Bathing a newborn can be an exciting experience for parents, but it can also be nerve-wracking, especially for first-time parents. Newborns have sensitive skin and require extra care to ensure their safety and comfort during the bathing process. In this article, we will provide advice on how to bathe a newborn, including tips on water temperature, how often to bathe them, and how to keep them safe during the process.
How often should you bathe a newborn?
Newborns do not need to be bathed every day. Bathing them too frequently can dry out their skin and remove the natural oils that protect it. Experts recommend bathing a newborn two to three times a week, using a soft washcloth and gentle, fragrance-free baby soap. Between baths, you can clean your baby’s face, neck, and diaper area with a damp washcloth.
It’s important to note that some newborns have sensitive skin and may require even less frequent baths. You should also avoid using harsh soaps or shampoos, as they can irritate the skin.
How to prepare for a newborn bath?
Before bathing your newborn, it’s important to prepare everything you’ll need, so you don’t have to leave your baby unattended. Here’s what you’ll need:
- A baby bathtub or basin filled with warm water (see below for tips on water temperature)
- Soft washcloths
- Gentle, fragrance-free baby soap and shampoo
- A clean towel
- A clean diaper and clothes
You should also make sure the room is warm and free of drafts. It’s a good idea to have a heater or space heater on in the room, so the baby doesn’t get cold during the bath.
How to bathe a newborn?
Here are step-by-step instructions on how to bathe a newborn:
- Fill the baby’s bathtub or basin with warm water. The water should be between 90 and 100 degrees Fahrenheit. You can use a thermometer to check the temperature or dip your elbow in the water to make sure it’s warm but not hot.
- Undress your baby and place them in the water, supporting their head and neck with one hand and their body with the other. Use a washcloth to wet their body with water, avoiding the face and head.
- Use a small amount of baby soap to wash your baby’s body, starting with the face and working your way down. Use a washcloth to gently clean their arms, legs, and chest, being careful around the umbilical cord stump (if it hasn’t fallen off yet).
- Use a little bit of baby shampoo to wash your baby’s hair, being careful to avoid getting shampoo in their eyes. You can use a cup or your hand to rinse the shampoo out of their hair.
- Once you’ve finished washing your baby, use a clean washcloth to rinse them off with clean water, avoiding the face and head.
- Lift your baby out of the water and wrap them in a clean towel, patting them dry.
- Apply diaper cream and put on a clean diaper and clothes.
Tips for bathing a newborn
- Always support your baby’s head and neck when bathing them, especially in the first few months when their neck muscles are still developing.
- Keep one hand on your baby at all times during the bath, so they don’t slip or slide in the water.
- Avoid getting water or soap in your baby’s eyes or ears.
- If your baby has dry skin, consider using a moisturizing cream or lotion after the bath.
- If your baby has sensitive skin, avoid using fragranced products, and opt for products designed for sensitive skin.
- If your baby has an umbilical cord stump, avoid summering it in water until it falls off. You can sponge-bathe your baby until then.
- If your baby has a diaper rash, avoid using soap or bubbles in the bath, as they can further irritate the skin.
- Make sure the room is warm and free of drafts, so your baby doesn’t get cold during the bath.
- Don’t leave your baby unattended in the bath, even for a moment. It only takes a few seconds for a baby to drown in shallow water.
- Consider using a non-slip mat in the baby’s bathtub or basin to prevent your baby from slipping.
- If your baby cries during the bath, try singing or talking to them to soothe them. You can also give them a toy to play with or a washcloth to hold onto.
- If you’re nervous about bathing your newborn, consider asking your partner or a trusted family member or friend to help you.
In conclusion, bathing a newborn can be a wonderful bonding experience for parents and babies. By following the tips and advice in this article, you can ensure that your baby’s bath time is safe, comfortable, and enjoyable. Remember to always be gentle and patient, and to enjoy this special time with your little one.