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Tips On How To Bath A Newborn Baby

By Connie Limon

Bathing a newborn baby should come as motherly instinct, is this right? No, not exactly. In reality bathing a slippery newborn baby can be one of the most nerve-racking experiences a new mother can have. This is not at all abnormal. The knowledge of how to bath a newborn baby is not part of motherly instinct. Following a few basic steps can help ease the tension a bit.

If you don’t bath your newborn everyday, this means you are a “bad” mother, is this correct? You do not need to bath your baby every single day. In fact, bathing your baby more than several times a week can even dry out the delicate skin of a newborn baby. Clean diapers, fresh burp cloths, and baby wipes to the rescue quickly already cleans up the parts of baby that needs the most attention. The face, neck and diaper area requires the most attention.

The best option at first is actually a sponge bath. A sponge bath is good to use at least until the area around the umbilical cord heals.

For baby’s bath be prepared with the following items:

• A warm place with a flat surface
• A soft blanket, towel or changing pad
• A free hand
• A sink or shallow plastic basin to hold the water
• A washcloth, an extra towel, cotton balls, mild baby shampoo, wipes, a clean diaper and a change of clothes.

Steps to giving your baby a sponge bath:

1. Keep baby warm during a sponge bath. Expose only the parts you are washing.
2. Lay baby on his or her back on the towel or pad
3. Wet washcloth, wring out excess water and wipe baby’s face, no need for soap. You can use a formula especially for babies (helps to give baby a nice clean smell after the bath).
4. Use a damp cotton ball or clean cotton cloth to wipe each eyelid, from inside to outside corners.
5. Pay special attention to creases under arms, behind ears, around neck and in diaper area.
6. Wash between baby’s fingers and toes

You should wash your newborn’s hair if it seems dirty or your baby develops cradle cap. Cradle cap is a common condition characterized by scaly patches on the scalp.

Steps to washing baby’s hair:

1. Support baby’s head and shoulders with your free hand
2. Gently massage a drop of mild baby shampoo into his or her scalp.
3. Rinse the shampoo with a damp washcloth.
4. For cradle cap, loosen the scales with a small, soft-bristled brush before rinsing off the shampoo.

When you progress to a tub bath for your baby, you need only a few inches of warm water. It is probably a good idea to lather your baby on a towel at first and use the tub only for rinsing. Warm water is best. You can set your water heater to below 120 F to prevent scalding. Also, always check the temperature of the water with your hand before you begin baby’s bath. Room temperature should be about 75 F.

Steps to washing baby in the tub:

1. Support your baby’s head and torso with your arm and hand to wash the front of baby’s body.
2. Hold baby securely to help him or her feel comfortable, and to stay safe while in the tub.
3. With one arm and hand support your baby’s head and torso. Wrap your arm under baby’s back, grasping baby firmly under the armpit.
4. Lean baby forward on your arm to clean baby’s back and buttocks while continuing to grasps baby under the armpit.

It is probably best to start with baby’s face and move onto dirtier parts of the body. Wash inside skin folds and rinse genitals carefully. Save washing the hair for last to help baby preserve body heat.

Plain water is fine for newborns. You can use a mild, unscented soap with moisturizer especially formulated for babies if needed. Avoid using bubble baths on newborns and young babies.

It is not recommended to use lotion after a bath for most newborns. Greasy lotions or ointments may cause skin irritation or block baby’s tiny sweat glands. Carefully dry inside baby’s folds of skin after each bath to prevent rash and skin irritation.

Time for baby’s bath is your choice. Some babies may be more alert and ready to enjoy the experience in the morning, while others may prefer a bath at night as a calming bedtime ritual. It is important to choose a time when you will not be rushed or interrupted.

Source: Mayo Clinic

This article is FREE to publish with the resource box.

About the Author: Connie Limon. Please visit us at for more information about babies. Articles are FREE to reprint to your newsletter, website or blog with the resource box.

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