Bathing a newborn can be a great challenge, especially for new parents. That insecurities overwhelm you and you feel afraid of doing something wrong only shows the enormous love you have for your baby.
In spite of this, to avoid any inconvenience, it is best to follow a series of steps that avoid missteps in your child’s bathroom routine, thus ensuring that you do not make mistakes. Think of your little one’s bath time as a time of relaxation and connection between you, where everything must be measured and assured.
In this sense, and so that you can take them into account, we present the mistakes that you must avoid at all costs when bathing your baby while he is newborn.
Not using a bathtub
The bathtub is a main element in the life of every baby. This is because it helps you to bathe him comfortably and prevents the baby who is a few days old from getting cold in the process. On the other hand, if you decide to bathe your child without a bathtub, he can get a cold, because the water does not cover him and his body cools quickly.
The type of bathtub you use is your choice, but it is recommended that you use a particular one for the exclusive use of the baby, thus avoiding unnecessary illnesses and making it a much happier and more relaxing moment for both of you. You can find a list of bathtubs here.
Leaving the baby alone in the bathtub
This may seem like a trivial and common sense point because nobody would dream of leaving a baby alone in the bathtub, but the reality is that hundreds of children die from drowning during baths every year. And it is that babies, especially newborns, are very sensitive, so they can be the object of many accidents, being in a bathtub alone they can fall or slip and drown quickly even if they do not have a large amount of water.
That is why you should not leave your child alone in the bathtub at any time in the bathroom, even when you use a hammock for bathtubs. It is convenient that you keep all the elements you need for the process at your fingertips, so that you do not have to separate from the child for a moment.
The water’s temperature
This aspect can be a bit delicate for some parents, since they do not want to risk their child feeling cold. In this case, your plan to avoid it at all costs is to overheat the bath water. Without a doubt, this is a common and dangerous mistake, since the skin of newborns is very sensitive and tends to burn easily.
It is advisable that you test the water before putting the baby in, to make sure that it is neither too cold nor too hot. Also, if you want to be totally sure, you can use a thermometer, which will tell you the real temperature of the water. Remember, it must be between 34 and 37 ºC to be adequate.
Distract yourself when drying it
When bathing a small child you must be aware of every detail, especially drying it properly so that it does not get cold or suffer irritation. It’s best to take your time drying each part, paying attention to creases, underarms, and the groin area, three main focal points.
For this process you can use a muslin, a towel or a soft cloth, preferably anti-allergic cotton, that is properly clean. Do not rub the infant’s skin, just pass the cloth gently, giving small touches, so that you can remove the water that is retained.
The use of chemicals
Newborn babies have extremely sensitive skin, which can be easily damaged. For this reason, you should restrict the use of chemicals on their delicate skin.
This advice applies mainly at bath time, where the use of soap and shampoo is usually too much. Keep in mind that although these products do not cause allergies or irritation, they can result in the child having dry skin, causing them to end up suffering a skin injury.
It is essential that you use products recommended by specialists and that are specially designed for bathing newborn children. Also, do not abuse them, since your child will be neat with very little effort.
Control air currents
If you find yourself bathing your baby in a place with windows, it is best to close them before introducing the little one into the water. This prevents air from entering during the process. Remember that being wet the child is more likely to catch a cold and cold air is the main cause of this happening.
Bathing a newborn should be a quick process. It is not recommended that the child stays in the water for a long time, so you must have everything ready to wet him, soap him and rinse him in the shortest time possible.
It is estimated that the entire procedure should take a maximum of 5 minutes.
Leaving the child naked for a long time
You should try to take the child’s clothes off just when you are going to put him in the water, so that you prevent him from getting cold. Likewise, we recommend that you do not start the bathing process without having your clothes ready for afterward. Consider that the environment will be much colder than normal for him when he gets out of the bathtub with hot water, so the process of drying and dressing him must be automatic and without delay.
Minimize the time your child spends without clothes during this stage, also considering the time of year, so you can be calm about their care.