Newborn Bathing And Skin Care
The topic of baby care presents many parents with a bit of a challenge. Because what is the right thing to do here? Should you bathe your child every day? Do you need special baby care products?
Even though there is a lot to consider when caring for a baby, the effort required is still quite low, especially in the first few months. This is because the sensitive skin of babies is quickly overwhelmed by too much care and the use of different soaps or creams. Compared to an adult, the so-called epidermis in a baby is as thin as paper and extremely vulnerable. A baby’s entire skin layer is five times thinner than your own.
So how should you wash the baby to take all-around care of it? We have the most important information at a glance.
The Best Baby Product
This daily baby lotion Aveeno is naturally nourishing and provides relief from chafed, chapped, or cracked skin so your baby’s delicate skin is protected and moisturized. The nourishing, non-greasy formula absorbs quickly, moisturizes for a full 24 hours, contains no drying alcohols, and won’t clog pores. It’s formulated to be hypoallergenic, fragrance-free, and gentle enough for daily use on a baby’s sensitive skin.
Proper bathing & skincare for your newborn
A good initial baby care kit should include these products
- Soft washcloth or bath sponge
- Bathtub, bath bucket or other bathing aids
- Bath thermometer
- Hooded baby towel
- Natural skin cream or oil for baby
Bathing and Skin Care for the Newborn Review
Dr. Bronner’s Organic Sugar Soap Moisturizes and Nourishes
Dr. Bronner’s Organic Sugar Soap Moisturizes and Nourishes 4-in-1 Organic Pump Soaps are good for washing hands, face, body & hair. No synthetic preservatives, no detergents and no foaming agents. Organic coconut-olive-hemp oils blend for a creamy lather.
Hooded Baby Towel and Washcloth Set by San Francisco Baby
Crafted with the best bamboo, this baby bath towel will leave your little one dry and feeling snug, and will never irritate their sensitive skin. This baby hooded towels are bigger than similar items on the market (40” x 28”), so your little one will be able to enjoy them for years!
myHomeBody Konjac Baby Sponge for Bathing
Originally used by the Japanese to wash babies’ delicate skin, konjac sponges will deliver safe and effective cleansing! Made from the Root of the Konjac Plant, Biodegradable and Compostable. Infused with a pinch of Natural Ingredients – Turmeric (Yellow), Pink Clay (Pink), Pure Konjac (Ivory). These sponges are a Natural Product, they will start to fall apart.
Cocobelle Baby Pure & Gentle Organic Virgin Coconut Oil for Babies
Cocobelle Baby has been carefully created to offer the perfect natural nourishment for young and sensitive skin. Premium coconut oil lovingly tends to your baby’s skin, keeping it beautifully moisturized, soft and soothed.
Mustela Cradle Cap Foam Shampoo for Newborn
This Foam Shampoo is composed of 99% plant-based ingredients and formulated with Avocado Perseose, a patented natural ingredient specifically designed to help protect baby’s delicate skin. It is hypoallergenic and safe to use from birth on.
How to properly bathe the baby
Baby bathtub, bath bucket and co. are among the utensils that expectant parents often have set up in the bathroom long before the birth. Once the baby has finally arrived at home, however, the question arises as to when the baby should start taking a bath.
In the first few days after birth, you should completely avoid putting your baby in a bathtub. This is because the baby’s so-called cheese layer has a protective function for the skin and is the first barrier of the immune system directly after birth. If the baby is no longer in the protective womb, it is now exposed to bacteria and viruses. In order for the body to get used to the new environment, the cheese goo helps to ward off these dangers. It also cares for the baby’s sensitive skin and provides a kind of warmth envelope right after birth.
Which bathing aid works best for you is purely a matter of taste. A simple bathtub, with or without a frame, is the first choice for many. But small bath buckets for babies are also becoming increasingly popular. Others use a bath tray to set in their own tub or simply rely on the shower head for a gentle shower down. A large sink is also an option.
Always make sure it’s a safe bathing environment for your baby. The water should not be too hot or too cold, and slipping and sliding away should be prevented as much as possible. Electrical appliances should also be kept away from the baby’s bath. Never leave your child unattended in the water.
Providing proper skin care for your newborn
From when you can bathe the newborn baby for the first time?
Opinions about when the baby should take the first real bath, even today, widely differ. Some midwives bathe the baby immediately after birth. However, the belief has become increasingly widespread that this should not be done immediately because of the cheese smear.
But even in your own home, the question then arises as to when you can bathe the baby. A popular belief is that a baby should not be bathed until the umbilicus has completely fallen off to minimize the risk of infection of the umbilicus. At the same time, there are doctors and midwives today who say this is more of an old wives’ tale – warm, soapless water will not harm the umbilicus, and a bath can be taken even before it falls off without concern.
It usually takes 10 to 21 days for the remaining umbilical cord to drop. If you want to be on the safe side, clean your baby with a sponge until then. The sponge bath for the baby is a nice alternative to the full bath.
When to bathe a baby?
Once you have started a bathing routine for the baby, you will probably schedule it into a regular daily routine. Many parents prefer to bathe the baby in the evening before bedtime. That way it is fresh and warm. Then it can relax and snuggle into the crib.
Generally, babies are not particularly dirty. A full body wash for babies is therefore not necessary every day. Since babies still have many skin folds, for example on the neck or legs, you should check them carefully. If, for example, dry skin flakes, milk residues, saliva, or even care products such as almond oil for the baby settle there too much, you should schedule a bath. In between, it is often sufficient to clean the baby with a washcloth.
How often to bathe a baby?
Comprehensive baby care for many parents means giving a daily bath. However, we do not advise this. In the first two months, it is sufficient to take a full bath once or twice a week. In between, it is enough to simply wash the baby with a washcloth. How to wash a baby depends on how dirty it is. It is not necessary to perform this baby care intensively every day.
If your little angel is a real water rat and enjoys a warm bath, you can start a daily bathing routine even earlier than two months after birth. Especially for crying babies, a warm bath in the evening can work wonders.
Always remember to use the right bath temperature for your baby. This should be between 37 °C and 38 °C. A bath thermometer makes it easy to keep the water at the right temperature. These are often available in practical baby care sets: bath thermometer, washcloth, sponge, and hooded towel for the baby.
Bath additives and shampoo for the baby
Baby care products are a dime a dozen. For healthy baby care in the first weeks after birth, these are almost all superfluous. Baby shower gel or baby soap offers no particular advantages for your child. On the contrary – it can even happen that the products cause dry baby skin. The baby care initial equipment should therefore only rely on natural products. Such as a bath additive for the baby, which is purely vegetable. However, even these bath additives are not absolutely necessary.
TIP: You could also add just a dash of breast milk or a drop of baby oil to the bathwater to nourish the baby’s skin.
In addition, when newborns bathe, it is not necessary to wash their hair with shampoo. If you want to wash the baby’s hair, do not use shampoo or other baby care products at all. If dry skin appears on the baby’s head, it may be cradle cap or head gneiss. Cradle cap usually appears after three months and can easily become infected. It can be treated, among other things, with care oils for the scalp.
If the dry skin on the head appears very early, it can be head gneiss. This is mostly harmless. It does not cause itching and is more of a cosmetic problem than a health one.
Suitable and unsuitable care products for babies
If you want to bathe the baby, it is not necessary to use special baby products. If the baby develops dry skin, you should focus mainly on the care after bathing. Clear, warm water without additives is the best means of cleansing even for dry baby skin.
Make sure that baby care products are free of chemicals and preservatives. Dyes or fragrances are also not necessary. Nourishing oils, on the other hand, can have a relaxing effect and optimize natural skin protection. Make absolutely sure that the care products do not contain essential oils. These are very strong smelling and can cause breathing problems or allergic reactions in your baby.
Experts also advise against using baby powder. It can clump with urine and trigger coughing fits in your child if used incorrectly. Zinc paste is a better alternative for sore bottoms.
Baby care after bath
As long as the cheese smear is still visible, the baby does not need special care even after bathing. To keep it nice and warm while dressing, it is advisable to invest in a changing table heater. You can get various models, for example, to hang or stand on. They will help your child maintain his temperature and relax.
Cheesy lubrication is usually completely absorbed into the skin within a few days. So the question of when bathing is okay for the baby after birth is also determined by this. It doesn’t matter if you want to bathe the baby properly after a few days, or just clean it with a washcloth: If the cheese goo is completely absorbed into the skin, you can use a cream.
There are also special products to discover. Among other things, you can get a baby face cream. We advise you to use a high-quality, moisturizing cream. For baby creams, calendula ointment is very suitable. If a baby has dry lips, do not use a classic grease pencil. This can cause the skin to dry out further. For this, too, resort to the baby cream.
For generations, many parents swear by the inexpensive fat cream Vaseline for the baby, odorless and without additives. Yet the ingredients are more than questionable, even though Vaseline is the basis of many care products. Thus, it consists largely of kerosenes, which come from petroleum or mineral oil. These kerosenes form a skin film that does not allow moisture out and air in. Thus, the self-regulation is disturbed and the skin can dry out, although it feels well cared for after applying the cream. Paradox: You think it needs more care, but this makes the skin even drier. Vaseline is therefore not recommended for baby care, as it can penetrate the skin barrier even better here.
Skincare for your newborn
Care for dry skin of the baby
If the baby has dry skin, this can have many reasons. Too warm bath water, wrong care products or too frequent contact with moisture are just a few examples. Under no circumstances should you scrape off the dry skin or rub off the skin flakes with a towel. The question, “My baby has dry skin, which cream is the best?”, however, cannot be answered so easily. Because it depends on where the baby’s dry skin areas are. It is best to consult your pediatrician.
Dry scalp occurs relatively often in babies, but is no cause for concern. Here, the horny cells of the skin are simply not yet fully formed. The skin layer is therefore more permeable and cannot retain moisture for long. The skin’s acid mantle therefore does not yet function quite reliably and small changes can disrupt it.
The already mentioned cradle cap should be observed more closely. In this case, the skin is red, itchy and scaly. This can extend from the head to the cheeks. This can be a precursor to neurodermatitis. This skin disease also occurs in infancy and can cause severe stress to the child. Moist compresses relieve the itching. If treatment of the milk scab with oil does not help, it is essential to consult the pediatrician. The earlier atopic dermatitis is treated, the less worried your child will be about it later. In many children, cradle cap disappears after a few months.
Baby skin protection against sun and wind
The sensitive and thin baby skin must be particularly well protected against the sun and wind. The light skin of babies is not able to fall back on natural defenses against the sun’s rays.
In addition, direct sunlight is just as dangerous for babies as it is for adults. It is best to completely avoid exposing the baby to the sun directly for the first six months. This is possible with sun protection for strollers, cars and the like. It is also advisable to use special sunscreen for babies.
Belly button care for newborn
Here’s some good news for you: Only 0.2 – 0.7% of all newborns worldwide suffer from an infection at the navel. And that’s the most important thing. The healing process of the navel is something quite natural and uncomplicated. The navel dries out on its own and then falls off. This can happen after just a few days or it can take up to three weeks.
You can put a breathable compress over the navel or leave it open to heal. If you want to bathe the baby, just dry the navel properly afterwards. By the way, navel care in babies is often done by midwives. Some also use a special powder to help dry the skin.
Possible baby skin problems
The classic skin problems in babies include: Milia, baby pimples, cradle cap, diaper dermatitis and other fungal infections.
These can be caused by faulty skin care on the one hand, but also by allergies and intolerances on the other. Many problems, such as the widespread newborn acne, are easy to treat and absolutely harmless. A classic problem is diaper rash. Here, keep the irritated skin dry and treat it with a special diaper ointment. Do not apply a thick grease cream, as this prevents the skin from breathing and thus from healing. It is best to leave the baby’s bottom in the fresh air as much as possible to speed up the healing process.
Baby pimples or milia in babies are also common. These pimples or the small white grits are triggered by a hormonal fluctuation. This is not uncommon in babies. The hormones cause the sebaceous glands to overproduce, resulting in pimples and milia. Usually, treatment is not necessary. Your baby is not bothered by these skin conditions.
It is important that the care products used for the baby are adapted to the individual conditions. If in doubt, always consult your pediatrician or a pharmacist.
Cut baby fingernails - how and when
From when to cut the baby fingernails? A question that baffles many parents. The nails are extremely soft right after birth. It is difficult to cut them cleanly. To avoid the risk of injury when cutting, you should not perform the first nail care on the baby until after four to six weeks.
Whether you cut baby’s nails with special baby nail scissors or with nail clippers is a matter of taste. You can also often get a baby nail file in a set.
Cutting baby’s nails – a relaxed way to do it:
- Cut nails when the baby is relaxed – for example, after bathing or when he is asleep.
- Cut nails into small pieces
- Do not cut nails too short
- Fix sharp edges with the arrow
- Do not cut toenails so often
Many parents do a baby’s fingernail trimming when he is sleeping. This is helpful if your baby doesn’t like nail clipping at all. Always cut toenails straight, so they don’t grow in.
Baby ears and nose wipe
Whether it’s cleaning baby ears or blowing the nose, the motto is always – less is more. The earwax in babies, as well as in adults, has a protective function and does not need to be permanently removed. In addition, ears have a self-cleaning function. You can carefully remove the wax that is on the outer ear canal with a cloth. Do not clean the inner canal under any circumstances. This can lead to an ear infection in the worst case.
The nose only needs to be cleaned if the baby has a cold. To do this, gently press on the nostrils with a cloth and get the contents out. Otherwise, just wipe the discharge from the nose. Sometimes nasal aspirators also help.
How to clean babies’ skin softly – Video
FAQ - Skincare for a Baby
Gone are the days when a baby was sprinkled with perfumed talcum after every bath. Powders and oils are unnecessary since your baby’s skin is naturally rich in body oil, and they may be irritating and even harmful.
Emollients, such as cold-pressed vegetable oil or HPA Lanolin by Lansinoh, which is actually a good nipple cream for breastfeeding, may be used only on patchy dry skin areas; otherwise, they are unnecessary.
Powders easily cake and build up in skin creases and can actually contribute to skin irritation and rashes. Recently there have been safety concerns regarding the use of certain powders. Also, powders, if inhaled, can irritate your baby’s nasal and air passages. Cornstarch is not recommended as it can serve as a medium for the growth of harmful fungi.
If your baby screams every time you try to put them into the water, it either means that they are hungry, the water is too hot or cold, or you have a baby who doesn’t like to be alone in the water. They may feel their security is being threatened.
Bath time is primarily playtime. Babies don’t get dirty enough to need a daily bath. For busy parents, this is good news. Some doctors recommend as many as three times per week, but we believe less is more when it comes to a baby’s skin. Two times per week (especially in the winter) is enough, provided you clean your baby’s diaper area sufficiently well each time there is a bowel movement.
Daily spot-cleaning in areas that get particularly sweaty, oily, or dirty, such as behind the ears, in the neck folds, in the groin’s creases, and the diaper area, can help between washes.
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