Sunday, April 30, 2023

Tips for making baby showers safer and more comfortable

Comfortable bathing for the baby:

Baby bathing is a treasured experience for many parents. It is an excellent time to form a bond, without distractions, where the little new member of the family enjoys the sensation of warm water on the skin. However, this common parental ritual often raises questions, and sometimes anxiety, about when and how to get it right.

Here are some frequently asked questions from parents on topics related to baby bath time, frequency, safety, etc.

When should the newborn be bathed for the first time?

The time of the baby's first bath has changed in recent years. While most institutions used to bathe babies an hour or two after birth, many are changing their policies.

The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends postponing a baby's first bath until 24 hours after birth, or waiting at least 6 hours if a full day is not possible for cultural reasons.

Why wait?

These are some reasons why it is now recommended to postpone the baby's first bath:

- Body temperature and blood sugar level:

Babies who are bathed immediately after birth are more likely to feel cold and suffer from hypothermia. The minor stress of a premature bath can also make some babies prone to a drop in blood sugar (hypoglycemia).

- Bond formation and breastfeeding:

removing the baby too early for bathing could disrupt skin-to-skin contact, mother-infant bonding, and early breastfeeding success. One study showed a 166% increase in breastfeeding success after delaying a baby's first bath by 12 hours compared to those who received a bath within the first two hours after birth.

- Dry Skin:

vernix caseosa (unto sebaceous) is a white, waxy substance that covers the baby's skin before birth; acts as a natural moisturizer and may have antibacterial properties. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the ideal is to leave the sebaceous oil on the newborn's skin for a while to help prevent the baby's delicate skin from drying out. This is of particular importance for premature infants, as their skin has a marked tendency to lesions.


Babies born to mothers with HIV or hepatitis will still be bathed after the first time they breastfeed to help reduce risk to hospital staff and family members.

How often do babies need to be bathed once they are home?

It is not necessary to bathe newborns every day. It is not usual for them to sweat or get so dirty that they need a full bath so often.

Bathing the baby three times a week during his first year is probably sufficient. Bathing the baby more frequently could dry out the baby's skin.

Can I bathe my baby before the umbilical cord falls off?

Bathe your newborn with only sponges until the umbilical cord stump falls off, which is about one to two weeks of age. If the stump remains longer, it may be due to other types of problems. See the baby's doctor if the cord has not dried up and fallen off by the time the baby is two months old.

How to give sponge baths:

A sponge bath is the same as a regular bath, except that the baby is not immersed in the water.

Sponge Bath Safety Tips:

- Have the accessories (implements for the bathroom) ready before starting:

Have your water container (basin) handy, a damp washcloth rinsed in soapless water, a dry towel, and anything else you might need before you begin.

- Support the baby on a surface that is comfortable for both:

a changing table, a bed, the floor, or a counter next to the sink can do the trick. Pad hard surfaces with a fluffy blanket or towel. If you place your baby on a surface above floor level, always use a safety strap (strap/belt) or keep one hand on the baby at all times to prevent falls.

- Start by washing your face:

Use the damp cloth to wash her face, being careful not to get water in her eyes or mouth. Then, put it (cloth or towel) in the basin with water before washing the rest of the body; lastly, wash the diaper area.

  - Keep baby warm:

During the sponge bath, wrap your baby in a dry towel and reveal only the parts of the body that you are washing at the time. Pay special attention to the folds under the arms, behind the ears, around the neck and, particularly in girls, the genital area.

When will my baby be ready for a normal bath?

Once the umbilical area has healed, you can try placing the baby directly in the water. The first baths should be as delicate and brief as possible. Maybe I'll protest a little. (If this happens, go back to sponge baths for a week or two, then try again.) Babies usually make it clear when they are ready.

Safety tips for babies in bathtubs:

Use a baby bath or sink. The US Consumer Product Safety Commission recommends a rigid plastic baby tub with a textured, sloped surface, or a harness that prevents the baby from sliding out. Use only a baby tub manufactured from October 2, 2017 onwards in such a way that it meets current safety standards. Some parents find it easier to bathe a newborn in a portable tub, basin (sink), or plastic tub with a clean towel. Yes, a sink! Sometimes the easiest is the best; all that is necessary is to be careful. The sinks are slippery and have all sorts of things sticking out, like taps and handles.

- Avoid using bathtub seats:

These seats allow the child to sit upright in an adult tub. Unfortunately, they can tip over very easily. The child could fall into the bath water and drown.

- Use touch supervision:

Keep a towel and other bath supplies within reach so that you can hold the baby with one hand at all times. If you forgot something or have to answer the phone or the door during the bath, you should take your baby with you.

- Put into practice right now the safety measures for the baby in the water:

Never leave a baby alone in the tub, not even for a moment. Most children who drown at home do so in bathtubs, and more than half of bathtub deaths occur in infants under 1 year of age.

- Check the water temperature:

Fill the container with 2 inches (5 cm) of water that feels warm (not hot) to the inside of your wrist or elbow. If you are filling the basin directly from the tap, turn on the cold water first (and turn off last) to avoid burning yourself or your child. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that the highest faucet temperature not exceed 120°F (49°C) to avoid burns. In many cases, you can set your water heater to not exceed this temperature. Tap water that is too hot can cause burns severe enough to require a hospital visit or even surgery. In fact, scalds (burns from hot water or other hot liquids) are the leading cause of burns in infants and young children.

- Keep baby warm:

Once you have undressed the baby, immediately put him in the water so that he does not get cold. Use one of your hands to support the baby's head and the other to guide the body into the water, starting with the feet. Talk to her to encourage her and slowly lower the rest of her body until she is all in the tub. Most of the body and face should be well above the water level, so you will need to pour warm water over the baby's body frequently to keep it warm.

- Use soap sparingly:

Soaps could dry out baby's skin. If you need a cleaner for the dirtier parts, use only mild, pH-neutral soaps that have no additives. Rinse soap from skin immediately. Wash baby's hair two to three times a week with a mild shampoo or neutral body wash.

- You may see some scaly patches on your baby's scalp; that's called cradle cap:

It is an innocuous (harmless) condition that occurs in many babies. You can loosen the scales with a soft-bristled brush while shampooing in the tub, but you can also leave them on if they don't bother you. Your baby is unlikely to be bothered by them, and they will go away as the child gets older.

Clean it delicately:

Use a soft cloth (washcloth) to wash your baby's face and hair, being careful not to rub or stretch the skin. Massage the entire scalp well, including the area over the fontanelles (the soft spots). When rinsing the shampoo from the baby's head, cup (curve) your hand over the baby's forehead so the lather runs down the sides and out of the baby's eyes. If you get foam in your eyes, use the damp cloth to rinse them with clean, lukewarm water. Wash the rest of the body from top to bottom.

Fun in the tub:

If your baby likes baths, let him or her spend a little more time in the water to splash and play. The more fun your child has in the bath, the less afraid he will be of the water. The bath should be a relaxing and calming experience; do not rush unless the baby is not happy.

- Little Babies Don't Need Bath Toys:

since just being in the water is fun enough. However, once the baby is the appropriate age (size) to be in the tub, toys become essential. Containers, floating toys, and even waterproof books are great distractions when bathing your baby.

- Take it out and dry it:

When bath time is over, quickly wrap the baby in a towel, covering his head and body so that he stays warm even though he is still wet. Bathing a baby of any age will get you wet, so we recommend wearing a terry cloth apron or draping a towel over your shoulders to keep dry. Pat baby dry and apply some fragrance-free, hypoallergenic lotion after bathing to prevent dry skin or eczema.

To remember:

Knowing the basics can make bathing your baby a very simple task. Just make sure your baby is comfortable and safe at bath time... and don't forget to really enjoy every moment the occasion offers.