Bathing

Your baby needs bathing each day, from the first moment of its life.

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A little more care is needed in the first two weeks, until the umbilical cord has fallen, during which you should just wash the baby with a sponge:

Choose a comfortable, flat surface and place a soft towel on it. Lie the baby gently on it. Make sure the room is warm. Before you start, place a bowl of water, a soft damp cloth and baby soap by your side. First wash its face with plain water to avoid irritating the eyes and mouth. Then, dip the cloth in the bowl with the soapy water and wash the rest of its body, emphasising in the diaper area. Pay special attention to the area around the ears, around the neck and the armpits. And for girls, to the genital area.

Keeping navel clean plays an important role as we can prevent infections.

For this purpose whenever we clean our baby we should be thoroughly with the cleaning of the navel with a sterilized gauze and alcohol around and above it. This must continue until the navel drops and the scar heals.

  • We shouldn’t cover it with gauze when we change the baby's diaper, we should fold the diapers outwards, so as to leave the area open.
  • If you notice redness, heat, swelling or bad odor, you should tell your pediatrician.
  • We bathe the baby once (1) a day, usually at night, to help it relax and sleep with ideally dad’s participation.

 

After the first two weeks and after the umbilical cord has fallen, try putting your baby directly in the water, in a special bathtub. The first baths should be as gentle and quick as possible and, if the baby does not take well to its contact with water, you should continue cleaning it with a sponge for a few more weeks and then retry. When it is ready, it will show you itself. When this happens, fill a small tub with 5 cm of lukewarm, not hot, water (36-37oC) and before you take the baby's clothes off, make sure that the room's temperature is ideal. You should use the same accessories as when you bathed it with a sponge and a bowl for rinsing. Never leave your baby alone in the bathtub, even for a second, no matter how urgent what you have to go and do is. If you feel that it is enjoying the bath, let it play around in the water for a bit. In this way, it will learn not to be afraid of it. Bathing should be a relaxing and soothing experience, so do not rush to finish the procedure, unless your baby is suffering. After the age of 8-10 months, floating bath toys are a unique source of fun. So use them to make bathing a very pleasant experience! When you finish the bath, cover the baby with a soft bathrobe, to keep its head warm.

Prefer to bathe your baby in the afternoon, as this is a very relaxing way to prepare it for sleep.

 

With the generous contribution of the paediatrician Dr. Michalis Sarris.