How to Bathe Your Newborn Baby
Bathing a newborn is indeed a task of great responsibility, needing special care and attention to ensure complete hygiene and safety of the baby. The best way is to use a bathtub and take certain precautionary measures as mentioned below.
When to bathe a newborn for the first time
Your baby’s first bath can be given after the first two weeks of his life, once his umbilical cord stump has dried and fallen off, with the area also being completely healed.
How to give your newborn baby a bath
What you’ll need
- A Mild Baby soap
- Washcloths ( 2 to 3)
- Clean cotton balls
- A Soft flannel towel ( preferably a hooded one)
- A Bathtub
- A Plastic cup
- A Fresh diaper
- Clean set of clothes
Setting the water temperature
Fill the bathtub with approximately two to four inches of water, with its temperature being between 37°C and 38°C. You can check the water temperature with your elbow or even using a thermometer to get an accurate reading.
If you are bathing the baby in your living or bedroom keep the temperature around 24°C.
Step by step procedure
- Put your baby in the bathtub, supporting his head and neck properly.
- Leave the nappy on if he is too cranky.
- Begin by washing his scalp using a wet, soapy washcloth. Clean the region around the fontanelle gently, also ensuring that the soap does not get into his eyes.
- Use soap to clean his hands and diaper area too, if you are not washing the whole body.
- Then, wipe his eyes, starting from the inner corner, moving outwards using cotton balls. Use separate cotton balls for cleaning the outer ears and behind the ears, but avoid the insides to prevent the eardrum from being damaged.
- Use a clean, wet washcloth for his face, wiping the area around his mouth and below his chin where the milk often tends to drool.
- Clean his bottom and genitals with cotton balls or a different washcloth dipped in warm water.
- Also, pour cupfuls of warm water from the top to clean his whole body during the final rinse.
Drying your baby after bath
Take him out of the tub with care, supporting his head and neck with one hand and the bottom with the other. Wrap him well in a hooded towel and gently pat him dry. Pay special attention in wiping the inner folds of his skin.
Next, lay him on a flat surface, perhaps a changing table or a mat to dress him in a fresh diaper and clean clothes. Afterwards, you may also massage him with some baby lotion using your fingertips.
How often should you bathe your baby
A newborn should be bathed not more than two to three times in a week till he attains one year of age since intense bathing may result in dry skin. In fact, in the initial months, he has lesser chances of getting messy since he is not into too much of activities.
Video for bathing an infant in a tub
Tips to follow while bathing your baby
- Never leave him unattended in the bathtub even for a second.
- Bathing in a kitchen sink is unhygienic while running water is also not recommended.
- Make sure he is neither hungry nor too full, nor even sleepy at his bath time. Probably during the first few months, a daytime bath would be preferable.
- Convertible bath tubs are to be opted for since they are durable having minimum chances of injury, while bath seats should be avoided until the baby is four months of age.
- If you find him extremely cranky in the tub, then carry on with sponge baths till he gets accustomed to the bath tub.
- Make bathing time enjoyable by singing lullabies or playing with your baby to strengthen your bond with him.
- If you are bathing twins, make sure to have a helping hand.