Bathing Your Baby

Daily bathing of newborns may dry their skin and is unnecessary. Newborn babies don't get very dirty, except for the diaper area, which you can clean at each diaper change. Until the umbilical cord stump has fallen off, only a sponge bath is needed. After that, two or three baths a week are plenty.

It's a good idea to have a regular time for bathing your baby. The room should be warm, with no drafts. Keep bathing supplies together to save steps. You can bathe your baby in a small tub containing comfortably warm water no more than 3 inches deep. Check the temperature of the water with your elbow before placing your baby in it. NEVER turn your back for even an instant while your baby is in the tub.

Wah the baby's face with plain, warm water and a soft cloth. Do not use soap. To clean around the eyes, use cotton dipped in cool water. Wipe from the bridge of the nose toward the ears. Do not try to clean the inside of either the nose or ears, but clean outer areas with a moist washcloth or cotton ball.

Wash your baby's head with a mild shampoo. Work from front to back, to keep suds out of his eyes. Clean carefully over the soft spots. Our office should be notified if there is greasy scaling (cradle cap).

Use a mild soap and warm water to wash the baby's body. Be sure to wash in the folds of skin. Rinse well. Pat him dry. Powders and lotions are not necessary for routine skin care. Powders, in particular, should be avoided as babies have been injured by accidentally inhaling baby powder.

Trim your baby's fingernails carefully with a nail clipper. This may be necessary several times a week.

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