How To Safely Bathe Your Baby
Bathing your baby has the potential to be an amazing experience, but if you're not sure exactly how to do it, it can be stressful. Bath-time done correctly can be the ideal time to bond with your infant. However, parents are often left wondering when and how to perform this parenting duty correctly.
When Should Newborns Get Their First Bath?
While some institutions bathe babies up to two hours after birth, many are now choosing to wait longer. Unless cultural reasons make it impossible to wait a full day, the World Health Organization (WHO) advises waiting at least 24 hours after birth before a newborn's first bath. Here are some reasons why it is now recommended to delay baby's first bath:
- Getting a bath right away may cause babies to become cold and develop hypothermia. Some babies could also experience a drop in their blood sugar (hypoglycemia) due to an early bath.
- Mother-child bonding and breastfeeding can be disrupted if a bath is taken too soon.
- A white waxy substance, known as vernix, coats a baby's skin before birth, acting as a natural moisturizer and possibly as an anti-bacterial. In order to prevent newborns' skin from drying out, it is best to leave vernix on their skin for a while after birth. Preemies have extremely sensitive skin, making this especially important.
How Often Do Babies Need a Bath?
It's certainly not necessary to bathe newborns every day. A full bath is rarely necessary because young infants don't sweat or become dirty easily. Bathing too frequently can cause the baby's skin to dry out.
If your newborn has not yet shed their umbilical cord, wait until they're a couple of weeks old before giving them a gentle sponge bath. When a baby is two months old, the cord should have dried up and fallen off. If your baby's umbilical area is healed, you can begin to put them directly in the water.
Baby Bath Safety Tips.
- In order to protect your baby from sliding around in the bath, the Consumer Product Safety Commission recommends using a bathtub that has a sloped, textured surface or a sling. Parents often bathe their newborns in a bathtub, sink, or bathinette lined with a clean towel.
- Avoid bath seats. An adult bathtub can comfortably accommodate a child in one of these seats. However, they are prone to tipping over. Children can drown if they fall into the bathwater.
- Make sure to hold on to your baby at all times. Keeping a towel and other bath supplies nearby, so you don't have to let go to grab something. Babies can quickly slip in the bath, which can cause them to injure themselves on a faucet or tap or even slide under the water. Having a hand on your baby throughout the entire bath can help to prevent accidents from happening.
- Always keep an eye on your baby in the bath. Never leave a baby alone, even for a minute. Sadly, it's common for children to accidentally drown in bathtubs at home, and it can happen very quickly. Even if you have to get up for a second to, for example, answer the door, bring your baby with you.
- Make sure the water is at the right temperature. Turn on the cold water first (and off last) before filling up your basin. This will keep you or your baby from getting accidentally scalded. In order to prevent burns, it is recommended that the faucet's hottest temperature stay no higher than 120 degrees Fahrenheit. If you're very worried about burns, you can set your water heater so that it does not exceed this temperature. The most common cause of burns among babies and young children is hot water scalds. Overheated tap water can quickly cause severe burns that can even require hospitalization or surgery.
- Keep your baby warm. As soon as you undress your baby, put them straight into the water to keep them at the right temperature. Guide them in feet first with one of your hands supporting the head. In order to keep them warm, you should pour warm water over most of their body and head frequently.
- Be careful not to scrub or tug your baby's skin when washing their face and hair with a soft cloth. Try cupping your hand across their forehead when you rinse the shampoo from the head to keep the suds running away from their eyes and not into them. You should wash from the head down. If the soap does get in their eyes, gently use a damp cloth to wipe it away.
- As soon as you take your baby out of the bath, wrap them in a towel to keep them warm. To prevent dry skin or eczema, it can help to gently pat and apply fragrance-free, hypoallergenic moisturizing lotion right after a bath.
What Products Should You Use to Bathe Your Baby?
Use soap sparingly and make sure to choose the right kind of soap. The skin on a baby can become dry when using a soap that isn't properly formulated for use on infants. Make sure to rinse the soap off immediately. Use a mild shampoo or body wash on your baby's hair twice or three times a week. Be very careful when reading the labels of various different products. Remember, what you read is not necessarily always the truth. Many products claim to be all-natural or organic, but you should still take a close look at the ingredient list.
Hand Over Heart's Pure Baby Shampoo and Body Wash is formulated with an all-natural, plant-based formula that will leave the baby's skin nourished and hydrated without drying it or damaging it. The formula is pH-balanced, and the pediatrician recommended ensuring it's non-irritating and safe. Made of a soothing blend of Aloe Vera, Coconut Oil, Chamomile, Cucumber, and free of chemicals, sulfates, formaldehyde, salicylates, parabens, and perfumes, it's the ideal choice for your baby.