Bathing Your Newborn Baby

Bathing your newborn baby for the first time might raise some questions. Knowing the steps to this intimate process can make life much easier for the parent and child.

Bringing your newborn child home from the hospital opens up whole new responsibilites for parents. One of these responsibilites is bathing your newborn baby. This warm intimate time with your child can be very rewarding. Bathing your child promotes a healthy bond that will grow with time.

In the begining, your baby will be to young for a "tub bath". It will take some time for the umbilical cord to detach and for boys, circumsicion wounds to heal. These areas should stay as dry as possible to heal in reasonable amount of time and to prevent infection from setting in. During this time, bathing your child is rather simple. Supplies you may need will include:

A) soft towel

B) soft wash cloth

C) a diaper

D) clothing

Simply lay the baby on the towel, and using the soft wash cloth moistened with warm water, no soap necessary at this stage, wash the baby from head to toe. You should begin with the child's face. Wash the eyes, ears, and nose first. End with washing the genitals taking care to wash from front to back with girls to prevent transfering bacteria, and under the scrotum for boys. In between these areas are the limbs and head. Save the soaps and shampoos for when the baby has his or her fist "tub bath". After washing lay the baby down, diaper and clothe. Lotion is optional, but stay away from powders. These can easily irritate a newborns lungs and cause breathing problems.

After the first 2 weeks, most babies have shed themselves of their umbilical cord and for boys, there circumsision has healed up. Now, your child is ready for a "tub bath". Many parents look forward to this time in there child's life and see it as a milestone. There are seveal items required in order to bathe your baby ala tub.

A) a tub

This can be in the form of a sink, a store bought baby bath, a dishpan, or a regular bathtub.

B) soft towels and wash cloth

C) mild soap and shampoo

Specifically, a no tears formula made for babies.

D) diaper

E) clothing

Once you have collected all these supplies you are ready to begin. Fill the tub, whatever it may be, with warm water. Test the water on your wrist and adjust accordingly. Fill the tub about half way full. Next, gather your baby and gently submerce him or her into the water taking care not to splash or startle the baby in anyway. We must remember that this is a new expirence for the child and they may become freigtened. Always stay with your child when they are in or around water. If the phone rings or someone is at the door, they can wait. A child can drown in a teaspoon of water, so be very careful. Always keep a hand on the child to insure that whatever the position you have him or her in, the child will not tip or roll over. Take the wash cloth and wash the child's face. This requires no soap. Be sure to inclued, eyes, ears, nose in this process. Next, apply soap to the cloth and gently wash all the extremities leaving the genitals for last. Clean those as I had described in the bathing process for a child under 2 weeks. Rinse the child taking care to remove all soap as this can irritate a baby's delicate skin. Finally, shampoo the baby's scalp with a mild no tears formula baby shampoo. Gently massage the scalp with the shampoo and then rinse. Your finished. Take the baby out of the water and lay gently on the towel. Dry every part to minimize the risk of rash. Then, diaper and clothe. Again, lotions are optional and powder is a no no.

Finally, take pictures, as the first bath at home is a warm intimate time for a family and a time to be remembered.

© High Speed Ventures 2011