Many babies enjoy taking a bath, playing in the water. Babies feel relaxed after a bath; sometimes, it's enough to calm a child.
Where and When to Bathe the Baby?
For newborns, only a few inches of water are enough for the bath. Your baby can be washed in a regular bathtub with you, a baby bathtub, or a clean sink. To keep the baby warm, the ideal room temperature should be between 22°C and 24°C (71°F and 75°F). Choose the bath time according to your baby's wakefulness. Prefer a time when they are awake and calm. Newborns do not need to be washed every day; 2 or 3 times a week is sufficient during the first weeks of life. However, you can clean the face, neck, buttocks, and genitals every day with a cloth.
How to Wash the Baby?
Before starting the bath, have everything you need nearby: 2 large fluffy towels, diapers, unscented cream or baby oil, clean clothes, a very soft cloth, mild unscented soap, and baby shampoo, nail clippers if necessary, a comb, and a cotton swab to clean the navel. It's not necessary to use soap when bathing the baby, except to clean the buttocks, genitals, and hands. The best way to wash a child is to start with the head and then move down: • To hold your baby securely, place your forearm under his head and put your hand under one of his armpits. Clean him with the other hand. Always make sure to support the head well. • Start by washing the face gently with a cloth. • Clean the eyes gently, moving from the nose to the cheek, using a very soft cloth. Use a different corner of the glove for each eye. • Wash the outside and behind the ears. • Wash the scalp with a very mild shampoo. Lift the head well and support it when rinsing. • Babies also enjoy the touch of another skin against theirs. Take the bath time to massage your child. It will reassure him. • Wash the belly, arms, and legs. • Wash the genitals last. For boys, pay special attention to the foreskin. • If your child is still covered with vernix (a white paste present on the skin at birth), do not rub it; it will come off by itself. • To prevent your baby from slipping, you can place a small towel at the bottom of the bathtub. • When the bath is over, wrap the baby in the towel and dry it, avoiding rubbing. Be careful to dry all the folds of the skin to avoid redness. • When completely dry, apply a layer of cream, making sure it does not irritate the umbilical cord. • Avoid using talcum powder, as these products spread in the air and can damage your baby's lungs if he inhales it. • If necessary, trim the nails after the bath while sleeping.
Baby Bath Safety Tips
• Never leave your baby alone in the bathtub or on the changing table, even for a short time. Never take your eyes off him. A child can drown in a very short time in a very small amount of water (about 3.5 cm). • Always check the water temperature before putting your baby in the bath. Dip your elbow in the water to ensure it's warm. The ideal temperature for bathwater is 37°C (98°F), equivalent to the average human body temperature. • Never fill the tub while the baby is in it, as a sudden increase in water temperature can cause severe burns. • Always keep what you need, such as towels and soaps, within reach. • Always hold your child with one hand when reaching for something.