Congratulations! Maybe it is the right time to become a mum or perhaps you have recently given birth. It doesn’t matter because a child is here to stay and to teach all of their relatives the importance of life and commitment. Isn’t new life beautifully simple? From eating to burping to having someone else constantly change your diapers, life is definitely a gift!
Having a baby is one of the greatest joys a person can have, there’s no doubt about it. But it is also quite a difficult time because hormones are still flying around in mom, the lack of sleep is a serious issue and, more often than not, many first-time parents (well, even experienced parents), are not sure about what to do or how to continue, as everything is so new because each pregnancy and each child is different.
Continue reading this guide to find out what the top 20 things that many first-time moms (and dads!) are that they can get wrong about newborn hygiene. And if you have done any of these, don’t worry. Many parents are still trying to figure out what to do, and of course, you can always learn and try a new way!
14 Changing diapers every three hours
According to American Pregnancy, a newborn can urinate up to 20 times a day, so, does this means parents need to change a diaper at least 20 times in 24 hours? The answer is, yes, it means exactly that!
Can you imagine having your underwear wet for a couple of hours? It would be a horrible feeling, wouldn’t it? Especially because it can cause irritation to the skin, even with an absorbent diaper. Well, now imagine a newborn baby who’s diaper hasn’t been changed in 3 hours, chances are he’s really, really uncomfortable! Parents are especially advised to change a diaper as soon as they notice the baby has had a bowel movement.
13 Shampoos, are they necessary?
A lot of first-time parents think it’s absolutely necessary to have a stash of baby products...and of course, they will think like this, as marketing is all over the place trying to make people buy their never-ending list of products! But, what lots of parents don’t know is that when it comes to washing a baby’s hair and keeping it clean, usually plain water does the trick!
There’s no need to buy expensive products because babies don’t have body odor, so why would they need a shampoo with scent in the first place? Nutrition plays an important role as well, whether you are breastfeeding or giving formula to your child, make sure both you and your baby are getting all the nutrients that are needed in order to have a balanced life, as revealed by Playgroup NSW.
12 Not cleaning the neck and its folds
One of the cutest things in life is having a chubby and healthy baby who is filled with folds! They look absolutely adorable, don't they? Especially if it’s the first baby in the family - everybody could spend hours looking at them, no doubt about it. But what happens when the baby has an ‘interesting’ smell coming from his neck? This is commonly referred to as ‘neck cheese.’
As Baby Guide for the Modern Mother has stated, it is very important to maintain good cleaning habits for this part of the baby’s body, especially when the appearance of what he has is something curd-like, because if it’s left untouched it is likely he will develop eczema.
11 Washing the umbilical cord
If a newborn baby still has the umbilical cord then it is advisable to carefully sponge bathe him in order to keep the belly button dry. From week 2 to 4 after a baby is born, is when the umbilical cord is expected to fall off, and up until then, parents must be very careful with the way they do their baby’s bath.
According to Baby Center, the American Academy of Pediatrics (APP), used to recommend parents use a little bit of alcohol when cleaning the belly button after the cord has fallen off. However, nowadays they have changed their recommendation as new studies have found that a belly button should be left alone to do its own healing.
10 Nose cleaning with too many products
Newborns have very thin and delicate nasal passages so parents must be very careful with the products they use to clean their baby’s nose. Even though there are many ways to do the nose cleaning, nowadays more and more doctors are recommending something that has been on the market for many years.
Parents reveal, the simplest way to clean a baby’s nose is to have the bathroom steam up. This will help loosen up the mucus in the baby’s nostrils. Another good recommendation: if the baby’s mum is breastfeeding, then simply place a drop of the breast milk inside the baby’s nostril, this will no doubt make the baby sneeze.
9 Not trusting your breastmilk
Did you know that breast milk contains a lot of immunological agents? In fact, many women are not even aware that they can use their milk not only to feed their babies but also to cure a sore eye with conjunctivitis. It can also cure eczema or dry skin or even a diaper rash! (Simply rub a little bit of milk onto the sore area, and that’s it).
And if the baby happens to be an avid sucker and he’s leaving your breasts and nipples sore, you can always put some of your milk on the affected areas, this way you can naturally heal yourself as well, Illi reports.
8 Ear cleaning with cotton swabs
According to Romper, when a baby has an excessive amount of earwax it is because the caregivers used Q Tips or cotton swabs to clean their baby’s ears. What new parents don’t know is that if they use cotton swabs they are more likely pushing was further into the ear causing an excess of wax rather than reducing the amount of it in the first place!
So, how can caregivers successfully clean newborn ears? The answer is simple, with a warm cloth! Just make sure the cloth is without an excess of water and be gentle when passing it over the outer layer of the ear.
7 Overusing skin products
Nothing says more “I love you” than taking care of a person. So when a newborn comes into life, his parents are always doing whatever they think is necessary in order to satisfy the child’s needs. This is why many caregivers rely on skin products to massage the little one’s body. Is this good though?
According to WebMD, a caregiver must read labels carefully when choosing the right product to use on their child’s body, as baby skin care products can often contain fragrances or chemicals that could possibly irritate a baby’s skin, causing a rash or an allergic reaction.
6 Nail trimming tactics
One of the scariest things to do to a child is to nail trim their nails. It’s almost like a scary-movie scene, whenever a parent tries to nail trim their child’s nails, the baby starts screaming his lungs out as if they were being murdered!
Many parents try to cut the nails when the baby is awake, but not many parents know that the best time to do this is when the child is asleep. According to Baby Center, when a baby is asleep or right after bath time are the two best choices to perform this delicate operation!
5 Excessively removing cradle cap
Baby Center reveals that a condition called Cradle Cap is more common than what people think. It happens to a lot of newborns, and even though doctors nor science have been able to figure out why it occurs, it is not a serious or harmful condition, quite the contrary, it is more of a esthetic condition.
Cradle cap - or sometimes referred to as Seborrheic Dermatitis can also be found on a baby’s eyelids, armpits and even inside their ears. It is not harmful though, so there is no need to be obsessive about it and trying different products to remove it.
4 Not sterilizing bottles after feeding
New parents are often tired. Fact. New parents are often complaining due to the lack of sleep. Fact. New parents are often trying to avoid certain necessary tasks in order to get more time in bed. Also a fact. Some first-time parents think that nothing can possibly go wrong by not sterilizing their baby’s bottles after feeding, or before feeding their baby.
And as Pregnancy, Birth, Baby reports, sterilizing a bottle is one of those things that parents must do at all times. Just like changing a diaper comes naturally to many caregivers, having clean and sanitary bottles is mandatory as a baby’s immune system has not fully developed and dirty feeding utensils can cause stomach upset and illness.
3 Cleaning the eyelids doesn’t have to be painful
Who would have thought that a newborn’s eyelids can get so messy? And sometimes they are very difficult to clean because the child doesn’t like to be touch or because new parents don’t have a clue about what needs to be done?
The No. 1 rule for this is, “Do not use a baby’s shampoo to clean their eyelids,” as it could be very, very dangerous, according to We Love Eyes. Shampoos are often made out of chemicals that could really damage your child’s eyes. The caregivers should simply wipe away any dirt or collected mucus with a warm, damp cloth or maybe with the mum’s breast milk.
2 Genital care needs different products
There is no doubt about the differences between boys and girls, especially when they are newborns and they need different ways of taking care of their genital areas. Many first-time parents assume they need a special soap or another specific product when dealing with these sensitive areas.
In reality, babies only need water for their genital care. As Baby Centre puts it, many parents simply wash them with warm water during their first couple of weeks alive, so don’t be fooled by marketing strategies of big companies who tell new-parents to buy their special products! Less is more sometimes!
1 Re-using the leftover milk supply
“Say what?” Some people may be asking that after reading this headline, but many first-time parents don’t know that breast milk and formula can often be reused, and it will still be beneficial for their child.
Breast milk is always changing its nutritional value and it will definitely provide the best for your baby. If a new mum has a lot of milk, they can always freeze some and make little lollipops for their children, they will absolutely love this, especially during summer time. Mums can do exactly the same with formula milk, but keep in mind that you should always check with the pediatrician first, according to Mirror. This is different from milk left in a bottle after a feeding. That milk should be discarded as it inevitably will have the baby’s saliva and germs.
Sources: Parents, Kidshealth, Todaysparent, Verywellfamily, Fitpregnancy