First Baby Bath


Baby's First Bath: What New Mums Must Know

Get the camera ready -- like all the "firsts" to come, baby's first bath is a special event. In fact, every bath time can be a special time for bonding with your newborn. Cooing, singing, talking -- your baby loves the sound of your voice and thrives on your soft touch.

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 36 'c since babies chill easily.

Assemble all the baby bath products you will need:

  • Baby bath sponge or clean wash cloth (double-rinsed)
  • wound powder  made by Herbaforce  bought at Dischem
  • Clean blanket or bath towel (a hooded one is nice)
  • Clean nappy
  • Clean clothes
  • Vaseline and gauze (if you have a circumcised boy) always put Vaseline on the nappy to avoid sticking.
  • 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 your 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 nappy 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.
  • Using an the wound powder tomailto:janet.altmann@gmail.com] clean around the umbilical stump. I like to use wound powder on the cord.
  • Gently pat baby dry. Rubbing the skin will irritate it.

Bath time is over -- and your fresh little baby is ready for a clean nappy and clothes!

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I am living my dream while working with mums and babies. I see mums when they are 34 weeks pregnant and then go to their homes once they go into labour. I stay for the full duration of the labour and after the birth I assist them with breast feeding. I do another visit after the birth to see that all is well and to help where I can.  Mums are always welcome to call me in the event that they have any questions, whether before or after the birth. I am passionate about my work as a doula and I care and love all the families with which I work. Once you have been present at a birth you feel part of the family and it’s wonderful to hear news of the new baby’s life as he or she grows.

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