The skin of the newborns is extremely sensitive towards water, and it is natural for them to cry during bathing. As the newborns grow, they become more used to the water and start enjoying bathing. Parents need to be very careful and overcome the difficulties of bathing a newborn with patience.
Parents are often in confusion whether to give regular baths to their newborns or not. Newborns are gifted with a natural coating of dead cells and mucous called Vernix that renders softness to their skin. This unique layer of dead cells maintains the softness of the newborn’s skin for few months. Doctors always recommend sponge bath in the initial weeks to be carried out 3-4 days a week.
Tips for Sponge bathing a newborn:
The parents must stick to sponge bathing for few weeks until the umbilical stump falls off and that area gets healed completely. Choose a cozy room in your house where you can sponge bath your baby comfortably. Keep all bathing items like wash clothes, diapers and clothing ready at hand so that you do not have to run for these leaving the baby uncared.
Test the temperature of the bathing water. Lukewarm water (75F) is ideal for bathing the newborn. Soak the washcloth in water, wring out excess water and slowly clean the diaper areas first. Then take another wetted washcloth and try to wipe off the cradle cap.
Gently clean the skin folds of the neck and under arms and the rest of the body with another washcloth. Be careful that water does not seep into the unhealed umbilical area. Pat your baby dry with a big and soft towel and immediately put on his clothing.
Tips for bathing a newborn in tub:
After the umbilical area gets healed completely, it is the time for your newborn to have regular baths. In the meantime, he has developed tolerance towards water and will start enjoying this special session of the day.
Select the right size bathing tub and bathing seat to bathe your newborn. The bath seat will prevent slipping down of your baby while applying soap. Babies are bundles of energy, and they show joyful gestures during bathing. Parents should be extra cautious during this time to prevent any untoward incident.
Keep the bathing kit, bathing sponges, wash clothes and clothing ready at hand. Test the temperature of the water (preferably 75-85F), before placing your baby in it. Do not take too much time to bathe your baby else he may catch cold.
Clean the diaper areas and skin folds with special care. Apply baby soap and baby shampoo when required. After bathing, wipe your baby fully dry with a soft towel and dress him up immediately.