Friday, April 01, 2005

Baby Bathtimes

You've just become a new parent, and you are bursting with joy! Now, comes the hard part, though. Not only can you brag about your new bundle of love, but you have to take care of him or her. Where do you begin? Of course, there are many aspects to taking care of your baby, but one important aspect is bathing him. It can be a little daunting to an inexperienced parent, though.

Keep in mind that a newborn really isn't going to get that dirty. It's not as if he is going to hop out of his bed and play in the mud outside, right? Still, you will want to keep him as clean and sweet smelling as possible, especially his little bottom. There are a few points you should keep in mind.

Newborns don't need to be bathed everyday, and until the umbilical cord has fallen off, you can't give your newborn a tub bath. It generally takes one to two weeks for the umbilical cord to fall off, and until then, you will need to give sponge baths only. If your infant is a boy, you will also need to use caution if he has been circumcised until the circumcision has healed.

You will want to use baby wash and/or shampoo to wash your baby. Other shampoos and soaps aren't specially formulated for baby's sensitive skin. You may discover that your infant hates to be undressed. She may actually feel very vulnerable when she is naked, so even though you will take all of her clothes and her diaper off, be sure to wrap her in a soft towel. This will help her to feel more secure, and it will also keep her from getting chilled.

You should plan on bathing her in a warm room. If you aren't giving tub baths yet, you can wrap her in a towel and gently sponge her body with a soft wash cloth and a small amount of baby soap. You do not need to use soap on her face. Water will do the job just fine.

Once the umbilical cord has fallen off, you can give your child a tub bath. It will be easier for you if you have a baby tub that fits in your bathtub or kitchen or bathroom sink. The water should be warm, but not too hot. Be sure that your baby cannot accidentally hit the faucet handle and cause the water to turn on. You definitely don't want to burn your baby with hot water.

You should start bathing your baby by using a wet washcloth to gently clean his face. You can wipe the outside of his eyes by starting in the inner corner of each eye and swiping to the outer corner. You should then wash the rest of his face and ears. You can now add soap to the cloth and work your way down his body, washing his bottom last. Finally, add a small amount of baby shampoo to the washcloth and wash his hair. Rinse him off completely, and swaddle him in a towel. You should dry him off and dress him as quickly as possible. Bathing your baby doesn't have to be difficult, and eventually you and your baby will look forward to bath time!

Susie McGee

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