Monday, 16 January 2012

How to bathe your baby?

Bathing your baby is not as easy as it seems.
You must prepare your little one, yourself and the area, all the items you will need should be reachable.

Preparation for bath time:
A warm room : Young babies lose body heat very quickly and easily become chilled. Therefore it is important that the room in which the baby is to be bathed is draught-free and warm - at least 20°C .

Warm water : The bath water should be warm but not hot - about body temperature, i.e. about 37°C. A bath thermometer is useful for taking the temperature of the water. If this is not available, the water can be tested by using your elbow. 

Equipment : Before putting the baby in the bath collect everything needed for washing, drying and dressing the baby.

The bathing routine can be like:
  • Test the temperature of the bath water with bath thermometer or your elbow to check that it is right for the baby.
  • After washing your hands, undress the baby apart from the nappy and wrap her in a warm towel.
  • Gently wash the baby's face with wet cotton wool. Soap should not be used. The eyes should only be cleaned if infected or sticky. Wipe each eye from the inside corner outwards, using a clean piece of damp cotton wool for each eye.
  • Wash the scalp with water. Use baby soap or shampoo. The hair must then be well rinsed using a jug of clean, warm water for the final rinse.
  • Take off the nappy and clean the bottom with wet cotton wool, or baby wipes. Do not try to force back (retract) the foreskin of a little boy's penis. This action is likely to tear the foreskin and make it bleed. The foreskin will gradually become able to retract, usually completely so by the age of tree years.
  • Add some baby bath lotion to the water before placing the baby in the bath. The baby needs to be held securely: one hand holds the baby's shoulder, while the baby's head rest on her arm.
  • Lift the baby out onto a towel, dry by patting gently. Pay attention to the creases of the neck, armpits, groin, back of the knees and back of the ears. If the creases are not dried, they easily become sore. When turning the baby over to dry the back, the safest way is to turn the baby towards rather away from you.
  • Apply nappy cream to the bottom and into creases in the skin to help keep them dry.

Cleaning the ears:Wax can be cleaned away from the end of the ear canal (ear hole), but the inside of the canal should never be cleaned. The wax is there for protection. Cotton wool buds can be useful for cleaning outside and behind the ears, but should never be poked inside. Anything which is poked into the ear canal may damage the ear drum.

Cradle cap: This is the name given to the greasy scales or crusts which form on the scalp of many young babies. It first appears around 4 weeks of age and usually clears up by itself after about 6 months. It is harmless. It is considered to be unsightly, it can be removed by the use of special cream made for the purpose.

Cutting the nails: The finger nails of very young babies grow quickly and need to be cut every few days. This is the best done while the baby is asleep. If the nails are left to grow too long, the baby will scratch herself. With an older baby, the nails can be cut immediately after bath.


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