Nothing beats that glorious feeling of holding your newborn or the first time. I remember when I first held my daughter after I gave birth. I just basked in her sweet smell and cradled her in my arms as she tried to latch. I was on cloud nine.
However, the reality of being a new mum set in a few moments after. You will never meet a more paranoid human being than a mum. Every day back then was a challenge. It felt like a school final or a work presentation that I wasn’t able to study or prepare for. In spite of the advice and how-to’s I received from health practitioners and well-meaning family members, I surely committed a number of mistakes. But that’s ok since these same mistakes helped me get hands-on experience and learn.
Hands down, one of the things I was super nervous about was bathing my newborn daughter. My primary concerns were ensuring that she was safe and clean and that her baby soft skin was properly cared for. If you’re in a similar situation, don’t fret. Here’s a simple list of do’s and don’ts in cleaning and caring for your newborn that can help you out. And although committing parenting mistakes is a norm, knowing the proper do’s and don’ts on newborn and baby skincare can set you on the right path:
Don’t bathe the baby too soon.
Don’t rush your baby’s first bath. Vernix — the creamy white stuff in newborns may look gross, but it’s good for your baby’s skin and it offers protection in the first few hours after birth. You can delay his first bath for around 6 hours.
Don’t use too hot or too cold water.
Ideally, you should use lukewarm water to bathe your baby. Babies, especially newborns, have delicate skin, so they are also sensitive to water temperatures. In order to ensure that the water is not too hot, you can test it out using your elbow. The water should feel warm, not hot.
Also, if you are using a bathtub or basin, ensure that the water is only filled to a height of around 2 to 3 inches. And don’t leave your baby in the water for far too long as doing so might dry out his skin. A bath of around 5 minutes is enough for newborns.
After bathing, wipe and wrap your baby with a soft towel or cloth and keep him in a warm room. Try to keep him out of cool air. And keep in mind to pat him dry gently and don’t rub. It’s also important to dry every inch of his baby folds and crevices.
Do dry the hair after bath.
Also, remember to pat your baby’s head and hair dry after every bath. Try to dry this part first as hair can take some time to dry. If your baby has a case of cradle cap (when your baby has yellowish scales on his scalp), don’t fuss too much as this is quite normal for babies and does not bother them at all. To remove it, you can use baby oil, and gently rub it off or wash it off on the next bath.
Do wipe baby’s gums.
Get a good start in good oral health by including it in your baby’s daily bath ritual. Although your baby might still not have his teeth and has fresh breath, it doesn’t mean that his mouth is germ-free. To clean his mouth, you can use a wet gauze and gently wipe his gums and tongue. You can do so twice a day or every after feeding. Once he gets his first few teeth, then you can opt to use a finger brush or baby brush to keep his baby teeth clean and prevent cavities.
Do properly care for his umbilical stump.
Another thing that scared me to no end back then was caring for the umbilical stump. But with the help of our Pediatrician, I had no problems with it whatsoever. Here are a few things to remember:
- The skin under the umbilical stump along with its base should be kept clean and dry.
- It is best to keep the base exposed to air and not covered by the diaper at any time.
- Let the stump fall off on its own. It usually does so after 2 to 3 weeks. If it seems to be falling off, do not pull it.
- After every bath or sponge bath, pat the skin under the stump dry with a soft cloth.
- If the skin around the stump becomes swollen or red and gives off a foul smell, consult your Pediatrician immediately as the stump might be infected.
Do change his diapers as often as necessary.
If you decide to use cloth diapers for your baby, then it is necessary to change it every time he pees and poops (of course!). Never leave your baby using a wet diaper for any period of time.
On the other hand, if you are using a disposable diaper, it’s also necessary to change it frequently and regularly. Disposable diapers should NOT be used until it starts leaking. Although some diapers say that it is good for 4 to 12 hours of use, try to change it as often as every 3 to 4 hours or after every poop.
Do use the right baby soap or wash.
Every mom can attest to the fact that nothing feels as soft and smooth as baby’s skin. Maintain and care for it properly by using the right products that are made for baby’s sensitive skin, such as Cetaphil Baby Moisturising Bath and Wash. It is an ultra moisturising bath and wash that has a formula made of 1/3 moisturiser and soothing aloe vera, gently cleansing and keeping your baby’s skin well-moisturised. You and your baby are also guaranteed a tear-free bath time as it is pH balanced and soap-free.
Do enjoy the opportunity to bond with your baby.
And more importantly, don’t stress yourself out too much and try to enjoy this bonding moment with your baby. Just enjoy the moment — make eye contact, sing nursery rhymes, smile, play bubbles, and even give your baby a massage.
The important thing to remember is that a relaxed and fun bath time can help you build trust and attachment with your baby. And it also provides you with a few stress-free minutes each day.
Now, you can even make the most out of these precious bath time moments with your baby, thanks to Cetaphil Baby Moisturising Bath and Wash. Aside from allowing you blissful bath time moments by gently cleansing and moisturising your baby’s delicate skin, you can now win as much as RM 1,000 worth of prizes and Cetaphil goodies. All you have to do is:
- Take a photo of your little one mimicking your actions or expressions along with your favourite Cetaphil Baby product.
- Submit your photo to this link and share how Cetaphil Baby makes your bath times blissful. Don’t forget to include #MyLittleMimic and #CetaphilMY in the caption.
Promo ends on October 30 so hurry! Capture and send in your precious bath time moments.
*Published with Cetaphil Baby.