Bathing a newborn baby is a very important stage in its care. The first bath (and often the next ones as well) are very stressful for the parents. It is worth knowing how to prepare the bathing area and how the evening bath should look like.
The first bath of a newborn baby takes place in the hospital. According to WHO recommendations a baby should be bathed only after one day from birth. The baby immediately after birth is covered with amniotic fluid, which should be left as long as possible on the body of the child. For this reason, many hospitals only wash the baby’s face with water immediately after birth. If the situation requires an earlier bath, the baby should be bathed no earlier than 6 hours after birth.
Many midwives recommend bathing the baby at home two or three times a week, on other days the baby can be washed with a baby washcloth or a wet tetrowej diaper. The baby after birth is bathed in the hospital every day – there is no need to bathe the baby so often after returning home.
The temperature in the room where the bath will take place should be between 22-24°C. Before the bath, prepare all the things you will need for the baby’s bath, namely:
If it is cold, you can put a cap on the baby’s head after bathing.
Many midwives recommend using as few cosmetics as possible to care for a newborn. For bathing an emollient bath is a good choice. In order to choose the best ones it is worth choosing cosmetics without PEG and parabens. It is also necessary to use baby oil and bottom care cream (many midwives recommend blue Alantan).
Choosing a place to bathe the baby is very difficult. A bathtub is larger than a bucket – thus it will serve the child longer. A large bathtub in the bathroom is a great solution for bigger children who can sit up on their own.
Many parents ask themselves whether it is worth using a sponge so that the child does not slip in the bathtub. Unfortunately, such a sponge quickly becomes a breeding ground for bacteria, which is why many midwives recommend using a flannel diaper
Boiled water at a lukewarm temperature is best for washing the baby’s face. The temperature of the water in the bathtub should oscillate between 36-37 degrees Celsius. When the umbilical stump is fresh, pour only 1/3 of the water into the bathtub, up to the baby’s hips, so as not to submerge it. When the stump from the umbilical cord falls off, you can pour more water into the bath.
Bathing a baby should begin with getting him accustomed to water, i.e. slowly putting the baby into the water. Support your baby with one hand at all times while bathing. First, wash the baby’s face with absorbent cotton. Each eye of the baby should be washed with a separate swab. Then wash the upper parts of the body. While bathing, remember about all the nooks and crannies – babies have folds in which there may still be postpartum ointment or even leftover food after hiving. At the very end, wash the baby’s head.
During the first bath it is advisable to wash the baby with your hands only. The skin of a newborn baby is very delicate and can be irritated by soaps and sponges. During the first bath the parent should have the nails cut short and jewelry removed from the hands.
During the first bath, keep an eye on the water temperature so as not to cool down the newborn. If the baby is calm, the bath can last up to about 10 minutes.
A woman who has just given birth can bathe her newborn baby, but it is very important that she does not carry the bathtub with water. If the mother has had a caesarean section it is better for the father to bathe the baby at first.
Parents should remember that bath time is a time of rest and relaxation for the baby and its parents.