When To Give Newborn A Bath : Step by Step
When To Give Newborn A Bath

When To Give Newborn A Bath : Step by Step

When To Give Newborn A Bath? A baby’s first bath is not only one of the first milestones of parenthood but a unique moment. Although bathing a slippery, squeaky, fussy baby takes practice, it will get easier with practice.

When To Give Newborn A Bath
When To Give Newborn A Bath

When To Give Newborn A Bath

How often should I bathe my newborn?

It may surprise you that your newborn doesn’t need daily baths. Three times a week is enough if you clean the nappy area thoroughly every time you change it. It is best not to give daily baths, as they can dry out the skin. 

Many parents dread bath time in the weeks after birth. There are many doubts about the right temperature or how to hold the baby so that he can enjoy the bath without slipping. When it is time for the first bath, it is advisable to ask for help from a midwife, who will be able to advise you on how to bathe your baby. The situation will also be much more relaxed if the parents are present and cooperate during the bath.

As a general rule, we recommend that you bathe your baby when they are dirty. During the first few months, this will only happen when too much milk has been spit up or the nappy has not been able to hold it all. As soon as they start to crawl, they will need to be bathed more frequently.

When will my baby be ready for their first bath?

Once your baby’s umbilical cord stump falls off, you can switch from sponge baths to baths in a basin or baby bath.

The first bath in a tub should be gentle and quick. However, you may need to go back to sponge baths if your baby is very fussy or does not like this new activity.

Can I bathe my baby while the umbilical cord stump is still attached?

During the first weeks of your baby’s life, while the umbilical cord stump is still attached, you should only sponge-bathe your baby.

A sponge bath consists of wrapping your baby in a towel and wiping it with a damp cloth and soapy water. We recommend doing this on a comfortable surface, such as a changing table. Leave your baby wrapped in the towel and wipe them part by part.

The umbilical cord stump usually falls off within a few weeks. If it remains attached for longer, you may want to consult your pediatrician.

For the umbilical cord stump to dry out and fall off on its own, you should only give your baby sponge baths until that time.

How to bathe your baby

The recommended instructions for bathing your baby are as follows:

1. Choose a place in the house that is away from draughts and at a pleasant temperature. Remember that babies are very sensitive to stimuli, especially in the first weeks of life, and many cry just because they feel the cold when they take off their clothes.

2. Before picking up the baby and getting down to work, have everything you need for the bath to hand: towel, sponge, soap if you are going to use it… so that you don’t have to leave the baby unattended for a second. Many bathtubs include a storage compartment that can be very useful. If you are looking for a bathtub for your baby, Bebelú has a guide to the best-rated bathtubs by customers.

3. Fill the bathtub with about 15 centimeters of water. It doesn’t have to be exact, but it’s about the right amount of water for the baby to be semi-submerged. It is advisable not to submerge the baby completely in the first few weeks, especially if the umbilical cord has not yet fallen off, to prevent the baby from getting too wet.

4. The water temperature should be between 35 and 37 degrees. To check this, you can use a water thermometer or immerse your elbow in the bathtub: if the water is hot but not scalding, it is the ideal temperature.

5. Introduce the baby into the bath gradually, little by little, so that the change in temperature does not shock them, starting with their feet. Hold the baby in the following way: if you are right-handed, the ideal way is to hold the baby with your left hand so that the head is resting on your forearm and your hand is holding the baby by pinching between the shoulder and the armpit. This way, your left hand will be free to wash the baby. If you are left-handed, the other way around.

6. Wash the baby from top to bottom, i.e., from head to toe, taking special care in the area of the fontanelles (do not press), the navel, and the genitals.

7. If your baby was born with a layer of fat, it is better not to use soap for the first few days. This oil is a very good protection for your baby’s skin, and it is better not to remove it for the time being.

8. Water cools down quickly, and so does your baby, so in the first few months, it is best not to bathe for more than 5 minutes. From 3 months onwards, the bath can be extended as long as the baby is enjoying it and the temperature of the water is maintained so that the baby does not get cold.

After bathing and drying your baby, we recommend applying a hypoallergenic, odor-free lotion to moisturize your baby’s skin. This will help prevent dry skin and eczema.

If your baby has a cradle cap or a scalp problem that causes flaky skin, bath time is a good time to brush your baby’s hair while shampooing.

If you need something during bath time and have forgotten to get it, don’t leave your little one in the water unattended. Take him out of the sink or bath and take him with you.

What is the best time of day to bathe my baby?

There is no perfect time to bathe your little one – you’re in charge! Choose a time when you are least likely to be interrupted, and your baby is calm.

You may want to bathe your baby during the day because she will be more alert, but you can also bathe her at night as part of her sleep routine. If you plan to bathe your child after feeding her, wait a little while for her tummy to settle.

Can I give my baby bath toys?

Keep in mind that babies do not need any bath toys, as splashing in the water will be enough entertainment. As your child gets older, you can use some baby bath toys or even non toxic waterproof books to keep them occupied.

Eventually, your baby will start to enjoy baths. In fact, there will come a time when it will be more like playtime than anything else. When she’s older, let her splash around and have fun in the water.

My baby cries at bath time.

Not all babies are the same, nor do they behave the same as they get older. In general, a newborn baby is very sensitive to cold and temperature changes, not to mention the fact that newborns hate open space because they feel unprotected. 

Bath time is one of the moments that brings together these two characteristics; suddenly, they are naked and cold, and they don’t like it. On top of that, we put them in an open space where they feel defenseless. That is why it is recommended that the bath be short.

It is very likely that as the baby grows up and becomes more able to hold on to the sides and move around with a certain degree of autonomy, they will start to like bath time more and more. Some baby baths are very secluded and even imitate a mother’s womb.

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