Everything you do for your newborn child needs to be handled with extra care. You should always pay special attention to everything you do for the newborn baby. Doing the right things and making the right choices is of utmost importance when it comes to our newborn loved ones. How to give your newborn a sponge bath, for example, can be a bit tricky — especially the first few times you do it.
Water is essential for a baby’s hygiene and cleanliness. However, your baby is very fragile, and water can actually threaten your baby’s health if you don’t follow instructions carefully. There are particular ways to bathe your newborn baby. You don’t just turn on the faucet and hope for the best. The following tips will offer you valuable insight on how to correctly give your newborn a sponge bath:Health and Baby Care
Before you run a bath for your baby, you first need to make sure that you have all the supplies you need. These should be easily within reach, because, once you start bathing your baby, you won’t be able to leave him or her even for a moment. Therefore, it is important to decide what supplies you need and have them ready at your convenience beforehand.
- The items that are actually necessary for the running of the bath include a tub, baby soap, baby lotion, a mug for pouring water, two washcloths, and cotton balls for wiping residual water from your baby’s eyes and ears.
- Next, it is recommended to have some bath toys for your baby, so they are kept entertained while you’re washing them.
- There are certain items that you will need immediately after you bathe your newborn. These include a baby comb or brush (combs are probably better for the baby’s fine hair), a soft fluffy towel, baby oil or lotion, a diaper, diaper ointment, and clean clothes.
- A newborn baby is still very vulnerable to infection and disease, so it is recommended that you invest in some rubbing alcohol and use it to clean the umbilical cord area. Use a cotton ball to dab the alcohol gently around the area. Don’t use too much because it’s a potent chemical formula. Dry off any excess using a clean cotton ball. It is only used to make sure the area is bacteria-free.
- You might also want to use baby powder. When you towel-dry a baby, there is still a bit of moisture to the skin which can cause chafing and rashes when the baby is dressed. Baby powder is soft, smells wonderful, and gets rid of any residual moisture, so your baby is nice and dry.
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Getting the Bath Ready
Baby bathtubs are a good way of bathing your baby when you start off because they’re much easier to manage. Standard, full-sized tubs are too big and deep for bathing a newborn. Most of the baby tubs available on the market are designed to support the head and neck of the newborn baby. They often have slings or mats included to ensure that the baby doesn’t slip around or become completely submerged in the water.
If you don’t have a baby tub, you can use the kitchen sink instead. Make sure your baby’s head is as far away from the faucet as possible, so they don’t injure themselves. If you decide on the sink, clean it beforehand as it could still have greasy residue on it from washing dishes. If you use any chemical cleaners to clean it, rinse the sink well in hot water before filling the bath for your baby because you don’t want cleaning chemicals mixed in with your baby’s bath-water.
Once the tub is ready, or the sink is clean depending on what you decide, fill it with luke-warm water. One of the most important steps to remember when you bathe your newborn is to make sure the water isn’t hot to the touch. Test the temperature with your hand. If it comes out red, it’s too hot. Also, ensure that you don’t fill the sink or tub too much; a couple of inches high will suffice. It doesn’t have to be high enough to reach your baby’s neck. It should be somewhere between the bottom of their belly button to the mid-chest area.
Next, place the baby in the tub. Again it should be mentioned that it is imperative not to submerge the baby in the water completely. Even at neck level is still too high. If you overfill the tub or sink, take the baby out and drain out some of the bathwater just to be safe.
As your child gets bigger, the water level you require will change. However, for a newborn bath, it’s best to be as safe as possible as a baby at this young, tender age is very vulnerable.
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How to give your newborn a sponge bath
Lower your baby carefully into the tub, ensuring to support his or her head and neck with your hand as you do so. Use one hand to support and steady the baby, and the other to wash him or her.
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- Take the mug mentioned above and dip it into the luke-warm water. Pour it slowly and carefully over the baby. This is the stage where you’re moistening their skin before you apply the cleansing product. Applying anything soapy to dry skin will irritate it: never do this anytime you bathe your newborn. Rub the water gently all around the baby’s body with your free hand so that every inch of skin is moist.
There is no need to scrub a baby. Be gentle and tender when you are washing them. Use one of the washcloths mentioned above. Put a small amount of baby soap onto it. Rub it in until you see some suds, then carefully clean your newborn with the soapy cloth. Make sure the cloth isn’t old and rough. A soft cloth will be gentler to your baby’s sensitive skin. Also, ensure that you clean very carefully around any crevices such as fingers and toes. Be as gentle as you possibly can.
- Using the mug again, pour it gently and carefully in order to rinse off the soap. Make sure you rinse the baby thoroughly. Soap residue will make the baby uncomfortable and can damage their skin.
- Finally, after bathing your baby, wrap them in a soft dry towel. Don’t rub the towel to dry them: pat them dry. This is much gentler on their skin. It’s okay to cuddle them all wrapped up in the towel for a few minutes while they dry off almost completely.
Then, use the other products mentioned above in the following order:
Dab rubbing alcohol around their umbilical cord with one cotton ball, then pat the solution dry with another clean one.
Dust some baby powder onto your hand and rub it gently over the newborn. Focus on areas which are still a bit damp after being towel-dried. Don’t over-do it. A lot of baby powders have fragrances in them. Using too much might trigger a skin irritation. Be careful when you’re dusting it onto your hand too because baby powder tends to come out of the container too fast and you’re left with white powder flying around everywhere!
Then, gently comb your baby’s hair. Baby hair is very fine, so it might be nearly dry just a few minutes after the bath.
Finally, get the baby dressed and ready in the way you normally do. You’re now ready to go and show off your beautifully clean baby to all your friends!