Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Baby's First Bath

You may begin bathing your baby in a bathtub as soon as the umbilical cord stump heals completely and falls off. If you have a baby boy and he has been circumcised you will need to wait until his circumcision site heals completely.

The most important thing to do when giving your baby his or her first bath is to prepare well. Keep your baby's safety in mind. Do not, even for a moment, leave your baby unattended around water. Ignore the phone, turn off the stove, and let any other distractions wait until you can wrap your baby in a towel and take him with you.

Buy a tub that is a good fit for your baby. Although an infant tub is not an absolute necessity it is much easier to use one. You may also use a basin or a small pot for the first six months.

Gather your supplies.

You will need:
Gentle soap and shampoo. There are many varieties, designed just for babies, available.
Clean Washcloths.
Hooded towel. You can use a regular towel but the hooded towels are cute and the hood is useful for keeping baby's head warm.
Baby Lotion
Clean diaper
Clean Clothes.

Place the infant tub inside a regular sink or bathtub. Although a counter top may seem to be an ideal place to bathe baby, a countertop can become wet and slippery creating a hazard. Avoid using a counter top.

Fill the infant tub with a few inches of water. Always be sure to test the temperature of the water before you put your baby in the tub. Test the water using the inside of your wrist or the tip of your elbow. The water should feel warm to the touch, not hot. It is wise to use a thermometer to measure the temperature of the water to be 100 percent sure it will be comfortable and safe for baby. The temperature of the water should be between less that 100 degrees Fahrenheit or 37.8 degrees Celsius. For safety, when you have children, it is recommended to keep household water set at 120 degrees Fahrenheit or less.

Gently place you baby's body in the water. Lower him slowly, supporting his head, while holding his bottom with the other hand. Keep your babies head up and out of the water. Support your baby's head and neck with one hand while you wash him with the other hand.

Begin by washing your babies face with plain water. You do not, under normal circumstances, need to use soap on your baby's face. Gently wipe each eyelid first, wash around the eyes, and then wash the rest of the face. Wash your baby's ears after you clean the rest of his face.

Wash the rest of your baby's body with soap and water. Be sure to clean in all your baby's folds and crevices. Clean thoroughly, but gently. There is no need to scrub hard. For health's sake, wash your baby's bottom last

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