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A Guide to Safely Bathing Your Newborn.

By: newborncare101

Posted: June 27, 2023

Blog post contains affiliated links from Amazon

Welcoming a newborn into your family is a joyous and exciting experience. As a parent, you want to ensure that you are providing the best care for your little one, including maintaining their hygiene. Bathing your newborn can be a special bonding time while also promoting their health and well-being.  Here we will explore the latest evidence-based information on how to properly bathe your newborn, ensuring their safety and comfort.

  1. Bathing your baby:

For the first few weeks, it is recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) to delay your newborn’s first bath until after the umbilical cord stump has fallen off. This typically occurs within the first two weeks of life. Delaying the bath helps to reduce the risks of infections and allows the cord stump to heal properly.

2. Supplies needed:

Before starting the bath, make sure you have all the essential supplies within reach. These include: a soft washcloths, mild baby soap, a basin of warm water (approximately 37°C or 98.6°F), a towel, a clean diaper, clean clothes, and any additional items you prefer, such as a baby bathtub.

3. Check the water temperature:

Bathing water should be comfortably warm for your baby. Use a bath thermometer or check the temperature with your elbow or wrist. The water should feel lukewarm, but not cool.  Always test the water before placing your baby in the bath to prevent burns.

4. Safe handling and support:

While bathing your newborn, make sure you maintain a secure grip at all times. Support their head and neck with one hand while using the other hand to clean their body. Keep a firm hold, especially when lifting or moving them in and out of the bath.

5. Focus on gentle cleaning:

Newborns have sensitive skin that requires gentle care. Use a mild baby soap recommended by pediatricians or one specifically formulated for newborns. Apply a small amount of soap to a soft washcloth and gently cleanse your baby’s skin, avoiding the eyes and genitals.

6. Pay attention to the umbilical cord stump:

Until the umbilical cord stump falls off, it is important to keep it clean and dry. During the bath, avoid submerging the stump. Instead, sponge bathe the area with warm water and gently pat it dry afterward. Consult your healthcare provider if you notice any redness, swelling, or discharge around the umbilical area.

7. Time and frequency:

In the first few weeks, limit bath time to a few minutes. As your baby grows, you can gradually increase the duration to approximately 10 minutes. Initially, bathing your newborn two to three times per week is sufficient. However, you may clean their face, neck, hands, and diaper area more frequently.

8. Post-bath care:

After the bath, wrap your baby in a soft towel, ensuring they are warm and dry. Pay particular attention to drying their skin folds, such as under the chin, behind the ears, and in the diaper area, to prevent moisture-related skin issues. Apply a gentle, hypoallergenic moisturizer if recommended by your pediatrician.

9. Bonding and relaxation:

Bathing can be an enjoyable bonding experience for both you and your baby. Maintain eye contact, talk to your little one, and sing or play soothing music during the bath. This helps create a calm and positive environment, promoting relaxation and further strengthening your bond.

Bathing your newborn is an essential part of their early care routine. By following these evidence-based guidelines, you can ensure that the bathing experience is safe, comfortable, and enjoyable for both you and your baby. 

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Copyright: 2023

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