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15 Things New Moms Need To Know About A Newborn's Hygiene

It's crucial for moms to know how to take care of their baby's hygiene - whether she has a boy or a girl.

When I found out that I was having a baby boy, I was thrilled. I’d always imagine myself having a baby boy and it actually happened. With that being said, the day that I left the hospital, I was terrified of the responsibility that was on me to take care of this little tiny life. From when to nurse him to how to put him to sleep, it seemed like there were so many rules and regulations to being a first time mom. Even though I had the support of my spouse, it was still a nerve wrecking experience.

Like many new or even experience moms, taking care of a baby’s hygiene can be an exhausting and overpowering experience. For me, taking care of my brand new baby boy meant cleaning and caring for body parts I had no idea how to clean or care for. It took patience and a few calls to my son’s doctor to get the hang of it but I did. For moms of baby girls, the process can still take getting used to as the little ones are so tiny and they private areas are incredibly delicate.

Follow these simply hygiene tips for baby boys and girls to keep them clean and happy.

15Gently Clean Around The Umbilical Cord Site

After your baby is born, the umbilical cord is cut by your spouse, your person of support during labor, or by the nurses or doctors. Either way, your little one will go home with a clamped off, small nub of umbilical cord still attached. After a short couple of weeks, the cord will dry up and fall off leaving your baby with the belly button that looks more familiar. However, during the time that the nub is still attached, it is important to keep the area clean but not to fuss with it, causing it to fall off prematurely. Use a damp cloth, without soap, to cleanse around the area. Allow the area to dry before covering it again with clothing. When putting on your little one’s diaper, strap the diaper below the umbilical cord, not covering it or on top of it. This will slow down the drying process making it difficult for the piece to dry up and fall off.

14Clean Diaper Explosions Before Bathing

If you are a mom already, you know that diaper explosions are a part of the job description. Since your baby is on a diet of milk, whether it’s formula or breast milk, her diaper contents will be a kin to liquid. She can go from snuggled up happily in a swing or boppy pillow in a clean diaper to covered up to her back with what should be contained in her diaper. It’s the nature of being a baby. After you strip your baby of the poo clothes, it makes sense to dip them in a bath to quickly clean them up without wasting 100 wipes. However, before you run the bath water and get ready to wash her up, wipe the diaper contents off of her as much as possible. Bathing in water that is full of what was in the diaper is counterproductive and may require a re-bathing to actually get clean.

13Girl: Always Clean From Belly To Butt

When you have a baby girl, it can be an involved and overwhelming process to clean their private parts. I don’t have a baby girl but I do have nieces. The first time I changed one of their diapers, I was overwhelmed to say the least. One of the most important things to remember when it comes to cleaning your baby girl during diaper changes is to wipe her from belly to butt, or front to back. The same way women take care of their own lady parts is the way you should approach wiping your baby girl’s private parts. If wiped the opposite way, bottom to belly, you can bring fecal matter into her very delicate and sensitive baby girl bits. This can cause a very preventable infection.

12Boy: Apply Diaper Cream Inside

If a baby boy has been circumcised at birth, their male parts are definitely going to be sore, tender, and delicate. With each diaper change, your baby boy may express his pain and discomfort with crying and whining. Fortunately, it doesn’t last very long. However, during the time that your baby boy is healing, it is essential that you are helping along the healing process delicately and with tact. One of the things to keep in mind when caring for your baby’s circumcised area is that the wound is raw and when covered by a diaper, the material can stick to the wound and be very painful. To avoid that, after gently cleansing around your baby boy’s circumcised area, apply diaper cream or ointment to the inside of the diaper. The ointment should be applied where the baby’s circumcised area will be. The ointment will protect your baby’s open wound from sticking to the diaper, creating unnecessary pain.

11Wipe Gums And Teeth Daily

As an adult, we know that brushing our teeth and general oral care is important in order to ward off gum disease and to hold on to our teeth. For your little one, they obviously don’t have teeth quite yet but that doesn’t mean that they oral care should be skipped. Once a day, clean your baby’s mouth and gums with a damp cloth. It may seem like it is unnecessary because your baby is brand new and doesn’t even have teeth yet. However, wiping your baby’s gums regularly helps to keep bacteria at bay and keep the gums healthy and ready when the teeth do come in. As your babe gets older, the wiping of their gums will feel good as they start to teethe. Their swollen and red gums will love the soothing feeling of a cool cloth rubbing against their gums.

10Change Diapers Frequently

When you hear other women talk about becoming a mom, it never fails for them to bring up how many diapers they have to change. As a mom myself, I have changed more diapers than I can even begin to count. In the beginning, when your baby is only drinking milk, they are soiling their diapers constantly. It is important to change the baby’s diaper as soon as you notice that they are ready for a change. While you don’t need to be a wet diaper detective, you simply need to keep an eye, and nose, out for soiled diapers. When you let a baby sit in their soiled diaper for too long, the moisture can create a nasty and very uncomfortable rash for baby that can reach their bottoms and private areas.

9Girl: Gently Pat Dry The Lady Parts

Unlike baby boys, your baby girl has a bit more complicated diaper area. As an adult woman, we already know how important it is to keep our lady parts dry and clear of extra water or moisture. As an adult, the excess water can lead to yeast infections and irritation and total discomfort. Your baby girl is born with the same parts which means keeping them dry are important. Once the baby is ready for a diaper change, clean her from front to back. After she is properly cleaned, pat dry her diaper area gently. Unlike boys, moisture being trapped in your baby girl’s diaper can cause irritation, infections, and other preventable issues. It is essential to keep the area dry after each cleanings. After your little one is bathed, you should also make sure you are gently patting dry her diaper area before applying diaper cream or ointment.

8Boy: Gently Clean Without Pulling Back

There is a constant debate about whether or not to circumcise baby boys. Essentially, the decision is up to the parents and the most important thing is to clean and care for the baby’s private area properly once the decision is made. When it comes to baby boys that are uncircumcised, cleaning the baby’s private area is not a difficult thing. However, there is a terrible misconception that the foreskin on an uncircumcised baby boy has to be yanked back in order to be cleaned properly or built up dirt and debris and bacteria will cause odor and irritation. The truth is that when your baby boy is a newborn, his foreskin is not ready to be pulled back for cleaning like it will be as he gets older. Simply clean around the foreskin and under an naturally lifted areas but do not pull back the skin. You will hurt the baby’s private parts.

7Keep The Baby's Nails Trimmed

When I opened the gifts from my baby shower, I received no less than a dozen baby mittens. I didn’t realize how useful they would be until my baby actually arrived with claws that were longer than mine. Most babies are born with long nails. Because they have almost no control over their hands or limbs, they often times scratch their faces and necks without meaning to. While the mittens were useful for the first couple of weeks, I quickly noticed that my baby would somehow manage to get them off of his hands. They best solution to the problem is to break out the baby nail clipper and clip those little claws. Making sure that their nails are clipped also keeps dirt from building up underneath as babies tend to put their hands directly into their mouths often. Clipping your baby’s nails regularly is essential in baby hygiene.

6Let The Baby Be Diaper-Free

When your little one is first born, their body has to take the time to adjust. As anyone can imagine, living inside a fluid filled womb for nine months can be a stark difference to the outside world. Your baby’s skin is used to being inside of the water and free of anything restricting like clothing and diapers. While diapers are totally necessary unless you want to clean up messes from your floor every 20 minutes, they can be a bit harsh on your baby’s fresh, soft skin. Allowing your baby to go diaper free can help your baby’s skin breathe and lower the likelihood of them getting a rash or irritation on their bottoms. Before you snatch off your little one’s diaper, you want to make sure that the room or home is the right temperature and that your baby is between feedings so they aren’t likely to go to the bathroom outside of their diaper.

5Girl: Use Unscented Wipes And Soaps

Personally, the smell of baby products like wipes and soaps and lotions is intoxicating. I absolutely love the way a baby smells after being bathed and lathered up in lotion, powder, and diaper cream. Something about it just screams I’m a new human. However, when it comes to baby girl’s diaper region, those soft smelling wipes and lovely scented soaps should not be used. Just like adult women, the lady parts of your little newborn baby girl are delicate and highly sensitive to artificial scents. Most gynecologists suggest that adult women skip the scented cleansers marketed towards women as they can throw off the natural pH that our bodies create and screw up the good bacteria that we need. Keep that same idea in mind with your baby girl. Don’t use irritation causing scented wipes or soaps to clean down there. But, you can use all the amazing smelling baby lotion that you want.

4Boy: Cotton Balls For Your Circumcised Boy

Whether you are pro circumcision or against it, your baby boy’s genitals need to be cleaned and done so properly. The circumcision process is a form of surgery and just like any other surgical procedure, area needs to be taken care of properly. Your doctor will give you simple instructions on how to care for your baby boy’s circumcision but when he’s crying at 5 in the morning, those instructions can seem like a 5 page list that is hard to recall. If nothing else, remember to gently clean around the circumcision with a damp cotton ball or cotton round. This will cleanse away any debris, poop, or urine that is in your baby’s diaper. The wound will be clean and infection of the circumcision area will be lessened. Your baby might not like the cleaning process but it is essential and the discomfort won’t last for too long.

3Separate Baby Items

It can be a tempting to use the household washcloths, soaps, and powders for the baby. Purchasing separate items for the baby can seem like an unnecessary cost. However, the baby needs to have her own set of hygiene materials. From washing cloths to nail files, the baby needs to have her own. For starters, a baby’s immune system is not nearly as advanced as an adults. This means that cross contamination between household materials that wouldn’t affect you or the rest of your household can definitely affect your baby. Next, on the surface, your baby’s skin is incredibly delicate and sensitive. The bacteria that can be left behind on shared items can give your baby a skin reaction like a rash or break out. Your baby needs her own soap, powders, as well as washing clothes and towels.

2Girl: Clean Folds Carefully

When it comes to your baby girl’s lady bits, there are a endless folds and crevices where dirt, bacteria, and debris can build up and cause irritation. It can feel overwhelming and shocking as a first time mom to open an explosion diaper and find that the contents are in every fold possible. However, don’t panic and don’t worry as this happens to every baby girl to ever exist and they are just fine. Gently separate the folds with your fingers and clean between them with a warm, damp cloth. No need to use a bunch of soap or cleansers in the beginning as you want to simply get the gunk out of there first. Be gentle as your baby girl’s nether regions are very delicate and too much roughness can really disturb her fragile skin. You can go over the area with a fragrance free baby wipe or water wipe as well if you’d like and continue her diaper changing process. Cleaning between the folds requires patience, attention, and a delicate touch but is totally necessary.

1Boy: Expect A Scab On Circumcised Boys

When you first bring home your baby boy, you can feel overwhelmed. While at the hospital, your nurses and visitors provided an immense amount of support and were there to answer any questions. However, once you are home with your little newborn baby boy, tasks as basic as changing his diaper can be epic. For your circumcised baby boy, he has gone through a surgical treatment. This means, like with most surgical treatments, your little baby’s genitals will have scabbing and bruising. It is a normal part of the healing process after the procedure and shouldn’t cause too much worry. You will notice that your baby’s private area may look purple and blue with bruises. You may even notice a wet like scab that is forming as well. Don’t pick the scab, of course, and allow it to heal. You can assist the process by using jelly like ointments created for babies.

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