Practicing good hygiene for your baby is very important. This means paying attention and reacting promptly when your baby is wet or dirty. You will want to make sure that you change the diapers as soon as this happens because your baby could get diaper rash from being dirty for extended periods of time. If you make sure you’re doing everything you can to change the child as soon as you notice the need, this will help you to keep your baby happier as well.
The second step to good hygiene is bathing your baby, but bathing a baby can be very difficult. You must be sure that you are keeping the water level low and that you are keeping the water temperature down as well. The good news is that until babies begin crawling around and really getting dirty, they don’t require a bath more than a couple times a week. You do not need to bathe your baby every day.
An important thing to note is that before the umbilical cord comes off, you will not want to give your baby a full bath. You want to keep this area dry, and that means giving the baby sponge baths when needed. You’ll want to be sure that you are using warm (but not hot) water and keeping your baby as covered and warm as possible during the process of this type of bath.
Once your baby is ready for a regular bath, there are a couple of different options. Some people use the regular tub to bathe their baby and simply hold on to the baby at all times while bathing. Others prefer to use a smaller tub that is made just for bathing the baby. You still will want to be sure you are holding your baby at all times. Never leave your baby in any amount of water for even a moment or even turn your back. This means you will want to gather everything that you need for bath time before you put your baby in the water. Make sure you have everything, and if you realize you don’t, either get someone else to get it for you or do without for this time.
Make sure you have only a couple inches of water in the bottom of the tub and that your baby is sitting up and not lying down in the bathtub. Make sure the water is not too hot by testing it with your elbow. Your elbow is one of the most sensitive places on your body and will be able to test the water for what your baby will feel. Some people even get little rubber ducks or thermometers which will gauge whether the water is the right temperature for the baby.
When you are bathing your baby, you want to be sure you are using a cloth that is going to be soft on the skin. Regular washcloths can be rough and could hurt the baby, and so could regular shampoo and body wash. Make sure you are using something that will be gentle enough for your baby. Baby products do not contain the stronger chemicals or additives that adult products contain. These are not the same as regular children’s products either.
As your baby gets a little older, he or she will be able to help with bath time. For example, as babies get closer to three, they may want to wash themselves. It’s important that you still don’t leave them alone for any length of time. Even if you think your child is old enough to keep above water, you don’t want to take the risk. Anything could happen in just a few inches of water and with just a few seconds time.
The most important thing is never to take your eyes or your hand off your baby. Hold on to the child throughout the bath and watch him or her as well. The second most important thing is to be quick. Your baby is likely very wriggly or squirmy. That means the baby may try to get away or will try to move around, causing him or her to slip underwater. The quicker you make the bath, the less time the child has to do any of these things and the safer he or she will be.