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Bathing a newly born baby can be such a scary as well as an exciting experience in the first few days of its life. At this tender stage of life, they are usually very slippery and quite fragile especially when they are wet. This can result to a bit more intimidating baby bath if you have no prior and right experience. But preparing for the baby’s bath would make it more enjoyable than scary at all times.
The baby won’t be requiring a real bath until its umbilical stump has fallen off. This is during the first two weeks after birth. In most cases, the umbilical stump would fall off at around the 10th day since birth. Before this time, it would only be necessary to sponge bath the newly born with a washcloth that is moistened. The face and hands of the baby needs to be carefully wiped off at this stage. Also its genital area should be thoroughly cleaned every time the diapers are changed. The baby can be tub bathed after the umbilical stump has completely fallen off and its surrounding area has fully healed up.
To bath or not to bath
The first bath for the baby can be tricky, this is because it will be very slippery and it is usually wiggling about when soapy and wet. This implies that the person bathing the baby needs to be sure that they are comfortable and calm enough to grip it well to avoid slipping or dropping them. They therefore don’t have to bring the baby with them to the shower if they are not sure of this. While bathing the newly born baby, the care taker should always ensure that they are not left alone in the tub even if they are in a position to sit all alone in the bathing tub. This should never take place even if you are out to answer a phone call, door call or to grab a towel. It would be advisable to always wrap the baby and take it with you if you have to leave the bath area.
Also to ensure baby safety, the water heater in the house should always be set to at most 120 degrees Fahrenheit. More than this could lead to more severe third degree burns to the newly born baby. If at any time you feel like walking away with the baby, never ever put it on the bath tub edge and walk with it inside. While the water is running into the tub, you should not place the baby in there because that water can have its temperature change abruptly.
Before you decide to start washing the baby, it would therefore be advisable to ensure that all the supplies for the exercise are put in place to avoid mid exercise rushing to grab some. These would include a towel, bath supplies, baby clothes as well as cream for after bath application. The bath supplies include mild soap, cotton balls as well as clean diaper in a shoebox or somewhere convenient. In case you forget something that is needed in bathing the baby, then it would be necessary to carry it with you while you go for it. Also ensure that all the necessary precautions are adhered to the later. Check on the water, calmness and ensure that there are not other operations going on within the house which might demand attention. During the bath time, make sure you lay the towel for the baby before the bath. This would ensure that you don’t struggle with the towel while handling the slippery and squirming baby.
The tub for bathing the baby should be filled with only 2 to 3 inches of water at the first time. This would be sufficient enough to clean the baby. Remember to maintain just warm temperature for the baby’s water. It should not be hot at all. 85 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit would be enough for this. Testing the water can be done your elbow or the hand wrist. To ensure that the baby does not become unnecessarily chilled, it would be good to avoid undressing it until you are really ready for that. You should start washing it from front to back and top to bottom with a cloth that is soapy. The washcloth should be squeezed out until it becomes just dump. It is then used to wipe the baby gently all over its body.
Make sure you clean the body parts properly
The genital area need to be cleaned thoroughly. The ears need some close checking to ensure that you clean any spit up milk sticking there. After the first washing, the baby should be thoroughly cleaned with some clean water. This should happen before placing it on the towel. Its genital area needs thorough drying, this should be ensured before clothing it with the diapers. Improper drying would lead to diaper rash.
While some babies take to bath right from beginning, others cry all along during the bathing period. Such temperament dictates the length of time the bath is going to take. In case the baby happens to be fussier, then it would be advisable to place its tub somewhere to get it warm easily. Such a move would assist in calming the baby and leads to a more enjoyable bath for the baby and the care giver.