Tips on Bathing Your Newborn Baby
It can be very nerve-wracking when it comes to bathing a newborn, especially when it is your first time. Your baby is not going to like the experience, either. However, with a bit more practice on your side, you will start to feel comfortable with bathing your baby. Even your baby will start to like it, too. What you need right now is to learn the basics of bathing a newborn.
How often does a baby need a bath?
Unlike the adults, there is no need for the baby, especially with the newborns, for a daily bath. The reason for this is that it might dry out their skin, so they are not recommended to get their bath several times a week. If you are quick with the burp cloths and clean diapers, you are already adverse with cleaning your baby’s parts that need a lot of attention, which are the neck, face and the diaper area.
Which time of the day is it better to bathe the baby?
Some fathers and mothers ask whether if it is okay to bathe their baby during the day or the night. This is just up to you. Pick a time that you feel like you are not rushed to bathe your baby or likely to get interrupted. There are parents that prefer to give their baby the morning baths, which is the time that the babies are on high alert and are willing to enjoy the new experiences they face. Other parents prefer to let their babies take baby baths during nighttime as they feel that it will make them feel calm - some bedtime ritual. If you want to bathe your baby after you have fed them, at least wait for the tummy of your baby to settle.
Is sponge bath enough for the baby?
Just because it is a baby bath doesn’t necessarily mean that it should be done in a tub filled with water. Experts recommend sponge baths to your baby until their umbilical cord fall off from their tummy. This will take up around three weeks to happen. If you want to give your baby the sponge bath, here are some tips to make it a better experience.
- Find a warm place that has a flat surface. You can use the changing table, kitchen counter, the bathroom or even the firm bed will do. You can even put a towel or blanket on the floor as long as it is warm enough.
- Get a changing pad, towel or soft blanket. Put it on the surface and spread it out as it will be where the baby will be laid on.
- You should always keep one of your hands with your baby. If you are on the changing table, make use of the safety strap.
- Get a shallow basin made of plastic, or the sink will do that will hold the water. Fill it with warm water. Make sure that you check the temperature of the water with your hand if it is not too hot.
- You will also need to prepare the essential supplies. Get a towel that is designed for babies - one with a hood, baby wipes, moisturizing soap, mild shampoo for babies, change of clothes and cotton balls.
When you are ready to give a sponge bath to your baby, undress and wrap your baby with a towel. Lay the baby on their back on the pad, towel or blanket that you have prepared on the surface. Dip the washcloth in the water and wring out the excess water from it. Use this cloth to wipe the face of your baby. There is no need to use soap for this. Get a cotton ball and make it wet. Squeeze out excess water and use it to wipe every eyelid starting from the inside all the way to the outside.
When you wash the body of your baby, plain water is acceptable, however, if your baby is dirty or smelly, you need to use a moisturizing soap. Pay attention to the creases of your baby, especially under their arms, behind their ears, the neck and the diaper area. You should also wash between the toes and fingers of your baby. Expose only the parts of your baby that you want to wash if you want to keep them warm.
The best tub for your baby
Many parents opt for the free-standing tubs made out of plastic that is designed for newborns. Others go fro the inflatable tubs or plastic basins that fit perfectly into the bathtub. You can also go with the bathroom sink or the kitchen that is lined with a rubber mat or towel.
But always prioritize safety, not the type of tub that you need to use. Collect the same supplies that you would use for the sponge bath plus a cup to use for rinsing in advance so that you can keep one of your hands held with your baby all the time. Avoid leaving your baby by themselves in the water.
The amount of water to put in the tub
There is an ongoing debate as to how much water the baby needs for the baby bath. The common amount recommended is between 2 and 3 inches of warm water. To keep the baby warm, you can keep the baby warm throughout the process by pouring warm water onto their body. Some experts suggest that you use slightly more water that is enough to cover their shoulders. This is calming to the baby, and it will help reduce the heat loss. However, whatever amount of water you use, make sure that you hold the baby securely whenever you give them a bath.
The best is warm water. However, the warm that you need might be misinterpreted. To prevent the baby from scalding, set the water heater’s thermostat below 49 degrees centigrade or 120 Fahrenheit. Always check the temperature of the water using your hand before you use it to bathe your baby. Go for a temperature around 38 C. You also need to make sure that the room is warm and comfy for the baby.