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This week Sharon Fried Buchalter shares some valuable basics about baby baths. I remember bringing my tiny newborn daughter home and being able to fit her in our kitchen sink. Initially, I was terrified of giving her a bath (because baby skin and water is slippery, right?). I was thankful that the nursing staff at the hospital gave us some valuable tips to help me feel more confident in baby bath time. Sharon’s step-by step guide to clean your baby is so helpful with a new baby!
The addition of a new member of the family is an exhilarating experience. Becoming parents is an extremely overwhelming feeling especially if it’s for the first time. Along with joy and happiness, a baby also brings a lot of responsibilities. Your little one is fully dependent on you and the hardest part is they cannot communicate what they want. They are unable to share what’s bothering them or what makes them uncomfortable. And they obviously can’t tell you if they’re hungry or in pain.
As a mother, you have to take cues from your baby’s facial expressions when he or she cries. New mommies are often left confused because they’re surrounded by a pool of advice and a multitude of suggestions that pour in from family and friends.
While the “baby” experts will continue to share their personal experiences and special advice, it is for the new parents to decide what is best for their baby.
In this article, let’s talk in detail about cleaning a newborn properly.
Related read: Newborn Care Tips for New Moms
Cleaning Your Newborn
Here’s a step-by-step guide to clean your baby easily and effectively.
- Sponge bath in the initial days
For the first few weeks, it is best to give a sponge bath to your newborn as they are very tiny to handle. Dip a soft washcloth or towel in lukewarm water and gently wipe your baby’s body. Continue with the sponge bath until the umbilical stump has fallen off.
- Feeding before the bath is a must
Feed your baby an hour before their bath time. This will make sure they don’t cry and will enjoy their gentle, warm bath.
- Use a towel as protection
You can place a towel or any soft cloth in the sink or bathtub so that your baby doesn’t slip due to soap and water.
- Keep everything handy
Make sure to place everything you need within your hands’ reach so that you don’t have to leave the baby alone to get a towel or soap.
Related read: 10 Must Have Baby Products for the First Year
- Don’t rush
Take your time. Do not rush while bathing your baby. Patience is the key.
- Keep your baby covered
Cover your baby’s head as soon as you finish bathing them.
- Use mild baby products
Always use a mild baby wash to bathe your newborn. Their skin is extremely delicate and dries out easily. Also, make sure you are not using hot water to bathe your baby. The water has to be lukewarm.
- Give extra attention to some areas
Areas like the neck, behind the ears, the elbow pit, between the fingers, or where there are skin folds and creases need to be cleaned thoroughly. If you don’t clean these areas properly, your baby might develop painful rashes on the skin.
- Keep the umbilical stump dry
Your baby’s cord will fall off on its own. Therefore, it is essential to clean the belly button once the umbilical cord has fallen off. Apply a few drops of baby oil or medicated powder that your doctor suggests once the cord falls off.
- Keep your baby’s nails trimmed
Trim your baby’s nails from time to time to prevent scratches. Make sure the nails do not have a rough edge. Smoothen out the nails using a nail filer made specially for babies. Nail trimming should be done when the baby is asleep to avoid any accidents.
- Give special attention to cleaning the nose
Cleaning a newborn’s nose is very difficult. It is best to not put anything in your baby’s nose. You can either use saline nasal drops to clean any dirt inside or bulb syringe in case your baby has a stuffy nose. Just squeeze the bulb to get the air out, carefully put the tip of the syringe into one of the nostrils, and then release the bulb.
- Avoid using earbuds
Never use earbuds to clean your baby’s ears. You can simply wipe the outer ear using a soft cloth.
- Change diapers often
Change the diaper as soon as they get soiled. Babies should not wear soiled diapers for a long time. Make sure to use good quality baby diapers to prevent rashes.
- Always use good quality baby wipes
You can use baby wipes to clean the baby while changing a diaper. Always buy good quality bulk baby wipes made especially for the baby’s delicate skin. Buying such daily-use items in bulk will help you save a lot of money.
- Use mild detergents for baby clothes
Always wash your baby’s clothes using a mild detergent, formulated especially for newborns. Rinse the clothes thoroughly so that there is no detergent left in them. By doing this, you can be sure your little one doesn’t develop any skin rashes due to leftover detergent.
Related read: 18 Baby Hacks that Make Mom Life Easier
These basic, simple tips will help you clean your baby effectively. As a new mommy, we fully understand how hesitant you might be at first to clean your baby. But don’t worry! With time, you will surely develop the confidence to handle your little one with care.
The best tip is that mothers should follow their instincts as each baby is different. With time and experience, all mothers can adapt to taking care of their babies in the best possible way.
The best suggestion is, instead of being stressed, enjoy the experience of motherhood and be happy, always!
What bath tips did you find helpful? Which ones would you add? I’d love to hear in the comments below!