Every child – even a healthy one – depends on you for basic care. But what’s the right way to bath and keep your baby clean? Read on to find out! For some babies, bathing is a fun experience. For you, it’s a time to bond with your baby. Indeed, it can get tricky to keep your baby safe while bathing. But with some bathing tips, bath time can be an exciting experience for you and your baby.
To bath your baby for the first bath, don’t do it alone. Get someone with more experience. Usually, hospital nurses will show you how to bathe your newborn for the first time. When you get home, make bath time fun, playful, and relaxing. Smile with your baby. Sing, talk, and make eye contact with your baby.
With the above in mind, here’s how to prepare for a newborn bath:
• To avoid distractions, put your phone off while bathing your baby.
• Make certain that you have all you need. Get the following things ready: washcloth, towel, lotion, clean nappy and clean clothes.
Soaps dry out baby’s skin, so don’t use them. Use a fragrance-free oil or mild, non-soap cleanser instead. Place the bath in a stable place. Also, make sure it is at a height where you can hold your newborn comfortably. A kitchen table is preferable.
• Spread a towel next to the tub, sink, or basin to lay your newborn on after the bath.
• Remove all jewelry or wristwatch before washing your hands.
• Add about 5 cm of water into the bath
• Make sure the temperature of the water is about 37 to 38°C before putting your newborn in the tub. In the absence of a thermometer, use your elbow or wrist to check the temperature. It must be warm.
• Don’t add additional water while bathing your baby. Begin with the eyes and face before cleaning the diaper area.
Eyes and Face
• Wipe your baby’s eyelids with a cotton bud placed in lukewarm water. Do this before undressing your baby.
• Use a different piece of cotton bud for each eye. Next, wash your baby’s face. Be careful! Don’t put anything into your baby’s nose or ears.
• With a soft washcloth, wipe the outer ear only!
Scalp and Hair
• Take off your baby’s clothes, remove the nappy last.
• With one hand, cradle the head of your baby. With the other arm, support his neck and head.
• Lower your baby into the bath gently. Put the feet first, while holding your baby.
• Splash some water onto your baby’s head gently.
• Use a mild baby shampoo. Form lather and rinse with clean water.
Body and Genitals
• Clean any vomit or dirt from your baby’s body creases.
• Wash your baby’s bottom and genitals last. Use only water and do this gently.
• When you’re done, rinse well with water and pat him or her dry.
• For babies with dry skin, apply a gentle lotion like castor oil or white soft paraffin.
• Dress your child by wearing him a nappy first.
• Lay your baby in bassinette or cot.
• Empty the bath water.
Sometimes, babies find bath time distressing at the beginning. But they quickly adapt with time. If your newborn doesn’t like baths, do a ‘top and tail’ bath. You can give him a proper bath the following day. After some time, your baby will not only get used to it, but he will love having baths. Good luck.