagerly anticipated, it's perfectly OK to wait a few days.
Usually, you shouldn't have to wash them straight soon. You can clean up any postpartum blood by wiping the baby down, and you should also thoroughly wipe the area around the diaper. To maximize the vernix's antibacterial and moisturizing effects, she rubbed it into her baby's skin.
As Opposed To Hanging Around, Why Not Get Something Done Now?
It is now advised to postpone the baby's first bath for the following reasons:
- Babies that are immediately bathed may have a higher risk of hypothermia and low blood sugar. Some infants are especially susceptible to a blood sugar decrease because of the mild stress of an earlier bath (hypoglycemia).
- Breastfeeding and bonding are both negatively impacted when the infant is taken from the mother too soon for a bath. Compared to babies who were given their first bath during the first few hours of birth, those who waited 12 hours had a 166% improvement in nursing success at the hospital.
- Vernix, a waxy white material that coats an unborn baby's skin, serves as a natural moisturiser and has antibacterial effects, but it can also cause irritation and discomfort. Find out what this site has to teach you about vernix.
- Vernix should be left on a newborn's skin to protect its sensitive surface from dehydration. Preemies need this especially because their skin is so delicate.
The research shows that there are several advantages to waiting longer than a day. For one, it extends the amount of time that mom and baby may spend together, which is especially beneficial for bonding through skin-to-skin contact.
Infants do better when they are allowed to bond with their mothers for longer periods of time rather than being rushed off to the bathroom. There was a correlation between delaying the newborn's first bath and higher breastfeeding rates both before and after discharge from the hospital.
Of all, no one expects a newborn to be all squeaky clean and ready for cuddling when they enter the world. However, there is a function to that thin layer of white cream. By delaying their first wash, parents can ensure that their newborns' protective vernix (which forms while they are still in the womb) is still on them. It was shielded from infection by amniotic fluid, and studies show that it can aid in temperature and moisture regulation after birth thanks to its antioxidant and antimicrobial qualities.
Infants have less control over their body temperature than adults, which is another compelling argument for delaying that first bath. It's crucial that they stay warm, and delaying a bath is one method to do it. When the time comes, be prepared with enough blankets to encase them quickly. You won't have to worry for long before you can smell that fresh baby.
When May I Start Giving My Infant A Regular Bath?
Once the incision at the baby's umbilical cord has healed, you can attempt submerging your infant right away. The first few times he gets washed, you should take it slow and limit them to a minute or two at most. It's possible he'll put up a token resistance. If this happens, try taking sponge baths instead a week or two before giving the bath another shot. Infants typically signal their readiness.
The Proper Way To Wash A Newborn Infant
Preparation and the right environment can make the first (and subsequent) baths of your newborn stress-free and enjoyable. Babies will certainly cry; that is normal and doesn't reflect poorly on you. In need of change mats for a nursery?
Don't stress so much over it! The arrival of our first child caused us a great deal of anxiety. How small she was! How fragile! The nurse then bathed our newborn daughter in the hospital tub. She seemed so serious you'd think she was doing the dishes! We realized then that we weren't going to be able to harm her in any significant way. What follows is a detailed, step-by-step guide on bathing a newborn, including everything you need to know.
How To Keep Your Baby Safe In The Bath?
Consider A Sink Or Tub Designed For Babies.
There are plastic baby bathtubs available that have a sloping, bumpy surface or a sling to prevent your infant from sliding about. Only utilize a baby bathtub that has been certified as safe by the relevant authorities. It may be more convenient for some parents to wash their infant inside a bassinette, bathtub, or inflatable tub that has been lined with such a clean towel. A sink, yes! Avoid assuming that the most difficult option is always the worst. Slippery and cluttered with handles and faucets, sinks are not places to be fumbling around.
You Should Not Sit On The Bathroom Floor.
These seats prop kids up so they may use adult-sized tubs. The problem is that they tend to topple over easily. A toddler can easily drown if they accidentally fall into the tub.
Apply Hands-On Guidance.
Keep your infant close at all times by keeping a towel as well as other bath essentials within easy reach. In the event that you need to run out of the bathroom to retrieve an item or answer the door while bathing the baby, you must remember to bring the infant with you. Now is the time to begin teaching your infant water safety skills. Don't ever turn your back for a second and leave a baby unattended in the tub. More than half of accidental drowning deaths in the home involve infants younger than one year old, and the majority of these accidents occur in bathtubs.
Find Out How Warm The Water Is.
Water temperature should be warm, but not hot, so fill the basin to a depth of 2 inches. For the sake of yourself and your child, fill the bay with cold water first (and turn the faucet off after you're done). If you want to protect your children from getting burned, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) suggests keeping the water heater at no more than 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Usually, this is the maximum safe temperature that can be set on a water heater. Burns from overheated tap water can be so severe that immediate medical attention or perhaps surgery is needed. Calds from hot water are the most common type of burn suffered by infants and toddlers.
The Baby Has To Be Kept Warm.
Undress your infant and put her into the water right away to prevent hypothermia. Support her head with one hand while you lead her in, feet first, with the other. Keep talking to her in a reassuring tone, and help her lower her majority of her body into the water. While it's important to keep her face and upper body above water for safety, she'll require regular sloshes of warm water to stay toasty.
Minimize The Amount Of Soap You Use.
It's important to keep your baby's skin moisturized and avoid using soaps. If you need to clean a really grimy region, stick to unscented, light soaps with a neutral pH. Immediately wash off the soap after using it. The hair of a baby should be washed no more than twice or 3 times a week, and only with a light shampoo as well as body wash.
Cradle cap is a common, innocuous disease in infants in which the scalp develops scaly patches. While shampooing, you can use a soft-bristled brush to release the scales, but if they don't bother you, that's fine, too. Baby will likely get over it and grow out of being scared of it.
Do A Gentle Cleaning.
Clean your child's face and hair with a gentle cloth, taking care not to rub or pull the skin. Rubbing her tender places (the fontanelles) and the rest of her scalp gently can help her relax. To prevent the suds from getting into her eyes, cup your palm across her forehead as you rinse her hair. If any soapy water gets into her eyes, flush them out with lukewarm water using the moist washcloth. You should wash the remainder of her body starting at the head.
Indulge In Some Relaxing Bath Time.
It's fine to let your child spend more time than usual in the tub, if that's how much fun she has there. Your child will develop less of a fear of the water if she enjoys taking baths. Unless she specifically requests otherwise, take your time giving her a bath.
Young infants don't require bath toys since the novelty of being submerged in water is enough to keep them entertained. Toys are essential as a baby reaches the age where they can enjoy the tub. Distracting your baby with a container, a floating toy, or a waterproof book will help you get the job done while you wash him or her.
It's Time To Get Out Of The Water.
Wrap your damp infant in a warm towel as soon as bath time is over. Wetness is inevitable when washing a baby of the any age, so prepare by donning a terrycloth apron or draping a cloth over your shoulder. When trying to keep baby's skin from being dry or eczematous, it's best to apply a tiny amount of fragrance-free, allergenic moisturizing lotion shortly after a bath and gently pat dry.
Newborn Sponge Bathing Instructions
If you want to give your newborn a bath within the first week perhaps once of life, do it gently using a sponge and warm water. To explain how
The Supplies Need To Be Gathered.
Make sure you have everything you need for a baby bath with our helpful checklist. You should have a clean diaper, dry towel, washcloths, and baby soap on hand at all times. Smith recommends keeping all necessary items within close proximity to one another. Baby bath time should never be spent alone.
Choose A Location.
Identify a location where you feel comfortable giving your newborn a bath. Baby bathtubs are helpful but not definitely required. Some of them have a sling fashioned like a hammock to prop up the baby's head in the basin or bath. Pick somewhere warm, where you can kneel or stand with ease and still stay an arm's length away from the baby.
Clean Only A Little At A Time.
Assuming you've already stripped your baby of clothing and changed her diaper, you can place her inside the baby bath (or on soft, dry towel) and cover her with a second towel, lifting a small section at a time then patting her dry as you go. Wipe the baby down with a damp washcloth, being sure to get in all of the folds and fold lines around the diaper region.
Benefits Of Bathtime For Babies
There are advantages to bathing babies beyond the obvious cleanliness and the handful (okay, dozens) of cute photo chances that result. Bathtime:
- Improves communication between parents and their infants. Because it is a special time when you are both alone, bath time will rapidly become one of your favorite parts of the day. To show your love for your baby, you must show him that you care for him. Look into his little face, caress his plump belly, count his chubby toes, coo at him and sing him goofy tunes. Your baby will feel your love when you hold him or her and when he or she hears your voice (whether you speak softly or sing sweetly).
- As such, it might be considered an educational opportunity. You wouldn't think it, but the bathtub is a great place to study. You may make your baby laugh by pouring a trickle of water over his belly. Give him a taste of water (his wide eyes will tell you he's fascinated) or demonstrate the relationship between action and consequence by demonstrating how to kick water and make a splash. Make sure he's having a good time and is happy at all times. While you're washing him, be sure to give a play-by-play, naming his minor parts of the body as you go. Before you know it, he'll have mastered a plethora of new vocabulary terms.
- Helps calm down irritable infants. As you surely already know from personal experience, there is nothing more relaxing or comfortable than a long bath at the end of a long day. Try your hand at newborn massage afterward for an extra dose of stress relief. Although most infants enjoy this activity, if yours resists by making a cry or turning his head, don't worry about it and try to snuggle him instead. In little time at all, you'll have figured out the optimal approach.
- brings on slumber. If you incorporate a bath into your baby's nighttime ritual, you'll have even more to look forward to with each passing day. Your baby will fall asleep quickly because to the soothing effects of the warm bath, the cozy environment, and the knowledge that she is safe, secure, and loved.
- Avoid bathing in the bathtub and instead use your arms or a baby washcloth to bathe your child if the umbilical cord stump has not completely healed or if your child was just circumcised and the penis has not yet healed. To help your baby become acclimated to washing his hands, you should do so on a level surface like the bathroom sink, kitchen counter, his bed, or the floor, and be as gentle and brief as possible.
If your infant isn't becoming dirty from exploring the floor, you probably don't need to bathe him or her every day. You just need to give your newborn a bath twice or three times a week. In accordance with WHO recommendations, the first bath should be delayed for at least 24 hours. You can skip the daily bath routine once you bring your newborn home. If you want to wait until the umbilical chord has completely healed, then you should only take sponge baths.
Taking more frequent baths as they get older will help them associate this activity with positive memories. Please don't feel compelled to rush to bathe your infant. Delaying the baby's first bath has been linked to increased breastfeeding rates before and after going home from the hospital. Infants thrive better when they spend more time bonding with their mothers rather than being hurried off to the potty. Washing him for only a minute or two the first few times is all that's needed.
This comprehensive handbook will show you how to safely bathe your infant, from the moment you bring them home. A baby should only be bathed in a tub that has received official safety approval. Water heater temperatures should be kept at no more than 120 degrees Fahrenheit, as recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics. Infants and toddlers typically suffer scalds from contact with hot water more than any other type of burn. Avoid putting soaps on your baby's skin and keep it well-moisturized.
Infants often develop scaly patches on their scalps due to a harmless condition known as cradle cap. It's perfectly acceptable to allow your kid to soak in the tub for longer than normal. If your kid likes taking baths, she'll be less likely to develop a fear of water. You can get more done while washing your baby if you use a container, a floating toy, or a waterproof book to keep him or her occupied. Remember to gather all the essentials for a baby bath before giving your baby his or her first bath.
Parents also need to have baby soap, washers, clean diapers, and a dry towel on hand. Giving your baby a bath is a great opportunity to show him how much you care.
- A newborn's first bath will stand out among the many other significant firsts that accompany a new baby.
- Even though this is something parents do every day, doing so might bring up a lot of questions and even concern about when and how to actually do it.
- Sometimes it's hard to motivate yourself to take a bath, but that's okay.
- If you follow this guide, you'll be able to give your baby a safe and effective bath for the first time and every time after that.
- Until the umbilical stump heals (often between one and four weeks after delivery), sponge baths are all that's needed for your newborn; once he can sit up on his own, he can graduate to the regular tub.
- Getting Ready to Give Baby Her First Bath It used to be standard procedure for hospitals to take newborns out of their care immediately so they could be bathed.
- Newborns should wait at least 24 hours before receiving their first bath, as recommended by the World Health Organization.
- Positive psychological and physiological effects have been associated with postponing the first bath for a newborn.
- Delaying the first bath can protect your infant from chilly stress, which can cause hypothermia and low blood sugar.
- The mother can devote more time to nursing and fostering skin-to-skin contact.
- Wait at least 24 hours before giving your infant his or her first bath, as recommended by the World Health Organization.
- Waiting at least 48 hours is advised by many.
- There is no set schedule for when you should give your newborn baby her first sponge bath after you bring her home.
- Although many parents can't wait to give their newborn a bath in their own tub, doing so is unnecessary until at least a few days.
- The first bath for the baby should be put off for the following reasons: Hypothermia and hypoglycemia are potential outcomes for newborns who are promptly washed.
- When the baby is taken away from the mother too soon, for example, to take a bath, it disrupts breastfeeding and can also damage the mother-child attachment.
- Babies whose first bath was delayed by 12 hours had a 166% increase in nursing success compared to those whose first bath was administered during the first few hours of birth.
- Waxy vernix protects and lubricates an unborn child's skin while also acting as an antibacterial barrier, but it can also be irritating and uncomfortable.
- According to the findings, there are a number of benefits to waiting more than a day.
- One advantage is that it allows for more time for skin-to-skin contact, which is great for bonding between mother and child.
- Infants thrive better when they spend more time bonding with their mothers rather than being hurried off to the potty.
- Delaying the baby's first bath was linked to increased breastfeeding rates before and after going home from the hospital.
- When parents wait to bathe their children, the protective vernix (which develops in the womb) will still be present.
- Another strong reason to postpone the first bath is that babies have less regulation over their body temperature than adults.
- Delaying a bath is one way to ensure that they stay warm, which is of utmost importance.
- Be ready to rapidly encase them with blankets when the time comes.
- You can try submerging your baby as soon as the umbilical incision has healed.
- How to Clean a Newborn Infant Properly The first (and subsequent) bathing of your infant can be relaxing and joyful with some planning and the correct surroundings.
- Our new baby girl was given a bath by the nurse in the hospital bathtub.
- What follows is a comprehensive, step-by-step explanation on how to bathe a newborn.
- Use only a baby bathtub that has received proper safety certification.
- Make sure a towel and other necessary items for bath time are always within reach so that you can keep your baby close at hand.
- If you need to go get anything or answer the door while bathing the baby, don't forget to take the baby with you.
- You should start teaching your baby about water safety now.
- Never leave a baby unsupervised in the tub, not even for a second.
- In most cases, this is the highest temperature a water heater may be safely set to.
- The severity of burns caused by hot tap water often necessitates prompt medical attention and perhaps possible surgical intervention.
- Infants and toddlers typically suffer scalds from contact with hot water more than any other type of burn.
- For the sake of your baby's survival, you should unclothe her and immediately place her in the water.
- Help her get the greater part of her body into the water while maintaining a soothing conversation with her.
- She has to keep her head and upper body above water for safety, but she also needs to be doused with warm water frequently.
- Avoid putting soaps on your baby's skin and keep it well-moisturized.
- Use a soft cloth to wipe your child's face and hair clean, taking care not to rub or pull the skin.
- You should start with her head and work your way down to wash the rest of her body.
- Your kid might have so much fun in the tub that you shouldn't mind if she wants to stay in there longer than normal.
- If your kid likes taking baths, she'll be less likely to develop a fear of water.
- Take your time when bathing her unless she asks for something different.
- After drying off your baby from a bath, wrap him or her in a warm towel.
- How to Use a Baby Bath Sponge Give your newborn a sponge bath in warm water with a mild soap once (if at all) throughout the first week of life.
- Take a look at our comprehensive checklist to ensure you're prepared for a baby bath.
Frequently Asked Questions
You can safely tub bathe your baby after birth and before the cord falls off. Your baby may be bathed every two to three days with mild baby bathing products. Bathing often can dry your baby's skin. Spot clean areas such as the baby's chin and mouth, neck folds, diaper area and creases of the groin each day.
Sit your baby on your lap supporting the chin and chest with one hand. Rub or pat the back with your other hand. Tip: Use repeated, gentle pats on your baby's back. Rest your baby faced down on your lap and gently rub or pat the back.
Even if your baby falls asleep, try burping them for a few minutes before placing them back down to sleep. Otherwise, they wake up in pain with trapped gas.
- Taking a break to burp the baby. When the stomach fills with air, it may push on the diaphragm, causing spasms.
- Using a pacifier. Sucking on a pacifier may help to relax the diaphragm and stop hiccupping.
- Feeding them gripe water.
- Rubbing the baby's back.
- What not to do.
Put your baby down as soon as they've been fed and changed. Do not change your baby unless they need it. not play with your baby.