In this brief post I will discuss newborn baths and basic care for the first few weeks of life.
For approximately the first week of life, newborns must be given sponge baths. This is because of the umbilical cord that is still present. Submerging it in water increases the risk for infection, so until it falls off, use wipes, washcloths with soap, etc. This kind of bath will also be done in the hospital if you’d like to observe and ask any questions.
Once the umbilical cord stump falls off, the baby can start tub baths. Multiple products are on the market to help hold your baby in the sink or bath tub (hammocks, pillows, etc.) while you bath them.
Water temperature should be warm but not hot. Check the water temperature with your elbow or the inside of your wrist. These areas are more sensitive to hot water than your fingers and hands are.
Body wash and soap should be mild and for sensitive skin. Baby soap is best, but mild soap of any kind is good too. In the hospital we use Johnson and Johnson baby wash.
Avoid putting soap on baby’s face- just use warm water. Soap can be too irritating for a baby’s face and eyes. However, shampooing a baby’s hair should be done.
Baths do not have to be done every day like some people think. They can be done every 3-4 days or even once a week. Wipes over the body can be used for everyday use.
Always feel free to ask questions at the hospital with your nurse or email me!