Newborns are precious. They are tiny, cute and we just want to cuddle them all day long. As cute as they are, we also know that they are very fragile. They must be held and nurtured with a gentle touch that is going to protect them and keep them safe. For many parents this can be daunting.
Nothing can be scarier to a parent than bath time. It seems like such a big deal for something that must be done for the health of our babies. A new parent can be very uncomfortable with the idea of bathing their new baby and they may not be sure of how to go about it. We have got everyone covered.
The best way to get through anything that is a bit scary is to learn about it. The more we know, the better we feel about tackling it head on. So, we are going to cover everything there is to know about how to bathe and wash a baby. From diaper changes, mucous removal to a full-on bath, we have all the information here.
Bath time should be a fun time, a chance for mom and dad to bond with their baby. A sweet moment that will be fleeting, so it should be nourished. That is hard to do when one is afraid, but with this list there will be very little left to the imagination.
20 Pay Attention To The Baby’s Hands!
One of the most important areas to keep clean on a baby are their hands. I know what you are thinking, babies don’t really touch anything so why their hands? Well, babies may not touch a lot of things, but a lot of things touch your baby. People love to grab a baby’s hands to see if they will hold on. Pets may come up for a nice little lick and then what happens?
The hand will eventually go in the baby’s mouth. If we are so careful to sanitize the baby’s bottles and pacifiers than we also need to take the same care when it comes to anything that goes in their mouth, like their hands.
19 All Supplies Are Handy
The best way to make sure your baby is never left alone in the bathroom is to make sure you have all the supplies you need at hand. Bathing your child will become an event, and a process. Think of everything possible you would need for baby and make sure you bring it with you into the bathroom. This will include towels, washcloths, toys, soaps and shampoos. Make sure it is all there and ready to go.
It may even be a good idea to keep a shelf or drawer in your bathroom specifically for these items. If you keep it and store is there it is much harder to forget something. If you do forget something, take the baby with you to get it. A wet floor and mom are better than the alternative.
18 When To Bathe?
It really is the million-dollar question, when do you bath your baby? How often do you bath your baby? Every family will do bath time a little differently, based on how they structure their day and lives. A newborn does not need to be bathed every day. This will dry out their skin which is still new and thin. Keep them clean when they have blow outs or spit up, but they don’t need a full bath every night.
Older babies can handle baths much better and it may be a good idea to give them a bath every night in order to establish some type of bedtime routine. If they are not super dirty, you may just want to skip the soap every other night.
17 Yes Cord = No Bath
One of the most daunting things about having a newborn is the umbilical cord. It is clipped at birth, but there is a large section that must be left to fall off on its own. This normally happens about 4-7 days following the birth of your baby. Until that time, it is important that mom and dad know how to care for it properly.
Babies who still have their cord attached should not be submerged in water. They must have sponge baths until the cord has fallen off completely. Once that cord comes off, mom and dad are able to give their little guy a full, proper bath and it is a moment that a lot of people look forward to.
16 NEVER Leave The Baby Alone
It would seem like this would not need to be said in today’s world, but there are still too many infants who are put in a bad situation in the bathroom for it not to be mentioned. When bathing a baby at any age, from infant to toddler, they should never be left alone. Not even for one second, because that is really all it takes.
A lot of different types of bath seats are made now. Bath seats that seem to be able to hold your baby steady in the bath. They may appear that way, but they should never be trusted to make sure your baby doesn’t end up in the water. Babies are at risk in very little water and in very little time, so it is never worth it to leave them unattended for any amount of time.
15 From Top To Bottom
This was advice I was given by one of the nurses after I had my first child, and it stands true to this day. Did you know that there is a specific direction you are supposed to wash your babies in? That’s right, there is! You are supposed to wash your baby from top to bottom, or, head to bum. This is for a very good reason that will make a lot of sense when you hear it.
It is because you want to wash them from the cleanest place to the dirtiest. A baby’s head is a lot cleaner than their bum. Even if you think you got everything at the diaper change, there could still be remnants left and you don’t want to wash the bottom, get the cloth infected, and then wash their little face.
14 No Cotton Swabs
This is a picture of a big NO-NO when it comes to cleaning a baby’s ears. For years, many people have used cotton swabs to clean out their babies’ ears and this should never be done. We should not be sticking anything into their ears, because we could always push it too far and have a major problem on our hands.
Ears are pretty self-cleaning, and most build-ups of wax will work themselves out over time. All mom needs to do is take a warm washcloth and her finger and clean what she can. If she thinks there is an excessive amount building up, she should speak to her doctor about ear drops or what else she can do to clear the ear.
13 Soap Matters
Baby soap is what dreams are made of, it is what gives little babies the smell we all know and love. However, we must make sure we are using the right one. Infants and toddlers should all be using a soap or body wash that is branded for a baby or child. Their skin is so very sensitive and brand new that we need to use a gentle product on it to make sure their skin won’t be bothered.
This may involve a lot of trial-and-error in the beginning as mom tries to find the right one that works for the baby. Her best bet is to start with one that seems to be the gentlest and that is made with natural products.
12 Pat Don’t Rub
Nothing is sweeter than a clean baby who has just come out of the bath. They smell good and they are wrapped in a cute and fluffy towel. They are perfect to snuggle. There is a proper way to dry a baby off after a bath. You want to make sure you are patting your baby dry, and not rubbing them dry. When we get out of the shower, we rub ourselves dry, so it makes sense parents would do this to their baby.
The difference is, our skin is much older and more durable than theirs, so it can take all of that rubbing and scratching. Their skin is new, soft and fragile so we need to treat it with care and love. Always pat your baby dry, but you better do it quick before they let you know they are cold.
11 Moisturizer Not Oil
We mentioned before that bathing a baby really is a process, and it can take a while. That is OK, because it is one of the best times to bond with your baby and spend some time together. After every bath it is crucial to apply a moisturizer to the baby’s skin. Water dries the skin out, and new skin will need to have some of that moisture put back in.
Much like the bath soap, this may be another thing that is trial-and-error. Mom may need to try several different types of lotion before she finds one that works for her baby. It is a good idea to stock up on sample sizes of product whenever you see them, so you don’t have to buy full size products at full size prices.
10 Trimming Nails: 101
It is a moment feared by all parents, and that is cutting their babies nails. We wish we didn’t have to do this, but if we don’t, they are likely to scratch their face. Nails should not be touched immediately following birth as they are still soft due to being in a liquid environment for so long. Mom should wait until they have hardened up a little bit.
Mom’s best friend when her baby is small is a nail file. Ditch the clippers all together and use little files to work the nail down. This will take a bit longer but there is no threat of cutting their finger when they move their hands around. Mom may also want to do this while the baby is sleeping, as they will also be still.
9 Bulb Users
It is quite normal for newborns to sound a bit congested and it is not because they have a cold. They still have a lot of amniotic fluid in their system when they are born, and it takes some time for it all to work its way out. Then babies get older and they become infants who are bound to get one or two colds which leaves them with a stuffed-up nose.
Many will reach for the bulb syringe to try and clear the nose. This is important for newborns because they only breathe out of their nose to allow them to eat from a bottle. It is always important to make sure the bulb syringe is clean and sanitized and that you are not putting it too far in the nose. It is also important to make sure you squeeze it before you put it in the baby’s nose, so you don’t blow air in their nasal passage.
8 Diapers Matter
Diapers are the least fun part about being a parent, and the thing that everyone dreads having to deal with. It is messy, smelly and just plain gross but it has to be done. Since it is one of the messiest places on a baby it is important that this area is cleaned properly, and it will depend on if you have a little girl or guy.
Little girls must always be wiped from front to back. You don’t want to bring any bacteria forwards into the opening where she may get an infection. That part is self-cleaning as well, so not a lot of rubbing needs to happen there. Boys could be considered much easier because it doesn’t matter which way you wipe, just make sure to get in and under all those parts.
7 Laundry Also Matters
Good hygiene is not just about keeping the baby clean, it is also about keeping the baby’s area clean to make sure they don’t come in contact with too many germs. There will be a never-ending pile of laundry when you have a new baby. It is important to pay attention to what we wash our baby’s clothes in.
When a baby is born, they have never worn clothes before, this is all brand new. Their skin has never been pressed against fabric of any kind, so we don’t want their clothes to irritate them. Mom should be using a detergent that is either specifically branded for infants or is the gentlest detergent she can find.
6 Don’t Be Afraid Of Nooks And Crannies
Little baby rolls are very common and are incredibly adorable. Babies tend to grow out instead of up, so they get plumper without getting much taller very quickly. This means they look cute. It is very important that every time the baby has a bath, mom is making sure to wash these nooks and crannies.
Bacteria, lint and sweat can all get trapped in here and if it is not cleaned out it could cause a skin rash or irritation which will make for one unhappy baby. Mom also needs to pay attention to the folds in the neck, because drool can get caught in there leaving a painful looking rash.
5 Wiping Drool No-No’s
Baby’s drool a lot. They have all of this saliva and they are not quite sure what to do with it. They also tend to drool a lot when they are teething. Mom will probably stock up on bibs so that she doesn’t have to change their outfit a million times in one day, but how is she wiping it from the face? Her first go-to may be to use a wet wipe. They are handy, and they are probably all over the house. This is a mistake.
Wipes are meant for the diaper area, and the diaper area alone. They can be rough, and they may have chemicals and ingredients that should not be placed around a baby’s mouth. Mom should be using a clean and dry cloth or even paper towel to remove the drool.
4 Little Boy: Don’t Pull!
Baby boys are special. They are adorable, and they are charming, but they come with extra parts that can be a lot for a new mom. If the baby is not circumcised, there is something very important that moms should know. There is no situation ever where mom should be pulling back to give it a good clean. This is could put them at risk of an infection.
Mom should just clean what she can and then leave it alone. It does have some self-cleaning capabilities much like baby girl’s do. When the child is old enough, they will begin to explore themselves, and this is when they will start to pull it back. They can best gauge when it is uncomfortable and will stop before it goes too far.
3 What About That Hair?
Every baby is different, and some babies are born with a full head of hair, and some babies are born with none. For babies who are born with a full head of hair, mom may want to know how to properly take care of it. Hair does not need to be washed every day. It is fine to go even a few days without being washed. It is likely not a lot and does not require the same maintenance as our hair does.
When mom does wash the baby’s hair, she should use a gentle, baby shampoo. Lather it up and then make sure it is well rinsed off. Even if the baby’s hair is not long, mom should run a baby brush over it just to make sure there are no knots left.
2 Cradle Cap
Cradle cap is very common among infants and is generally never a real cause for concern. It is dry skin that is found on the baby’s scalp after birth. It does not bother them, but it can bother mom so there is a way to get rid of it. After mom has given the baby his bath and washed his hair, it is time to focus on that head.
Put some lotion or coconut oil on the baby’s scalp and take your baby brush and gently brush it away. You want to do this gently. It will not take away any of the big patches, but it will help flake away the loose pieces making the appearance lesser. The moisturizer will also give some relief and will take it away over time.
1 Diaper Rashes Will Happen
Here is the thing, if your baby is wearing a diaper then chances are, they are going to get a diaper rash eventually. Some babies get them more than others depending on how sensitive their skin is, but they will happen. How do we take care of them? Well, you are going to want to make sure the area is always clean and dry and sometimes the best remedy is to lay down a towel and let them go bare for a while.
Mom can also try one of the several creams on the market for diaper rashes. If the rash gets too bad or nothing is making it go away it may be a good idea to check in with the doctor who may have to prescribe something stronger.