Mother and Baby

How to bathe your baby

March 19, 2016

Bathing your wriggly teensy weensy newborn can be a daunting but a fun and great bonding ritual. I was too scared of bathing my baby and she almost slipped out of my hand once. Following that mini heart attack, I tried a few different ways of bathing her and finally settled on one that was easy for me and relaxing for my baby. Here are few things one must keep in mind when bathing your little ‘un.

When to bathe your baby?

How often?

Newborns need not be bathed every day as it might dry out their skin. However, you may clean their face with a soft damp cloth and clean any mucus in nose or eyes with damp cotton. If a parent feels uncomfortable ( like I did), they may bathe a baby with a mild cleansing soap – I personally used Earth Mama Angel Baby lavender scented shampoo and body-wash. According to The American Academy of Pediatrics, sponge baths may be given once the umbilical cord stump falls off.

Morning vs Night

You may choose to bathe your baby in the morning when its alert and ready to have some fun or at night as a calming bedtime ritual. A warm bath at night is great for a colicky baby- as mine was- but different things for different babies. Although my baby was extremely colicky- a bath at night made her more alert and fussy. So I preferred bathing her in the morning. Enjoy your time with your baby- don’t be in a rush – and make it a relaxing exercise for both of you.

How to bathe your baby?

  1. Although a sponge bath may be given on any flat surface such as a kitchen counter or floor with a towel or blanket under the baby for warmth.You can wash your baby in the sink, in a bath tub or even a bath seat – whatever you find prefer. The bath seat in the image gallery above is the one I got- it is sturdy, has 3 recline positions for baby to comfortably lie back in, head support and a mesh fabric that is easily machine washable- this is a definite plus for mommies if their babies have a habit to poo during bath time! Another definite bonus is that it is foldable, hence, it won’t take up much room for storage!
  2. Keep your bathing supplies ( towel/fresh clothes/ body wash etc) ready before bathing your baby.
  3. Fill up the tub with no more than 2-3 inches of water ( if bathing baby in a tub) and keep an eye and hand on baby continuously. A baby can drown in as little as an inch of water!!.
  4. Make sure the water is comfortably warm or do the elbow test by dipping ur elbow in water to check its warmth.
  5.  If your baby’s diaper is soiled; clean up baby first
  6. Wipe clean  your baby’s eyes with damp cotton. Use fresh cotton for each eye to prevent spreading goo from on eye to the other.
  7. Pour water gently on baby and pay attention to area behind ears and between fingers and toes. Do not clean eardrums or you may risk damaging them. Continue pouring water on baby to keep it warm.

 Plain water is perfectly fine to use for newborns but if you prefer to use products- make sure they are unscented, mild and preferably organic. Scented and chemical laden products can disturb the natural PH balance of newborn’s skin- therefore, always test product on small patch of baby skin to ensure its safe and sensitive enough for use.  If the baby’s skin has retained milky coating called vernix- do not try to scrub it off. It’s actually a natural cleanser which is good for baby’s skin and will wear off gradually.

I, personally, use Organic products.

Wrap baby immediately- cuddle to keep it warm and give it a big kiss on the forehead. Your baby likes nothing more than the warmth and smell of your skin.

According to experts, a body lotion isn’t necessary after bath unless baby has dry skin. Also, one must be extra careful to dry the folds of skins after wash or bath to prevent rashes.

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