Bathing a Newborn

Posted on Posted in Child Development

Bathing a Newborn

God damn, you’ve not even been able to hold the delicate baby properly in your hands and you have been entrusted to bathe baby? That’s what happened with me when just after a month of baby birth, I had to got to my in-laws house. After having a benefit of mom explicitly doing all chores of my baby, it came as a rock-challenge for me. My hands trembled, I feared that my hand support would just slip and hurt my baby. I was not confident of the water temperature. I panicked how to clean baby with just one hand (other had to support the newborn). Bathing was indeed a tricky task than I had ever imagined!

Yes Moms, do not worry if you are in this phase. You will soon turn out to be a confident mom, bathing your baby with so much perfection.

Baby Bathing Technique:

Let’s answer How to bathe a baby for you moms and dads.

Baby bathing techniques will vary basis the age. If the newborn has yet not healed of cord, then forget bathing baby by dipping him in water tub. You can go for Sponge Bath.

Sponge Bath Requisites

1. Cotton balls

2. Soft Cotton Cloth

3. Dry Towel

4. Dress

5. Bowl of warm water

Try avoiding any shampoo or Soap at this time. New born babies do not get filthy. They might not need a soap or shampoo to clean off.

Bathing Technique :

Face : Use cotton balls dipped in warm water to clean off eyes, nose, exteriors of ear. Do not put water in eyes or ears and use different cotton balls for each sensory organ.

Head and Hair: Try holding baby’s back slightly and  sprinkle some warm water on his head. gently wipe of with Soft cotton cloth and dry it with towel.

Rest of the body (avoid naval region) – Wipe the body with the cotton cloth very gently.

Pat baby dry with towel , apply lotion and dress him, he is ready for an outing mom!

Bathing Baby in Bath Tub:

Bathing Baby
Bathing Baby

Once the umbilical cord has dried and broken off, you can set off with the Baby bathers or Baby Bath tubs. Choose one that has a contoured design or has an internal sling which prevents the baby from sliding.

1. Gently lie down baby on the bather or small bath tub and keep one arm as a support to baby’s neck and back. Bathe the baby with the other hand in the same manner as you did in Sponge Bath.

2. Now, you can think of using mild wash and shampoo on baby once or twice a week. Apply one-two drops of shampoo on baby’s head, rub it gently and apply water slowly from other hand to wipe it off. Do not pour water directly over baby’s head or face as that would stun him up and may lead to bath-phobia. Do it slowly on head and shield the face and eyes with your hand.

3. Take drop of shampoo or just water and slowly clean rest of the body giving circular movements.

4. Clean the genital areas from front to back and dry thoroughly.

5. Give baby some minutes to just enjoy & relax in the warm water. Put both your hands around the baby’s chest and pull him out gently from the tub and pat him on a dry towel. Apply the moisture and get him dressed up.

Important points to note while bathing baby:

  1. Ensure that water in tub should be of right temperature. Fill the tub with water. Try lowering your hand in the tub to check for the lukewarm water (ensure it is not too hot).
  2. New born babies don’t need a bath daily. Twice or thrice a week is sufficient for them. Just try cleaning their hands, face ,diaper area at regular intervals daily with lukewarm water.
  3. There is essentially not much requirement of a soap now. Traditionally people even used water and milk to cleanse off the body. Since milk is a great cleansing agent, you can definitely mix milk and water and cleanse baby with it. Once a week , you can prefer use mild wash or shampoo.
  4. If baby cries during bathing, try placing some play objects as floating ducks or floating frogs in the tub so as to engage baby and make bath interesting for him. My baby became so happy with these objects that pulling him out of his tub was a task for me:)

    Floating frogs and ducks
    Floating frogs and ducks
  5. Keep talking/singing rhymes during bathing to keep the ambience joyful and engaging for the child. Let him know as to what you are doing while bathing him.
  6. Never ever leave your baby on bather or in Baby bath tub alone. God Forbid, but babies can drown in less than an inch of water, hence keep proper precaution.
  7. Place a nonskid mat if desired below the tub so that it doesn’t slips off.
  8. Empty the tub immediately after use.
  9. Keep all the essentials – water bowl/mug, towel, wash in your hands reach.
  10. If baby pees in water, don’t worry, right now their urine is as pure as water. In case you wish to drain the water , ensure baby has been safely placed on the dry towel.

Guess moms you would have got some confident by now, we all did and now its your turn! Give it a shot and in 2-3 days you’ll be pretty confident and admiring your skills:)

Happy Baby Bath!

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