Bathing a newborn baby for the first time is something all parents feel a little nervous about. This step by step guide to is here to help.
You will need 2 clean dry towels, a baby bath tub, a baby bath thermometer, a mild baby shampoo if you wish and the usual baby changing equipment.
Bathing a newborn – step by stepSafety should always be your priority and you should not allow yourself to become distracted at any time.Ensure the room is warm and that there are no draughts.Rinse out the bath tub and fill it with warm (but not hot) water.If you are not using a mixer tap to fill the bath then you should always pour the cold water in first. Once you have mixed in the hot water, swish it about to avoid any hot spots.Check the temperature of the water by dipping your elbow into it or by pouring some water over your wrist. You may also want to use a baby bath thermometer.Place a clean towel near the bath to use later.Now it is time to prepare your baby for bath time.You will firstly need to top and tail your new born in the usual way, once you have cleaned her bottom, leave her naked, wrap her in a dry towel and take her to the room where you are going to bathe her.If you you are going to wash her hair, you should do so before she is in the bath. You can choose to use plain water or a mild baby shampoo.Hair should be rinsed over the baby bath if needed and dry carefully and thoroughly.Position your baby in your arms in a way that you will comfortably be able to hold her in the baby bath. Your strongest arm should be around the back of her neck, supporting her head and your hand should be under the armpit that is furthest from you so that you can support her weight.Lower your newborn slowly and gently into the baby bath keeping her head clear of the water at all times.Use your spare hand to gently trickle water over your little ones body.Be enthusiastic; talk and smile continuously.Never leave your baby alone in the bath, not even for a second.Carefully lift your her out of the bath, be aware that baby’s skin may be very slippery. Wrap in a clean towel and gently pat her dry, pay special attention to the creases of her skin.Now is a good time to massage your newborn, particularly if it is bed time.Give your baby big cuddles to keep warm and yourself a big pat on the back for bathing your newborn baby for the first time!
What is nappy rash? What causes nappy rash? And more importantly how can you prevent your baby getting nappy rash? And if your little one does get it, how do you treat it? All of that information can be found right here, do please read on…
What is nappy rash?
Nappy rash is a common condition, most babies up to the age of 18 months will have had nappy rash at some point, usually between the age of 9-12 months. It causes your baby’s skin to become sore and irritated in and around the nappy area. There may be red patches on her bottom or the whole area may be red. Her skin may feel hot to touch and it could also have some pimples, blisters or spots.
What causes nappy rash?
Nappy rash is usually caused by your baby’s skin coming into contact with urine and faeces in her nappy. There are a number of other factors that can also cause it; baby wipes, diarrhoea or other illness, soap, detergent or bubble bath, rubbing or chafing and sensitive skin.
How can I avoid my baby getting nappy rash?
Prevention is much better than cure. By taking a few simple steps you can reduce the possibility of your baby getting nappy rash:
- Change your babies nappy as soon as you can once you have noticed that it is wet or soiled. (Young babies need changing on average 10-12 times a day so don’t think you are being excessive).
- Use a barrier cream on your baby’s bottom such as zinc or castor oil.
- Allow your baby to have some ‘nappy off time’ for as long as you can and as often as is practical. The fresh air will help.
- Ensure you clean the whole nappy area thoroughly.
- Use plain warm water and wipe from front to back.
How can I treat nappy rash?
If your baby has nappy rash or you suspect your baby has it, you should firstly speak to your local pharmacist or health visitor for advice (as well as taking the above precautions), there are a number of over the counter nappy rash creams that can help, i have found the best over the counter nappy rash treatment to be Metanium. You should avoid using wet wipes during this period and ensure your baby’s bottom is fully dry before applying the cream and putting on the clean nappy. For severe cases, your GP will be able to prescribe a treatment. It is always helpful to have a recommendation from a health-care professional.
Do I need to see a doctor about my baby’s nappy rash?
If the rash doesn’t go away or it seems to be quite severe (bright red, spreading to the folds of her skin or white or red pimples etc) then it could be caused by an underlying health condition or bacterial infection. If this is the case, you should make an appointment to see your GP so that he/she can view your baby’s nappy rash and give personalised, suitable advice and treatments.
How to top and tail; a step by step guide. To top and tail means washing your baby’s face, neck, hands and bottom, including his eyes and ears. Here is how to do it:
Step by step guide: How to top and tail your babyFirstly place your baby on to a warm dry towel on the floor.Ensure the room is warm and there is no draught (windows and doors are closed).Fill the top and tail bowl with warm water; check the temperature with your elbow and also a bath thermometer.Place the water on the floor next to you, out of your newborns reach.Remove her clothes but leave her nappy and vest on.Dip the cotton wool in the water, ensuring it doesn’t get too wet.To clean your her eyes, use a clean cotton wool ball for each eye and gently wipe in the opposite direction of the other eye. (Direction of wipe is from the nose towards the ear for each eye). This stops the risk of spreading an infection form one eye to the other.With a fresh piece of cotton wool, clean around your her ears, you shouldn’t wash inside them and always avoid using cotton buds.With another clean piece of cotton wool, clean her face, neck and hands.Dry your little one’s face and hands with a towel.Ensure the water is still warm enough.Remove your baby’s clothes and nappyDip a clean cotton wool ball into the water and gently wipe her bottom and nappy area with it (hence the tail), make sure she is thoroughly clean, including between the folds in her skin.Dry your baby very carefullyEnsure she is fully dryPut a clean nappy on her and dress her.Have big cuddlesNow you know how to top and tail your baby!