Perhaps one of the most daunting tasks any parent needs to do for a newborn is to give him or her a baby bath. Just the thought of holding your baby’s soft and tiny body turned slippery can make anyone afraid. But like any other first experiences, this kind of baby care can be learned and mastered through practice. Before you get into practicing it though, it’s important to first learn the basics of performing a baby bath.
Frequency of giving a baby bath
While we are all told to take a bath every day, newborns actually don’t need to take a baby bath that frequently as this could dry up their sensitive skin. In addition, newborns don’t really get that dirty. As long as you make sure that your baby’s diaper area, hands, and face are well-cleaned, giving your little one a bath 2 to 3 times a week is enough.
When’s the best time for you to give a baby bath? For newborns, it’s recommended to do so before a meal since he might spit up if you do it too soon after a meal. You can also opt to do it before bedtime since you get to clean them up at the end of the day and it’ll make your baby feel fresh before going to sleep. In the end, though, it’ll be up to your best judgment. If you feel your baby needs a bath, then go give him one.
Newborns don’t really need to be placed in a baby bath tub filled with water when cleaning them. Until your baby’s umbilical cord falls off, you can’t give him a full baby bath because the umbilical cord shouldn’t get wet. To give your baby a sponge bath, lie him down on a clean towel or any soft, flat surface. With a basin of warm water and a washcloth or sponge, gently wash each part of your baby’s body. Make sure that any part of your baby’s body that isn’t being washed at the moment is covered up, unexposed, to keep him warm the entire time. After washing one body part, make sure to pat it dry before covering it up and starting on a new area.
Baby bath essentials
You need to prepare all your baby bath essentials prior to the actual bathing of your baby. You need to have them within your reach so you won’t have to leave your baby unattended at any point during the baby bath. Here’s what you will need:
- Wash cloth
- Towel (most preferably with a hood to protect your newborn’s head from getting cold)
- Cotton Balls
- Baby Shampoo, baby soap and baby wipes
- Clean diaper and baby clothes
Giving your baby a bath
Once your baby’s umbilical cord falls off, you can now give him a bath in a baby bath tub customized for newborns. Fill the tub with lukewarm water and make sure that it’s only a few inches deep.
If this is the first time that you will be giving a baby bath, you will need to be relaxed and calm throughout the procedure so your baby will enjoy his bath time too. Always give support to your baby’s neck, cupping it in one hand while your arm gives support to the back of his body. You can add extra support by holding your baby in his arm pit while you clean his back and buttocks. Lean your baby towards you when cleaning the rest of his body parts.
You can start cleaning your baby’s face then between the skin folds where dirt might be present and on his genital area. Rinse thoroughly. Wash your baby’s head last after all the other body parts have been cleaned. This will help conserve your baby’s body heat. Use a mild shampoo especially if your baby has cradle cap. Protect his eyes from the suds by placing your arm across your baby’s forehead. To keep your baby from getting cold, place a part of your dry towel over the parts that have already been cleaned. Once you’re done, wrap your baby in the hooded towel and pat his skin dry. Don’t hurry this part of the process because your baby will be slippery.
Though this part of baby care will be difficult at first, it’s not really that hard to do once you get the hang of it. Just make sure that you’re always aware of what you’re doing so your baby will remain safe throughout the entire process. Also, the first few times you give a baby bath may cause your little one to cry because it is an unfamiliar experience so don’t stress out too much if he does. And though giving your baby a bath can be daunting, practice does make perfect.