Friday, April 19, 2013

First Time Parents Guide to Bathing Your Baby

Bath, Infant, Diaper, Towel, Baby Shampoo, Children, Bathtub, Bathing, Tub Bath, Sponge Bath

You may give your newborn his first daily sponge bath when e is a few days old. It is best to bathe a very young infant before his morning feeding. As he grows older and becomes more active, you may wish to switch his bath time to the late afternoon. Never leave the baby alone in his bath. Be sure the room in which you bathe the baby is warm and free from drafts. Your hands and fingernails should be washed thoroughly before you begin. You may want to have an extra towel on hand to keep yourself dry.

The following items should be ready:

  • Basin of warm (not hot) water
  • Large bath towel
  • Soft washcloth
  • Mild baby soap
  • Baby shampoo (if desired)
  • Sterile cotton balls or swabs
  • Baby lotion or oil
  • Baby powder
  • Clean diaper or clothing
  • Large pins or diaper pins
Sponge bath
A sponge bath may be preferable to tub bathing during the baby's first few weeks. This time allows for the healing of your baby's navel, which at birth may have the remains of the umbilical cord attached to it. Withing the first few weeks following birth any remnant if the cord will wither and become detached. The navel will be raw and tender and should consequently be kept as dry as possible to encourage scab formation and healing. Complete healing usually takes a few weeks.
The sponge bath will also give you the confidence you need to handle and maneuver your baby comfortably and effectively. Place your infant on a table covered with a large towel or pad. Never leave him alone on a table or high surface. Remove his clothing or diaper and cleanse his genital area carefully. If your baby boy is circumcised, his penis should be protected with petroleum jelly and a gauze bandage until the wound has completely healed (usually within a week or two).
Cover the baby with a large towel. Clean his nose and outer ears with a dampened cotton ball or swab, never inserting its tip farther than you can see. Wash his face with a soft washcloth and clear water. Avoid using soap on a baby's face for the first three months. Wipe each eyelid with sterilized cotton, moving from the inside corner outwards. Clean the outside of his mouth thoroughly but avoid washing the inside. Pat his face dry.
With your arm under the baby's back and your hand supporting his head, you can wash his scalp using very mild soap and water or baby shampoo. Lather his head using gentle circular motions. His head should be held back to prevent soap and water from dripping down his face or into his eyes. Rinse the baby's scalp with clear water.

Tub bath
Giving your infant a tub bath can be quite an adventure for a new parent. Your doctor will advise you as to when you may begin tub bathing your child.
The bath can be given in a basin, tub, baby bath, or even the kitchen sink. Have available all the necessary articles that were required for a sponge bath. Fill the tub or basin with about three inches (8 cm) of warm water. Test its temperature using your elbow to make sure it is not too hot. A rubber mat or towel may be placed on the bottom of the tub to prevent the baby from slipping.
At first, you may want to wash the baby's face and head as you would during a sponge bath. Then lower him into the tub, supporting his head and back with one arm and his buttocks with the other. As you gain experience or when your child is old enough to sit up, it may be simpler to wash his face and scalp while he sits in the tub. Soap and rinse the front of his body thoroughly, all the while supporting his back firmly. Then, shifting his weight forward and supporting him under the chin with one hand, you can wash and rinse his back. Pay special attention to the creases and folds of his skin.
When you are finished, lift the baby carefully onto a table, again supporting his head and back with one hand and his buttocks with the other. Dry him thoroughly and apply lotion and a light dusting of powder to those parts of his body most subject to chafing and irritation, especially his thighs and buttocks.

You may find that dressing your baby is not the easiest job in the world. Most infants, when being changed, will attempt to roll over, twist around or put up some sort of struggle. It may be helpful to distract your baby with a favorite toy or plaything while you dress him, using this time as a play period

Thursday, April 18, 2013

First Time Parents Guide on Diapering and Diapers

Diaper, Infant, Rash, Children, Baby, Irritation, Diapering

Diapers should be changed when wet to soiled to prevent skin rashes. You may find that changing your baby just before or after each feeding will probably be sufficient to keep him comfortable and prevent diaper rash. Some babies have particularly sensitive skin and may require more frequent changes.

Place the baby on a towel and remove his diaper. Using warm water, wash the genital area gently from front to back, then pat dry with a towel. If the baby has had a bowel movement, fold the soiled portion of the diaper under and wipe the buttocks with cotton or toilet tissue. The baby's behind should then be washed with mid soap and water, rinsed and patted dry. You can apply lotion or oil to the area with cotton, being attentive to skin folds and creases.

Holding his ankles between your thumbs and middle finger (with your index finger between his ankles), raise his hips and slide a clean, folder diaper under hum. The diaper should be folded so that there is an area of extra thickness where it can absorb the most urine -  in front for boys and in back for girls. Then pull the diaper between baby's legs and pin it on each other side. Remember to keep your finger between the pin and the baby to avoid pricking him. Plastic or rubber pants may be put on over the diaper to keep outer clothing and bedding dry. However, they may lead to diaper rash or other skin irritations in sensitive babies, and therefore it may be better to use them only when going out.

Wet diapers should be rinsed immediately and placed in a covered pail containing water. A mild soap thoroughly dissolved in the water will help remove stains. Diapers must be washed each day, separately from all other clothes. They should be rinsed thoroughly in at least four changes of clear water to make sure all traces of soap or detergent have been removed. If your baby is subject to diaper rash or has particularly sensitive skin, it may be necessary to boil his diapers to kill any stubborn bacteria. You can also sterilize diapers by adding a diaper antiseptic to the final water rinse. Your doctor may be able to recommend such an antiseptic. If possible, it is best to dry your baby's diapers in the sun, since sunlight destroys many bacteria. 

Today, more and more parents use disposable diapers for convenience. Available in a number of sizes and thicknesses, disposable diapers require no safety pins or rubber pants. Although more expensive than cloth diapers, they require no washing and are particularly handy when you travel with your baby.


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