Becoming a parent is not an easy job, but it feels all worth it when you experience all the “firsts” with the new family member. One of the moments that is truly treasured and increases the bond between a parent with their newborn is bathing time.
The biggest anxiety factor that comes with bathing a newborn is how to bathe them when they still have the umbilical cord attached. Read on further below to find out how often you can give a bath to a baby with an umbilical cord and how it should be done.
When Should Be the Newborn Baby’s First Bath?
There aren’t any fixed days about when the baby should receive the first bath. You can schedule the bathing time according to your own preference, ensuring that you take out time and are not in a hurry.
However, some pediatricians advise delaying the first bath for a few days. The reasons for this include:
- Vernix: Babies are covered in a substance called vernix when they are born. This is a waxy layer on the skin that naturally protects the baby from infections and germs, along with acting as a moisturizer.
- Regulating body temperature: There is a risk of developing hypothermia or hypoglycemia in babies who are bathed as soon after being born. This is because of the minor stress that the newborns might feel.
- Skin to Skin Contact: Having the skin to skin contact between the mother and her baby is extremely important. It’s better not to take away the baby for an early bath as it’ll also help with successful breastfeeding.
How to Bathe A Newborn Baby with Umbilical cord?
The umbilical cord is a tube-like structure that creates a link between the mother and baby during pregnancy. Through this, oxygen and waste materials are transferred back and forth. Once the baby is delivered, the stump of the umbilical cord remains on the baby and typically dries and falls within a few weeks.
When it comes to bathing babies with their umbilical cord attached, it’s important to know that you can only give them sponge baths. Do not use the bathtub to wash the newborn until or unless the umbilical cord has fallen and healed.
Since newborns don’t get dirty as such, you don’t need to bathe them often. However, you can keep your baby clean by doing sponge baths one to two times per week; otherwise, their skin can get irritated and dry.
Things You Need to Give Newborns A Sponge Bath
Before you start cleaning the baby, make sure you have everything you need before hand. Some of the things you’ll require when giving the bath include:
- A large towel
- Baby soap
- Bowl of warm water
- A fresh set of clothes
How to Give A Sponge Bath to A Newborn Baby?
Once you’ve got your bath items in place, it’s time to bathe the baby.
It’s important that you remain calm as the baby can feel your energy as well. All you’ve got to do is follow the simple steps to give a safe sponge bath to your newborn.
- Babies like to be cozy, so it would be preferable if the room you will bathe them in is a bit warm so they don’t feel cold once their clothes are off.
- Put the baby down on the large towel and cover them.
- Only expose the baby one part at a time by unwrapping the towel on areas that require washing.
- Dip the washcloth in warm water, then start cleaning the top of the newborn’s head then, ears, neck folds, and chin
- Now add in a few drops of soap and wipe the rest of the body apart from the umbilical cord area.
- Use a baby towel to dry the baby, especially the skin folds.
- Once dried, put on the diaper and a new set of clothes.
When bathing, make sure you support the neck and head of the baby. Do not let water touch the umbilical area, and if, in any case, it does get wet, dry it off straight away.
How to Care for The Umbilical Cord
Until the umbilical cord falls off, you have to take very good care of it to prevent any sort of infection. You can use a cotton bud and lightly moisten it with warm water, then wipe the base of the cord stump. After that, dry it with the other side of the swab.
Even though it’s not as common, the warning signs of an infected umbilical cord include:
- Foul Smell
- Yellow Discharge
If you notice any of this, take the baby to the doctor immediately to get medical treatment.