Newborns are fragile—parents learn early on that they have to be very careful when it comes to their hygiene. Parents have to approach hygiene for very young babies differently depending on how old they are. One week, mom might be wondering when she’ll have to trim her baby’s nails for the first time, and the next week, she might be trying to carefully clip them while the baby sleeps! And then the next week, mom and dad might finally be ready to take the baby outside for a walk for the first time because their immune system is strong enough—while the week before, they might have been worried about the baby picking up any germs if they went into a social situation.
It’s very important for parents to pay attention to how the baby’s needs will change from month to month and week to week. It can all be very overwhelming to take in at first, but over time, proper hygiene practices will become second nature. When it comes to proper hygiene, a newborn is going to need some very special and careful treatment. Here are 20 hygiene tips for moms to follow during the first seven days.
20 Gently Wipe Their Gums Each Day
According to Healthline, some parents may not think that they need to pay much attention the dental hygiene for newborns—after all, they don’t have teeth yet, so it can’t matter much, right? Nope, it’s actually crucial that parents do start paying attention long before the teething starts.
Starting after the baby is born, one parent (usually mom, since she is responsible for feeding) should gently wipe the baby’s gums just a couple times each day.
This is just a simple, soothing way of cleaning off any residue that might still be there after feeding and keeping the baby comfortable.
19 Use “Baby Mittens” To Prevent Scratching
Newborns actually start to grow in their nails rather quickly, and many parents may not realize they are actually capable of scratching other people and themselves! According to Mom Junction, they haven’t really learned not to scratch their faces yet, so it’s important that parents are proactive and get some “baby mittens” in advance.
These are soft, tiny mittens that can be placed on a newborn’s hands while they sleep so that they do not scratch their own face in their sleep!
Baby mittens are a super convenient way to prevent any scratching and keep the baby feeling totally safe.
18 Use Mild, Unscented Wipes
Every single parent out there knows that stocking up on baby wipes before the baby arrives is crucial—they are just the easiest way to clean up the many messes that come along with having a baby, and having them on hand can be a lifesaver. According to Baby Center, it’s important to be careful about which wipes you choose to buy.
Choose mild, unscented wipes that do not contain any harsh ingredients or fragrances.
Babies—especially newborns—have very sensitive skin, so wipes that are scented can actually be quite irritating. They might smell good, but they’re not the best choice.
17 Keep Baby’s Hygiene Products In A Special Spot
According to What to Expect, the younger a baby is, the more sensitive they are to any germs or bacteria that they might come into contact with. It definitely seems like it would be easier to simply keep everyone’s hygiene products together—what’s the harm in keeping those baby wipes in the bathroom with all of the other hygiene products, right?
But it’s actually crucial to separate them, because mom and dad want to reduce any possible chances of spreading germs to the baby. Keeping their hygiene products apart is just one way of helping the baby stay totally healthy.
16 Use Cotton Balls To Clean Face And Ears
Just like baby wipes are key for any parent, cotton balls are another useful product. According to The Bump, it’s important to keep the baby nice and clean even on days when they are not getting a bath—after all, babies can get super messy, super quick, so parents definitely need to stay on top of that. W
hat’s the best way to keep a baby’s face and ears clean? Simply using a cotton ball dipped in warm water.
Yes, the texture of the cotton ball could make some babies feel like they are being tickled, but most enjoy the feeling.
15 Be Extra Careful With The Umbilical Cord
The umbilical cord will not be on the baby forever—according to The Bump, it typically falls off anywhere from one to three weeks after the baby is born. It’s not the same for every baby, but regardless of when it actually falls off, it’s important for parents to be mindful about keeping it clean during those first seven days.
Otherwise, it could easily become infected, which would be very uncomfortable for the baby. Just keep it clean, leave it alone for the most part, and allow it to fall off whenever it is ready, whenever that may end up being.
14 Give Baby Some “Diaper-Free” Time
Of course, it’s necessary for babies to wear diapers—after all, a newborn can’t really tell their parents that they have to go to the bathroom. It’s just not possible—potty training doesn’t start until much later!
However, according to Healthline, babies actually should not be wearing diapers all the time, especially when they are newborns.
Think about it—they are simply not used to that sensation! They are used to being totally unencumbered, and it can be irritating for them to have diapers on their skin all the time. Some diaper free time can be good to let them breathe.
13 Clean And Comb Baby’s Hair To Prevent Cradle Cap
Some babies are not born with much hair, while some babies are born with a full head of hair. It’s pretty much just random! But no matter how much hair the baby has, parents have to be mindful of preventing cradle cap, which can cause discomfort and itching for the baby.
According to Today’s Parent, parents can start doing little things to prevent cradle cap pretty much right away. And the prevention is thankfully quite simple. All parents really need to do is gently clean and comb the baby’s hair, and if they notice any symptoms, treat it right away.
12 Use A Damp Cloth And Warm Water To Carefully Clean Baby’s Nose
Yes, newborns definitely need a lot of extra, careful cleaning! They can’t do it themselves, so the parents just have to be mindful of all these extra little steps. According to Today’s Parent, this tip is often overlooked, but it’s important for parents to take some time to clean the baby’s nose.
All they have to do is use a damp cloth and warm water. This is especially crucial when the baby is young—after all, it can be quite uncomfortable to have gunk around their nose, and there is nothing they can do to get rid of it themselves.
11 Clean Between Diaper Changes
For many new parents, this tip is already fairly obvious, but it never hurts to have a reminder every now and then. According to Baby Center, parents should always take an extra minute or two while changing diapers to double check that everything is clean for the baby! That’s where all of those baby wipes (unscented, of course) come in super handy.
Sometimes, parents will be in a rush, and they will just want to change the diaper and move on.
But when it comes to keeping the baby totally comfortable, this piece of advice cannot be overlooked—extra cleaning never hurts.
10 Wash Your Hands Frequently
Throughout our lives, we’re all taught that we should be washing our hands before we eat and anytime after we use the bathroom. But according to Healthline, when you’re a parent and your baby is only a few weeks to a couple years old, it’s especially important for you to wash your hands more often than that.
This is just another easy way to prevent the spread of unwanted germs to the baby before their immune system is truly ready. No one wants to see their baby catch a cold and feel under the weather, so hand washing is crucial.
9 Throughly Disinfect Surfaces In Your Home
Just like hand washing and keeping hygiene products separate, disinfecting the surfaces in the home that can become especially dirty is important for preventing the baby from catching anything. According to Mom Junction, parents should be extra careful to wipe down surfaces in the bathroom, kitchen, and nursery to make sure that there are no germs lingering around.
If you really want to be extra careful, you can purchase non-toxic cleaning products that are free of harsh chemicals at many stores these days for little extra cost. This could be a good idea just to be on the safe side.
8 Sterilize Any Items That Go In Baby’s Mouth
Yup, new parents pretty much have to be clean freaks! According to Wellness Mama, everyone knows that babies just love to put things in their mouths, but that’s also a great way to catch germs. However, babies obviously don’t know this, so it’s up to the parents to look out for their safety and well being.
Parents should be very careful to keep anything that goes into the babies mouth clean. Yes, it may feel inconvenient at first, but cleaning up any toys that they might be chewing on is much easier to deal with than a sick baby crying.
7 Try A Baby Oil Massage
Baby oil massages are an easy way to get the baby to calm down and to have some nice bonding time. According to What to Expect, mothers can start giving these massages around the first week—but of course, it all depends on the baby, so if they seem uncomfortable with it, it’s best to hold off and wait until a later date.
There are many guides out there for giving the perfect baby massage, and it could take a couple tries to figure out what the baby really enjoys, but it’s such a nice way to end the day.
6 Don’t Bring Your Baby Around Large Groups Of People
Of course, after the baby is born, everyone wants to come by and meet them for the first time. However, it’s important to limit the number of people that the baby spends time around besides the parents. Why is that? According to Baby Center, a newborn’s immune system is going to take quite some time to develop!
Most people are aware of this, but sometimes in the excitement of the new baby’s arrival, it is tempting to bring them around everyone and introduce them to your new family member. But it is definitely safer for the baby to wait on that.
5 Be Extra Thorough When Cleaning Baby’s Joints
Every parent knows that bath time is important! No matter how old the baby is, they obviously have to stay clean. But as we’ve mentioned before, sometimes you have to take some extra steps just to make sure that the baby is totally clean.
According to Today’s Parent, parents should take some time to make sure that the baby’s joints are thoroughly clean—yes, it’s adorable how many little folds babies have, but it’s important for parents to make sure that all of those little folds are fresh and clean at the end of the day! It only takes a few minutes.
4 Be Careful Around The Family Pet
There are plenty of family pets that are perfectly happy when their human parents bring their first child home. In fact, kids often love being around animals—if you’ve ever seen a child running around with the family dog, having the best time ever, you already know that kids and animals can form very strong bonds!
But according to Mom Junction, it’s very important for parents to be careful when it comes to pets—pet dander could make some babies very uncomfortable, and they can bring germs and mud into an otherwise clean house. Naturally, extra cleaning is going to be necessary.
3 Keep Your Floor Clean
Yes, we’ve already established that it is necessary for parents to keep surfaces in the bathroom, kitchen, nursery, and anywhere else where they will bring the baby quite often very clean to prevent the spread of germs. But according to Healthline, it’s also important to keep the floors in the house just as clean!
Think about it—even before babies can crawl, they do tend to spend some time on the ground with their parents supervising. After all, if they can’t walk, that’s where they’re going to play! Naturally, the floors need to be super clean to be safe for the baby.
2 Keep Yourself Clean, Too
As a new mom, it’s so easy to skip showers, forget about the laundry, and even forego something as simple as splashing water on your face.
But according to Mama Natural, it’s important that new moms take some time for themselves, too—and if that means the father has to do a little extra work at those times, well, that’s just part of being a dad!
Make sure to make some time for yourself—it can feel impossible, but it is crucial for you to keep yourself clean and comfortable, too. It is well worth the extra effort during this time.
1 Always Replace Soiled Diapers
According to The Bump, changing dirty diapers frequently is one of the simplest ways to keep the baby feeling comfortable and happy—and prevent any crying fits that may happen. However, with such busy lives, sometimes parents may find themselves delaying this for a bit—it’s understandable in certain situations, but whenever possible, parents should try to change the diaper for the baby right away.
After all, if the baby could do it all on their own, they definitely would! This is not just important for the baby’s comfort, but for their hygiene as well. They deserve to be clean and comfy.