For young parents, it is not easy to sort through all the information transmitted and the experiences related by those around them and the medical staff. In the field of hygiene in particular, if you ask, everyone will give their opinion and you find yourself hearing everything and its opposite. Ultimately, when and how to bathe an infant ? Should I give him a bath every day, from day one? What should be paid attention to? Through this article, we will raise the various points of attention necessary to bathe baby well. Use common sense, learn our advice and everything will go well.
How and when to bathe your baby?
Giving a daily bath to your infant is not compulsory
Before discussing the issues of temperature and duration, let’s first look at the frequency of bathing. Let’s be clear: it is not necessary to bathe your infant every day.
Immersing the entire body of the child on a daily basis can eventually cause dryness of the skin and redness. The phenomenon can even become quite recurrent if your water is hard or you do not have a softener in your home.
The ideal frequency for bathing is once every 2 or 3 days. On the seat, genitals and hands, use a soap-free cleanser or a fragrance-free gentle soap. Indeed, the presence of perfume often indicates the use of alcohol, a source of drying of the skin.
On the other hand, it is obvious that if your child has perspired due to restless sleep or a fever, for example, a bath will be necessary. The same applies in the event of significant “overflows” during digestion! Sometimes, we simply don’t have a choice: a complete toilet is necessary, even if a bath was given the night before.
Take room and bath water temperature
Before undressing your child, remember to take room and water temperature of the bath. If we generally have the reflex to put a thermometer in the water, this is not always the case for the bathroom itself. However, this is important if you want to prevent your baby from becoming agitated or apprehensive when undressing.
For the room, the ideal temperature should be relatively high: at least 22°C and up to 24°C. No need to go any higher, at the risk of overheating the place and creating too big a gap with the rest of the pieces when leaving.
The bath water should be equal to body temperature, i.e. 37°C. Once everything is checked, immerse your baby gradually, starting with the feet, then the legs and the bust. You can bathe the back of his head without getting his face wet first.
Give the bath in the evening to promote sleep
If possible, it is recommended to bathe at night to help you fall asleep. To make it easier for the baby to get into the bath and prevent him from getting too cold, you can wrap him in a swaddle and bathe him directly with it. The feeling of envelopment helps to reassure him.
Start the toilet by going from top to bottom of the body without forgetting all the small folds of the skin and finish with where bacteria are most likely to develop: the seat and the genitals.
Once baby is completely clean, rinse it and immerse it again in water. Rock him in the water with gentle movements will remind him of the environment he has known for 9 months. This gives him a feeling of well-being and comfort. It is ideal before sleeping, so you offer him a transition to sleep.
What toilet should be done every day with your baby?
Clean infant’s cord daily
You have understood it, a bath every day is not essential for the baby toilet. On the other hand, some treatments still require special attention and the umbilical cord cleaning is part of. This treatment should be done every day.
No need to use cleaners or disinfectant, a simple cotton ball with lukewarm water is enough. Then, dry with a clean cotton ball and position his diaper under the navel. Don’t pull on the cord even if it seems to come loose, it will naturally fall off when healing is complete. This usually occurs between 1 and 3 weeks after birth.
It is normal for the cord to leave a few traces of blood. However, if it seems to swell, ooze, become smelly, red or bleed more than usual, you should seek medical advice.
Clean the seat and private parts without irritating baby
Clean the seat and the baby’s private parts without irritating him may seem delicate, but it is nevertheless an essential treatment to be carried out on a daily basis. In order to carry out personal hygiene in the best conditions, a few precautions are necessary.
For a little girl, always start from the front to the back, in order to avoid bringing bacteria back to her private parts. For a little boy, clean all the genitals without trying to pull the foreskin. This will happen naturally over time. From a medical and hygienic point of view, there is no reason to perform this procedure on an infant.
Anyway, avoid as much as you can disposable wipes in which you can find preservatives or even perfume, especially since they tend to leave a film on the skin and therefore moisture. Prefer a reusable organic tissue or a disposable cotton square soaked in warm water. The ideal is then to let air dry for 1 or 2 minutes, but if your child is a little too fidgety or is cold, wipe it off with a clean cloth or cotton. On the other hand, avoid talc which can dry out the skin excessively.
How and when to make the first toilet of the infant
Until recently, infants tended to be groomed during their first hours of life, almost immediately after birth. However, more and more midwives advocate delaying this moment.
The infant’s first toilet can thus wait at least 6 hours after delivery.. At first, we will simply wipe it to remove traces of fluids from the mother’s body. Then, it is cleaned with a cloth or cotton soaked in lukewarm water. the infant’s first bath can finally be realized only 2 or 3 days after its birth.
Whatever, leave the baby with the natural protective layer which envelops his skin at birth: the vernix. We tend to want to remove it, like peeling skin when it is made up of water, proteins and lipids, but also vitamins. This unique cocktail is good for baby’s skin and it will wash off naturally, so don’t worry.