BATHING BASICS- HOW TO BATHE YOUR NEW BORN
Bathing your baby can be a fun-time effectively used to bond with your little angel .
SPONGE BATH FOR YOUR BABY
You should give your baby a sponge bath until:
- the umbilical cord falls off and the navel heals completely (1-4 weeks)
- the circumcision heals (1-2 weeks)
Before bathing your baby keep the following ready-
- A soft, clean washcloth
- Mild, unscented baby soapand shampoo
- A soft brush to stimulate the baby’s scalp
- Towels or blankets
- A clean diaper
- Clean clothes
For a sponge bath, select a safe, flat surface (such as a changing table, floor, or counter) in a warm room. Fill a sink, if nearby, or bowl with warm (not hot!) water. Undress your baby and wrap him or her in a towel. Wipe your infant’s eyes with a washcloth (or a clean cotton ball) dampened with water only, starting with one eye and wiping from the inner corner to the outer corner. Use a clean corner of the washcloth or another cotton ball to wash the other eye. Clean your baby’s nose and ears with the damp washcloth. Then wet the cloth again and, using a little soap, wash his or her face gently and pat it dry.
Next, using baby shampoo, create lather and gently wash your baby’s head and rinse. Using a wet cloth and soap, gently wash the rest of the baby, paying special attention to creases under the arms, behind the ears, around the neck, and in the genital area. Once you have washed those areas, make sure they are dry and then diaper and dress your baby.
TUB BATH FOR YOUR BABY
When your baby is ready for tub baths, the first baths should be gentle and brief. If he or she becomes upset, go back to sponge baths for a week or two, and then try the bath again.
In addition to the supplies listed above, add:
An infant tub with 2 to 3 inches of warm — not hot! — water (to test the water temperature, feel the water with the inside of your elbow or wrist). An infant tub is a plastic tub that can fit in the bathtub; it’s a better size for babies and makes bathing easier to manage.
Undress your baby and then place him or her in the water immediately, in a warm room, to prevent chills. Make sure the water in the tub is no more than 2 to 3 inches deep, and that the water is no longer running in the tub. Use one of your hands to support the head and the other hand to guide the baby in feet-first. Speaking to the baby , gently lower your baby up to the chest into the tub.
Use a washcloth to wash his or her face and hair. Gently massage your baby’s scalp with the pads of your fingers or a soft baby hairbrush, including the area over the fontanels (soft spots) on the top of the head. When you rinse the soap or shampoo from your baby’s head, cup your hand across the forehead so the suds run toward the sides and soap doesn’t get into the eyes. Gently wash the rest of your baby’s body with water and a small amount of soap.
Throughout the bath, regularly pour water gently over your baby’s body so he or she doesn’t get cold. After the bath, wrap your baby in a towel immediately, making sure to cover his or her head. Baby towels with hoods are great for keeping a freshly washed baby warm.
While bathing your infant, never leave the baby alone. If you need to leave the bathroom, wrap the baby in a towel and take him or her with you.
UMBILICAL CORD CARE
Umbilical cord care in newborns is also important. Some doctors suggest swabbing the area with rubbing alcohol until the cord stump dries up and falls off, usually in 10 days to 3 weeks, but others recommend leaving the area alone.
Shortly after birth, the midwife will clamp the umbilical cord close to your baby’s belly button (navel) with a plastic clip. They then cut the cord, leaving a small bit of it with the clamp attached.
The cord may take about a week to dry out and drop off. Keep your baby’s navel clean and dry until this happens.
An infant’s navel area shouldn’t be submerged in water until the cord stump falls off and the area is healed. Until it falls off, the cord stump will change color from yellow to brown or black — this is normal. Consult your doctor if the navel area becomes reddened or if a foul odor or discharge develops.
If your infant son was circumcised, it usually takes between 7 to 10 days for the penis to heal. Until it does, the tip may seem raw or yellowish in color. Although this is normal, certain other symptoms are not. Call your child’s doctor right away if you notice persistent bleeding, redness around the tip of the penis that gets worse after 3 days, fever, signs of infection (such as the presence of pus-filled blisters), and not urinating normally within 6 to 8 hours after the circumcision.
With both circumcised and uncircumcised penises, no cotton swabs, astringents, or any special bath products are needed — simple soap and warm water every time you bathe your baby will do the trick.
No special washing precautions are needed for newly circumcised babies, other than to be gentle, as your baby may have some mild discomfort after the circumcision. If your son has a bandage on his incision, you might need to apply a new one whenever you change his diaper for a day or two after the procedure.
If your baby boy wasn’t circumcised, be sure to never forcibly pull back the foreskin to clean beneath it. Instead, gently tense it against the tip of the penis and wash off any smegma (the whitish “beads” of dead skin cells mixed with the body’s natural oil). Over time, the foreskin will retract on its own so that it can be pulled away from the glans toward the abdomen. This happens at different times for different boys, but most can retract their foreskins by the time they’re 5 years old.
CLEANING THOSE LITTLE TOES /EYES/EARS
Perfect little fingers, perfect little toes, eyes, ears and nose. It’s important to keep them clean and healthy.
Your Touch Means So Much More Cleaning your baby’s eyes, ears and nose, and caring for his nails have the power to help you build your bond with your baby.
Never put anything directly in your baby’s ears, eyes or nose. Wipe any material from his eyes, mouth, nose or outer ear with a soft, moistened cotton round.
How to clean your baby’s ears
When cleaning your baby’s ears, focus on getting the outside clean. Even though the chemist holds lots of ear cleaning tools and formulae for the inside, only your doctor can tell you if they’re necessary. Be very careful when cleaning baby ears — clean what you can see do not probe into the ear canal; gently remove visible dirt and wax around outer surface of the ear — never put anything deep into your baby’s ear canal or nose.
How to clean your baby’s eyes
Holding your baby’s head, gently cleanse around each eye with a cotton round dampened with clean warm water. Use a new cotton round for each eye and always wipe from the inside corner of the eye outward.
How to clean your baby’s nose
If your baby is congested, there are a few things you can do to provide gentle relief. Talk to your baby’s doctor about using saline nasal drops to ease congestion.
To clean baby nose, you can use a moistened cotton round to gently clean any debris from around baby’s nose, being sure to wipe away from the nose.
How to clean baby nails
Cut your baby’s nails regularly to prevent him from scratching himself and the spread of infection, as nails can harbour dirt and germs. Cut them right after a bath when they are softer. Use blunt scissors or baby nail clippers with a magnifying glass attached so small nails are easier to see. Follow the natural line of the finger, depressing the finger pad away from the nail so you can avoid cutting the skin of the finger.
When your baby is born, you’ll begin an entirely new phase of your life. Take the time during your baby’s first days to enjoy this new beginning…