It is normal for new parents to be confused when it comes to taking care of their newborn. Therefore, before giving your little one their first bath, you might find yourself wondering about when and how to do it. A baby’s first bath is often a special and memorable event for every new parent. It is essential to bathe your baby to protect them from all the harmful elements present in the environment. So, quickly get hold of all the baby bath products and accessories. Once you have gathered everything, try to be mindful of the following tips on how to bathe a newborn baby for the first time.
The Different Stages Of Bathing Your Newborn For The First Time
To begin with, you must know when it is ideal to give your little one their first bath. According to several experts, a newborn’s first bath should not be hurried. The very first newborn bath can be delayed by a few days. The World Health Organization suggests that the process can be delayed by one day. When babies are born, a waxy coating can be noticeable on their skin. This cheese-like coating is known as vernix and it protects the newborn against microbial infections.
1. Sponge Bathing
After bringing your baby home, it is better to give them a sponge bath until their umbilical cord stump falls off. It takes a minimum of 10 days and a maximum of three weeks for that to happen. If your baby is a boy who has to be circumcised, you will have to carry on sponge bathing until the site of circumcision heals.
2. Bathing In A Tub
You can bathe your baby in a baby bathtub or a sink only after their umbilical cord has fallen off. For baby boys with unhealed circumcisions, you might have to wait a bit more.
Prerequisites For The First Baby Bath
It is not at all easy to bathe an infant. But over time, you will grow accustomed to it. Before you learn how to bathe a newborn, you must be made aware of certain prerequisites.
1. The First Sponge Bath
During the initial stage, you need to resort to sponge bathing your little one. The temperature of the room must not be less than 23°C. For a sponge bath, you will require the following:
- Warm water
- Clean clothes
- Soft baby towels
- Vaseline and gauze (in case of baby boys with circumcisions)
- Baby bath sponge
2. Bathing In A Tub For The First Time
It may take some time for some infants to adjust to tub baths, following the sponge bathing phase. When your baby is ready for a tub bath, you must get hold of a baby bathtub suitable for them. In addition to it, you will require:
- Soft flannel or sponge
- Cotton balls
- Baby bath towels
- A baby comb or hairbrush
- Baby bath soap
Bathing should be a comfortable experience for your newborn. Besides, it should also be a hassle-free experience for you. Therefore, you need to keep all these things in mind before embarking on the task of bathing your young one.
How To Bathe Your Baby For The First Time?
Now that you know about all the prerequisites for a hassle-free baby bath, you must also know the detailed procedure of bathing your young one.
1. Sponge Bathing
The process of sponge bathing typically involves the following steps:
- Undress your baby but do not remove their diaper
- Cradle their head using one hand
- While giving them a sponge bath, you can place a baby bath mat on hard surfaces and then make the infant lie on it
- Carefully wrap them in a towel
- Expose only the areas to be washed
- Take a moist sponge soaked in lukewarm water
- Rub the skin behind their ears, the areas between their fingers and toes and the creases under their arms, very gently
- Gently clean their knees, elbows and neck
- Remove the diaper to clean their belly and private parts
- You can clean their hair in the end with a sponge but avoid using shampoo
- Use baby towels to dry their body
Once sponge bathing is complete, dress your baby in clean clothes.
2. Bath Tub Bathing
When your baby is finally ready for a proper baby bath, make sure to follow the directions given below:
- Take the bathtub and pour warm water into it
- Make sure that the baby bathtub contains only 2 or 3 inches of water
- Support your child’s head with your arm and lower them cautiously
- Wash their face and hair with care and shield their eyes with your hand while rinsing
- Use a tiny amount of soap and water to wash their body
- Once you have washed them carefully, use towels to dry their body
- After that, apply baby lotion all over their body
Wrap them in a towel once you have finished giving them their first proper bath. Cover their head very carefully to keep them warm. You can use baby bath towels for this purpose.
Precautions Before Bathing For The First Time
There are certain cautionary measures that you must adopt before and after you have bathed your infant. They are listed as follows:
- Refrain from using a baby bath seat because they are not to be used in case of newborn babies
- Do not leave your baby unattended while giving them a tub bath
- Use warm water while bathing your baby (make sure that the temperature of the water is not more than 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit)
- You must be mindful of the temperature of your surroundings while bathing your baby and make necessary adjustments
- Do not bathe your baby if they are hungry or if they have a fever or adverse skin conditions
- Be very careful while choosing the right baby bath accessories, for instance, do not use soaps that are too harsh
- Use very soft materials like baby bath towels for cleaning because newborn babies have very sensitive skin
How Often Should A Parent Bathe A Newborn?
Any new parent needs to know how often to bathe newborn babies. If you bathe your little one thrice a week, it would be enough. It is not necessary to give your baby daily baths. But you must follow a strict routine when it comes to a newborn baby bath.
Your baby’s first bath must offer them comfort. It must be a hassle-free process as well. So, to make their first bathing experience memorable, you need to plan and implement it very carefully.
- It is important to bathe your infant child to protect them from germs
- Wait for the ideal time to bathe your newborn
- Before giving them a proper bath, you must give them sponge baths
- While bathing your baby, you need proper accessories such as soft towels or cloth, bathtubs and mild soaps and shampoo to name a few
- Besides, you need to keep your baby warm while giving them a bath
- Moreover, you need to exercise proper cautionary measures to prevent the occurrence of any untoward incident