It can be confusing to know how to deal with baby hygiene. It is best to ask the pediatrician if any questions come about. Mom groups, the sister-in-law, the neighbor and even the BFF will have their own advise and stories to tell about baby hygiene, and although they can be helpful (or super scary) it is best to have accurate knowledge so baby stays healthy, happy, and safe. We have compiled a list of ten baby hygiene tips that are dangerous and five that are safe, and we hope this makes life a little easier. We know how hard it is to be a mom in the first place, and all we want is to do what’s best for our babies.
Unfortunately, there are many easy mistakes that many moms do that can put baby in grave danger. With knowledge comes power, and it is best to know what the dangers are so that baby can be kept safe. Some mamas may have no idea about the dangerous of dealing with babies first teeth or cleaning the pacifier- but that is why we are here to help. Instead of making mistakes that can harm the baby, it is important to know the facts. Some of these things are common sense, while others will be blown away that they are potentially damaging their baby. Some mamas will be relieved to know they are in fact doing the right thing hygiene wise.
No one is a perfect parent, but we can all learn from our mistakes or avoid making these in the first place. Are you guilty of any of these dangerous hygiene decisions?
15 Dangerous: Using Toothpaste
It can be super exciting to see your babies first teeth pop through. Being a parent to a baby with new teeth can be confusing because we may not know how to care for them. Dentists advise that during the early sates of tooth development to use a soft bristled finger or tooth brush. Some parents are curious if toothpaste if necessary. Although toothpaste is not necessary, there are baby toothpastes on the market. These toothpastes are for babies three months and older and contain no fluoride which makes it safe to swallow. Dentists warn parents to not use the toothpaste they use for themselves on the baby. Your pediatrician and dentist will tell you when it is time to move up to fluoride toothpaste, and it is dangerous to give that to baby beforehand.
14 Dangerous: Picking At The Baby's Acne
Baby acne is super common, and it will resolve on its own even without treatment. Baby acne appears as red bumps or pimples. We absolutely advise you to never pick or pop your baby’s acne to get rid of it. Baby acne is not the cutest thing in the world, but do not pick at it. We advise you to leave your sweetie’s skin alone because of how sensitive it is. Popping or picking at these bumps can cause the problem to get worse, leave behind scars and give the baby an infection. Baby acne is harmless and it bothers you more than anyone and we advise you to just be patient and look at the other adorable attributes of your little sweetie such as his cute little toes and sweet smile.
13 Safe: Using Baby Mits
One of the first grooming tasks a parent is faced with are those pesky, and sharp newborn nails. Some mamas feel the need to bring the nail clippers and the file to the hospital with them and tackle the issue the same day Jr. is born, while others decide putting baby mits on the baby is the best bet. Either choice is fine and there is no safety risk. Some mamas do not feel comfortable cutting baby’s nails or just do not feel like doing so straight away, and in that case baby mits are a great option in the newborn stage. Not only are they super adorable, they are very practical. Letting baby’s nails grow a bit before cutting them will not harm the baby or make you any less of a parent. Cutting babies nails can be super scary!
12 Dangerous: Cleaning The Umbilical Cord With Rubbing Alcohol
Paediatricians used to recommend cleaning the cord with rubbing alcohol, but nowadays it is advised to leave the cord alone. The alcohol is believed to irritate the skin and even delay healing. Allowing the cord to be exposed to air helps the base of the cord dry and decreases the amount of time required for healing to occur. Some mamas are super eager to get the cord gone for a variety of reasons- but it is dangerous to go the rubbing alcohol route. It is best to suck it up and deal with it being there until its ready to fall off. Please do not pick at the cord because that can cause the same problems as the alcohol. Stick to water, both you and your bundle of joy will be happy.
11 Dangerous: Giving The Baby Baths Daily
Everyone loves the smell of a freshly cleaned baby, but bathing the baby every day is extremely unnecessary. There is no need to give your newborn a bath every day. Bathing your little sweetie too much can dry out his skin. Infants are twice as likely to have skin problems such as eczema if baby is washed every day. Until babies start crawling, they do not get dirty enough to justify more frequent baths. Your peanuts skin is super sensitive and needs very gentile treatment. It is okay though to wash their neck, hands, face and bottom carefully each day with a wash cloth and some warm water. It can be tempting to wash the baby every day due to spit up, dirty diapers, or drool, but pediatricians say that baby will be okay without frequent baths.
10 Safe: Wipe The Gums, Cheeks, And Tongue With A Washcloth
Some parents worry about sticking anything besides a nip, bottle or pacifier in the baby’s mouth. Rest assured, wiping the baby’s cheeks, tongue and/or gums with a washcloth is totally okay. Using water only is the best option. Do not put soap or toothpaste on the washcloth and make sure the water temperature is tolerating to baby. Mamas clean the babies mouth to see if baby has gotten new teeth and can help baby grow to feel comfortable with having their mouth (later on teeth) cleaned. Cleaning the baby’s gums also can help establish a healthy flora in the mouth. This is not an unsafe practice and is a good think for parent and baby. As long as this is done safely then there is no risk to baby.
9 Dangerous: Cleaning The Baby's Ears With A Cotton Swab
Using a Q-tip can end up making the wax get pushed back down in the ear. Although many adults clean their ears with Q-tips, it is recommended to use a cotton ball or dry wash cloth to clean the baby’s ears. Ears are self-cleaning unless the wax has been impacted, which means the ears do not need adult Q-tips. Believe it or not, injuries to children’s ears from cotton swabs result in thirty-four emergency room visits each day! Some parents know that there are Q-tips on the market especially for babies and they are safer than a regular Q-tip because of the shape. The shape of the Q-tip is different than adult ones because it has a larger bulb section which acts as a barrier so that mom and dad cannot accidentally insert the swab too far. This is an issue parents need to use their discretion on and the choice is yours, to use baby Q-tips or just a cotton swab, but please never use an adult Q-tip.
8 Dangerous: Leaving The Baby's Head Wet
We understand why some parents can get confused on what to do with babies hair after bath time. Of course, it is not best to apply hot heat to the hair via hair dryer, so what is left? We advise parents to not let the hair air dry or use a hair dryer. What we do advise is squeezing and rubbing the head area to get the access water out. It may not be possible to get every droplet of water out, but it is much better than allowing the hair to air dry and making baby uncomfortable. Leaving baby with a sopping wet head can also increase her risk of getting a cold. It is best to stick with towel drying, but if that is not enough, putting a hair dryer on a warm or cool setting should do the trick. Babies do not have that much hair and it should not take long to dry.
7 Safe: Keep The Neck Dry
Babies spit up and get milk in the folds of their neck. It is not uncommon, but the goal is keeping the area as dry as possible. It is safe to wipe down baby’s neck after a feed or after spitting up with a dry or damp towel. The goal is to keep this area clean and dry to avoid a stinky smell and a rash. The area becomes moist and warm and bacteria can easily grow if the area is left unkempt. Some mamas find using a bib helps, but the milk can still trickle into those folds. It is always best to consult with your baby’s pediatrician before using any skin creams on a baby younger than six months if you find that keeping the area dry is not enough.
6 Dangerous: Cleaning Circumcised Boys
It can be confusing to know how to care for your little boy’s private area after being circumcised. Doc’s tell mama to steer clear of diaper cream for this area. Diaper cream is not to be used on an open wound and it is best to stick with petroleum jelly. Some are surprised to hear that after each diaper change, it is advised that mama washes the area with warm water then pat dry. Please avoid using soap, which can irritate the area and make baby super uncomfortable. It is also dangerous to scrub and/or rub the area and to stick with being gentle in that region. This area is a wound and needs extra TLC and not listening to the doc or not asking the doc before making a move can make baby prone to pain and infection.
5 Dangerous: Giving The Baby A Bubble Bath
Many of us remember the fun childhood memories of a bubble bath. We cannot wait to pass those memories onto our little ones, but doctors advise to wait until your kiddo is at least three years old before doing so. Bubble baths have been linked to urinary tract infections which can be uncomfortable and dangerous for baby. Bubble baths usually contain strong soups and have strong scents which can irritate the opening of baby's urethra. Doctors advise that even if you do not give your baby bubble baths, it is important to not let the baby sit in a tub filled with soapy water for the same reasons. Bubble baths may be fun, but for the comfort and health of your little one, it is best to hold off a few years.
4 Safe: Checking Bath Temperature With A Thermometer
Some mamas may question the safety of using a thermometer in the bath tub. Some have heard about thermometers with mercury in the glass or worry about the thermometer pieces breaking off in the bath tub. Rest assured that thermometers are safe in the tub and highly encouraged if you do not think you can count on your ability to test the water out for yourself. There are products on the market that help mama's test the temperature of the baby’s water and these are very safe and okay to use. Some of the products on the market are super cute (like a rubber ducky) and make a great and safe companion in the tub as well. There are many products on the market that are safe and reliable!
3 Dangerous: Cleaning The Pacifier With Moms Mouth
We’ve all seen it- a baby drop a pacifier on the ground and a parent (or grandparent) pick up the pacifier and put it in their own mouth in an “attempt” to suck off the germs before putting it back in baby’s mouth. Can you say YUCK?! This is not beneficial to baby in any way. There are tons of germs in the adult mouth that baby does not need in their mouths. Babies have weak immune systems and doing this is not helping at all. There is no such thing as sucking off the germs, and that’s happening is mom or dad adding additional germs to that pacifier and sticking it in baby’s mouth. If you want to get the yucky germs off of the pacifier you can clean it under the sink, use pacifier wipes, or boil them on the stove. But please, keep it out of your mouth.
2 Dangerous: Using Baby Powder
Baby powder has been a controversial topic for a few years and for very good reasons. First off, there are now links to cancer due to using baby powder. It is best not to use baby powder due to the risk of future problems. Using baby powder on your sweetie can cause skin irritation when the powder builds up as well. Powder can cause serious lung damage and breathing troubles if babies inhale the particles. Those at the highest risk are babies who have had RSV, premature babies or those with congenital heart disease. Even tiny amounts of powder can get into your baby’s lungs. Using powder increases many risks that are not worth taking and can be damaging to your baby. It can be tempting to use baby powder, but it is best to stay clear.
1 Safe: Changing Diapers On The Regular
While giving baths too often is not a good thing, changing the diaper often is. Letting baby sit in a dirty diaper can cause a variety of issues, so getting to that diaper straight away is not a bad thing. Baby will not get hurt or sick by frequent diaper changes. If baby gets irritated it may be from wiping too hard or the brand of wipes being used. Your baby will not benefit from sitting in the diaper for a long period of time. We suggest changing baby once you know they went, and although it may seem like you’re going through a ton of diapers, it is a good thing for baby’s diaper area. A soiled diaper can cause rashes and can make baby extremely uncomfortable.