Your baby is going to require constant cleaning, but those bath times might not need to be as frequent as you think. A bath every other day is enough for your baby and may help their sensitive skin from drying out.
If you’re keeping up with the other ways in which your baby will need cleaning, three baths a week will do the trick — although if you want to do it more frequently, you can.
You should be focusing your efforts on cleaning your baby’s:
- Face: Keeping the drool, food, and milk off of your baby’s face is important to keep its skin at its healthiest. Drool, in particular, can cause facial rashes in babies, so keeping the skin dry is crucial.
- Neck: All that chubby baby skin is adorable. But all that extra baby fat can mean a serious double- or triple-chin situation that makes it hard to clean their neck. Gently lift up their chins and reach in the folds of their neck with a damp washcloth a couple of times a day to make sure you clean any milk or drool that makes its way down.
- Bottom: Making sure to change your baby’s diaper as soon as you notice it is wet or dirty will protect the skin on their bottoms.
This grooming task isn’t for the faint of heart. Most parents remember the first time they cut their child’s nails — it can be nerve-wracking thinking you might cut them.
But this isn’t something you can skip. Your baby’s nails grow fast and they can quickly have little sharp talons on their fingers. If you don’t trim them, they can cut themselves with their nails.
To cut the nails, you can use nail scissors or the best baby nail clippers. You can lay your baby on the floor while you do it or hold them.
Before cutting, press the fingertip away from the nail to give yourself a better view of what needs to be cut. Cut only the white part so you don’t go too low and accidentally cut the skin too.
Plan on doing this about once a week.
Cleaning Teeth and Gums
To keep your baby’s mouth healthy, get in the habit of wiping down the baby’s gums at least twice every day with a wet washcloth. Once they get teeth, clean their mouth twice a day or after feedings.
Sometime during the 12- to 24-month mark, swap the washcloth for a baby toothbrush you can use with water.
How to Bathe Your Baby
Bathtime with a baby can be a blast. What parent doesn’t love watching their reactions the first few times they are in the water?
But pulling off a safe bathing experience can be surprisingly tricky. Babies are squirmy naturally, and when they get wet, they can be immensely difficult to hold onto.
We’ll walk you through this intimidating experience so you’ll know how to give your baby its first bath.
- Prepare: Make sure you have all your supplies right next to the baby bathtub. Once your baby is in that tub, it can be life-threatening if you walk away even for a couple of seconds. Until you get the hang of it, it might be a good idea to have someone else in the room, such as your partner, to help you.
- Fill the baby tub: Put about two or three inches of water in the baby tub. You don’t need it to be deep and you don’t want the water to be hot. Shoot for around 90 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Take off your baby’s clothes: Take off their diaper too and put them in the water, being careful to support their head and neck.
- Wash their hair with a cup: Having a cup in the bathtub will making hair washing much easier. Get their hair wet and then put the baby shampoo in, if you’re using it. Cup one hand on your baby’s forehead, over their eyes, to keep the water out as you slowly rinse their hair.
- Use baby wash for their body: Using a washcloth that has been dipped in a mix of water and baby wash, clean your baby from top to bottom. Don’t rub vigorously — a gentle touch will do and will be better for their skin.
- Carefully remove your child from the tub: Place them in a towel as soon as possible. That will reduce the risk of them squirming out of your arms by giving you a better grip. And it will keep them warm as you pat them dry.
- Put a diaper and clothes on your baby: After your baby is dry, you can apply baby lotion if you’d like. Then get them dressed as you normally would.
What You’ll Need for Baby’s Bath
You’ve probably realized by now that babies require a lot of gear. Here’s what you’ll need at bathtime.
- Towel, with a hood if possible.
- Water thermometer if you want to check the water temperature.
- Baby bathtub.
- Baby wash.
- Baby shampoo.
- Clean diaper.
- Baby clothes.
- Any baby bath toys you want your child to have.
There is no need to stick a Q-tip in your baby’s ear to remove wax. Doing so can be dangerous because you can stick it in too far and cause damage to the eardrum. If you want to clean their ears, get a damp cloth and gently clean your child’s ear using that.
Here is how you’ll do it:
- Wash your hands.
- Squeeze the syringe and put only the tip of it into your baby’s nose.
- Let go slowly of the bulb so it starts to suction the congestion from your baby’s nose.
- Remove the syringe and squeeze out what it has collected onto a tissue.
- Repeat in the other nostril.
To reduce the congestion, you can use saline drops in your baby’s nose as well.