Heartiest congratulations on having safe nine months of your pregnancy and successfully tolerating the labor and delivery pains. So, it’s been days since you are in the hospital. Time to go back home and start a new life with your baby. However, you are sure to be frantic about how to get the things going, with your baby. Some simple tips on caring for a newborn can help you largely. Amongst all the baby care tips, one such significant one is bathing a baby. Remember, a baby is extremely delicate with a fragile skin, which means that the water may not be acceptable by the baby for the first few months after birth. Plus, the wet and slippery water can make your baby restless; thus, being daunting initially. At this stage, a full bath is not advisable for a baby. A sponge bath would be sufficient after every 2-3 days. Besides, your baby will be more comfortable with a sponge bath rather than a full water bath. However, you should make note of certain things while performing the sponge bath to ensure your baby’s complete safety and hygiene. Follow the simple instructions in the lines below to make even the sponge bath an enjoyable time for your little one.
Baby Sponge Bath
Preparing the Space
Before you begin with giving your baby a sponge bath, the first and foremost task would be to prepare the space you would be using for the bath. Clean the space thoroughly to make it germ-free. Also, collect all the materials required for the bath, such as bowls of warm water, washcloths, baby soap/wash, shampoo, towel, and washcloth. Prepare these materials before you proceed towards undressing your baby.
Undressing Your Baby
Babies have a tendency to lose their body heat quickly. Hence, it is recommended that you undress only those parts of your baby that are to be cleaned. Remove all the clothing and diaper, and wrap your baby in a soft towel with a hood. Hold it gently, providing support to its head. Keep your baby covered as much as possible, as a cold, wet, and naked baby is bound to scream.
Cleaning the Face
Dip a soft, spongy washcloth in warm water and wring it out generously. Begin with wiping your baby’s eyelids, face, and sides of the nose. Proceed towards wiping and cleaning the outer part of the face and behind the ears. Do not forget to get the dirt within the ears out, but don’t scrape harshly!
Washing the Body
Always use a soap-free cleanser that is especially formulated for babies, for cleaning the baby’s body. Wet a washcloth in warm water and slightly squeeze out. Apply some cleanser on the washcloth and rub to form lather. Apply the washcloth under the chin and neck area. Follow up with shoulders, arms, and armpits, and graduate towards the legs and toes. After you are done, place the soapy washcloth in one bowl and dip a clean washcloth in plain warm water. Wring it out and clean the soap off your baby’s body. Clean the umbilical cord area carefully, ensuring that no dirt remains back.
Cleansing the Genitals
If your baby is a girl, spread the labia apart and clean the area in-between with the soapy washcloth. Always wash from front to back and not vice versa. Doing so can cause infection. Clean the area with a washcloth dipped in plain water. On the other hand, if your baby is a boy, you will have to wash the penis and scrotum carefully and thoroughly. Gently pull back the skin on the penis and clean around the head, where gunk and diaper fuzzies are likely to deposit, with a soapy washcloth. Thereafter, follow up with plain water washcloth.
Washing the Head
Wrap your baby carefully and completely in a towel and hold it over the sink. Wet the baby’s hair using a cup of warm water. Apply some amount of soap or shampoo on the baby’s head and rub gently to create lather. Using another cup of warm water, rinse off the shampoo entirely from the head. Towel dry your baby completely and nourish the skin with a baby lotion and baby talc, if required. Put a clean diaper and dress your baby as your desire.
Congrats! You’ve just completed a sponge bath on your baby. Easy, wasn’t it? With practice, you can give your baby a sponge bath easily.