For a new mom giving baby it’s first sponge bath can be challenging but also rewarding. Some new moms might find it awkward at first to give baby a sponge bath as baby is so little and fragile. And like any mom would know that baby loves to be kept nice and warm, and when you undress them for their sponge bath they will start to cry, this can be unsettling for a new mom as nobody wants to upset their baby for no reason. This cannot be helped, so if you have a winter baby do make sure that the room that you choose to give baby a sponge bath in is nice and warm. Babies usually have a sponge bath when they are sick or when they are first born as the umbilical cord stump has not fallen away and with baby boys it is usually two weeks after a circumcision.
Can I give my baby a sponge bath? Answer: Yes
A sponge bath for baby is best given when baby is not well or when first born, as the umbilical cord stump has not fallen away and it is best to give a sponge bath to baby boys if they have had a circumcision. Of course baby is not going to be happy with the fact that you are going to undress them for this and all they want is to be kept nice and warm, their first sponge bath and first real bath can be challenging as they will tell you with their cries that they do not like it at all. Of course this is going to stress you out a little but not to worry, soon baby will get used to its sponge bath and then it will get used to it’s real bath. It won’t take long for baby to enjoy the ritual of receiving a wash. There is nothing more heady than the scent of a freshly sponged bathed baby bundled up in a towel.
The Essentials Required For a Sponge Bath.
It is far better that you organize all what you will require when choosing to give baby a sponge bath. Also it is advisable to make sure the room is nice and warm where you intend to give baby its sponge bath. So arrange the items that you require within arms reach so you do not need to leave baby unattended. You will need baby body wash that can also double up as a shampoo, two baby wash cloths, one towel, a bowl of warm water, several cotton balls, baby lotion this of course is optional, a diaper, an outfit to put on baby after the sponge bath. Make sure that you also have cotton swabs or gauze pad that has been dipped in rubbing alcohol for the umbilical cord. Researchers have found that untreated cords heal faster than alcohol-swabbed cords and carry no more risk of infection. So if you’re not sure which method to use, talk to your baby’s doctor. Here is an article on infant umbilical cord care if you want to do a little research in the meantime.
What Are The Signs of An Infection In The Umbilical Cord?
The importance of sponge baths when baby still has the umbilical cord stump still attached is to avoid infections. Do consult your healthcare provider if you notice that baby develops a fever and appears unwell. The navel and the surrounding area becomes warm, red or swollen, you notice pus at the base of the stump, the stump smells foul or the stump of the umbilical cord bleeds continuously. It will take time to heal so continue with a sponge bath for baby until you get the all clear.
How To Give Baby a Sponge Bath
As baby will not be ready for the infant tub until the umbilical cord stump falls of and for baby boys if they have had a circumcision then best way to wash baby is giving them a sponge bath. Knowing how will make it so much more easier. You will start off with washing baby’s face before you take off any of their clothing. Dampen a cotton ball or washcloth and wipe baby’s eyelids from the inside corner out. Use one cotton ball for each eye. Use another damp cotton ball to clean around baby’s nose. Then proceed to clean baby’s ears on the outside only. If you were to try and clean baby’s inner ear then you could puncture baby’s eardrum.
Next you can shampoo baby’s head, support baby’s spine and hold baby’s head back slightly, proceed to sprinkle warm water over baby’s head and add a drop or two of baby wash, lather, scrub very gently, and rinse with a wet washcloth. Then dry baby’s head with a towel. You can now undress baby, and lay them flat on a towel, proceed to wipe baby over with a soft washcloth with a little amount of baby wash to wash baby’s body. Then get another warm wet cloth and re-wipe baby to get any excess baby wash of baby’s body. When baby is clean you can pat baby dry with a towel, apply baby lotion if you like attend to the umbilical cord and then dress baby. Make sure that you do not cover the umbilical cord with the diaper.
Sponge Bath Tips
If your son was circumcised do not attempt to pull back the foreskin, until the circumcision wound heals, do avoid using soap on the area. When baby’s penis has healed you can wash it as you would any other part of baby’s body. When cleaning a girl’s genitals do so by wiping from front to back. Do not use soap in her groin are, as this could cause irritation. Many moms with a newborn will tend to give baby a sponge bath on their bed, and play relaxing music. It is important to remember that newborns do get cold very quickly. Try to dry and cover with a towel the areas that you have just washed to keep your baby as warm as possible. And of course if your room is very cold do make sure you heat it up before giving baby a sponge bath.
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