Spit-ups, spills, and poop. It may take more than just a wipe when it comes to these baby ‘dirty deeds.’ But should your child go straight to the bath after every little mess? Here are answers to your questions about bathing your little one.
When and how often should my baby bathe?
While the umbilical cord is attached, opt for sponge baths. Once the umbilical cord stump falls off and the area heals, you can start with tub baths. For both sponge and tub baths, twice to thrice a week is advisable during the first couple of months. More often than that and the baby’s skin can dry out. In between baths, frequently wash his face and hands and thoroughly clean the genital area after every diaper change.
How do I give my baby a bath?
For sponge baths, wash your child from head to toe with a warm, damp washcloth. To do so, undress your infant in a warm room with windows and doors closed to avoid wind draft. Fill a bowl with warm water and place him on a clean towel over a sturdy surface. Using a washcloth damped with water only, wipe the eyes gently. Move to the nose, ears, and neck creases. Clean your washcloth after every wipe to not spread dirt or goo on your child. Wet the washcloth with a bit of mild soap and wipe the baby’s body, cleaning the creases, behind the ears, and the genital area. Gently dry him off and apply a mild moisturizer to his body if needed. Wrap him in a towel to keep him warm.
Tub baths can seem like a daunting task, particularly when you don’t know how to go about it. So first things first – make sure you’re ready and confident to make the experience a stress-free one for you and your baby. Opt to use a baby tub with a bath cradle so that you’ll have a good grip on your child. In a warm room with closed doors and windows, fill the tub with warm water not more than three inches deep. Check the water’s temperature with your wrist. Support your baby’s head with one of your hands and guide him feet-first with the other hand. Keep him from getting chilly by pouring water on his body regularly throughout the bath. Use a washcloth to bathe him. You may use baby shampoo for his head, although you do not need to do this often (you can shampoo once a week since babies produce little oil on their heads). Carefully rinse your child’s head by placing your hand across his forehead to avoid suds from entering his eyes. After bathing, wrap him in a towel and dry him up gently. Keep him warm while drying. The entire bath should only take five to ten minutes.
Never leave your child unattended. A baby can drown in an inch of water under a minute. Also, have everything you need ready near you, such as bathing supplies, towels, diapers, and change of clothes.
- Always keep in mind that newborns are sensitive to temperature changes and can get cold easily.
- Add a bath emollient to the water to keep the baby’s skin from drying. Firmly but gently hold your child while he’s in the water since the emollient can make him slippery.
- Go for an unscented and mild baby cleanser to avoid irritation.
- If you’re using a regular tub, use a rubber bathmat. Turn off the tap before placing your baby inside since the water may rise quickly or become too hot.
- Train your kid not to touch taps and discourage him from standing up to steer clear of accidents.