Baby bath is often not needed daily until the baby has started crawling and getting herself dirty. You can wipe her clean after each feed and when you undergo the diaper change process. A baby bath is needed only twice or thrice a week. Till your baby's umbilical cord or circumcision is healed, you must use only the warm and wet sponge to clean her. This is called the sponge bath. The tub bath must wait till after that which is usually when your baby is about two or three weeks old. Do not leave your baby unattended even for a brief while during a baby bath. Also, do not remove her nappy until it is time to wash her bottom.
Order When Giving a Baby Bath
Most mothers prefer cleaning their baby in the following order:
Body from neck downwards (front first and then the back)
Face and ears
Soap for Baby Bath
Use as little soap as possible or even skip soap altogether. A mild baby soap or shampoo is advisable for her head once or twice a week. Also, you must treat her very gently. Once you have finished washing her face and body, dry her well immediately and keep her warm. Make sure that the bathroom (or wherever you are bathing the baby) and the room in which she is dried and dressed are warm and free of draughts. Turn fans off and close the door if necessary. Using a hooded towel will help minimize heat loss from the scalp.
Most mothers like massaging their babies after bath with soothing oils such as baby oil or almond oil. Massaging also provides many benefits such as good sleep and better bonding between mother and baby. Some Indian mothers also prefer using green gram flour or besan flour mixed with water as an alternative to baby soap. This is not advisable as using besan/green gram can cause dry skin.
You can check out specially manufactured soaps, shampoos, lotions, oils, diaper rash creams and many more cleaning accessories for your baby's delicate skin by Johnson & Johnson, Wipro Baby Soft and Himalaya Herbals.
Select the place where you want to bathe your baby.
Fill a bowl with warm water and take it to the bathing place. You must place your wrist or elbow in the water to check that it is not too hot.
Keep all things necessary for the bath ready such as sponge, shampoo, ointment for nappy rash etc before you begin so that you do not have to get up in between. You may need two towels - one for the head and one for the face and body.
Lay the baby ready on any surface that will not make her feel cold. If you are placing her on a flat surface such as a table top, take care that she does not roll over.
Get your baby ready for the bath by taking off her clothes.
Dip the sponge into the warm water and squeeze it till it is damp.
Wipe her all over such as her head, face, hands and legs. Remember to extend her arms and legs to clean them. Pay extra care to dry the nappy areas and apply ointment on the rash infected area before you put on a new diaper.
Video on Giving Baby a Sponge Bath
Some of the initial steps in giving him a regular bath are the same as a sponge bath. You must remember not to leave your little one unattended throughout the bath. You can adopt the following steps to give her a regular bath and make the experience memorable:
Get your baby's bath tub ready in the bathroom. This will make bathing your baby easier.
Keep all things needed for your baby's bath ready before you start bathing her.
Start filling the bath tub with cold water and then add the hot water so that the water sets into the right temperature for the baby. The level of water should be only a couple of inches deep.
Never make your baby sit in the bath tub as you let the water run from the tap because the water temperature can change suddenly.
Undress your baby and slowly place her in the water. You may consider talking to her as you do this so that she feels secure.
A young baby will need to be bathed in a semi-sitting position with your hand supporting her neck. An older baby can be made to sit. Teach your baby to remain seated in the bath tub with support.
Since continuous use of soaps and shampoos may make your baby's skin dry and sensitive, you may consider giving her baths with these and plain water alternatively.
Do not allow your baby to touch the taps during a bath.
Wash your baby's head with a mild shampoo or soap after you have finished bathing her body.
Dry her thoroughly and wrap her in a towel after bath to keep her warm.
Shampoo Baby's Head
You can bathe your little one's head once or twice a week using the following tips:
Keep her head propped up above the bath tub.
Wet your little one's scalp with water from a mug or a light spray. You may consider taking water from the mug and rubbing it on your baby's head.
Add very little shampoo or soap on her head and rub it to produce a lather. Avoid the lather getting into your baby's eyes.
Massage your baby's hair and scalp using circular movements.
Rinse her head with a mild spray or few mugs of water.
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