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Bathing Sponge For Newborns
How to give your newborn a sponge bath
In the first weeks after Baby’s birth, keeping your little one clean can seem like the least of your worries. But doctors recommend washing newborns two to three times per week, so knowing the best way to give Baby a sponge bath is important, especially because newborns shouldn’t go all the way in the tub until their umbilical cords fall off.
Before attempting to bathe Baby, make sure you’ve got all your supplies handy. Many parents choose to purchase a newborn bath, but an inflatable tub, a water basin, or even a well-prepared sink will do the trick. You will also need mild baby soap, cotton balls, washcloths, a towel, clean diapers, and clean clothes.
Giving the bath
- Since you’ll be bathing Baby outside the tub at first, simply fill a bowl or the sink with lukewarm water and wrap her in a towel, then place her lying down on her back.
- Dip a cotton ball in water and wipe Baby’s eyes, making sure to use a fresh ball for each eye.
- Next, dampen a washcloth and wipe her face and ears, without using soap. Don’t forget her skin-folds, or behind her ears, but be sure not to wash or let water drip into Baby’s inner ear canal.
- Place a little soap on the cloth and wash Baby’s neck, scalp, and the rest of her body. She probably doesn’t have much in the way of hair yet, so rubbing a damp, soapy washcloth over her scalp should keep her squeaky-clean. Newborns who DO in fact arrive with a full head of hair could need a more thorough hair-wash, which you can read more about here.
- There’s some divided opinion about washing Baby’s umbilical stump, so check in with the doctor if you’re unsure, but generally, as long as the stump is clean, keeping it clean and dry and untouched by the sponge bath is the way to go. If there’s some crustiness, you can carefully wipe it clean with a clean, damp cloth, and then pat or air it dry.
- Rinse off the soap and dry, rewrapping Baby with a towel. Baby’s head is likely to get cold after a bath, especially if she has a luscious head of hair, so covering her head with a dry towel is a great way to keep her from getting a chill.
- Some newborns come into the world with that fabled soft skin, but others are a little more sensitive, and bathing can dry sensitive newborn skin out even further. If Baby’s skin is a little dry or peeling, if you want to, you can gently rub some mild baby moisturizer into her skin before popping her back into her onesie.
- Put on a clean diaper and clothes, and resume cuddling!
Tips and Tricks
Make sure you never take your hands off Baby while bathing her. This is a great time to bond with Baby, so make sure to use it as a fun play-time, not just cleaning. Try dropping a little water on her tummy and watch the laughs roll in. Some newborns have a hard time with the cold, so only expose skin for short periods of time. Remember that Baby does not need to be bathed every day, because this can dry out her skin. You only need to give her sponge baths until the umbilical stump comes off, and then you can transition to the baby bath.
Baby Bath: Getting Ready
The first bath will be a sponge bath. Pick a warm room with a flat surface, like a bathroom or kitchen counter, a changing table, or a bed. Cover the surface with a thick towel. Make sure the room temperature is at least 75 degrees Fahrenheit, because babies chill easily.
Assemble all the baby bath products you will need:
- Baby bath sponge or clean wash cloth (double-rinsed)
- Clean blanket or bath towel (a hooded one is nice)
- Clean diaper
- Clean clothes
- Vaseline and gauze (if you have a circumcised boy)
- Warm water (not hot)
Important: Never leave your baby alone in a bath — not even for a moment. If you must get to the phone, the stove, or whatever, take baby with you.
Baby Bath: Time for a Sponge Bath
Gentle sponge baths are perfect for the first few weeks until the umbilical cord falls off, the circumcision heals, and the navel heals completely.
The basics of bathing a baby:
- First, undress baby — cradling the head with one hand. Leave the diaper on (wash that area last). Wrap baby in a towel, exposing only those areas that you are washing.
- Using a baby bath sponge or wash cloth, cleanse one area at a time. Start behind the ears, then move to the neck, elbows, knees, between fingers and toes. Pay attention to creases under the arms, behind the ears, around the neck.
- The hair comes toward the end of bath time so baby doesn’t get cold. While newborns don’t have much hair, you can sponge the few wisps that are there. To avoid getting eyes wet, tip the head back just a little. There’s no need for shampoo; just use water.
- Now it’s time to remove the diaper and sponge baby’s belly, bottom, and genitals.
- Wash little girls from front to back. If there’s a little vaginal discharge, don’t worry — and don’t try to wipe it all away. If a little boy is uncircumcised, leave the foreskin alone. If circumcised, don’t wash the head of the penis until it’s healed.
- Gently pat baby dry. Rubbing the skin will irritate it.
Bath time is over, and your fresh little baby is ready for a clean diaper and clothes!
best sponge for newborn bath
- Slip-resistant material for safe bathing
- Foam cushion can be used in sinks, baby bath tubs, and adult tubs
- Quick drying foam allows for fast clean up
- Contoured shape, cushioned edges, and a slight incline support baby’s head, neck, and back
HOW TO GIVE YOUR NEWBORN BABY A SPONGE BATH
- A: Cleaning a tiny baby for the first time could be scary for new moms, but it’s not that bad.
- Follow these steps and you’ll be an old pro in no time.•
- To be safe, gather all your supplies together before you begin: mild baby soap, cotton balls, two washcloths, towel, a clean diaper, and clean clothes. You should never take your hand off your baby while you’re bathing him, even for a second.•
- Fill the sink or a small bowl with lukewarm water; you’ll be bathing your baby next to it on the counter. Undress baby and wrap him in a towel. Some babies freak out when they’re naked and cold. If this is the case for your newborn, expose only one section of skin at a time.
- Dip a cotton ball in the water and wipe your baby’s eyes, from the bridge of his nose outward. Use a fresh ball for each eye.
- Always keeping one hand on baby, dip the washcloth in the sink. Keep the washcloth just damp, not soaking, to minimize drips and the possibility of getting soap into baby’s eyes. Wipe his face and outer parts of his ears with the damp cloth. You don’t need to use soap on his face.
- Lightly soap the washcloth if desired. Wash his neck and scalp, then work your way down the front of his body. Make sure to clean between folds of skin.
- Rinse the soap off with a second damp cloth, drying and rewrapping your baby with a towel as you go. Don’t wash the umbilical stump, and try to keep it dry.
- Flip baby over onto his belly with his head turned to one side. Repeat the washing, rinsing and drying. Wash his bottom and genitals last. If your son hasn’t been circumcised, don’t try to push back his foreskin. Pat baby dry, then dress him in a clean diaper and clothes.You’ll only need to give your baby sponge baths until his umbilical cord stump comes off (usually no later than 3 or 4 weeks), then you can move on to baths in his baby tub.