Stumped about how to bathe a newborn? Learn why it’s so important to delay baby’s first bath, plus get step-by-step instructions for when the time comes.
As if learning how to swaddle your baby wasn’t hard enough, try learning how to bathe a newborn. Besides contending with a delicate umbilical cord stump, newborns chill easily and their skin is sensitive and prone to dryness. Plus, a wet baby is a slippery baby.
Therefore, parents need to know how to bathe the basic newborn baby before starting to do it.
Get your baby bath supplies ready
Before you even begin to bathe baby, get all of your supplies ready and right near the baby bath. You don’t want to leave baby unattended, even for a second, as this can be dangerous.
So, when it’s time to give baby a bath, collect the following supplies:
Choose your bathing location
A baby tub set inside the regular tub is the best option. If you don’t have a bath tub, you can still use a baby tub and set inside a shower instead.
Fill the baby tub
Fill the baby bath tub with just enough water to puddle underneath baby—two to three inches of water should do. Baby should not be submerged and it’s best to avoid getting water in baby’s ears.
Check the temperature
Always find the appropriate temperature before setting baby into the tub. This prevents accidental burns, as well as startling baby with cold water.
Baby’s bath water should be about 100 degrees Fahrenheit, which is just slightly higher than body temperature. You can buy a small bathtub thermometer to make this process easier.
Cover baby with a dry washcloth or small towel to keep him warm while you wash different parts of his body.
Carefully place baby in the baby tub
Because babies chill so easily, consider running the towels through the dryer before bathing baby. You can also run a small space heater in the room (be sure to keep it far away from the water though!). You can also run shower to create a “steam room”, which also keeps baby warm.
Clean baby using a soft wash cloth or sponge
Use one arm to support baby’s back, head, and neck; use your other hand to sponge baby’s body parts one at a time.
Start with the cleanest parts of your baby (e.g. head) and work to the dirtiest parts (e.g. diaper area).
And be sure to pay close attention to any folds or rolls, under the neck, under the arms, in the upper thigh rolls, and the bum.
What if baby still has the umbilical cord stump??
When it comes to the umbilical cord stump, the best rule is to leave it alone. If it does get wet, dry it in the process, simply dry it with a soft cloth.
Rinse baby well
It’s actually best not to use soap or very little for bits with shower gel for babies.
Soap residue can cause dry, flaky skin and increase baby’s risk of skin conditions, like eczema. Be sure to rinse baby well.
Wet babies are extra slippery, so be careful!
Use both hands to lift baby out of the bath, taking care to support the back of the neck and behind the knees.
Use a soft organic towel and gently pat baby dry. Rubbing too vigorously can irritate baby’s sensitive skin.
An Important Safety Note
Never, ever leave your baby alone during bathing—not even for a second !
Following the basic instructions on how to bathe a newborn baby will help parents feel more confident when doing this step. Bathing babies not only cleans the body, but also helps children learn many new things through the process of stimulating the senses. At the same time, this is also the best time for children to feel the care, care and love from their parents.
Hopefully the article will help parents no longer worry about bathing their newborn baby!