You gather a clean diaper, clean clothes and diaper ointment or cream for the bath. When all the paraphernalia is ready, you can start bath time:
• Babies lose body heat very quickly especially when they’re naked so make sure the bathing room is warm enough (75 to 80 degrees) before you get started (turn up the thermostat or steam up the room by letting the shower run on hot for a few minutes). Whether you’re using an infant tub or a sink (save the big tub for when she’s actually sitting up), fill it first (never put a baby in while the water is still running) with enough water to cover the bottom of her body. The water should be comfortably warm, so test the temperature with your elbow or the inside of your wrist (These areas are more sensitive than your fingertips).
• Gently slide your baby into the tub, feet first, holding her securely with one of your arms under her head (use your hand to grasp her underarm farthest away from you) and the other supporting her tush. (She may be slippery as a fish, but you’ll soon get the hang of how to hang on to her.) Once she’s in, avoid letting her sit for too long in soapy water it can irritate her skin, plus she might get chilly.
• Use a mild soap on her hands and diaper area. You can just use water on the rest of her body most days, unless she’s really dirty. Working from the top down, focus on the cleanest areas first and move toward the grimiest. Her hair needs shampooing only once or twice a week (especially if she has none) with just a drop or two of tear-free soap. After washing each area, rinse thoroughly.
• Eyes, ears and soft spots. Be extra gentle (but thorough) with her face, neck and ears. When washing the scalp, massage it with the pads of your fingers, including the head. Clean her eyes with a soft dampened washcloth (or dampened cotton balls). Wiping from the inner corner to the outer corner. Wash only the outside of those tiny ears and never put anything inside them.
• Go easy on the private parts. Use a soft, clean cloth, gentle soap and lukewarm water to clean your baby’s genitals. Have a girl? Wash the area from front to back and don’t forget to gently wipe between skin fold. (But no need to clean inside the labia.) Bathing a bay? Just wash his penis with soap and warm water (no tub bathes for a circumcised newborn, until his penis has healed. Until then, put a piece of sterile gauze coated with petroleum jelly or antibacterial ointment over the area.)
• Use clean, warm water for that final rinse cycle, then pat (don’t rub) your baby’s skin with a soft dry towel. Be sure to thoroughly dry her bottom and any other areas where there are folds of skin. Some skin potions can lead to rashes, not to mention mask that incredible natural baby smell. Also avoid powder, which can irritate a baby’s breathing passages. If your baby’s umbilical cord stump is still intact, avoid tub baths altogether and just use your hands or a baby washcloth for cleanups. If your baby’s umbilical stump has fallen off but you’re not quite sure she’s ready for a tub bath, give it a go but keep the sudsing gentle and brief. If she absolutely hates it, go back to sponge baths for days, then try again. Add keep in mind that while bedtime baths are relaxing, it’s fine if another time of day works better for you and your baby. One word of warning-postpone the bath if your baby is hungry, grumpy, or has an upset tummy (that wouldn’t be good for anyone involved.)
Never leave a baby alone in or near the tub and always keep at least one hand on her body at all times.
Important Note: The articles presented are provided by third party authors and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of KhanaPakana.com. They should not be construed as medical advice or diagnosis. Consult with your physician prior to following any suggestions provided.
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