First-time parents would probably feel apprehensive to give a bath to their teeny tiny babies. It is quite scary and a slippery affair. A sponge bath is bathing your baby without putting him in a bathtub. You lay your baby on a clean towel and clean with a wet washcloth. Sponge bathing 2 to 3 times a week is ideal. It would take about 5 to 10 minutes to complete. You can give your newborn baby a sponge bath until the time the umbilical cord stump falls off.
Keeping your baby’s skin clean with regular bath is essential. A sponge bath is an amazing way to engage your baby’s senses – helps in the physiological, cognitive, emotional, and social development right from the start!
Get The Essentials Handy
Soft wash clothes
Step-By-Step Guide To Sponge Bathing Your Baby
Take some time to talk to your baby. Put the baby on a flat padded surface or a changing table while you get her ready for the bath. Undress her, except for her diaper, and wrap her in a towel. Wash your hands, preferably with soap, before you give a bath to avoid spreading infections.
Your baby’s skin is too fragile and sensitive. So, the temperature of the water and the room in which you give your baby a bath should be ideal and comfortable. The water temperature should be warm, not hot, on your skin. The temperature should be 98.6°F to 103.9°F (37°C to 39.9°C) and the room shouldn’t be very cold.
2. Clean The Eyes
Keep your baby wrapped in a blanket when you wash the face and head. Start by cleaning his eyes. Use a cotton ball or pad and gently clean the eyelids. Clean the corner of the eyes inside out with a cotton ball. Make sure you use a separate cotton ball for each eye.
3. Behind The Ears
Wipe and clean behind and around the ears with another pair of cotton balls or wet washcloth.
4. Face, Nose, And Lips
The bridge of the nose and corners of the mouth should be cleaned with a cotton ball. Gently clean with a moist washcloth the face and forehead. Do not use soap on the face. Make sure you clean his neck, and under the skin folds. Pat dry the face with a soft cotton cloth.
Washing the head 1 to 2 times a week with a gentle shampoo or rinsing with a wet washcloth to wash the shampoo is the way to go about it. Pat your baby’s head dry before continuing on with the bath.
Take another fresh washcloth to wash the body. Start by washing the chest and clean between fingers and toes. Use mild soap as your baby’s skin would be fragile and sensitive. Any residual soap will irritate the skin which could lead to rashes. Clean the milk drools under the neck, arms, and underarms. Lift your baby’s chin gently and clean the creases under. Wash his genitals and bottom in the end.
7. Umbilical Cord Stump
Water in and around the umbilical area can lead to infections in the initial days after birth. Till the time the stump dries and falls off, you have to take extra care while sponge bathing the baby. Clean gently with a cotton swab and let the region dry well.
After the bath, pat dry and wrap your baby in a comfortable cotton blanket. Rubbing the skin dry could irritate the gentle skin. Apply mild baby lotion to keep the baby’s skin moist. Put on the diapers and dress your baby in comfortable clothes.
Always have a fixed routine for sponge bath – time and place ideal for the baby when the baby is not too hungry or sleepy.
Hold your baby tight while you bathe to avoid falls and injuries.
If you have a baby girl, do not wipe away the vaginal discharge.
If your little one is circumcised, be very careful around the genital area. If he is uncircumcised, do not pull the foreskin to rub and wash. You might end up hurting your little boy.