15 Newborn Hygiene Habits

Babies need so much. They can't do much for themselves, so it's up to their parents to see to their needs and provide the hygiene items they also need. Babies mess their diapers more often and quicker their parents may suspect. Along with diapers, mom and dad need to provide a few other bottom-cleaning items.

Even though babies won't have teeth for several months, they still need to have their gums cleaned. This gives them better oral hygiene and it also helps them get used to having objects placed into their mouths.

Parents use moistened cotton balls to clean the exterior of their baby's ears. Cotton swabs are useful as well, as long as mom and dad don't stick them into the baby's ears.

And then comes bath time. Parents can't put a tiny baby into the bathtub. It's too big. So, a small baby tub, towels, wash cloths, baby shampoo, baby wash and lotion help keep baby clean and sweet-smelling.

The newborn's umbilical cord won't stay attached forever. Instead, this will fall off within two to three weeks after the baby was born. It must be kept clean until it dries up enough to fall off.

15 Keep The Baby's Eyes And Ears Clean

Even just lying in a crib, carseat or on a blanket, they pick up dust and dirt that sticks to their skin. Their ears collect dirt that needs to be gently cleaned away. The same goes for their eyes.

To handle this hygiene practice, mom and dad moisten a cotton ball with warm water. Now, wiping gently, they clean the eyelid and under-eye area, moving the cotton ball from the baby's inner eye to their outer eye. Repeat for the opposite eye.

Turning their attention to baby's ears, mom and dad get a new cotton ball and moisten that in the same way as they did the first. They clean only the outer portion of the baby's ears, The cotton swab is used in the same way. It should never be pushed inside the baby's ears. The risk of ear injury or damage is too high.

14 Invest In A Nasal Syringe

Most new families come home from the hospital with a little, blue nasal syringe packed in with the baby's belongings. This tool is used to remove mucus and dried mucus from baby's tiny nasal passages. The syringe can also help remove any spit-up milk inside baby's nose.

When the bulb end of the syringe is squeezed, it forces air out. Mom or dad gently place the syringe at the entry of the baby's nostrils and releases the syringe. This creates a vacuum action, which helps to pull out any accumulated mucus that may be making baby uncomfortable.

After removing it from baby's nostril openings, the contents can be squeezed into a clean facial tissue. After use, the syringe should be cleaned by sucking hot, soapy water into the bulb, then rinsing it with clean, hot water.

13 The Best Way To Change Diapers

. . . and wipes and diaper rash cream. If a baby is left in a wet or soiled diaper for too long, it develops diaper rash. Diaper rash is painful, burning the skin when baby urinates or defecates.

Mom and dad need a plentiful supply of diapers. Newborns will go through more diapers now than at any other stages of their babyhood.

It's much easier to figure out when baby is defecating (or has done so). Their face becomes red, they have a look of concentration on their face and they may grunt. Immediately afterward, comes the smell. . . phew!

Remove baby's diaper and gently clean the entire diaper area, paying attention to skin folds, the area between the labia of a little girl's body and beneath the foreskin of a baby boy. Smear the cream over any areas exposed to urine and put the fresh diaper on.

12 Keep The Neck Dry With A Burp Cloth

This part of a baby's body isn't called "milk neck" for no reason. As baby drinks formula or breastmilk, some leaks out of its mouth and rolls down the chin and collects in their neck area, including those rolls.

If the accumulated milk and moisture isn't cleaned up, the baby can develop a yeast infection. This will be highly uncomfortable for the baby, leading to an unhappy child and crying.

In between baths, parents should take a moist washcloth and wipe baby's neck clean, then dry the area with a soft cloth. During baths, the parents should pay careful attention to this area and gently clean, then dry it. A good method to prevent this issue: place a cloth diaper or burp cloth over baby's neck and clothing to catch excess milk.

11 Fingernails Need To Be Trimmed (So Invest In A Good Clipper!)

Too many parents have seen their infant scratch their face inadvertently as they are closing their little hands while their hands are close to their face. Even if the thought of clipping their baby's fingernails (and toenails) scares them, it's something that has to be done. Wait until the baby is at least one month old.

For this, a special baby-sized nail clipper helps them clip baby's nails to a safe length. Parents begin by holding one finger in their own fingers, gently pulling the skin back slightly. Next, trimming straight across, squeeze gently but quickly down with the clippers.

Two tips may make nail trimming easier: Trim just after baby has had a bath. The warm water makes the nails softer and simpler to trim. Second, wait until the baby is asleep and clip each one of their nails. Parents can also work as a team. One parent holds the baby while the other parent clips baby's nails.

10 Don't Forget About The Baby's Face!

Food and formula seem to accumulate on baby's delicate skin, which requires frequent cleaning throughout the day.As the baby is sucking milk, the milk they don't swallow leaks outside the side of their mouth and roll down their cheek and onto their neck.

Wet a baby washcloth with warm water and squeeze out the excess. Gently wipe over baby's face with the cloth and dry with another cloth. Don't forget the crease between baby's chin and neck—formula or breastmilk accumulates here, becoming rather. . . crusty.

At the same time mom or dad is cleaning baby's face, they should pay attention to the area behind baby's ears. With a clean, moist cloth, they clean behind baby's ears.

If breastmilk or formula is allowed to gather on the baby's face or neck, baby won't smell very clean and fresh. In addition, they will be pretty uncomfortable.

9 Ignore Those "Whiteheads"

Because they aren't whiteheads. They are "milia" and they look just like whiteheads or even baby acne.

Parents, relax! As baby grows older, these bumps will slowly vanish. They do no harm to the baby. Trying to "pop" them or eliminate them with cream, lotion, soap or even an astringent will only make matters worse.

Parents who are so concerned about the milia on their baby's face should know that they aren't contagious. They won't spread anywhere else on baby's face, either. If they have a photo session planned for their little one, they may choose to postpone until the milia has gone away. Because most babies get this facial condition, nurses and doctors know that it's a harmless condition. The only "cure" is time and patience, so hold on, mom and dad.

8 Yellowing Skin? Here's What To Look For

While the yellowed skin can't be washed away, it is an issue parents have to monitor. Most babies do develop jaundice in the days following birth. Because their livers are still so immature, they can't break down the excess bilirubin in the blood streams. The bilirubin is what gives baby's skin that yellowish cast.

Jaundice in a newborn usually resolves within two to three weeks, leaving baby's skin its normal tone. Doctors take jaundice seriously because of the problems a high bilirubin level can cause—cerebral palsy, brain damage or deafness. This is why pediatricians take blood to measure baby's level of bilirubin before baby goes home for the first time and during the first post-discharge appointment. Along with weight, length and vital signs, this part of the checkup is vital for baby's future health.

7 Introducing Oral Care

Before the baby's teeth begin to erupt, get them used to oral care with a soft, moist washcloth. After giving baby breastmilk or the bottle, parents wrap the cloth around their finger, then gently wipe baby's gums.

This daily event gets the baby used to having their gums cleaned every day. When teeth begin coming out, they should be accustomed enough to the gum-cleaning that introducing a toothbrush shouldn't be all that difficult.

As baby gets older, their parents should begin checking the gums for the presence of teeth that are ready to make their appearance.

Once teeth have begun to appear, their front and back surfaces should be cleaned daily, after each meal or bottle. Replace the washcloth with a baby toothbrush at the baby's first birthday.

6 The Umbilical Cord Stump - Everything Moms Need To Know

Even though it falls off shortly after birth, for the time that it's attached to baby's navel, parents have to take good care of it. First, they should sanitize it with alcohol swabs. Limit cleaning here to once or twice a day, to keep the umbilical cord stump from becoming irritated by too much handling. Watch for infection. If the parents notice that the stump is red, with pus seeping out, they need to get the baby to the doctor's office right away.

Second, when mom or dad is changing baby's diaper, they should turn the front edge down, exposing the umbilical cord. If it's left hidden under the diaper, excess urine can seep up and keep the cord moist when it should be drying. Before beginning to work with a diaper change or umbilical cord, parents should wash their hands.

5 The Best Way To Bathe The Baby

How often is often enough? That depends. Parents don't need to bathe or shampoo their infant every day.

Fill the baby tub with lukewarm, not hot, water. Parents should have all the bath tools ready for use close by so they don't have to leave the bathroom.

After gently shampooing and rinsing hair, wet the washcloth with warm water and squeeze excess water out. Softly wipe it over areas of the baby's face. Squirt a small amount of baby wash on the cloth and clean their neck, chest and back. Rinse the suds off. Continue washing baby, saving the genital area for last. Clean a baby girl's genitals by wetting a cotton ball in warm water and cleaning between the folds of skin and her labia. Wipe from front to back. Flush a baby boy's genital area with warm water while bathing.

4 Don't Be Scared Of Germs!

Yes. By eliminating every germ possible from their home environment, they are healthy. . . for now. But, as baby grows and gets into more and more new situations, mom and dad will find their little one coming down with every illness possible.

While we should guard against dangerous organisms, it's actually a good idea to allow the baby to be exposed to someone's sniffles, as long as the baby is a little older, say three to six months old. By keeping their environment so germ-free, baby's immune system isn't allowed to do its thing. In turn, that immune system will become too sensitive, leading to allergies.

Keep the inside of the home clean. It isn't necessary to sanitize every surface. As baby gets older, allow them to play in the dirt and put toys in their mouth.

3 To Humidify Or Not To Humidify?

Babies are sensitive to allergens, germs and dust mites. Before parents bring their baby home, they should make sure it's clean, especially baby's room.

The bathroom is vulnerable to mold. Parents should try to dehumidify this room as much as possible. Germs abound in this room. Parents must be watchful for the trash can and any container holding dirty diapers, cleaning them out once a day.

Vacuum the carpet and floors. Try to keep it as free of dust as possible to reduce the risk of dust mite infestation. Pay attention to screens on the windows. Dust and other nasties accumulate here as well. Remove them from the window opening and rinse them well with the hose.

Open the window in baby's room just slightly. Be watchful for any insects that may enter. For families living in areas where insects, such as mosquitos, ants and no-see-ums are common, make sure the screen is securely on the window opening.

2 Clean Clothing Is A Must!

Unlike adults and older kids, babies shouldn't be put in the same (dirty) outfit for one or two days. They spit up, make prodigious diaper messes, drool, and the dreaded "diaper blowout." That's the messy diaper that rapidly becomes the messy top, sleeper, onesie and blankets.

It's a good thing that so many people gave baby so many outfits. This means the parents can take all the dirty clothing, blankets, sheets and socks can be washed daily. Yes, daily. It's easier to deal with smaller loads every day than one huge load once a week.

If parents are worried that their newborn is going through "too many" clothes, that's natural. But it's just the nature of a newborn to be messy and deposit yucky messes on their clothing, blankets, sheets, the carpet. . . .

1 Mom And Dad's Hygiene Habits Are Just As Important

Mom and dad also need to keep themselves clean when they need to hold, feed or change their baby. This means that they should wash their hands well—warm water, soap and friction action for at least 30 seconds.

If they aren't close to water and soap, a good antibacterial gel is just as effective, especially after changing the baby's diaper. Regular hand-washing is imperative if anyone in the home is sick, including the baby.

If mom and dad have been working with raw food (meat, especially), they must wash their hands to kill any dangerous bacteria that has adhere to their hands. Young babies' immune systems are immature and can't easily fight back against illnesses such as e Coli, salmonella or giardia. If one of these organisms gets into the baby's body, they will become seriously ill.

Sources: raisingchildren.net.au, hygieneexpert.co.uk, webmd, momjunction.com, nm.org, babyinfo.com.au, pbcexpo.com.au, nowtolove.com.au, babygaga.com, healthline.com, livestrong.com, babycenter.com, babycentre.com.uk, babynowbrand.com, healthywomen.org, pinterest.com, ASDA Baby and Toddler Club, Quick Tips for New Dads, magicmum.com, diynatural.com, babycentercommunity.com, Parents Magazine, scarymommy.com,

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