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Bathing a Newborn

When should I bath my newborn baby? That’s a question asked by most of the new parents. The truth is that newborn won’t need a bath everyday as they rarely sweat or get dirty enough for a bath that often. Two to three times a week for the first year is fine. Frequent bathing may be drying to baby’s skin. Other than just keeping your baby clean bath gives you a chance to bond with your baby and after sometime you and your baby will be looking forward to bath time. Here some of the basics about giving your baby a bath;

Sponge bath, In the first few weeks after birth your baby may get sponge baths as you wait for the umbilical cord stump to fall off and heal. Then baby can have baths in a sink, infant tubs or plastic basins.

For a sponge bath or tub bath you will need the following items;

  • Warm water
  • A soft clean wash cloth (2 for sponge bath)
  • Use mild, scent-or alcohol-free soap/shampoo.
  • A dry towel
  • A clean diaper
  • Baby blanket

This items should be in a reachable place so that your one hand will be on your baby at all time.

Giving your newborn a sponge bath

Foremost remember to keep the room warm so that your baby does not get cold. Bathe your baby quickly to avoid chilling.Then follow this steps for a  sponge bathe;

  • Choose a flat and safe surface like a changing station
  • Fill two basins or containers with warm water, one for washing and the other for rinsing. The water should be 37.8 degrees C as it should be comfortable on the baby skin and not too hot.
  • Wrap your undressed baby in a towel .
  • Dampen your washcloth in your non-soapy water container then start by wiping your baby eyes one by one. Then baby’s face, ears, nose with the washcloth.
  • Now dampen one of your washcloth in the soapy water, then gently wash your baby’s head and the rest of the body. Pay attention to creases under the arms,behind the ears, around the neck and in the diaper area.
  • After that you can rinse your baby with the washcloth from the non-soapy  water to clean off the soap.
  • Then diaper and dress your baby

Giving your baby a tub bath

Once your baby is ready you can bath them on plastic basin, bath station, or even on the kitchen sink. Kitchen sink is only suitable in the first few weeks. as the baby gets bigger basin, bath station are the better option as they make bathing easier to manage.

The first tub baths should be gentle to keep your baby calm. If the baby gets upset you can go back to sponge bath for a week then try tub bath again. Here are steps for a tub bath;

  • Room must be warm so that the baby doesn’t get chill. Fill the tub with about 3inches of water. Test the temperature of water with inside of your elbow or wrist or a water thermometer, it should be around 37.8 degrees C.
  • Place your baby in the tub immediately after undressing to keep them warm. Babies can wriggle around, so moving to and from the bath may take a little practice. Make sure to support your babies neck with one hand, the lower body with the other hand as you lower the baby into the tub. Place the baby in feet first then head and face above the water.
  • Use a clean non-soapy washcloth to wipe your baby’s eyes one by one from the inner corner to the outer corner. Then the face,nose and the ears.
  • Now wash you baby’s head with a little amount of water and baby soap or shampoo, gently massage the scalp with the pads of your fingers or a washcloth. Even on the soft spot on top of the head. When Rinsing tilt the head backward to  prevent soap or shampoo from getting into your babies face.
  • Wash the body with water and a little soap or shampoo. Rinse as you pour the water gently over the body often for warmth.
  • Remove your baby from the tub the same way you placed them. Their skin will be slippery ,wrap them in a  towel or blanket. Make sure to cover the head too. Blanket with hood are good at keeping the baby warm.
  • You can then diaper and dress your baby.

Baby Bath safety measures

Safety should be the top priority when it comes to washing your little one. Here some of the safety measures;

  • Never take your eye and at least one hand off  your baby during bath.
  • Use a small amount of soap or shampoo
  • Never leave your baby alone in the tub or even turn away during bath time.
  • If you want to leave during baby’s bath time make sure you wrap them in a towel an take them with you.
  • Only adults can bath a baby. Never put an older kid in charge of bathing a baby.


Diapering Your Newborn




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