The newborn baby

Facial and Nappy Area Wash

In the first week you may find it easier, just the face and nappy area of ​​your Baby wash. Use a clean and warm sponge or washcloth, maintain a warm room temperature, and lay your child on a warm, clean towel to dry. Wash his hands and face regularly and thoroughly. And after every diaper change, cleanse the genitals of your baby.

A proper bath

You do not have to wait for the rest of the umbilical cord to dry and fall off - or until this area is completely healed - before you can properly bathe your newborn baby. At this time, a bath does not increase the risk of infection in the umbilical cord (Bryanton et al 2004, Rush 1986). Nevertheless, not all midwives recommend this because they have found that the healing process progresses faster when the navel stays dry.

The most important thing is to keep your baby warm so that body temperature does not drop (Anderson et al 1995, Kuller et al 2001, WHO 1998). Make sure that both room and bath water are pleasantly warm.

As long as your baby is a tiny baby, use a small plastic bathtub or a bath tub instead of the bathtub. Some parents bathe their children on a daily basis because it pleases everyone involved or because it has a calming effect on the baby. But newborns do not need daily bath. Even if your baby can crawl and get dirty while exploring the world, it only needs to be bathed once or twice a week. In between, it is sufficient to wash your child off with a washcloth if necessary (Kuller et al 2001).

Experts have found no evidence that daily bathing is recommended. Excessive use of soaps and even tap water can damage the baby's skin (Gfatter et al 1997, Yosipovitch et al 2000). If necessary, use ph-neutral soap - preferably one that has been tested for baby skin compatibility (Kuller et al 2001) - and avoid using any bath products during the first few weeks.

Maybe you're a little scared of bathing your newborn at first. Of course, it takes practice to hold a wriggling, wet little creature. Stay calm and hold your child firmly. Some babies calm the warm water - then let your child enjoy the bath for a while. Other children scream loudly while bathing - or they scream when the bathing is over and they are lifted out of the water.

Safety while bathing

The following advice will help you to bathe safely:

  • Never leave your child unattended, even for a minute!If the doorbell rings or the phone rings and you think it's important, wrap your child in a towel and take it with you.
  • Do not put your child in the tub while the water is still running. (The water temperature may change or the water level may become too high.)
  • Set the boiler to a maximum of 49 degrees Celsius. A child can scald in less than a minute at a water temperature of 60 degrees Celsius.
  • Never leave your child unattended. (Yes, that's so important that we list it twice.) Children can drown in less than 2 inches, 5 inches of water, and in less than 60 seconds.

How do you bathe your child?

first Wash your hands. Find all the essentials and put at least one clean towel, a fresh diaper and clothes ready.

second Allow up to 12 inches of water. So much so that when you hold your child, the shoulders are covered in water. The bathwater should feel warm but not hot and be about 38 degrees Celsius. This temperature helps the little ones to maintain their own body heat (Kuller et al 2001).

third Take your child to the bath and take it off.

4th Slowly slide your baby into the water with your feet first, supporting your baby's neck and head with one hand. So that your baby does not get cold, occasionally take a handful of bath water and let it flow over his body.

5th Use sparingly with soap and bath products or leave them altogether. If absolutely necessary, use a pH neutral soap, preferably one that has been tested for compatibility with babies. (You can also alternate soapy baths with simple water baths.) Too much soap and cleanser will dry out your child's skin and make it more sensitive. Of course, soap helps if your child is very dirty: your baby's bowel movements contain a high percentage of fat and are sometimes difficult to remove with water (Gelmetti 2001). Midwives also recommend almond oil to clean the diaper area.

. 6 Wash your baby by hand or with a washcloth from top to bottom and back to front. Clean your child's head with a soaped-in rag. If you want to keep the bath short, you can also clean the face before or after the bath. Use moist cotton swabs (without soap!). If there is dirt in your child's eye or nostrils, dab the area several times with a little damp cotton wool. Then the dirt is not so strong and can be removed more pleasantly for your little one. For the genitals of your child is no more necessary than to wash normally.

. 7 Thoroughly wash the soap residue and remove your baby from the bath by supporting the neck and head with one hand.The other hand holds your baby on the butt - thumb and forefinger lie around the thigh. Why? Wet babies are very slippery!

. 8 Wrap your little one in a warm towel with a hood, then dry your child off immediately and make a fresh diaper poodle. Then wrap your baby back in a towel or blanket. Then hold your child in your arms for about ten minutes to keep it warm (Kuller et al 2001). If your baby's skin seems dry, use a mild lotion after bathing. Finally, put on your child, warm it with a dry blanket and give it a kiss on the fragrant kid's head.

Only water or soap?

You may have heard that you should only use water for bathing. But water alone is not always enough to keep your child clean. If you want to know more, click on our expert opinion.

Sources

Anderson, G.C. Lane, A.E. Chang, H.P. 1995. Axillary temperature in transitional newborn infants before and after tub bath. Appl Nurs Res 8 (3). pp. 123-128.

Bryanton, J. Walsh, D. Barrett, M. and Gaudet, D. 2004. Tub Bathing Versus Traditional Sponge Bathing for the Newborn. JOGNN 33rd pp. 704-712.

Gelmetti, C. 2001. Skin cleansing in children. Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology. 15 (Suppl 1). pp. 12-15.

Gfatter, R. Hackl, P. Braun, F. 1997. Effects of soap and detergents on skin surface pH, stratum corneum hydration and fat content in infants. Dermatology. 195 (3). pp. 258-262.

Hopkins, J. 2004. Essentials of newborn skin care. British Journal of Midwifery. 12 (5). pp. 314-317. Kuller, J. Raines, D.A. Ecklund, S. Folsom, M.S. Lund, C. and Rothwell, D.M. 2001.

Evidence-based clinical practice guideline: Neonatal skin care. A report by the Association of Women's Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses (AWHONN) and the National Association of Neonatal Nurses (NANN). McNally, N.J. Williams, H.C. Phillips, D.R. Smallman-Raynor, M. Lewis, S. Venn, A. Britton, J. 1998. Atopic eczema and domestic water hardness. Lancet

. 352 (9127). pp. 527-531. Medves, J.M. and O'Brien, B. 2001. Does bathing newborns remove harmful pathogens from the skin? Birth.

28th pp. 161-165. Rush, J. 1986. Routine newborn bathing as a means of reducing staphylococcus aureus colonization rates: a randomized trial. Birth.

. 13 pp. 18-22. WHO (World Health Organization). 1998. Care of the umbilical cord -

a review of the evidence. www. who. int [as of April 2006].

Yosipovitch, G. Maayan-Metzger, A. Merlob, P. Sirota, L. 2000. Skin Barrier Properties in Different Body Areas in Neonates. Pediatrics.

106 (1). pp. 105-108. Show sources Hide sources

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