Baby's First Bath: When and How to Perform

Baby's first bath is definitely a special event, and no one will blame you for capturing all that in your camera.What you may not already know is that bath time is actually one perfect time to strengthen your bond with your newborn. Singing, cooing, talking – your baby will love to hear your voice while enjoying your soft touches on his/her body. However, many first-time parents worry about hurting their newborn and feel especially nervous when this is baby's first bath.If that is the case, all you have to do is educate yourself about when you should give your baby a bath and how. Keep reading to learn more about it.

When Can I Give My Baby His/Her First Bath?

If you deliver your baby at the hospital, the chances are that your baby will get his/her first bath from the nurses. Once you get home, you should stick to sponge bathing at least until your baby's umbilical cord falls off. The cord usually falls off at 2-4 weeks, and you can now get an infant tub and give your baby a proper bath. Baby's first bath does not have to be difficult, and most babies actually love it, if you know how to make it playtime for your little angel.

Many parents are often concerned about how often is too much when it comes to bathing. Ideally, you should give your baby a bath at least twice a week. However, you need to ensure that you clean the diaper area properly after every bowel movement. Busy parents can make things even easier by regularly cleaning areas that get oily, sweatyor dirty such as in the neck folds, behind the ears, and in the creases of the groin.

How to Perform Baby's First Bath – Sponge Bath

For baby bathing, you can always start with sponge bathing then an infant bath tub at last a tub bath. It doesn't need to be that tricky if you proceed with some care. Here are a few pointers to keep in mind first.

1.  Preparation

  • Select a comfortable, safe, and conceive area first – it should be slightly warm as well.
  • Get a baby tub that is easy for you to handle and comfortable for your baby too. Make sure to provide proper support to your baby's neck and head.
  • Stick to soap-free washing if your baby is younger than a week.
  • Ÿ Do not remove your baby's clothes until you are ready to wash the areas below the neck.
  • Lay out a towel before you start giving your baby a bath, and keep clothes and a clean diaper handy. Also check out all the stuff you need in the bath, including baby shampoo, moisturizing soap, baby wipes, cotton balls, etc.

2.  Step-By-Step Instructions

Here are step-by-step instructions about how to proceed on baby's first bath:

  • Step 1: Add about 3 inches water in a baby tub. Ensure that the water is warm but not hot.
  • Step 2: Undress your baby; leave the diaper on if he/she cries to boost the sense of security when the baby is in water.
  • Step 3: Lower your baby into the tub slowly. First, put his feet into the tub while supporting his neck and hand with one hand. Now, keep pouring cupfuls of bath water over your baby to ensure he feels warm.
  • Step 4: Always use mild soap in proper amount otherwise it will dry out your baby's skin. Use a washcloth to wash him from top to bottom, front and back. Use soapy cloth to wash his scalp first. Use a clean, wet piece of cloth to clean his face and eyes. Be sure to dab any dried mucus on his eyes or in the nostrils before wiping it out.
  • Step 5: Use several cupful of water to rinse him thoroughly and use washcloth to wipe him. Then, lift your baby up while supporting his head and neck with your hand. Also, keep your fingers around one of his thighs while you lift him out of the tub. You can ask your partner to receive your baby in a dry towel.
  • Step 6: Pat him dry and apply a mild baby lotion if you notice skin peeling from birth.

To clear any confusion, check out the following video of baby's first bath.

3. Tips and Cautions

One you have finished your baby's first bath, things will become a lot easier. However, it is still important to pay attention to a few important tips and take some precautionary measures.

  • Be sure to change the parts of the washcloth when cleaning different areas of the body.
  • Apply a wash cloth and pat the skin dry with towel gently. Never scrub vigorously or you may irritate your baby's sensitive skin.
  • Stick to spot cleaning if your baby does not like an immersion bath or feel not comfortable with a total sponge bath.
  • Clean the eyes on an as-needed basis. Most babies protest when you clean their eyes during a bath and this may make the entire bath rather difficult.
  • Take cotton balls and soak them in warm tap water. Use these cotton balls to clean any accumulated discharge from your baby's eyes.
  • Make use of cotton-tipped applicators to clean areas behind and in the outer ear. Avoid cleaning inside the ear canal or you may end up damaging the eardrum.
  • Avoid sprinkling perfumed talcum powder on your baby skin after every bath. Oils and powders offer no benefits, and they may even be harmful. Emollients can be applied on the patchy areas of the skin though. Do not use powders and oils unnecessarily or it may cause skin irritation and rashes.

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