So you’ve brought this baby creature home- you’re figuring out how to keep her fed and rested… but how do you keep her clean? I mean, at first it seems straightforward. You’ve been keeping yourself clean for years. But there is typically a little more to baby’s first bath than at first glance.
First Bath = Sponge Bath
Until baby’s umbilical cord dries up and falls out, a sponge bath is recommended for baby’s first bath rather than immersing him in water completely. Otherwise you can prolong the drying and falling off process. Nobody wants that. For boys who have been circumcised, be sure that has healed as well before a complete bath. The truth is babies don’t get all too dirty. That is, unless they’ve blown out a diaper or had a major spit-up. As long as you’re wiping properly for diaper changes, the only other thing to consider is those adorable little neck rolls that might need wiping daily due to milk hiding in there. It’s only necessary to bathe a newborn 2 to 3 times per week, anymore and their delicate skin might get dry or irritated.
First Real Bath
The first few times of bathing may feel awkward, but it will be routine in no time.
Most parents like to use a infant bath tub to begin with- there are endless options, of course. Just one more thing you have to make a decision on. Some things to consider: size (where will you store, do you have to move it, etc.), comfort (padding or cushioning of some sort), contour or anti-slip capability, and the ability to grow with your child (might make sense to invest in a tub that they can use until they are ready to sit in the tub themselves).
Once your ready to bathe baby for the first time, the first thing to do is make sure you have all of your supplies ready. Soap/shampoo (tear-free), washcloths, towels, a clean diaper and clothes to change into, and maybe some lotion for the sweet soft skin.
Then fill the tub. Water temperature is very important- you don’t want to scald baby of course, but you also want to make sure baby will stay warm and not lose too much heat. Test the temp with your elbow or wrist as these areas are more sensitive than other body parts.
Gently place baby in the tub- be careful as she will be quite slippery!
Wash baby lightly from head to toe. A small amount of soap and gentle rubbing will do! Use clean water for rinsing. Place an extra warm wash cloth on baby’s tummy to keep her warm as you focus on each miniature part. Don’t forget in-between fingers and toes, and under that chin! Bathtime is a fun time to interact with baby by talking, singing, massaging, and just making eye contact.
And there’s nothing better than putting that squeaky clean baby into their hooded towel and getting some good, warm snuggles!