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How to Bathe a Newborn

There are several way to bathe a newborn. The video shows how a midwife gives a newborn baby her first bath.

Wed, 22 Aug 2012|

There are several ways to bathe a new born and there are several types of bathtubs you can use, including a bath-a-net or the large basin, like the one you see here. Before you get started, make sure you have all you need within reach and that the room where you're bathing your child is warm and comfortable. Start by running cold water into the basin and then switching the hot water, this will prevent the water from getting too hot. The temperature of the bathwater should be at around body temperature and you can test the temperature of the water by dipping your elbow or the inside of your wrist into the water. The skin is thinner in these areas, so you can get a more accurate temperature reading. If you were unsure of the temperature, you can use a bath thermometer. You don't need a lot of water in the tub; it doesn't need to be deeper than two to three inches. Undress your baby, remove the diaper and clean her bottom and then immediately wrap her in a large soft towel. Don't let your child go without clothes for too long, as infants can get cold easily. Lower your child carefully into the water, feet first. The midwife in this video is holding the baby using both of her arms. She uses one arm to support the head and neck, putting her hand round the baby's arm to keep a firm grip, the other hand goes under the baby's bottom. She's easing the child into the water and letting her get used to the water temperature. Once your infant is in the water, you can switch how you hold her. See how the midwife is now holding the baby firmly with only one arm. The other hand can now be used to pour water carefully over the baby's body. When washing, don't rub or scrub your child's delicate skin. Most babies like having a bath, and this baby calms down after a short time in the water. Make bath time a pleasant time by talking to her during the bath. She'll be awake and following what's happening. Start by washing your baby's head. Here, the midwife is gently washing her eyes, starting from the outside and moving in to remove the substance that's commonly present around the eyes of newborns. She then washes the baby's ears. And cleans under her chin where they may still folds of fat. After washing the head, you can then move to washing the rest of your newborn's body but be careful around the bellybutton, as that area may still be sore. When washing the genital area, be very careful and always wash starting at the front and then moving to the back, to avoid transferring any remaining traces of poop into your child's urinary opening. Once you're done bathing her, quickly lift your baby up and wrap her in a large dry towel. Dry her well. Make sure to get in between her skin folds like under the chin, under the arms, and by the thighs. If these areas aren't dry, they could run the risk of developing a fungal rash.