Tips for Bathing Your Infant
Infants aren’t ready for in tub bathing until their umbilical cord has fallen off. Umbilical cords are what transport a mother’s nutrients and oxygen to a baby. An umbilical cord will generally fall off between 10 days and three weeks after birth, after which you can submerge their bodies in water.
Another consideration is a baby's soft spot typically found at the top of the head. The soft spots are the areas of the scalp that provided a child to easily adapt to the birthing canal. Bather’s want to be aware and extremely gentle during contact of that area.
For male infants, parents should be careful that circumcision incisions are healed. In the interim, you can cleanse infants by sponge bathing. If you are uncertain of how to properly give your child a sponge bath, please review the created steps following.
Instead of a traditional bath, The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends sponge baths until the umbilical cord stump falls off and circumcisions are healed. If you’re not familiar with sponge bathing, you can follow my process below.
Sponge & Bath Preparation
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Step 1: Check the water temperature. Make sure the temperature is just slightly above 100 degrees Fahrenheit to avoid scalding but just warm enough to prevent chilling.
Step 2: Fill up basin or tub to a level where your child’s navel is not submerged. Keep in mind if you are bathing a male, do not permit for the water to touch his private part.
Step 3: Loosely wrap your child in the receiving blanket leaving the front open.
Step 4: Place your slightly wrapped child into the tub.
Step 5: Moisten sponge and lather.
Step 6: Support your child’s head and bathe.
As you are wiping down your infant, you can be sure to cover exposed areas that are not being cleansed with the receiving blanket. This will keep them warm.
Step 7: Use the cotton gauze to wipe your child’s eye areas with water gently.
Step 8: Gently rise using the sponge and not drenching the child.
Step 9: Gently wash baby’s hair being cautious of soft spots.
Step 10: Rise
Step 11: Dry
For older baby's and toddlers, simply increase water level.
*Never leave your child unattended.
You should not bathe your infant every day. According to The Mayo Clinic, you should only wash a baby three times a week because bathing a child more than the mentioned may dry out their skin. You can increase the amount of bathing as a child starts to crawl and explore.
Juanita C. Clare
Just a new mother to an amazing little boy learning things as we grow.