How to bathe a newborn baby
How to bathe a newborn baby? Bathing a newborn baby for the first time after birth, as well as other hygiene procedures with which new parents try to make life more comfortable for a young family member, most often raises many questions and concerns. Even if this is the first child and neither you nor your spouse have had experience caring for younger siblings, you should not treat learning new skills as a job. Nature is wise and if you are not overly stressed, you will intuitively (do not think that you lack intuition – in this case, rely on your feelings of comfort) understand what, how and when to do, and what, on the contrary, should be avoided…
How often should I bathe my baby?
The baby has mechanisms that help the skin produce a protective film in the first days and weeks after birth. There are studies that show that primordial lubricant, for example, has antimicrobial and antibacterial effects, reducing the risk of pneumonia and meningitis. That’s why some maternity hospitals have even introduced the practice of “delayed washing,” when it is recommended that babies be cleaned not earlier than a couple of hours after birth.
Boiling the water for bathing newborns is not necessary. Boiling water was used to soften it, so in today’s world it is enough to put filters in the pipes or in the faucet to avoid this problem.
It is generally accepted that children should be bathed with full immersion in water at least 3-4 times a week. In the case of daily water procedures, depending on the condition of the child’s skin, it is advisable to use special foams and other products to soften the water, and then mousses (lotions), creams and oils to care for the baby’s skin after bathing. After all, frequent bathing dries the baby’s skin.
Bathtub for baby
For bathing a newborn baby, you will need a separate baby bath with a capacity of about 35 liters. It must be made of good quality eco-friendly plastic.
It is important that the tub has no cracks, scratches, dents, and the bottom was not slippery. Container must be roomy (size adjusted to the child’s height + 10 centimeters) if parents will bathe in it a child up to a year or older. If the plan is to move the baby in three months into an adult bath – this is not necessary.
The product should not be too heavy so you can move it if necessary, but not too light so it does not turn over while swimming. It will not be superfluous to have a hole in the baby tub for drainage, with which it is easier to get rid of the used water
There are several varieties of children’s baths:
- Classic – repeats the shape of an “adult” bath, in such a bath alone is difficult;
- Anatomic – takes the form of a child’s body, but the baby can only be in it lying on his back;
- With built-in slide – the child can be bathed in it by one person, but these models infant quickly grows up;
- Folding – convenient if the bathroom is tight;
- Inflatable – takes up little space when assembled, but will have to inflate, deflate and dry every day;
- Antimicrobial – due to the special coating fights against harmful microorganisms, prevents the development of allergies;
- Circular – convenient for the baby, but uncomfortable during the bath for parents;
- With a stand – can be adjusted in height
Prepare what you need for the bath
For water procedures with the baby need: baby bath, rinsing ladle, bath mitt of baize or sponge, baby soft towel, thermometer, baby soap and shampoo, and from about six months of age – and also toys to entertain your child.
It is not necessary to heat the bathroom to the state of a steam room, the child will feel stuffy in it. The air temperature in the room should not be very different from the temperature in other rooms.
Usually the baby is introduced to water on the 4th to 6th day after being discharged from the hospital. Often parents are afraid to give their newborn their first bath until the umbilical wound has healed, but lack of water procedures is not good for them. Until the wound heals, it is recommended that the baby be bathed for no more than 5 minutes
In the recommendations of doctors how to bathe a baby, there is no rule that the water for the procedure must be boiled. It is enough to use running water from the tap. The water temperature for bathing a newborn baby should be 36-37 degrees.
During water procedures are allowed to add infusions of chamomile, succession, calendula, sage, but on this subject it is better to consult with your doctor.
Do not plunge the child into the bath. Immersion should be slow, the head should be supported. It is important to monitor how the baby reacts to the water and its temperature. If the first experience is negative, then later bathing may not be a favorite procedure for the child.
The plan of action for how to bathe an infant includes face hygiene in the first place. You need to wash your face without soap, paying special attention to the corners of the eyes. Then the body and head should be washed. The last place to clean the crotch. If a girl is bathed, the movements should be directed from front to back – from the pubis to the anus.
For daily procedures, you can limit yourself to water, but once a week you need to wash the baby with baby cosmetics.
The baby’s first bath usually takes 5-6 minutes. Then you can increase the time to 10 minutes at first, and then more. Watch how your baby reacts. Perhaps the baby is already tired or cold, and then the procedure should be completed
After washing, rinse the baby with clean water, wrap it in a baby towel and place it on the changing table. You should gently blot the baby’s skin and folds, apply a moisturizer to the skin, and dry the umbilical wound and treat it with the antiseptic prescribed by the pediatrician. Then you need to dress the baby so he does not get too cold.
What time of day to bathe the baby?
Most babies are bathed before bedtime, because after bathing the baby calms down, eats well and falls asleep better. But if, on the contrary, your baby gets excited after bathing and becomes more active, it is advisable to move the usual bath time to the morning. Bathing is often part of the ritual of falling asleep a child up to the age of 3-5 years.
Water temperature for bathing should start at 37 degrees Celsius and gradually decrease to 32-33 degrees by 6-12 weeks of life. The duration of bathing depends on the child. There are babies who like to splash around, and there are those who do not. The first full immersion in water does not last more than 7-10 minutes, but after a week you can bathe for 15-20 minutes, monitoring the temperature of the water and warming it, if necessary. If the baby’s nasolabial folds turned blue, fists tight, the child begins to cry actively, although prior to bathing normally – then you need to immediately stop bathing.
One common mistake even experienced moms and dads is that the child at the first bath immersed in water back, which is not always correct. The child thus loses the feeling of support and encouragement, unconsciously spreads his hands apart and may grasp the edge of the tub. It is desirable for the first time to immerse the baby’s feet, talking to him affectionately and intonation to emphasize that all is well. The baby does not yet understand words, but is sensitive to intonation.
It is important to choose the right time to bathe. Don’t do it right after a feeding or when your baby is hungry
It is best to bathe at the same time. In most cases, babies are bathed in the evening, before feeding, but if the child cannot fall asleep for a long time afterwards, it is worth moving the baby’s bathing to the daytime.
If the child is sick or after vaccination
You should not refuse to bathe your baby if he is sick, because skin hygiene and cleanliness are extremely important. The only exception is a fever in a child. In this case, it is better not to bathe him, but to wipe him with a damp sponge or cloth.
But after vaccination, pediatricians recommend that you refrain from bathing for 48 hours. Hot water often causes an increase in body temperature. In addition, steaming can lead to the development of an infiltrate – a thickening in the area where the medicine was injected.
However, for injections that are not accompanied by a temperature reaction, avoiding the bath is not a requirement. The main thing is not to steam and not to rub the injection site.
In order to turn water procedures into a real game, with the help of which your baby will learn the world, do not limit the process to the performance of standard actions. Become an expert in the field of constant maternal doubts – how to bathe a newborn baby and how to make this procedure the most pleasant. Use brightly colored objects, pronounce their names, please the little man with new chameleon toys, whose color changes depending on the temperature, water mills, inflatable balls and accessories that allow the baby to stay in the water.
After bathing, soak your baby’s skin with a towel. Never rub the body, it may cause irritation. After bathing your newborn baby, use a soothing cream or body milk to soothe irritation and prevent dry skin.
After the moisture dries, use a gentle cream on your baby’s skin. The lanolin and beeswax content will provide gentle care and a pleasant sensation. Baby powder should only be used when diaper rash and redness occur. The first bath of the newborn should be limited to 5 – 10 minutes. Later, the procedure can be extended to 20 – 30 minutes.
Not only doctors, but parents themselves have long been convinced that water helps not only to keep the body clean, but also relaxes, relieves increased muscle tone, strengthens immunity. Water environment for a newborn baby is familiar. He makes reflex movements in it, which later transform into swimming skills. So try to understand your child’s emotions. No need to leave him in the water exactly as long as the doctor advised or an article written by a competent specialist. If the baby expresses dissatisfaction, it is better to finish swimming and calm the baby down.