Basics of How to Bathe a Newborn Baby
Until the age of a few months, babies spend moth of their time in their crib or arms and laps of their loved ones. As a result, they do not get dirty, thus might not need a daily elaborate bath routine. Nonetheless, it is good to keep the babies clean, initially with a sponge bath until the umbilical cord stump falls off, then with relaxing baths followed by massages.
But if, like most parents, you have a million questions and are worried about bathing a newborn without causing any harm or stress to them, here is everything you need to know about how to bathe a newborn baby!
Baby’s First Bath
The first bath for newborns can be a little tricky. WHO recommends not giving a bath to babies at least till the first 24 hours after their birth. This will help them get used to the outside temperature first and regulate their body temperature with the new surroundings.
And even after 24 hours, it is not advised not to give the first bath of newborn baby with soap or anything other than just water. It is good to go for a proper massage and bath only once the umbilical cord stump has fallen off. This helps in avoiding any infections to the baby.
Benefits of Bathing
A newborn bath routine has a lot of physical and emotional benefits for the baby and the caregiver.
Learn about your baby– Every baby is different. They respond to different things and want to be held, touched differently. You can learn a lot about your little one while bathing them, with your touch and interactions. For example, does he like it when you splash some water on his tummy? Will she laugh if you tickle her feet while bathing?
Soothes fussy babies– Even as adults, we feel so calm and relaxed after a nice bath, right? If your little bundle of joy is also going through the phase of colic and is uncomfortable or fussy, a nice relaxing bath and a few cuddles will help them feel better and relax.
Helps them sleep better– Many parents swear that the practice of massaging and bathing before bedtime helps the baby feel relaxed and sleep faster and better.
Better parent-baby bond– Above all, a bath routine helps the caregivers – parents, grandparents, caretakers, etc. form a bond with the child. Looking into the eyes, the gentle touch, at times even the talking to the child, all this can help the caregiver bond better with the baby.
How Often to Bathe a Baby
Bathing newborn babies can be very relaxing, but too much bathing can lead to dry and stretchy skin. Bathing kids 2 – 3 times a week is enough to clean their bodies. But if your baby enjoys their bath time, you can bathe them daily.
A 5 – 10 minutes bath is enough for younger kids, as they have sensitive and delicate skin, and elaborate baths can wash their natural oils off their bodies, making the skin irritated.
Some Important Tips for Baby Bath
- Keep everything you might need while bathing the baby at your arm’s reach so that you do not have to get up or leave your baby unattended even for a second.
- Check the temperature of the water before bathing the baby. The baby bath temperature should be around 37 – 37 degrees Celcius. The best way of checking this is by touching the water with your elbow. If the water feels neither hot nor cold, it is the perfect temperature.
- Take any jewellery or watch that you might be wearing in your hands so that there are no chances of anything hurting the baby while bathing.
- Keep the cloth diaper, towel, clothes, socks, etc., ready before you start bathing your baby.
- Support your baby’s head while bathing until they learn to support and hold their neck themselves.
- Avoid using any soaps, shampoos, or cleansers that have fragrances and strong chemicals present in them.
- Washing the genitals of babies does not need any soaps or cleanser. Instead, gently wash them with just water and wipe them carefully with a soft muslin cloth.
Bath Supplies for Baby Bath
You do not need many things when it comes to bathing your newborn. But a few essentials that will make this experience easier and comfortable.
A baby bathtub– Get a bathtub that does not have any sharp edges or uncomfortable material. If you are getting a bigger tub, ensure that you do not fill the tub much and never leave your baby unattended in the tub till they learn to sit and stand on their own.
A soft towel– A soft muslin towel or a multipurpose 100% Mulmul swaddle can wrap the baby to carry from the bathroom to the bed or changing table and wipe their body after the bath.
An ultra-soft washcloth– Use any soft cotton or mulmul cloth for washing the baby’s body.
Gentle cleansing gel– Get a toxin-free, fragrance-free, age-appropriate mild cleansing gel or soap for baby’s bath.
Gentle shampoo– Although most body washing gels for babies can be used for their heads, kids do not have a head full of hair as newborns. But in case your baby has hair and you wish to use a shampoo, go for a toxin-free one.
A cup– You can use anything from your kitchen or get a cup especially for your baby to pour water over them while bathing.
Safe and hygenic diapers- While you are investing in the best for your baby’s bath time, make sure you go for only the safest and the best for post-bath dressing up as well. Dress them up in CPSIA certified Newborn UNO to keep them comfortable, happy, away from toxins, phthalates, and plastic!
As scary as it may sound, bathing your baby is a fun experience that helps you bond with them. So practice, become a pro and don’t forget to end the bath time in a lot of cuddles and giggles.