The health and well being of a newborn baby is vitally important. Those tiny babies rely on their mom and dad to keep them clean and safe. Proper cleaning, is, in a sense, a lifesaving opportunity. Lots of care must be given when parents clean their delicate newborn baby.
Remember that a newborn baby counts on their parents to ensure they are totally clean. A teeny tiny baby can't tell their mom and dad that they need their bottom wiped better or that they have spit up under their chin. For new mommies and daddies, it's their job to know how to clean that sweet new baby of theirs.
Friends, family, neighbors, total strangers in the grocery store, and many more will offer tips on how to clean the new baby. While it may seem annoying, parents should at least listen to what they have to say, it does not mean they have to agree!
The pediatrician will also give mom and dad some ideas on the correct ways to clean that little one, and remember, the doctor is always available if mom or dad have any questions or concerns.
Below is a complied list of some of the best lifesaving tips for cleaning a brand new baby. Many of these are not only doctor recommended, but many seasoned moms have used these tried and true ways to clean their babies for years, so new parents can rest assured that these cleaning methods really are the best. Now get to cleaning that sweet baby!
15 Clean The Baby In This Important Order
How do you clean yourself? Chances are (we hope!), you are doing it the right way- head to toe. Gently wash baby's face and hair and follow down their belly to their toes. Of course, save their bottom for last. Seems like common sense, but when you are frantically rushing to bathe a screaming, wet baby, sometimes we do it so quick we are not careful.
Head to toe is obviously the way to go. Use a mild soap, or just water, and re-wet your sponge or washcloth as you go along. Be aware of any folds and grooves you need to get into to clean, as well. Failing to clean your newborn baby in the proper order can do damage.
Wiping baby's bottom and then using that cloth to wipe her face, eyes, and mouth can cause an infection or for her to get sick, and you certainly do not want that.
14 Talk To The Baby During Their Bath
Sure, your newborn baby cannot talk back to you just yet, but you can certainly tell her what is going on. As you bathe her, whether it is a sponge bath or she has graduated up to the infant tub or sling (or sink!), tell her what is happening and exactly what you are doing.
Your baby heard your voice for nine long months in the womb. Hearing your voice outside the womb reminds him that you are his mommy- the one who was there for that lengthy period of time!
When he is afraid, such as when you are undressing him and bathing him, talking to him may help put him at ease and let him know that what you are doing- giving him a bath- is not so bad after all. If you are not so sure what to say, sing a little tune!
13 It's Not Necessary To Bathe Every Day
Babies have super sensitive skin, and as such, you do not want their delicate skin to dry out. Newborn babies never really get dirty, and they really do not require bathing every single day. In fact, many doctors recommend bathing only once a week, or at the very most, two or three times a week.
You certainly can bathe your baby more often if you prefer, but it is not necessary to do so, and really not needed. Think about those nine long months your baby spent curled up in the womb, surrounded by all that amniotic fluid. No bathing in there! Once born, a baby's skin is suddenly exposed to the cold air or the dry temperatures, none of which are good for skin at any age!
Because of the immense delicate nature of a newborn baby's skin, bathing every day is not recommended.
12 Take Care Of The Umbilical Cord Stump
There is really not much you have to do to care for the umbilical cord stump, aside from watching it to make sure the area does not get infected. A newborn baby's umbilical cord stump will fall off on its own within a few weeks. Never pull it off, even if it is hanging on by a string!
This is one reason why newborn baby's should only be receiving sponge baths during the first few weeks of their life. The umbilical cord stump is a delicate area, and because it is prone to getting infected, you want the area to remain dry. Parents are also advised to keep the diaper away from the area, as well.
11 Trim Their Tiny Nails Carefully
Well, not really, but boy can those sharp teeny, tiny nails really do a number on your poor baby! A newborn baby's reflexes cause them to move their arms and hands. They do not yet have full control of their body movements. As such, they may unwillingly scratch themselves. It is important to keep their little nails nice and trim.
The difficult part for many new moms is to how to go about cutting or trimming those super small nails on that super squirmy little baby. Some mothers like to chew them off, this is not usually recommended, since your saliva can carry many germs.
Instead, use a soft blunt nail scissor or clippers and trim those nails after the bath when they are soft. If baby is still really wiggly and you are worried you will cut that tiny finger, the decision to carefully trim those nails after baby is asleep is the best option.
10 Deal With Cradle Cap Easily
Cradle cap often looks much worse than it is. This condition, which shows up as dry looking scales on your baby's head, is quite common, and usually no cause for concern. While you may not like the way it looks, it is pretty easy to clean and care for, and will eventually go away.
The best way to clean cradle cap is to gently wash your baby's hair and/or scalp with just plain warm water or a very mild baby shampoo. You will want to brush the cradle cap. The best way to do this is with a soft toothbrush! It may sound silly, but a toothbrush will be soft enough on your baby's delicate skin and works well to help rid of the cradle cap. Using a soft baby brush works well too.
9 Don't Forget To Get Under The Chin
Our little ones depend on us to make sure they are nice and clean under every crevice in their cute, squishy bodies. Whether a baby is drinking breast milk or formula, it is bound to sometimes not all make it in their mouths, and will inevitably run down their chin and under those adorable folds.
After you feed and burp baby, and every time you bathe him, make sure you get under that chin (or chins!). All that gooeyness can build up into a sticky mess, and possible even cause an infection if it is not cleaned properly. It may be easy to forget to clean this area, since it never really sees the light of day! But it is important to remember to give that area under the chin a nice wipe (or two, or three) after each feeding and during bath time.
8 Clean The Discharge And Mucus From Around The Eyes
Sometimes our little, tiny babies have eye discharge that can be caused by an infection or something else. It is very important to clean their eyes regularly, especially if they do have discharge or mucous around their eyes. While it is also important to see a health care provider to check this discharge, cleaning it is also vital.
Gentle is best when cleaning a newborn baby. They are so tiny and delicate, and their eyes are extra fragile. You should follow any orders given to you by a doctor, but if all the physician says is to clean the area, then doing so is quite easy. Take a cotton ball or soft washcloth, wet it with warm (not hot) water, and gently clean their delicate eye area. Do so on a regular basis, or whenever they have discharge from the eyes.
7 Sponge Baths For Newborns
Your delicate newborn should only be receiving a sponge bath the first few weeks of her little life. This is because of that umbilical cord stump. Not to mention that no newborn baby is so dirty that he needs to be immersed in a soapy bath! Sponge bathing is what the doctor will tell parents to give their baby.
Lay your baby down and with a soft washcloth that is damp with either just water or some water and mild soap, gently wipe your baby face, around her eyes, nose and mouth, going on the way down to her toes. Be very delicate and gentle with each maneuver.
Keep in mind, that the picture of sponge bathing your newborn baby in your head may not be reality! Most newborn babies cry through this process, so the quicker you can get them clean, the better!
6 Make Sure The Baby Is Completely Dry
Whether baby is bathing on the floor, sink, or tub, they are getting wet all over. A bath should be given fairly quickly, especially when they are newborn babies, as the goal is to simply get them clean. Once the bath is over, wrapping them in a soft towel is important, as babies can develop a chill once exposed to the outside air.
Newborn babies can lose their body temperature at a rapid pace, which is why we need to make sure they stay nice and warm. And not to mention there are tons of adorable hooded bath towels for little ones on the market!
After toweling off your baby, you want to make sure you dried off each body part, and got under his chin and arms. It is important to not leave any area wet. If wish, gently lather you little one in baby lotion to preserve her delicately sensitive skin.
5 Keep The Water Level Low
Once your newborn has moved on to a bath in the big tub (or baby bathtub) it is not necessarily to fill it up with tons of water. Just a little water is all that is needed. Babies do not need to be submerged in water, even if that is the way we would prefer to bathe! Remember what your baby needs, and not what you would rather prefer.
The bottom line is safety. Babies can drown in the smallest amount of water. They are wriggly and slippery when wet. Leave the water level low, gently wash them from head to toe, and take them out. They will love to play in the bath, too, so by keeping the water level low, they can have fun and not accidentally slip and go under the water.
4 Cleaning Out Those Boogers!
Babies get boogers, it is a fact of life! Seeing our little ones suffer with nasal obstructions is no fun, but luckily it is easily handled. There are all kinds of devices on the market to help ease the pain of removing nasal mucous from baby and ease the pain of the parent trying to get in the nose of a wiggling baby!
One of the best ways to remove mucous from baby's nose is with a nasal bulb syringe. These come in smaller sizes specifically made for infants. You squeeze the bulb, put it in baby's nose, and release to grab those boogers.
Nose frida is a device on the market that many new moms quickly purchase or receive as baby shower gifts. It is known as the “snot sucker” and many seasoned moms swear that this helps relieve their baby's mucous in a non-traumatizing manner.
3 Never Ever Leave The Baby Alone
While this may seem obvious to many of us, unfortunately there are innocent babies who drown each year. Usually, their mother, father, or caregiver got distracted, and as we know, it only takes seconds and just an inch of water for a baby to drown.
It is very, no- extremely, dangerous to leave an infant of any age in a bathtub or any amount of water alone, for any length of time. The phone rings? Let it go to voicemail, no phone call is important enough to leave your baby, even for a second. Something is cooking on the stove? Do not cook anything and give baby a bath simultaneously!
Babies should NEVER EVER be alone in a body of water- period. Give them a quick bath, take them out, and then do what you need to do.
2 Learn How To Wash The Sensitive Areas
A newborn baby's body is very sensitive. All babies are born with sensitive skin, and their genitals are even more sensitive. It is important to know the proper ways to wash your little boy or your little girl.
For a newborn baby boy, if he is uncircumcised, it is not necessary to push back the foreskin when cleaning that area. Most physicians recommend you leave that area alone, and just gently clean it with mild soap. If your baby boy is circumscribed, you need to be extra gently when cleaning down there until it is completely healed.
Your doctor will tell you the best way to keep that area clean, but most recommended just squeezing some water on it and allowing the area to air dry.
For your little baby girl, proper washing order is extremely important. The rule is to wash front to back. Never wash her bottom first, as that can cause an infection. Typically, water is all that is needed to wash a baby girl's genitals. Many doctors will say that soap should not be used in that area.
1 Take Extra Care At Bath Time
When an adult takes a bath, it is relaxing. When a new mom or dad gives a bath to a baby, that is usually anything from relaxing! Water can be dangerous to our little ones, and we have to always play it safe. We know now to never leave our babies alone in the bath. It is also important to ensure the water temperature is warm, but never too hot or too cold.
Test with your wrist or purchase a fun toy indicator letting you know if the water is too hot.
Another great piece of advice is to always keep one hand on your baby when bathing her. Wet babies are like slippery seals, and you do not want her to fall under the water. Placing a hand under her guarantees her safety and may put her at ease if she is nervous about bath time. Enlisting help from other family members during bath time helps a ton as well!