Giving your baby the first bath is always going to be a special event in your life. It is an extraordinary time to bond with your newborn baby. You can coo and talk and sing to the baby while giving the first bath. Your newborn is simply going to love the sound of your voice and will be excited by your soft touch.
Getting your baby ready for the bath
Your baby’s first bath is compulsorily a sponge bath. You have to make sure that the bathroom temperature is warm enough for the baby not to catch a cold. The thermostat should be set between 75 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit. Babies tend to chill easily. You can use a bathtub that is made of thick plastic. Fill it with about three inches of warm water.
Assembling accessories for the bath
These are all the accessories that you would need for your baby’s first bath:-
· A thick plastic bath tub
· A double-rinsed wash cloth or a soft bath sponge for the baby.
· A hooded bath towel.
· A clean blanket.
· A clean diaper.
· Baby’s clothes.
· Gauze (This is comfortable for baby boys who have been circumcised).
· Warm water – it cannot be hot.
Precautions to be taken while giving your baby the first bath
The first thing that you will have to keep in your mind is that you cannot leave your baby alone when giving the first bath. You cannot lose your concentration even for one moment. You will just have to drop whatever you are doing such as answering a phone or attending to anything on the stove in the kitchen. When you are mentally prepared to concentrate on the sponge bath, you may start giving the baby a gentle bath. You have to be gentle in the first month of the baby till the umbilical cord falls off and the navel and circumcision has healed.
Basics of bathing a newborn
You have to undress the baby first and cradle the head with your hand. You have to leave the diaper on and wash that last. You have to ensure that the baby is wrapped in the bath towel and only those areas have to be exposed that you need to wash. You have to cleanse one body area at a time, using the soft bath sponge. You can start with the ears and behind them; then move on to the neck, the elbows, and the hands, between the fingers, the thighs, the knees and the toes. You have to give attention to the creases under the arms and around the neck.
The hair has to be washed last before proceeding to the diaper area. This is done so that the baby does not feel cold. You can sponge the few wisps of hair that can be found. The eyes should not get wet and it is better to tip back the head, a little. You cannot use shampoo; plain warm water is enough. The last thing that you do during the baby’s first bath is remove the diaper and sponge the belly, the bottom and the genitals of the baby. In the case of circumcised boys, you have to leave the head of the penis alone until it has healed completely.
Little girls have to be washed first in the front and then at the back. If there is slight vaginal discharge, there is no need to worry. You do not need to wipe it away instantly.
Once the bathing is over, you have to gently pat the baby dry. It will irritate the baby if you rub the skin vigorously. Apply a little baby lotion all over the body to get the moisture sealed in. Now, your baby is ready for diaper and clothes.