Newborns need to be bathed every couple of days after they get home from the hospital. Some parents may find this chore a bit daunting, but it isn’t that hard as long as you pay attention to a few key safety factors.
Decide whether you are going to bathe your baby in the kitchen sink, or in a special baby tub. If you choose the kitchen sink, make sure you give it a thorough cleaning first.
Before you fill up the sink or the baby tub, gather your supplies. You’ll want everything to be within arm’s reach so that you have one hand on the baby at all times. You’ll need a towel, wash cloth, and a bottle of baby shampoo that also doubles as body wash. You can place a diaper, baby outfit, and baby lotion near your bed or changing table.
Next, add warm (not hot) water to the sink or the baby bath tub until the level reaches about 2 inches in height. Babies can drown in even an inch of water so make sure you have your hand and eye on your baby at all times. Undress your baby and place her in the water.
Wash your baby with a wash cloth and the baby shampoo/soap. Start with your baby’s face and work your way down. Keep in mind that babies have skin folds. Make sure you are washing in between these folds. If your baby has cradle cap, you may want to use a soft bristle brush on her hair while shampooing it. Then when you rinse her hair out, many of the scales will rinse away at the same time.
Rinse your baby off and immediately place him in the towel you laid out earlier. Dry your baby with the towel and then carry him over to the diaper, outfit, and lotion that you prepared for him. Use the lotion and then get your baby dressed. Don’t worry about blow drying your baby’s hair. It will dry naturally quickly enough. The blow dryer will have heat that is too hot for your baby’s scalp. It could even make cradle cap worse.
They make a thermometer strip that you can attach to the side of your sink or baby bath tub. The thermometer will let you know when the temperature of the water is just right, or too hot. You can use one of these thermometers until you can pretty much tell the perfect temperature just by feeling it.
Your baby will still have his umbilical cord attached for the first two weeks. You can opt for a sponge bath instead of a full bath during this time to keep the umbilical cord stump from becoming soaked with water.
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