It’s a moment of joy when you bring your baby home for the first time, the only problem is that it can be confusing when it comes to how to give them their first bath after the way nurses did it in the hospital!
Learning how to bathe a newborn may seem simple, but then questions come up. How warm should the water be? While bathing a baby do you start with washing her head or her little toes? Then what?
We understand these confusions and that is why we are here for you with guidance on how each bath can be a safe, clean, and healthy experience for your infant. We will help you out by sorting out water temperatures and providing insights on drying routines.
So let’s get down to business and make the bathing time a fun-filled bonding experience between both you and your toddler!
How Often To Bathe A Newborn
There is no set timetable for that first bath once you bring your baby home. Nevertheless, wait until the umbilical cord falls off and heals before giving the baby a full dip.
However, if your baby boy is circumcised, you should stick to sponge baths until he’s all healed up. You’re pretty much free to decide everything else. Experts say there’s no rush; the timing is totally up to you, the parents.
For newborns, experts recommend that they be bathed only one to three times a week. This schedule for how often to bathe a newborn might even stick for the whole first year. It’s not like babies get dirty, and too much bathing dries out their skin. Thus, there is no need for everyday bathing of babies.
Accordingly, baths can be used by parents as suggested by Pediatric experts to calm down fussy babies as well as fit into a healthy sleep routine. So you can consider a bath before bed or nap time as well. However, remember their skin is still delicate so try not to overdo it!
How To Bathe A Newborn
You have decided when and where is the best time for bathing your baby. Perfect! Well, let us make sure it goes well. Here are some practical tips on how to bathe a newborn to make newborn bathing a breeze:
1. Introduce a Bathing Routine
Creating a routine around bath time can help your baby associate it with winding down for bedtime.
This serves as her cue that she’s about to sleep, especially if you do it in the evening. After the bath keep lights low and reduce noise, to make her feel calm.
2. Check The Mood
One of the most crucial aspects when learning how to bathe a newborn is to check your baby’s mood. Maybe it is not the best time for a bath if your little one is hungry, irritated, or has an upset stomach. Choose a moment when she is content and relaxed – this will make things better for both of you.
3. Assemble all Necessary Supplies
Being prepared is always important in having a stress-free bath. Make sure you have all that is required within arm’s reach; baby soap, soft shampoo towels, cotton balls, wash cloth that are baby-friendly plush, a basin made of plastic, a new diaper, clean clothes, and any post-bath ointments.
4. Keep It Warm
Maintaining warm surroundings is essential because babies lose body heat quickly. The room temperature should be between 75-80 degrees Fahrenheit.
With your elbow or wrist test the water temperature so that it is warm enough but not hot for your child before placing her into it. Wait until the water stops running to put your baby in.
5. Use Soap Sparingly
Soap should be left off when bathing newborns; less is more. Go for mild soap meant for babies and concentrate on areas calling attention e.g., hands and diaper space among others days except dirty times should entail plain water use.
6. Starting with the Face
You must ensure that the face of your baby including the eyes and neck are cleaned gently using damp washcloth or cotton balls since these are delicate parts of her body that you could be wiping. This is in contrast to the need for gentle cleaning over her ears.
7. Lather Her Up
Ensure that the folds and creases are also covered while avoiding the stump of the umbilical cord (if it is still present), neck, torso, underarms, and those cute little fingers. Take extra care during washing to ensure that all areas are clean but not too harsh.
8. Private Parts
Be careful when cleansing your child’s genitals. Use a delicate cloth, mild soap, and lukewarm water. For girls, wipe from front to back, and for boys clean their penis. There is no need to pull the foreskin back if your baby boy has not undergone circumcision.
9. Shampoo Time
If your baby has hair, tear-free baby shampoo is what you will require. Gently rub her scalp with the pads of your fingers; these spots are a bit softer than other parts of her head. Wiping her head down once or twice with a wet cloth will do if she is bald.
10. It’s Not Worth Pushing
There is no problem with your little one hating the tub at first. Some children take longer to become accustomed to bathing when they are still babies as compared to others who adapt fast within several days after birth.
If bath time with a tub does not go well then start having sponge bathes for some days before re-introducing bathing on tubs gradually.
These tips on how to bathe a newborn should help you become an expert in bathing your newborn; remember though that each baby is different and not everything works for everyone else.
Read More: Baby’s Breath Meaning And Symbolism
While you get used to this routine and get an understanding of how often to bathe a newborn, enjoy these moments of bonding and care because sooner than later, bath time will turn out as one of those most loved parts of your daily adventures together!
How To Dry A Newborn After A Bath
Now that you have an idea of how to bathe a newborn, let’s finish off with a few tips on how to dry a newborn after a bath:
1. Rinse Well
For the final touch, rinse gently with clean warm water. Hold your baby like a little football in one hand and their body drapes over your arm. Gently pour water over their head and body using a cup—it will be a soothing experience.
2. Dry Gently
One thing that you have to keep in mind while learning how to dry a newborn after bath is that your baby’s skin is very fragile and delicate.
Get a soft dry towel and pat it (not rub) on your baby’s skin. Don’t forget to dry off all those cute little folds and chubby areas. Drying properly is crucial for the comfort of your baby.
3. Go Easy on the Baby Lotion
You may use a small amount of baby-safe lotion; however, avoid powders when you learning how to dry a newborn after bath, as these can upset her breathing. If recommended by her health care provider, apply a bit of hypoallergenic lotion that has been heated in the palms to massage areas where she has dry or eczema-prone skin.
4. Diaper and Dress
Time to put on another diaper and some clean comfy clothes for your child. When your little one needs more relaxation after sponging her down, wrapping her in a blanket for an intimate snuggle just feels right.
And there you have it – Your newborn is fresh, clean, and ready for some quality cuddle time. Enjoy these moments as you create your post-bath routine which will become yet another sweet chapter in your parenting adventure.
A Word From Mind Family
At Mind Family, we know that parenting is full of amazing moments and occasional challenges like how to bathe a newborn. This ritual, bath time, is one of those special occasions that enhance the bond between you and your baby.
Keep in mind that there is no universal parenting approach. Babies are unique individuals, their needs may not be similar. Enjoy this time together with your baby during bathtime as you commence this journey to nurture the little person.
Your baby is not only being bathed but nurtured with love and tenderness. Enjoy the cuddles, the coos, and the giggles that come with each splash. Happy bathing, and here’s to the countless memories you’ll create on this beautiful journey of parenthood.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1. How to bathe a newborn?
Bathing your newborn involves creating a routine, checking their mood, assembling necessary supplies, keeping it warm, using soap sparingly, starting with the face, and washing gently. Detailed steps are provided in our guide.
2. How often to bathe a newborn?
Experts recommend bathing newborns one to three times a week. This schedule is sufficient for the entire first year, as too much bathing can dry out their delicate skin.
3. How to dry a newborn after a bath?
After a bath, rinse gently with clean warm water, pat your baby’s skin dry with a soft towel, go easy on baby lotion, and diaper, and dress your baby in clean clothes for a cozy finish.
4. How to wash a newborn’s hair?
For babies with hair, use tear-free baby shampoo and gently rub the scalp with the pads of your fingers. If your baby is bald, wiping the head with a wet cloth is enough care.