How often to bathe a newborn? Foreign experts say that bathing your infant three times a week is enough to keep the baby clean. But we're not sure they put the humidity of Africa into consideration when they said that.
That said, the harshness of soaps and hard water can dry out your baby's skin. This is something you do not want to happen. So how often should you bathe your baby? That's completely up to you! we will go on to discuss below how to know when you're not cleaning your baby right.
How Often To Bathe A Newborn: When You're Not Cleaning Him Right
Keeping a newborn baby clean can be a challenge for first-time parents. Here are 6 ways to know if you are not cleaning your baby right. Identify the common mistakes mums make while cleaning their baby. Avoid them and keep your baby clean and healthy.
Bathing too often
Newborn babies don’t do very much during the day, so they don’t need to have a full bath every day. Bathing a young baby too often can lead to the skin becoming very dry. A full bath twice a week is enough for infants, as long as the important parts are being cleaned daily. ‘Topping and tailing’ daily using a bowl filled with warm water, and some cotton wool, to keep the face and bottom clean is a good idea.
Not cleaning the skin folds
It’s important to keep the folds of your baby’s skin clean and dry, to avoid the possibility of infection. It can be difficult to keep all the creases clean especially as baby gets chunkier! Pay close attention to the area under the neck, milk can often dribble down to this area during a feed.
Using too many products
Newborn babies have very sensitive skin which is easily irritated by bath products with fragrance. It’s best to just use plain water to clean your baby for the first several months. If you choose to use shampoos and soaps in your newborn’s bath, it’s best to opt for those specially designed for babies, which are fragrance-free. Natural options are best, for example, lavender is great to use at bedtime to help your little one relax.
Improper care of the umbilical cord
Caring for the umbilical stump until it falls off is something that worries a lot of parents. However, looking after the area is actually quite simple. It’s ideal to avoid bathing a newborn until the stump falls off, as it should be kept as dry as possible. Check the area daily for signs of infection, which include redness, a bad smell or pus coming from the navel. Also, ensure when dressing your infant that their diaper isn’t rubbing against the umbilical clip, and keep clothing loose and comfortable. After the stump falls off, usually within two weeks of birth, you can wash the navel and keep it clean just like any other part of the body.
Using water which is too hot
Bath scalds are a very common cause of injury in young babies. It’s a great idea to install a bath thermometer on the faucet, which clearly changes colour to show if the water is running at the correct temperature for an infant’s bath or not. Check the temperature of the water using the elbow – it should not feel hot, just warm. Don’t make the water too cool though, as young babies get cold quickly.
Not preparing for bathtime properly
It’s vital to make sure you have everything you’ll need for bathing your infant before putting them in the tub. Babies can drown in even the tiniest depth of water, so they can’t be left alone for even a second while you go to grab supplies. It’s a good idea to keep a spare towel handy when bathing a baby, in case they have an accident when getting dressed. For the same reason, it’s also worth keeping some spare diapers and a clean set of clothes, just in case.
Some parents like using a bath seat or support to leave both hands free for washing the baby. These are a great idea, but it’s important to remember that a baby still needs supervision at all times when using one of these seats. Hopefuly, this helps you decide on how often to bathe your newborn.
Resource: Web MD
Also read: Breastfeed Your Newborn Using This Guide
This article was first published on AfricaParent.com