Bath time offers the opportunity to hug the baby, caress him, and strengthen emotional bonds. It is a time to enjoy the newborn and it is an activity in which all members of the family can participate. Although the technique is simple, it is not without doubts and uncertainties, so it is advisable to solve them before the first bath.
WASHING THE CHILD AT NIGHT WILL FACILITATE HIS SLEEP
The way to bathe a baby before the fall of the cord is different from how it will be done afterwards. The reason is to avoid infections and to keep the navel as dry as possible for proper healing. It is for this reason that before the umbilical cord falls , it is preferable not to wash the baby by immersion, that is, not to completely submerge the baby in water. In any case, with the correct technique, hygiene can be carried out , without the need to completely submerge the baby in water.
HOW TO PREPARE THE BABY’S BATH
Before starting, it is important to have everything prepared. Good organization is necessary to make caring for the baby easier. To achieve this, nothing better than gathering and having everything you need at hand:
– The first days it is not advisable to wash the baby in a large bathtub, besides being difficult, it is dangerous. So it is recommended to use the kitchen sink or a baby bath that can be placed on a sturdy, elevated surface, such as a kitchen counter or a sturdy table. The bathtub will fill 5 or 7cm with warm water , but not hot. The suitable temperature is between 34-37 ºC. The water temperature should be checked before introducing the newborn, for this the internal part of the wrist, the back of the hand or the elbow is submerged, there are also bathtub thermometers for these cases. It is advisable to have warm water ready in a basin, as it may be necessary to add more hot water.
– Cotton towels, large and soft.
– Natural and special sponge for babies. You can also use your hand to wash the baby .
– Special liquid soap for newborns , with a neutral pH without fragrances or colors. It is only necessary to use a small amount and you must be sure to thoroughly rinse your skin . All of this is very important because your skin is very delicate and prone to irritation. Anyway, we could bathe the newborn with water only, especially recommended given the few days of life.
– Soft brush or comb.
– Oil and special moisturizing lotion for babies.
– Clean clothes and diapers .
YOU HAVE TO BE CAREFUL ABOUT THE TEMPERATURE OF THE BATHROOM
HOW TO BATHE THE NEWBORN
It is important to make the logical insecurity of the first days disappear, to organize ourselves calmly and to face this situation as a moment of special affection with the baby.
1. To begin, reassure the baby. To do this, talk and caress him. Then she begins to undress him, leaving the diaper on . Wrap it in a towel and clean the eyes very gently. Use a new and different gauze for each eye, soaked in water or saline at room temperature. You also have to clean the face, passing a cotton towel wet with clean water around the mouth, nose and the rest of the face, always from the inside out. Pay attention to the back of the ear and the folds of the neck. When cleaning the ears, never insert a cotton swab into the ear canal , just clean the visible parts. Finally remove the diaper and proceed to clean that area before putting it in the bathtub.
2. The best posture to clean a newborn is to support his back with one arm, so that the baby rests his head on his forearm, supporting him by the armpit and shoulder; This way the other hand is free and the baby is semi-incorporated. The order to follow in hygiene is from top to bottom, starting with the head and ending with the genitals.
3. With the free hand, the baby’s hair is washed and a small amount of shampoo specially formulated for newborns is applied. Apply it with a gentle massage all over the head. Subsequently rinse well with water until the shampoo remains are removed.
4. For the rest of the body, use your free hand or use a sponge. You should start from the neck to the waist, without forgetting the arms, the hands. Later it is passed to the lower extremities, legs and feet. Always leave the cleaning of the genitals for last, as it is the dirtiest area of the baby. In the case of girls, it should be cleaned from front to back so that no remains of feces are introduced into the genitals.
5. Finally, rinse well and dry with light pressure. Special care must be taken in the folds, as excess moisture can cause skin irritations.
6. Since their skin is much thinner than that of adults, it is common for it to quickly lose moisture. This can cause dryness and irritation on the skin, so it is advisable to apply a baby oil or a specific moisturizing lotion all over the body. Do not forget to apply a thin layer of diaper cream to the folds of the bottom, to protect it from moisture and diaper chafing.
7. It is time to comb him with a soft brush. You can put a few drops of cologne on your clothes, but it is advisable to use a low-alcohol cologne that does not dry out your delicate skin.
Cleaning the umbilical cord after bathing is very important, as maintaining good hygiene will prevent future infections. There is some basic care to wash the umbilical cord before it dries out and falls off permanently.
– It is advisable to wash your hands before starting to clean the baby’s umbilical cord. Remember that any bacteria can cause an infection in the newborn.
– Clean the cord with a sterile gauze soaked in antiseptic solution.
– Dry it well with gentle touches and let it air dry. That the cord remains clean and dry is the most important thing.
Always carry out this care after bathing, and every time the umbilical cord is stained, which is usually common when the diaper is stained. In case of bleeding, bad smell or suppuration, consult your pediatrician .
IMPORTANT TIPS FOR BATHING A NEWBORN.
There are some special cares that you should consider during the bath:
– You should never leave the baby alone during the bath.
– The use of powders is not recommended, especially during the first months, to avoid maceration and possible allergies.
– The height of the bathtub must be appropriate to your height, thus preventing back problems.
– It is advisable to wash the bathtub before and after use.
– Remember to dry all the folds of the baby’s skin well, pay special attention under the chin, behind the ears and in the diaper area.
– Bath time is an ideal time to check the baby and thus rule out rashes, inflammations , or other problems.
– But above all, take advantage of the bath time to enjoy it. Do not be discouraged if he cries a lot during the first few baths, as it is logical that the unknown scares him. With caresses and good environmental conditions, he will soon get used to it and enjoy it.
Finally, remember that the newborn’s bath is a very special moment of contact between the parents and the baby, so it is advisable to take it easy and enjoy the moment. It is the best occasion to use your hands not only to perform hygiene care for the baby, but also to caress it. In the case of new parents, be sure that insecurities will disappear.