Bathing Safety for Newborns

Bathing Safety for Newborns

If you thoroughly clean the diaper area every time you change diapers, your baby won't need to bathe frequently. It's enough to bathe them three times a week before they turn one year old. Bathing too often can cause the baby's skin to dry out, especially if soap is used or if moisture evaporates from the skin during bathing. After bathing, gently pat the baby dry with a towel and immediately apply an unscented, hypoallergenic moisturizer to prevent eczema.

Before bathing the baby, prepare a basin of water, a clean towel that has been rinsed repeatedly to avoid soap residue, and a mild baby soap, all within easy reach. Wrap the baby in a large towel, leaving only the part you're going to wash exposed. First, use a damp cloth without soap to wipe the baby's face to prevent soap from getting into their eyes or mouth. Then, moisten the towel with soapy water and continue washing the rest of the baby's body, leaving the diaper area for last. Pay special attention to cleaning the folds in areas like the armpits, behind the ears, and the neck, and for baby girls, ensure cleanliness around the genital area.

Once the umbilical cord stump has completely healed, you can try putting the baby directly into the water. Be cautious during the first few basin baths, making it quick and gentle. If the baby seems to dislike it, continue sponge baths for 1-2 weeks before trying basin baths again. The baby will clearly indicate when they are ready with their body language. Many parents find it convenient to bathe newborns using a foldable tub, sink, or plastic basin and a clean large towel. The water temperature should feel comfortably warm when tested on the wrist or the inner elbow, not too hot, with the water depth about 5 centimeters. If drawing water directly from the tap, start with cold water before adding hot water (and turn off the hot water first after use) to prevent scalding yourself or the baby. The maximum temperature of water flowing from the tap should not exceed 49°C to avoid accidental scalding. Most household water heaters can now be set to a specific temperature. A baby hooded towel can effectively prevent the baby's head from getting cold after getting wet.

Once all the supplies are ready and the room temperature is suitable, undress the baby and put them in the water immediately to avoid chilling. Hold the baby's head with one hand and gently lower their feet into the water with the other hand. Encourage the baby with reassuring words while gently submerging the rest of their body into the water. For safety, keep most of the baby's body, including their face, above the water surface, and regularly splash warm water over them to keep them warm.

When bathing the baby:

Gently wash their face and hair with a soft towel, using baby shampoo once or twice a week. Massage their entire head gently, including the soft spot on top. When rinsing off the baby soap or shampoo from their head, shield their forehead with your hand to prevent the soapy water from flowing into their eyes. If soap gets into the baby's eyes, they will protest by crying, in which case, use a damp cloth dipped in lukewarm water to gently wipe their eyes until all the soap residue is removed, and they will reopen their eyes. Finally, wash the rest of their body from top to bottom.

Infants actually don't need bath toys because water and the rinsing process are already quite fun for them. However, as they grow old enough to bathe in a bathtub, toys become essential. Various containers, floating toys, and even waterproof bath books can capture their attention and make bathing easier for you.

When leaving the bathtub after bathing, wrap the baby in a hooded towel to prevent their head from getting cold while their body is still wet. Regardless of the child's age, bathing them will likely make you wet, so you may want to wear a bathrobe or drape a towel over your shoulders to avoid getting wet.

Bathing is a great way to relax and help the baby sleep, so it's best to do it when you have time.

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