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Bathing Your Newborn Baby

By Michelle Higgins

Your newborn baby is so small and tender that giving him a bath might be a little scary. However, in spite of all your concerns, you will find that bathing the baby will soon be a fun thing for both him and you.

For the first few days, stick to a sponge bath, only wetting the towel in warm water and giving a baby a thorough sponging with it. Once the umbilical cord stump falls off, baby is ready for his foray into water.

Water, Water everywhere

Make sure that the towel, soap, shampoo and sponge are all at hand before you begin.

Fill baby's portable bathtub with not more than 3 inches of water. Check if baby's bath water is just the right temperature (which is a bit warm and not more than 120 degrees Fahrenheit).

Most babies usually cry through their bath for the initial months until they begin to enjoy it.

Immerse your baby slowly into the tub, feet first, and use your left hand to support his neck and head. Let him get a feel of the water and with your free hand, splash the water lightly over his body.

Wet the sponge and use mild baby soap to wash his body. Do not use soap on his face. Wash his scalp with a cloth and clean the corners of his eyes and nose with moistened cotton balls.

There is no need to draw back the foreskin to clean a baby boy's genitals; wash the penis with soap as you would do for any other part of his body.

Use a mild shampoo, squeezing out a little bit on you palm first.

Lift him up from the tub and wrap him in a towel. Once you've dried his hair, work on the rest of his body.

A mild body lotion will make him smell good and feel soft, although it is not necessary to use powder or lotion on babies. Diaper and dress him, and presto! You are done.

If your baby is a bath-hater, it is not necessary to make him go through the ordeal everyday especially in the precrawling stage. Giving him a sponge bath regularly and a bath every other day will keep him clean enough.

Safety comes first

Make sure you follow these safety measures while bathing your baby.

Don't make the mistake of leaving your baby unattended in the bath for even for a second. If the doorbell is ringing or you must answer the phone, carry him with you, wrapped in a towel. Drowning can occur in less than one inch of water within a minute.

Baby's bath water should not be too cold or too warm. Always test the water before you begin.

Wet babies are slippery babies. Take extra care while you hold baby in the bath.

Bathing baby immediately after a meal is not a good idea as it might result in his spitting up.

Never run the water with baby in the bath cause a sudden change of temperature can be dangerous.

Bathing baby only takes a little practice (which you will soon get) before you learn to do it just right for your baby.


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