All your paediatric questions answered
All the information in this section has been provided by:
Dr Sanjay J Rao [Consultant Paediatrician]
Child Care Clinic
2013 100Ft Rd Indiranagar Bangalore 560008 Tel: 91 80 5767 8757/2526 7085
BATHING YOUR BABY CAN BE EASY
By Dr. Sanjay Rao
Many new parents are unsure about how to give their baby a bath. Unsolicited advice from people around you can be nerve wracking. Follow these tips for making bath time easier for you and your baby. Bathing your baby offers a great opportunity for wonderful interaction between you and your child.
SAFETY TIPS TO REMEMBER AT ALL TIMES
· Babies can drown in less than an inch of water and in less than 60 seconds. Never leave your infant alone or walk away from your baby even for a moment.
· Make sure the temperature of the water is comfortable (slightly above room temperature).
· Donít put your baby in the tub while the water is still running. The temperature could change rapidly and make conditions unsafe.
· Use only baby soaps and baby shampoos. Avoid bath oils and bubble baths.
· Your baby does not need a bath in the tub until the umbilical cord has fallen off. A sponge bath in the first few days is good enough. If your baby has been circumcised, wait until the wound has healed.
· A portable bathtub is ideal for your baby until he has grown out of it.
· Always hold your baby gently but firmly, avoiding sudden movements.
· Make sure that you have everything that you may need before you start.
HOW TO BATHE YOUR BABY
· Place the bathtub on a table top or counter at a convenient height. Keep everything you may need handy.
· Fill about 2 inches of water in the tub and check the water temperature to make sure that itís pleasantly warm.
· Gently slide the baby into the tub, feet first, supporting the neck and head with one arm and the bottom with the other hand.
· Keep your babyís head and neck supported at all times. With your other hand use cotton swabs to clean your babyís eyes without any soap. Start at the inside corner of the eye and wipe outward. Then gently wash the rest of the face without soap. Make sure you clean behind the ears.
· Use a face cloth to wet your babyís hair from front to back. Apply a pea-sized amount of shampoo and work up lather. Use the face cloth to squeeze out water on your babyís head while being careful not to get soap into your babyís eyes.
· Wash the front of the body, making sure to get into those creases and folds. Lean your baby forward to do the same on your babyís back. Lean your baby back again and clean the legs, feet and in between the toes. Lastly clean the genitals (for baby girls, always clean from front to back).
· Lift your baby out of the tub the same way you put him in.
· If necessary, you can do a second round with plain water to remove all remnants of the soap.
Bath time is now done and you can dry your baby and get him dressed.
Finally, take pictures, as the first bath at home is something to be remembered.