Your baby’s skin is still sensitive, so you must be careful and gentle during bath time. Here’s a quick lesson on how to bathe a newborn baby!
Bathing a newborn can be daunting and scary, especially for first-time mamas. The approach can differ, especially between babies who haven’t lost their umbilical cords and those who have already lost them. This article focuses on everything you need to know about bathing a newborn baby—from why they need them in the first place to how to choose a safe baby soap.
Table of Contents
Why do babies need a bath?
How often should I bathe my baby, and what time?
How to bathe a newborn baby with an umbilical cord?
How to bathe a newborn baby without an umbilical cord?
What baby bath safety tips should I remember?
How do I choose a safe baby wash?
Skip ahead to any section you find the most interesting!
Why Do Babies Need A Bath?
Bathing babies is a way to help protect their health. For example, a sound bath helps keep your baby clean and prevents rashes. Baths can also control excess oil on their hair. According to experts, babies whose hair isn’t cleaned are more prone to cradle cap, which causes flaky skin on the hair—and the eyebrows, too.
The Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Ohio highlights bath time is a great bonding experience between mamas and babies. “It’s a good time to talk to your baby and let him learn to make sounds and eye contact,” they add.
How Often To Bathe Your Baby and What Time?
A daily bath is unnecessary for newborns because it can dry their skin. Most recommended three times a week to be the optimal frequency for newborns. But once your baby is mobile and active, you can opt to bathe them daily.
The time you bathe your baby is up to you, Mama. Some parents prefer to bath in the mornings, while others prefer at night as part of a bedtime routine to help their babies sleep. When choosing a bath time, it’s best to go for hours where you are not rushing.
How to Bathe A Newborn With An Umbilical Cord
A sponge bath is usually the first method for Mamas to clean their little ones. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP_ recommends a sponge bath until the umbilical cord falls off.
It takes approximately two weeks for the stump to fall off, but it isn’t always consistent. In some babies, the stump falls five days after birth. However, if the stump has not dried up and fallen off by three weeks old, it’s recommended to consult a doctor to assess the umbilical cord.
Here’s how to properly bathe your baby if the umbilical cord is still attached! Save this on your mobile phone, so you can easily remember it. 🙂
How to Bathe A Newborn Whose Umbilicard Cord Has Fallen Off
Once the umbilical stump is gone, it’s safe to use a bathtub to bathe your newborn baby. Initially, you may face some resistance because they’re not used to it. If your baby is crying and refusing, gently ease them into the bathtub. You can do this by holding their head in your hands and soaking their feet in the tub.
Here’s a visual guide to help you, Mamas! Save this on your mobile phone, so you can easily remember it. 🙂
Baby Bath Safety Tips: 8 Important Things To Remember
Bathing a newborn baby seems easy enough, right? You’d be quickly bathing your baby with a bit of practice and guidance. In the meantime, here are essential safety tips for cleaning newborn babies:
- Never leave your baby unattended, even for a second.
- Don’t fill a bathtub with too much water. The AAP recommends just 2 inches of water.
- Make sure the bath water is warm. The ideal bath water temperature is 98.6°F (between 37°C and 38°C). You can also use a quick test using the inside of your wrist or elbow.
- Make sure the room temperature is also warm. Babies can get cold quickly, especially when they’re naked. So keep them away from drafts, too.
- Keep a firm hold on your baby. Their bodies can be slippery, mainly when you apply baby wash or soap.
- Make sure everything you need is within your reach. But, of course, doing this prevents you from stepping out of the room in the middle of bathtime, too.
- In the first year, babies only need to bathe three times a week as long as the diaper area is kept clean. But if the weather is hot and the baby is sweating, washing once a day is okay as long as the soap is safe for sensitive skin.
- Test whether the baby soap and shampoo you use to suit your little one’s skin. Do this by applying a small amount to the baby’s arm and waiting a few hours. If there is no reaction, the soap is suitable for your little one’s skin. This skin test is essential because choosing the wrong soap can trigger allergies and make your baby uncomfortable.
How to Choose a Safe Hair & Body Wash for Babies
Besides knowing how to bathe a newborn baby, it’s also essential to understand how to choose a safe baby soap. Although many options are available in the market, not all are safe.
When shopping for baby soap, watch out for the following harmful ingredients:
- Preservatives like parabens
- Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) and Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES) foam maker
- Chemical antibacterials, such as triclosan
According to dermatologist Rina Allwah, MD, “sulfates may cause skin irritation and strip the natural essential oils from the top layer of the skin, causing peeling and dry skin.” She adds that babies should not use parabens. “They may cause skin irritation, itching, allergic rashes, and worsen eczema.”
Discover Mama’s Choice Baby Hair & Body Wash
Now, choosing a safe hair and body wash for your little one is easier than ever with Mama’s Choice Baby Hair and Body Wash. A baby shampoo and body wash in one, this product gently cleanses and moisturises the hair and skin of newborns with a balanced pH.
It is enriched with Lavender & Chamomile that lends a relaxing effect for babies, and it also has a Sulfate-Free yet Natural Bubble-Rich formula that will make bath time even more enjoyable for your little one.
If your baby still has her umbilical cord stump, you only need to use one or two drops of Mama’s Choice Baby Hair and Body Wash. Mix into warm water, then soak a towel and wipe all over the body.
There’s no need to worry because Mama’s Choice Baby Hair and Body Wash is 100% free of harmful chemicals and has been certified Halal.
Aren’t these tips on bathing a newborn baby easy to remember? We hope you find these helpful, Mama!
Hanna of Mama's Choice
A mama of one energetic toddler, Hanna likes to read books, watch baking shows, and play video games when her little one is asleep.