The Washington Independent
The Washington Independent
Baby lovin'

Baby lovin'

December 10, 2020

Table of Contents

  • Baby washing station staples
  • What to do
  • No longer a newborn
  • Shop smart

For the first time, bathing your baby can be a daunting experience. But it hasn't got to be! With the bonus of warm cuddles and splashy giggles, bath time is the ideal time to build rituals that keep the tender tushie feeling good.

Since newborns are now encouraged to be sponge-bathed before the umbilical cord has dried and fallen off, it is a great way to build a baby washing station near a water source to keep your baby clean and smell oh-so-good! Babies need to be washed every day with their ears, hands, the base around their umbilical cord, and diaper field.

To ensure the vernix caseosa, the greasy whiteish protective coating babies are born with, remains intact, the World Health Organization recommends delaying the first bath for the first 24 hours. The vernix helps protect the skin and has anti-inflammatory properties that help avoid after-birth infections!

Baby washing station staples

  • Sink or small bathtub
  • 3 Cotton washcloths
  • Mild soap
  • Hooded towel

What to do

  • Fill the sink (32-37.8°C) with tepid water. If you don't have a thermometer, first dip your elbow in the water to guarantee that the temperature is cool.
  • Swaddle the little one in a towel on a flat surface beside your water source. Work your way down from head to foot, including behind the ears, in-ear crevices, and under the arms, uncovering one part of the body to be washed at a time. Save the diaper area for the last time, and remember to clean the diaper area from front to back with the female genitalia.
  • Wipe each eye, starting at the tear duct (located next to the side of the nose) using the second clean cloth and warm water. Massage the tear duct gently with circular movements and wipe into the opposite corner of the eye to help clear blocked tear ducts. Repeat with the other eye, moving to a clean corner of the fabric.
  • To wipe the baby's mouth and gums gently, use the third clean washcloth and warm water.
  • Follow up with a gentle massage in your baby's water. It's a wonderful way to communicate!

No longer a newborn

Although the bathing technique recommended for newborns is still appropriate, your baby may still enjoy bathing in a shallow baby bathtub or even in the sink by three months. And bath time will become a more regular requirement until the baby can sit unassisted and start eating solid food! Dry patches, especially in winter, are common.

Reduce the bathing frequency to three times a week as they grow while continuing to wash the face and hands of your infant, and sponge-bathe the diaper area every day.

Memories of Bath Time are some of the best. Time spent together laughing in warm water will stay with you both for years to come, from making bubble beards to favorite toys, games, and songs!

Shop smart

When it comes to finding the right items for infants, long lists of unknown ingredients can leave a parent completely confused. Take into account castile soap when contemplating a gentle cleanser for delicate skin. It's low-foaming, derived from olive oil but cleanses well.

Choose those containing mild surfactants such as CAPB (Cocamidopropyl betaine), coco, decyl, or lauryl glucoside, and some glutamates and sarcosinates, if you are looking for a shampoo style product. In combination with a fatty ingredient such as vegetable glycerine, a well-formulated product will contain surfactants to build a well-balanced recipe.

If both relaxing chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla) and soothing calendula (Calendula officinalis) are lovely additions to the search for baby-friendly herbals.

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