6 Tips for Baby's First Bath
Now that your newborn is home with you, part of their new routine is making sure they are clean and comfortable. Bathing a newborn can be a little nerve-racking but is a necessary care routine.
When your baby is first born, they will still have their umbilical cord, and so you will need to be extra careful while giving them their bath. Until the umbilical cord comes off, it is best to provide them with a sponge bath.
There will be many new experiences with your newborn child, and bathing can sometimes be a scary one. With a little bit of guidance and practice, you can feel comfortable and at ease with this new step in your weekly practices.
How Best to Give your Newborn a Bath
We have put together some simple tips for new parents on how to give your baby their first bath.
Bathing is a new experience for first parents as well as their babies. At first, your newborn may not like the uncomfortable feeling of water, so don’t be too worried if they cry or make a fuss. After several times your child gets at least a little bit used to the idea. So no need to panic if your baby is giving you a hard time.
2. Wash their face first
When babies are naked, damp, and cold that is when they start to feel very uncomfortable. So before removing all their clothes, you can start by washing their face. Use a damp washcloth, ensuring the water is not too hot nor cold. Wipe their faces with the washcloth, over their eyelids, and gently over the corners of their eyes. Also, clean around their nose and in the crevices. You do not need to use soap; warm water will do the trick and hopefully keep your baby cozy for the time being.
3. Clean their ears
Do not use a cotton swab to clean your baby's ears. This can be very dangerous and may damage their eardrums. Instead, again use warm, damp washcloths and your finger to get in and around their ears.
4. Wash their hair
You can also start by washing their hair while they are still clothed or have a towel wrapped around to keep them warm. To wash newborn babies' hair, remember to support their spine and neck with one arm while you are tipping their head backward. Using child-safe shampoo, first, lather it between your palms before gently applying it to your baby's head. Softly massage the shampoo into their hair with warm water and then rinse it out using a damp washcloth. Once all the shampoo is out, you will want to towel dry their heads so they can stay warm.
5. Wash their body
After washing their heads and hair, you can now remove their clothing so you can clean your baby's body. It is easier to lay them down flat on their backs in a safe place that won't be too slippery. Use a washcloth or bathing sponge, warm water, and gentle baby soap to wash every part of their bodies. Remember to gently scrub their necks, getting into all the little crevices in between their cute baby rolls. You will want to avoid washing over their umbilical cord and try to keep that area dry. Also, don’t forget their hands and feet. You can then use a clean damp cloth to rinse off the body wash and gently turn your baby over so they are lying on their tummies to clean their backs as well.
Once they are clean and fresh, use a dry towel to dry them off again, remembering to dry in between any crevices. Then wrap them in a towel or blanket to stay warm
6. Lotion their body
It is also an excellent idea to lotion your baby’s skin after bathing, remembering to use a baby-safe product. Softly apply the lotion to their clean, dry skin, massaging it in.
This can be an extraordinary intimate moment between a parent and child, hopefully, one that your baby will enjoy as well.
When Should Your Baby’s First Bath Happen
If you are giving birth in a hospital, generally, nurses will give your baby a quick sponge bath after they are born. Otherwise, it is recommended to bathe your baby 24 hours after birth for the first time.
This will, of course, be a sponge bath, and you should continue to give your baby a sponge bath until their umbilical cord has fallen off. You do not want to use a baby bath right away since soaking the umbilical stump is not good and will not allow it to heal, dry, and fall off.
Babies' skin is very delicate, and you do not need to be bathing your child every day. Doing a full sponge bath approximately three times a week is sufficient in keeping your baby clean and healthy. However, as part of a daily routine, your child's face and hands should be consistently washed since this is where a lot of milk can build up, and other germs are gathered. Also, your baby’s diaper area should be wiped and properly washed as well to ensure their skin is protected. Make sure you are getting both the front and back of the genital area, so your baby remains fresh and clean.
What do I Need to Give My Baby and Sponge Bath
Before your baby arrives, you will want to be equipped with a few essentials to help with your bath time routine.
When it is bathing time, have your supplies ready near the bathing area so that you can keep your eyes and hands on your newborn at all times.
Being prepared before the first bath time will help you feel a little more comfortable with the process. Here are a few essential items to have ready and nearby before bathing your baby.
- Washcloths (at least 2)
- Baby body wash
- Warm water
- Dry towel
- Baby lotion
- A clean diaper
- A clean, warm outfit