Babies have thin skin, more permeable to water and other substances, therefore it is necessary to take good care of her skin from birth. But don't worry, it's sure you're not alone, who fears the first bath of your baby. The first bathing of a newborn is usually performed by a pediatric nurse with the assistance of mother. It is important to fetch a ritual that you will follow and then you can easily master everything. We have prepared a manual how to bathe the baby and what you will need.
You can also find useful information about care for babie's skin?
How often to bathe
During the first days after the birth it is recommended to bathe baby only by washing and wiping skin with soft sponge or cotton napkins. Such bathing of a newborn is simple, gentle on delicate skin of your baby and it will become quickly and easily a routine of your evenings. Described washing is appropriate until the umbilical cord isn't healed and not fall off. This way of bathing prevents the inflammation and other potential complications.
In former times it was recommended daily bathing, but the change of water quality, increasing of allergy symptoms and development of medical knowledge has led to the fact that the views on the overall bath especially of newborns have changed. It is necessary to realize that skin is the largest organ of human body and it has a number of important functions. To these functions belong protection of the body and its organs, production of vitamin D, regulation of body temperature via blood supplying and sweating, sensory function etc. Daily bathing with the usage of any toilet preparations relieves skin protection film, dries it, the skin cracks and is irritated. It is therefore advisable to bathe 2-3 times a week and children with prone or symptoms to irritated skin should take a bath only once a week. Only when the baby begins to move more actively and begins to crawl, it will be necessary to gradually increase the frequency of bathing.
Most of sucklings like bathing and feel good in water. Bathing without body washes means can become the daily ritual, in which parents establish closer contact with their baby. Warm water is very popular, because it reminds to babies their well known environment - the amniotic fluid, when they were still in mom's womb.
Preparation to bathing
Things to bathing and aftercare need to be prepared in advance, to prevent chill of the baby.
Where to bathe
Find a suitable place for bathing. It can be a floor in the bathroom, changing table or bed in the bedroom or nursery. If you use the bed, it is reasonable to put a rubber pad under the towel. Very important is conveniently room temperature. Must be pleasantly warm, recommended temperature is around 72-79°F. Also take care of turned off air conditioning or ventilation, and that the doors and windows are closed. We may gradually decrease the temperature of water and room and so harden the baby - in the end of bathing we may use the shower, which will supply the skin with blood well. In summer it is possible to use short showering to refresh the child several times a day.
In what to bathe
In first months we start to bathe in a small bath bucket or in a baby bathtub. One of the advantages of bath bucket is, that the water gets cold slower and it reminds to babies a stay in a womb. A bath bucket has to have a smooth wide margin to enable us to facilitate the handling of the child and that the child will not chafe on sharp edges. Instead of the bath bucket we can use a small baby bathtub, because bathe the baby in the first months of her life in a big bathtub is inappropriate because of the possible transmission of any infection. From three to four months, you can go for a bath in a large bathtub. It is appropriate when the bathtub is equipped with non-slip pad that protects the child from injury. If we use the large bathtub from the beginning it is necessary to wash it carefully before every bath of the baby. The advantage of using a bath bucket or a baby bathtub is the possibility to place it at a level that satisfied the mother not to have be bent while bathing. We may also use a special bath lounger, on which we lay the baby in the water and therefore we release both hands. Otherwise, we have to support baby's back and head with one hand and to washing we have only one hand free.
In a baby bathtub or bath bucket we pour first cold and then hot water and stir it well. Firstly we pour cold water into the baby bathtub or bath bucket and secondly warm water and stir it properly. There should not be more than 4-6 inches of water in the bathtub, the water temperature should be about 99°F, regardless of the season. We measure the temperature with a special thermometer or try it out with immersing the lower part of our forearm. It should be neither too cold, nor too hot. Even in the hot summer we don't bathe the baby in cold water.
Near the bathtub we prepare a towel lint-free - the best is diaper-type, napkin to wipe perigenital area and buttocks before bathing, washcloth to wash all the pleats, cream against sore spots, diapers, hairbrush, pyjama and cotton swabs to clean ears and nose, baby soap (you can use different emollients or herbal baths from a wide range of children's cosmetics, which will replace the soap) and baby milk or oil.
Procedure within bathing
We bathed newborn only 2-3 times a week, as it has been described above, in other days we only wipe her. We undress the baby and put her on a ready towel. We soak a washcloth to pre-warm water and wring it out. We wipe the baby gradually from her head over the shoulders, arms, torso until legs and after the turn also her little back. Finally, we need to wash perigenital area, best it is with a special designated napkin. Baby girls we always wipe from front to back, with baby boys we need to check the penis and the foreskin, as recommended by the pediatrician (the foreskin is important not to pull over!). We wipe thoroughly all the folds around the buttocks to remove all dirt.