Bathing a newborn baby can be pretty intimidating, but it doesn't have to be! With this guide and a calm mind, you can successfully bathe your little one for the first time without any problems.
There are many supplies that you will need to bathe a newborn baby. You should think about the following: towels, washcloths, baby soap, and something for cleaning out their eyes, such as cotton balls.
While you are here you might also be interested to see our range of baby bath time gifts.
Tips To Successfully Bathe Your Newborn Baby
There is no hard and fast rule about how often you should bathe your baby. But most paediatricians recommend waiting at least 24-hours after birth and that the skin of a newborn needs to be washed at least once daily. If possible, go ahead by using a soft cotton bath mitt instead of your hands, as bath mitts are less rough on babies' delicate skin. When bathing your little one, make sure that you keep their head and neck supported at all times. Babies can often feel very vulnerable when they are not dressed and wrapped up in a blanket; after all, they lived their whole lives until now safe and secure inside your womb. If you are having any trouble lowering your baby into the water, consider placing a wet soft cotton washcloth over their body as you lower them into the water. This gives babies the feeling of once again being safe and secure.
- Use the right amount of water – You don't want too much or too little water inside the tub, so you must test this before putting your newborn inside. The general rule is about two inches for an infant up to six months old and four inches if they are older than that.
- Use the right temperature – You should aim to use lukewarm water because too hot or cold could result in an unpleasant experience for your newborn baby. As long as it feels good against their skin, then that is all that matters most when bathing a newborn baby since they cannot tell us if something hurts or not at such a young age.
- Rinse off excess soap – You want to make sure that no residues are left over when your baby's body wash is washed away because this can cause irritations on their skin which will be sensitive at such an early age! Be patient when bathing your baby, as many babies don't particularly enjoy getting bathed for the first couple of weeks.
- Pat your baby dry – Your newborn baby's skin will be susceptible during the first few weeks, so it is essential to use soft cotton towels when drying your baby. Gently pat them down with the towel, especially around certain body parts, such as armpits, neck area and along their inner thighs, since these are areas that can quickly become red and irritated if not dried correctly. Make sure not to rub too much as they can develop redness when drying off, so make sure you're careful when doing this step in the process of bathing a newborn baby.
- Create a routine – You can set aside about 30 minutes or so for your baby's bath time, and this is also the perfect opportunity to establish some sort of ritual with them if they are used to having one in their daily life at home. For instance, you could sing songs together during the process while massaging their body parts such as shoulders and legs with a baby massage oil which will help both of you to relax.
- Clothing should come easy – Once you've dried your baby off and given them a relaxing massage, you should dress your baby, which should be easy since they can't move too much during this process. This will make it easier for you when dressing them up and help prevent any heat loss. When dressing your baby, apply a nappy balm before fastening the nappy to keep them protected and hydrated down there. Applying a nappy balm should be an essential part of all nappy changes. Be careful not to dress them up in anything too tight either, as they need space in their onesie to be able to freely stretch and wriggle around. Clothing that is too tight could also cause skin irritations on their skin.
It may seem overwhelming at first to bathe such a tiny person by yourself, especially when you arrive home for the first time and no longer have the assistance of the hospital nurses. However, once you get into the routine of things, this chore becomes very easy and does not take much time to complete!
Some other useful blog posts you might also like to read are How to Get Your Baby into a Peaceful Bedtime Routine, How To Soothe A Crying Baby and Baby Oral Care.
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