Most babies do not need a bath every single day. This is because; a lot of cleaning is already done with the diaper changes and clean-ups after feedings. Nonetheless, babies still need to be bathed every 2 or 3 times a week. Moreover, with proper skin care and bathing it can help maintain the soft and delicate skin of a newborn. Babies can be bathed anytime of the day, but many parents prefer to do it in the evening so that the baby feels relaxed and soothed when put to bed. There are mainly two types of baths that you can give your baby; either a sponge bath or a tub bath. Below are some tips on how to give your newborn a bath.
Before giving your baby a bath, it is essential to gather the necessary equipment and supplies in advance. Most of the items that are needed to be prepared will be used during and after the bath, such as towels (preferably thick), soft washcloths, sponge, clean basin, cotton balls, baby shampoo or soap, and fresh diaper and clothing.
To give your baby the perfect sponge bath, make sure to use lukewarm water in the basin. Utilize thick towels as a cushion for your baby while you prep the bath. It is advisable to keep your hand on the baby at all times. If you left out or forgotten a bath item, it is best to wrap your baby in a towel and put him/her somewhere safe. You can always start off the bath by giving your baby’s face a good wipe. Clean off the delicate parts of the face such as the eyes and nose with fresh cotton balls. Gently wipe each eye by starting at the bridge of the nose and then proceed by wiping out to the corner of the eye. The rest of the face can be cleaned with a soft, damp washcloth without any soap. The washcloth can be also used to clean the ears. After that, add a small amount of baby soap on the sponge and gently bathe the rest of the baby. Use small circular motions and cover only one area at a time. The last step is to wash your baby’s head with a damp washcloth, shampoo is not necessary if your baby does not have much hair. Rinse thoroughly by using a pail to slowly pour over the baby’s head while holding the baby firmly, supporting the neck. Lastly, wrap your baby in a bath towel and cuddle while you dry him/her off.
It is recommended to give your baby a tub bath only after his/her umbilical cord falls off. The process is pretty similar to a sponge bath, however, it is essential to prepare a bathtub that is made of thick plastic about the size of your baby. A tub with a head support would be preferable so that your baby’s head is kept out of the water. Place a slip-resistant mat that will act as backing to prevent your baby from slipping. If it is the first time bathing your baby in a tub, it is ideal to do a quick one. The tub should be filled with only 2 or 3 inches of warm water, you may test the temperature with your elbow and it should feel warm and not hot. Use one hand to support the head and slowly lower your baby into the water. Always start from the head while proceeding to clean the body. With a soft washcloth or sponge, gently wipe the face. A small amount of shampoo may be used for the hair. When rinsing off the shampoo, it is best to protect your baby’s eyes with your hands. After that, you may continue to bathe the rest of your baby. Once the bath is finished, wrap your baby in a towel and gently pat the baby dry. For extra warmth, wrap another towel on your baby’s head.
After bath care
To keep your baby’s skin supple and hydrated its best to use a fragrance-free lotion and slather it all over the body. In the meantime, you may give your baby a gentle massage to calm him/her down. If your baby’s skin is prone to rashes, you may use a diaper ointment or eczema cream. Even though baby powder is common after bath ritual for babies, it is best to avoid using it as the inhaled powder may irritate your baby’s delicate breathing passage. Before putting on the baby’s clothing, simply do a quick nail clipping as it is easier to do so when your baby’s nails are slightly damp. After all the hard work, now you have a happy and clean baby!