Bathing your newborn may seem like a daunting prospect. This is especially true if you have never done it before. Babies squirm and will send off plenty of signals that they don’t feel comfortable. You’ll worry about the hot water and how to make sure you have a firm grip on a slippery baby with all the hard surfaces around. However, with a little practice, you will get used to it.
These are some important things to keep in mind, while bathing your baby.
- There is no need to bathe your newborn every day. A few times in a week is usually sufficient. You may however wipe the face, neck and diaper area with a soft cloth on the other days.
- You can bathe your baby using plain water. If you must use soap, use a gentle baby soap that will not irritate the baby’s skin.
- For the first few days after birth, you can give your baby a sponge bath. To do this, lay the baby on a flat surface. Gently wipe the baby’s face with a wet cloth. Move on to the baby’s body, remembering to wash around the neck, armpits, and the groin area.
- You may wash your baby’s hair if it appears dirty, or if your baby shows symptoms of cradle cap. Support your baby’s hand and massage a little baby shampoo into the scalp. Rinse with a damp cloth.
- Make sure the water is not too hot, by testing it on your arm, rather than on your hand.
- If you use a bathing tub and resting it on a table or counter, make sure it is secure and can’t tip over. Every mom and dad is tempted almost daily to leave a baby alone on a counter or changing table since “they never rolled over before.” Always resist this temptation. NEVER leave a baby in a situation where he or she could roll over and fall onto the floor, even for “just a second.”