Baby Basics for New Dads, Part 2
6 more important tips every father should know
Grooming Your Baby
Sponge bathe your baby until the circumcision and/or umbilical cord have healed completely, but don’t overdo it or you may dry your baby’s sensitive skin. Every other day is plenty.
Safety Tips and How-To’s:
- Assemble all materials before you start, including a large towel on which to lay the baby, two bowls of lukewarm—not hot—water, a hooded baby towel, a couple of clean washcloths, mild soap (use only if dirty or oily), a couple of clean diapers (have an extra one handy just in case), and a change of clothing.
- Never leave baby unattended, even on the floor.
- Keep the room warm and free of drafts as newborns get cold easily. Cover the baby with a towel, working on one area at a time. Clean, dry and re-wrap before moving to the next area.
- Steer clear of perfumes, lotions, or powders that can irritate baby’s skin.
- Wipe gently, starting with the face. If using soap, rinse with second washcloth. Dry Baby’s face before continuing to clean and dry one area at a time.
- Support your baby’s head and neck as you turn him or her onto the stomach to wash the back, neck, and bottom.
- Wash the genitals and bottom last, using a separate washcloth (always wipe from front to back to avoid spreading bacteria).
- Before diapering and dressing, make sure your baby is dry under the neck, in the armpits, behind the knees and in the folds of the genitals. Trapped moisture can cause rashes.
After your pediatrician gives you the “all clear” for regular baths, bathe while supporting your baby’s head in the crook of your arm. Use your hand on the supporting arm to maintain a firm hold on your baby’s arm, while holding baby’s body close to you. This helps baby feel secure enough to enjoy the bath, and frees up your other hand to wash your child.
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