Bathing a newborn is an important process, since it protects them from germs and bacteria, and helps keep them clean for the day. It’s also good to know just how often bathing should occur since excessive baths might dry out baby’s skin and inadequate bathing might expose them to harmful bacteria. Continue reading below to get a good idea of the frequency with which you should bathe your infant.
How Often Should I Bathe my Newborn Baby?
Your baby’s first bath will likely take place at the hospital, sometime after delivery, and that usually happens within 24 to 48 hours of birth. Generally speaking, a nurse will do this first bath, but if you happen to be present, it’s a good idea to watch how the nurse bathes your baby so you can repeat the process at home.
When you do take your baby home, it’s not necessary to fully bathe your child daily, because they’re just not very active at that age and they don’t require a lot of cleaning. However, it is recommended you still clean their scalp every day to keep them healthy and happy. Don’t bathe your child any more than two or three times a week until the umbilical cord has released and fallen off, and then it is also important to avoid immersing them fully in water. It’s much better to simply use a warm washcloth and sponge them clean, beginning at the head and face area, then working downward to the feet.
You’re already taking care of the main areas which need cleaning, which are the diaper area and around the mouth, when they happen to spit up. Since these two areas are already accounted for, it’s not really necessary to engage in a lot of cleaning elsewhere. Obviously if you have a diaper blowout, that will call for a little more extensive cleaning than a simple diaper change.
How Should I be Preparing the Bath?
All parents will want to get this right when bathing their children, as well as when doing anything else which affects them at such an early age. Even preparing the bathwater for your baby’s bath can have significance, since the infant would be completely exposed to the elements. First of all, the water shouldn’t be hot, but rather just adequately warm.
The water temperature should be approximately 100°F, and you can check it with your hand to make sure it’s not too hot for your baby’s skin. It’s also a good idea to keep room temperature a little warmer than usual so that your infant doesn’t get a chill after getting wet. You only need to have about two inches of warm water in your tub to begin bathing, and it is recommended that you periodically drizzle some of this warm water over their head to keep them warm throughout the process.
Make sure that you hold the infant securely while bathing because it’s very easy to slip amid all the water. It will also help your infant to feel more comfortable when you hold them securely, because they will feel more at ease.
Do I Need to Do Anything Special for their Head?
Before you begin bathing your infant, make sure you’ll have everything you need close by, so you don’t have to leave the baby to retrieve something. Your child shouldn’t be left unattended even for a short period, because that’s exactly when accidents will happen. It’s also a good idea to have a fresh diaper handy, as well as whatever clothes you intend to put on the baby, again so you don’t have to leave the child to retrieve those items.
It’s best to start the bathing process with the head and face area, and for this, it’s recommended that you use a wet washcloth. To clean around your infant’s eyes, its best to use a moistened cotton ball or washcloth, wiping from the inside part of the eye to the outside. You may have to look closely to be sure that you have removed any dried secretions which may have accumulated around your baby’s eyes or in their nose.
When wiping around the eyes, soap shouldn’t be used, although it’s okay to use a no-tears soap when washing other parts of the body. When it comes to washing your baby’s hair, you should fill a cup with water, and dab a small amount of baby shampoo on your infant’s head. Rub the shampoo gently into their scalp using a circular motion, and make sure to tilt the baby’s head slightly backward so that none of the shampoo gets into their eyes.
If you need more water for rinsing off the shampoo, you’ll have to refill your cup, so you can make sure you eliminate all shampoo residue, and that it doesn’t stay there on your baby’s scalp.
Easy to Use Products to Clean Your Newborn’s Scalp
Part of keeping your baby fresh and clean may include brushing their scalp with a special brush designed especially to manage cradle cap. To obtain one of these innovative and reusable brushes, see the list of retailers that carries our product, and start a program of regular brushing to relieve the flaky, crusty appearance which sometimes develops on your baby’s scalp.