When someone becomes a new mom, there seems to be a lot to worry about. Mom now has this new little life that she has to nurture and protect — a life that she created and promised to take care of. It is an intense feeling because there is so much to do. Babies need to be fed, changed, loved, and kept clean. A first-time mom will often have little idea what she is doing, and it can be easy to make mistakes.
Generally, mistakes are good to make; this is how humans learn, evolve, and become better people. However, that may only apply when it comes to laundry or work. Making a mistake when it comes to the care of a little baby can be a lot more serious.
Keeping a newborn clean is very important; their skin is new and sensitive, and it needs to be clean. Newborns are also very fragile, so this can make bath time a little frightening to a new mom. There are a lot of cleaning mistakes mom can make when it comes to keeping her baby clean, and we are here to call them all out. The odds are good that one or two moms have made at least one of these errors when washing their newborn.
20 How Much Is Too Much
The first and most important question when it comes to bathing a newborn is how much is too much? Is it possible to wash your baby too much or too often? The answer is yes. It may be tempting to give your baby a bath every day, in an attempt to be extra vigilant when it comes to keeping them clean and germ-free, but this would be a mistake.
Newborns have very delicate skin, and when it is washed too often, it can make it extra dry. Newborns are not generally rolling around in the mud and other such environments, so they don’t even really need to be cleaned every day.
19 Stay Away From The Ears
This is a big one, and it is a mistake adults make when we clean ourselves. That mistake is when we use q-tips to clean out our ears. Q-tips should never go near a baby’s (or adult’s) ears. Even when we are extra careful, there is always a chance that we can insert the q-tip too far and possibly damage the eardrum.
Ears are pretty self-cleaning, so they don’t need so much detailed attention. The best way to clean a baby’s ears is with a finger and a damp washcloth. Just wipe what you can see, and there is no need to go digging around in there. However, don’t neglect behind the ears, because that area often gets forgotten.
18 There Is A Blue Line For A Reason
A big part of keeping a baby clean involves changing their diaper. The odds are great that a baby will get at least one diaper rash during their lives; it is almost inevitable. However, that won’t stop us from trying to make sure they get as few of them as possible. The best way to do this is to make sure the diaper is being changed often.
Diapers now have a wetness indicator on them which will turn blue when the diaper is wet. This enables mom to know right away when her baby has a wet diaper and when they need a change. Keeping the area dry is the best way to make sure your little one is comfortable.
17 Direction Is Everything
While we are on the topic of diaper changes, there is a certain technique when it comes to how we change their diaper. This is most important when it comes to baby girls. When changing their diaper, especially when it comes to cleaning up from number 2, direction is everything.
Mom will want to wipe from front to back, never the opposite way. That is to make sure that no bacteria are getting into places that it shouldn’t be. Boy babies are a little easier when it comes to wiping, and mom doesn’t have to be so careful when she wipes them clean.
16 Stump Care Stuff
Newborns are born whole and while the umbilical cord gets cut at birth, there will be a stump there that will have to be taken care of until it dries up and falls off on its own. The most important thing when it comes to stump care is to make sure nothing rubs up against it. This includes making sure the diaper is not rubbing and irritating it.
Mom will also need to make sure that no moisture gets to the cord and this means that baby cannot have a bath until it falls off. The baby will have to settle for some sponge baths until the stump falls off, which is normally 7-10 days after birth. After that, the baby can be submerged into the water for their first proper bath.
15 Temperature Is Paramount
As adults, we like to have very warm, even steaming, baths. We soak in and relax and feel our whole day just melt away. That may be great for an adult, but it won’t work for a baby. Their skin is so new and sensitive that we have to be careful when it comes to the temperature of their bath water. It can’t be too cold or warm.
High-temp water can harm a baby’s delicate skin and cold water will make the whole experience pretty miserable. There are bath water thermometers that mom can buy to make sure the bath is the perfect temperature, or she can stick her elbow in it. The elbow is the best way to test the water because it is more sensitive than our hands.
14 Are We Using Lotion?
Once we take the baby out of the bath, it is not over yet. It is always important to remember to put lotion on your baby after the bath and it is a step that a lot of parents will skip. We mentioned earlier that water can take a lot of the moisture out of your baby’s skin and it is important to try and replace that moisture somehow.
Lotion is the best way to try and get some of that moisture back in their skin. This is especially true for babies who have dry skin or eczema. Lotion should be applied within 3 minutes of them coming out of the bath for it to work effectively.
13 Brush The Hair? What Hair?
Not all babies are born with luscious locks of hair, some are born bald and guess what? Their hair still needs to be brushed. Now, when we say brush their hair, we really mean that their scalp needs to be brushed. Cradle cap is very normal and something that happens to plenty of babies. It is just their skin getting used to being outside of the womb.
After the baby’s bath, part of their routine should be to get a good scalp brush. They make special, soft-bristled brushes that are specifically designed to be gentle on a baby’s head. Mom should run this over their head to try and flake off any of that dry skin.
12 Ignoring The Mouth (Yes, We Know There Aren't Teeth)
Just like we know that not all babies are born with hair, we also know that they are often not born with any teeth. Actually, most babies have no teeth when they are born though there are some small cases of babies being born with teeth. Even though they have no teeth, their gums should still be wiped daily. This is a step a lot of moms don’t think about.
It is important to take a damp washcloth and give their gums a rub down at the end of the day to remove any milk residue. This residue can linger on their gums and it can create bacteria in the mouth. Of course, as soon as those little teeth pop through, we should be giving them a wipe too.
11 Missing The Creases
Babies come in all shapes and sizes, and some babies are wrinklier than others. A lot of babies can have those little folds that we all love so much, it is what makes us want to squeeze them. These rolls may be adorable, but they also are a much-forgotten space to clean. It is important to get right in there and make sure you clean those out.
These are going to be the places where a baby sweats, and where moisture builds up. If we do not clean these regularly, babies can get infections and rashes which is bound to be uncomfortable.
10 Being Afraid Of The Nails
This picture is probably enough to give any mom some anxiety because it is no one’s favorite task. Clipping a baby’s fingernails can be an anxiety-ridden event as all moms are afraid of missing and getting a piece of their little finger. However, neglecting this can lead to some scratches on their face.
The best thing to do is to file them down instead of clipping them. If mom needs to clip them, she should try and do it when the baby is sleeping and is much less likely to move and jostle about, which is what causes a lot of the accidents.
9 Top To Bottom … That Is Important
There is another point when it comes to directions that is very important and it is an area where a lot of moms make mistakes. We already mentioned how diaper changes should be done from top to bottom, but that is also the order in which you should wash your baby. A lot of moms just get right in there and start cleaning whatever pops out at them first. Don’t do this.
It is always important to wash a baby from top to bottom, or head to bum. This is one piece of advice I always remember from my recovery nurse after having my daughter. The reason you want to clean in this order is because you want to start with the cleanest area of the baby and move to the least-clean parts. This is so you won’t be wiping wash-off stuff onto other parts of the body.
8 Rubbing The Face Is What Not To Do
When we shower, we really get in there. We rub and scrub because we need to get the oils and stuff off of us. This is alright for adults because our skin is thick and can handle us being a little rough to it. Babies skin is not so rough, and it needs to be treated with a little more care.
No one should rub a baby’s skin roughly when they are trying to get it clean, especially delicate parts of the baby like their face. When it comes to wiping their face, and their eyes, the best thing to use is a cotton ball. This is a nice and soft material that won’t be too harsh on their delicate skin.
7 Don’t Cheap Out
Having a baby is expensive, that is no secret. It costs a lot of money to have a baby and to care for it when it comes to buying all the supplies you need. It is something that costs you money every day. Parents are out there looking for all the deals they can find, ways to cut back on costs as much as possible.
This is great and should be encouraged. However, when it comes to bath products, parents should be willing to spend a little bit more to get better quality. Parents should not be buying a baby bath product just because it is cheaper. They should be looking for a quality product that agrees with their baby’s skin.
6 Forgetting A Supply
We hope this is not a mistake that a lot of parents make, but it does happen. Bath time can be fun, but it can also be dangerous, and mom and dad need to be super vigilant when it comes to bathing their baby. One of the most important things they should do is make sure that they have all of their supplies handy in the bathroom before placing their baby in the bath.
There is no running out of the room for a second to grab a forgotten towel or washcloth. It takes two seconds for anything to happen. It is always better to go without or to take the wet baby with you to receive the item you forgot.
5 All About The Pat
Now that bath time is over, it is time to get that baby out of the bath and into some nice, dry clothes. Mom will likely wrap them up in a towel and hope they don’t get too cold. A helpful tip is to place the towel in the dryer for a few minutes, so it is nice and warm.
When drying a baby another rule that is often forgotten is that we should not be rubbing them dry. This is a little too rough for their delicate skin. Instead, mom should be patting them dry. This way there is no harsh rubbing which could irritate their skin and make them very grumpy.
4 A Lot Of Mom’s Don’t Do This!
A lot of parents have specific bath time routines, and every parent is different. If a new mom-to-be needs inspiration, there are a lot of useful websites out there that will give ideas. There is often one thing that is left out and that is a baby massage. It is encouraged that parents give their little one a nice little massage when they are out of the bath.
This help for two reasons. It helps them properly apply lotion to the whole body to try and get some of that moisture back in and it also relaxes the baby. Bath time is usually a part of a baby’s routine to settle down for the day, and a nice massage is the best way to help them unwind.
3 Never Use This Tempting Product
Baby wipes have often been thought of as the 8th wonder of the world. They are amazing and are so handy when it comes to cleaning up messes or other spills. They are mom’s go-to when it comes to cleaning counters, their baby’s bottom and even the car. However, these items should never be used to clean your actual baby.
Other than in diaper changes, baby wipes should never be used to clean other parts of the baby. They are too harsh for their delicate skin. Even wipes that claim to be for sensitive skin or are natural are not intended to be used on your actual baby.
2 Boy Care Is Important
Baby boys are very special. They take up a special place in their mom’s heart and they charm anyone they meet. However, baby boys have a certain level of care when it comes to keeping clean and it all depends on circumstances that have been decided.
No matter what decision was made for the baby, there are certain care instructions that mom will have been told by her doctor. It is important that these are followed to ensure there are no infections or other issues that may arise. For the most part, the general rule has been to ‘leave it alone’ and to only clean what you can see.
1 There Is Such A Thing As Too Long
Baths are so relaxing, and it is always tempting to stay in them much longer than we probably should — which results in us getting out looking like prunes, but it feels so good. There is a time limit when it comes to how long a baby should be in the bath. It is always better for baby to have a short bath than a longer one.
A bath for a newborn is just to get them clean, so as soon as they are clean it is time to get out. Keeping them in the bath too long could irritate their skin and they could get too cold which could lead to other issues.