The moment you hold your newborn and feel the touch of their soft skin against yours, your heart skips a beat. You know deep inside that life will never be the same and you will keep falling in love with this beautiful treasure who now and forever more will be your child. This journey will be filled with delightful little things such as kissing, hugging, cuddling and feeding plus responsibilities. Among other things, making sure your little darling is clean is a mother’s responsibility. Find out all you need to know about bathing your newborn here.
Yes, you need to bathe your baby regularly
Immediately after delivery, in the first few days, any mom finds it difficult to manage the seemingly never-ending list of baby duties. But after some time, you should be up and running and ready to bathe your little baby. Sometimes moms might feel hesitant or even think ‘do I really need to bathe him or her? After all, they don’t go out to play or get dirty.’ Dear Mum, that is not a reason for not bathing your little one. It is an important thing to understand that bathing is not just about keeping your baby clean. There are many other important reasons for bathing a baby. Primarily, bathing a child is about making sure he or she stays healthy and clean, but it also helps protect the cleanliness of your little baby’s soft skin and also rejuvenates their skin. Bathing also helps maintain the baby’s temperature at normal levels and boosts blood circulation as well.
Develop a routine to bathe the baby
- Make sure your baby is healthy: Before you bathe your little one, pay attention to their health condition by checking their body temperature and skin colour. If all is normal with your bundle of joy you can now proceed to give a bath.
- Make sure you feed your baby half an hour before you plan to bathe him or her.
- Prepare the water: Another important thing you should keep in mind is making sure the temperature of the water is not too cold or hot – it needs to be around body temperature to prevent chilling or burning.
- Select a good location: Make sure the location you choose to bathe your baby is clean and is not too warm, stuffy or cold as this could make it uncomfortable for your little one.
- Be consistent: Try to develop a bathing routine where you bathe your little one at a consistent time each day.
- Keep them calm: When you are bathing your little one, he or she will most likely cry, so as a mom you need to try and help them stay calm while being bathed.
What you need to keep ready before bathing your baby
Here’s a checklist of things you need to prepare before bathing your little one
- A large basin.
- A jug with lukewarm water.
- A small cup.
- A bathtub.
- Mild baby shampoo, baby soap
- A blanket to wrap your little one
- Two towels to wipe your baby / a cotton cloth to wrap your little one
- Infant clothing to dress them up immediately
You need to have all these items ready beforehand so everything runs smoothly and the baby is safe and comfortable throughout their bath.
Mum, you need to make sure that your own hands are clean and washed. To make things easier for you, try to find a table that’s not too tall - about waist level, where you can keep the basin on top of. It also helps to wear an apron to prevent your clothes from getting wet. Since your baby will feel cold, you need to remove their clothing step by step, and only expose the parts of the baby’s body that you are washing.
Before proceeding with bathing, gently wash and clean areas which could have traces of urine or faeces. Then use hygienic cotton wool and gently clean your baby’s eyes, ears and nostrils. After that, take some water and wash your baby’s soft face gently with a slight sprinkle of water. Don’t forget the little mouth. Make sure that no bath water goes inside the mouth or nostrils of your little baby.
Washing your baby’s head
Keep your baby’s head on your palm and close their ears using your thumb and middle finger on both sides. If you find this difficult to do, you can use a small wad of cotton wool to gently cover their ears. Take a little cup and pour some water on the head. Use a gentle shampoo that will protect the soft hair of your little one. After you have washed the baby clean, take a cloth towel and wipe the head dry
What sort of shampoo to use for your little one?
If you’re using shampoo, remember that since the baby skin is soft, not all shampoos in the market are ideal. Do not use your personal shampoo on your little baby as it could affect their eyes. Make sure you use a high-quality shampoo that is clinically tested and proven to be infant-friendly. Some things to look out for when buying shampoo for your little one
- It needs to be clinically tested to being safe for baby skin.
- It should have the same pH value as baby skin.
- It should not be harmful to the eyes or skin of the baby.
- It should not have a strong colour.
- It should not have a strong scent.
Washing your baby’s body
After you finish washing your newborn’s head, remove the cloth you were using to wrap your little baby’s body, as it is now time to wash your baby’s body. You can either immerse your little one's body in the water while making sure her head is rested on your palm or you can rest your baby on the table while washing their body. Make sure you wash both frontside and backside. Be cautious to make sure your sweet one doesn’t suffer any discomfort.
Once you’re done
Now take your little one out of the water and dry clean. Make sure that any wrinkled areas which could contain water in their soft skin, are completely dried. This includes the navel area. After careful drying, make sure you dress your little one with nice warm clothes.