Enjoy bathing your bundle of joy
Bathing is an enjoyable time between a mother and her baby. During the first one to two weeks of life, the baby will not need an actual 'bath' until its umbilical stump falls off. A soft wash cloth or cotton wool and some warm water will do to clean up especially till the baby's umbilical cord drops off. It is important not to wet the belly button area, where the umbilical cord is still attached, as it may cause infection.
Once started on the bath routine, it is beneficial if the baby is massaged with any baby oil before bathing. This is practiced traditionally in some countries. It is a wonderful way to lavish attention and love on the child. This massage aids food absorption, promotes sleep, builds immunity and develops muscle tone and coordination in the child.
Although there is no fixed time to bathe the baby, most mothers find it convenient to do so before the mid-morning feed. Try and fix a time when the baby is not too hungry or tired as it may not enjoy its bath. Whatever the time, ensure that you have ample time to massage and bathe your baby. When planning for the baby's bath, some important points should be kept in mind.
Keep all the bathing supplies ready before starting the bath, such as a baby tub, soft towel, washcloth, baby soap or mild body wash, baby shampoo, and cotton balls. Clean diapers or nappies, and a set of clean clothes should be kept near at hand. It is very important to never leave the baby in the tub alone, even when the child is able to sit up in the tub on its own. Leaving the infant alone in the bath tub to answer the doorbell or telephone may be disastrous as the child may drown.
Babies enjoy warm baths. The temperature of the water should not be too hot or too cold. Avoid placing the baby in the tub while the water is running because the temperature can suddenly change and any hot water could result in severe burns to the child’s delicate skin. Fill enough water in the tub to clean your baby but make sure the water is not above the child’s head.
Do not undress the child until you are ready to bathe it. This is to prevent the child from catching chills. And remember, babies are fragile and quite slippery when wet. Throughout the bathing process, grip your child firmly, supporting its neck and back. Use a washcloth to gently wipe the baby. Wipe its head and neck, behind the ears, between the fingers and toes and be sure to clean the genital area thoroughly.
Make sure to rinse the baby with a few of cupfuls of water. Wrap the baby in a towel and pat till dry. If the skin is dry and has a bit of nappy rash, it is good to apply baby oil or baby lotion on the body that is moist after a bath, so that this moisture can be trapped. Applying baby lotion will moisturize the skin, keeping it soft. Baby powder may also be applied. You will love your baby’s angelic grin when it falls asleep after a nice warm bath.
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