Baby’s first bath is really tricky especially for new mothers. The very first baby’s bath occurs in the hospital few hours after the baby is born. Some babies really cry while others are calm. Irrespective of the fear the mother has, a bath for the baby is necessary to help them relax, feel fresh and have a good sleep. The good news is that a newborn baby does not need a bath daily. The new mothers need to learn a few things about bathing newborns. This entails how to prepare them for bath, water temperature, how to ensure your baby’s safety during bath time, what to use during different times of growth stages- before and after umbilical cords falls off and how to ensure your baby enjoys the bath too.
- 1 How often should you bath a newborn?
- 2 Baby’s first bath at home
- 3 Baby’s first bath in hospital/clinic
- 4 Baby bath water temperature
- 5 Newborn hair and scalp care
- 6 Bathing baby in a bath tub
- 7 How to keep baby safe in a bath tub
- 8 How to bathe your baby
- 9 Baby bath tips
How often should you bath a newborn?
Your newborn does not actually need a daily bath. Baby’s first sponge bath should be what nurses should use to teach the new mothers on how they will be cleaning their newborn. The newborn baby skin is very sensitive and has
not yet developed strong barriers to help it maintain moisture. This means that it gets dry faster than that of an adult. This is because the bathing water washes away the natural hydrating oils on the baby’s skin. Thus, parents are advised to sponge bathe a newborn twice or thrice a week to avoid inviting dry skin, potential rashes and skin irritation. Doctors also advice you make the bathing time short- 10 minutes maximum. It is also good to keep in mind that you should not immerse the baby fully into the water. This kind of bath should be the first baby’s bath after the umbilical cord falls off. if you want to know more about How Often Should I Bathe My Baby then please Click Here.
Baby’s first bath at home
Baby’s first bath in hospital/clinic
The first baby’s bath happens in the hospital or clinic shortly after bath. Some hospitals wait for 3 hours while others wait up to 12 hours. Research has shown there is a great need in delaying baby’s first bath including better breastfeeding for the baby. A good wipe immediately after bath can serve the purpose for the hours before bath thus giving mother and baby time to bond. The baby is not born dirty. This baby’s first bath in hospital is very necessary. It allows the nurse to do thorough physical examination on the baby and incase of any physical issue the nurse can detect it and notify the doctors. It is not a rough or intense bath, with its main aim being to cleanse the blood and amniotic fluids.
Baby bath water temperature
The baby’s skin is sensitive than that of a grown baby or adult. That means water that is cold to an adult might be so hot for the baby. The baby’s first bath water temperature and all the baths that follow should feel not too cold nor hold-should feel warm. This can be confirmed before putting the baby anywhere close to the water. Use your elbow or back of the wrist. This is because this are the most sensitive part to heat on your hands. Keep the room temperatures warm and bath water temperatures comfortable. Due to unfamiliar sensation, the baby might cry during bath but with time they adapt
Newborn hair and scalp care
For those with baby’s full of hair on the head at birth, hair and scalp care is of utmost importance. When bathing the baby, wash the hair last to make sure they do not seat on the shampoo/soapy water used. Simply apply some shampoo in the hair, gently massage it in and let it sit for a short period of time. Finally rinse it out with clean warm water. Make sure to use gentle baby shampoo to avoid any reactions. Dry the hair properly using a dry towel or rub with your hand softly till its dry. You can also comb or brush it softly to dry and for breathing purposes. Once in a while it is good to leave the head uncovered especially when sunbathing. This helps the hair and scalp to breath. Avoid applying some hair oil especially if your baby is sensitive to oils. Otherwise you can slightly massage some olive oil or any other natural oils to give the hair a shiny look and an appealing scent.
Bathing baby in a bath tub
This is the first baby’s bath after the umbilical cord falls off where the baby is fully immersed in water. As soon as the cord stamp falls off, your baby is ready for this big bath. Whether a sink or bathtub, pad the bottom with a towel to make it softer on the baby’s body. You might little a little helping hand in holding the slippery little one. Assemble all the necessities before starting the bath e.g. cotton balls, hooded towel, soft washcloth/sponge, baby soaps and bath wash and a brush or comb. The water needs to be 2 inches to give the baby a comfy bath. Support the head and back as you clean him/her. Hold the baby gently and firmly as you clean loose skin accumulates. Concentrate more on diaper area, hands and feet, folds on neck, thighs and back of knees, armpits, face-around the eyes and behind the ears.
How to keep baby safe in a bath tub
- Never leave the baby in the tub unsupervised even for a minute. Babies can drown in water levels of below 1 inch. So gather all the bath necessities before bath time and keep them close.
- Ensure the bathroom is warm enough (approximately 25⁰ C). This is because babies get chilled very fast.
- Outfit your bathtub with rubber or towel to reduce slipperiness.
- Use plain bathing water as long as diaper area and any folds are well cleaned. This is because shampoos and soaps can dry baby’s skin and cause rashes.
- Fill the tub up to 2 to 4 inches with water-not more than waist-high while they are seated to avoid drowning.
- Keep right water temperatures for a comfortable bath.
- Keep any electrical appliances like hair dryers away from the tub.
- Avoid bubble baths, they can irritate the urethra and raise the risk of urinary tract infections.
How to bathe your baby
The baby bath procedure step by step is explained below.
#01.Get everything ready in advance
Lay out all you need after bath including towel, baby oil, hair brush/comb, diaper, and clean clothes etc. As long as the cord has not fallen off, sponge bathing is the ideal way to clean your baby.
#02. Dress appropriately
#03. set the tub
#04. Lay your baby in the tub feet first.
#05. begin washing the baby
Use a cup or your hand to get the baby wet. Use a soft cloth to wash baby’s face and body. Use the cotton balls to clean the eyes and ears. Clean baby’s genitals last, using a dab of baby soft if you like. Wash the hair by leaning him backwards and gently massaging water into the hair and scalp. You can use baby shampoo for the hair and if you do so, protect the eyes form the shampoo. This is because irritation of the eyes may occur causing pain and discomfort to the baby.
#06. Lift baby off the tub.
#07. Apply ointment
#08. put the nappy on and dress the baby
Baby bath tips
Baby’s bath time can only be made comfortable if this tips are noted and considered every time.
- Always check water temperature. Should be warm not hot or cold. 25 degrees Celsius approximately.
- Use the right baby bath soaps and lotions to avoid reactions.
- Expect fussiness during first few baths. Before the baby adapts to unusual water sensitivity.
- In case you notice any unusual rash talk to a pediatrician or doctor’s.
- Ensure your bathtub is lined to avoid the baby from slipping into the water and drowning.
- Gather all supplies before starting to bath the baby to avoid leaving the baby as you go find them which is risky.
Baby’s first time bath are a great experience for both the mother and the baby. Proper preparation beforehand helps avoid any accidents during bath time and ensures a comfortable experience of bath for the baby. There is need for hospitals to delay first baby’s bath for many health benefits. All new mother’s need to know that bathing newborns for the first time is an experience that is scary to many. All they need is practice and patience and they will be good. It is also advisable that parents do not bath their newborn daily to avoid dry skin and rashes from developing. Proper temperatures of water are a key thing to look at during bath times to keep off the little one from getting chilled. Also, proper care of the cord stamp should be considered until it falls off. A full body immersed birth should take place after the cord has fallen off. All mothers and newborn deserve an enjoyable baby bat time.