When it comes to newborns, there are a lot of things that new parents have to think about. One of the big questions is whether or not you should bathe your newborn immediately after birth. Bathing your baby is an experience many parents treasure. It is a fantastic way to bond as your little new family member appreciates the touch of warm water on their skin. However, many new parents have concerns about when and how to do it correctly.
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When do you give your newborn the first bath?
The timing of the first bath is often debated. Many experts will tell you that it’s best to delay the first bath until at least 24 hours after birth. There are several reasons for this, including:
1. Your newborn’s skin is very delicate and can be easily irritated.
2. Newborns are born with a protective coating called vernix caseosa, which helps to keep their skin hydrated. Bathing too early can remove this coating.
3. Newborns are also born with a substance called lanugo, which is a type of downy hair that covers their bodies. This usually falls out on its own within the first few weeks, but bathing too early can cause it to come off prematurely.
4. There is also a risk of your newborn catching a cold if they are bathed too soon after birth, as they have not yet developed a strong immune system.
Having said all of this, there are also some circumstances in which it may be necessary to bathe your newborn sooner than 24 hours after birth.
For example, if your baby is born early or has health complications, the doctor may recommend that you bathe them within the first few hours after birth.
Cultural traditions and personal preferences may also play a role in when you decide to bathe your newborn.
How often should you bathe your newborn?
Newborns don’t need to be bathed every day. They rarely sweat or become unclean enough to require a full bath. Newborns generally only need a bath two to three times a week, but you can increase this frequency if your baby seems dirty or uncomfortable.
How do you give your newborn sponge bath
During the first few weeks of life, your newborn should be bathed in a warm sponge bath. A sponge bath is similar to a typical bath, with the exception that you don’t put your newborn in the water. This is the safest way to clean your newborn before their umbilical cord falls off.
1. Get the supplies you’ll need.
Before you start the bath, gather everything you’ll need so you don’t have to leave your baby unattended. You’ll need:
-a soft washing sponge
-a soft towel
-a basin or sink filled with warm water (not hot!)
-mild baby soap
-clean clothes for your baby
2. Fill the tub with warm water.
Fill the baby bathtub with a few inches of warm water. Test the water temperature with your elbow to make sure it’s not too hot.
3. Undress your baby
Gently remove all of your baby’s clothes, taking care not to disturb the umbilical cord or and stitches.
4. Lower your baby into the water
Using one hand to support your baby’s head, lower them into the water. Make sure that only their bottom half is in the water. Splash some water on their tummy and genitals with your other hand to wet them.
5. Wash your baby’s body
Gently clean your baby’s body with a washcloth and mild baby soap. Start with their face, being careful not to get soap in their eyes. Then move to their tummy, back, and buttocks. Finish by cleaning their arms and legs.
Pay attention to the baby’s scalp and hair as well, as this is where most of the vernix caseosa is located.
6. Rinse your baby off
Using a clean, wet washcloth, gently rinse all of the soap off your baby’s body. Be sure to get all of the soap out of their hair.
7. Dry off your baby
Wrap your baby in a towel and gently pat them dry. Pay special attention to their folds of skin, such as the backs of their knees and their armpits. These areas are susceptible to rashes, so be sure they are completely dry.
When is your baby ready for a regular bath?
You can start giving your baby regular baths once the umbilical cord stump falls off and the navel area is healed. Their first baths should be gentle and short. They might object a little. If this occurs, return to sponge baths for a week or two before attempting the bath again. When a baby is ready, they usually make it known.