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Bathing and Handling Baby. Sponge Bathing . Sponge bathe the baby until the umbilical cord has fallen off and the navel has fully healed. Sponge bathe a circumcised baby boy until the penis has fully healed.

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sponge bathing
Sponge Bathing
  • Sponge bathe the baby until the umbilical cord has fallen off and the navel has fully healed.
  • Sponge bathe a circumcised baby boy until the penis has fully healed.
  • If the baby objects vigorously to the sponge bath and the crying is bothersome to you, bathe the baby one step at a time throughout the day.
    • Some babies don’t like to lie still or stay quiet long enough for a complete sponge bath.
sponge bathing continued
Sponge Bathing, continued
  • Newborns sometimes fear being completely naked. If this is true, try uncovering and washing only part of the baby’s body at a time.
    • Babies are accustomed to a prenatal environment that was warm and involved a lot of physical touching.
  • Wash one side of the baby’s face at a time.
    • This prevents stimulation of the rooting reflex in two opposite directions, which can be confusing and irritating to baby.
sponge bathing continued1
Sponge Bathing, continued
  • Remember safety. Don’t leave baby unattended.
    • Collect all supplies before you begin the bath.
    • If you forget something, wrap the baby in a towel and take him/her with you to get the forgotten item.
    • Wiggly babies (even those who are not yet able to roll over) can scoot to the edge of the counter/table and fall.
baby tub bathing
Baby Tub Bathing
  • Use a mild, unscented soap.
    • Any disinfectant or highly perfumed soap may be irritating to the baby’s skin and cause dryness or rashes.
  • Talk to baby during bath time.
    • Talking helps the baby focus on your face and promotes development of the eye muscles.
    • Talking also promotes brain and vocabulary development, even when the child is very, very young.
baby tub bathing continued
Baby Tub Bathing, continued
  • Support the baby’s head at all times during bathing.
    • Select tub styles that make this easier.
  • Remember safety. Never turn your back on the baby or leave him/her alone in the baby tub.
    • Drowning and falling accidents are always possible.
the big tub in the bathroom
The Big Tub in the Bathroom
  • The baby is ready for the standard bathtub (in the bathroom) if he/she is able to sit up steadily without support.
  • Run only a few inches (2-3 inches) of water in the tub for safety reasons. Baby can drown in a very small amount of water.
  • To prevent drowning and falling accidents, never leave the baby unattended in the tub.
the big tub in the bathroom continued
The Big Tub in the Bathroom, continued
  • Keep the baby away from the knobs and faucet during the bath.
    • One playful turn of the hot water and baby can scald him/herself seriously. Safety devices to cover the knobs are available.
    • If baby scoots around in the tub, bumping him/her head on the faucet can result in serious injury. Safety devices to cover the faucet are available.
  • Check water temperature.
the big tub in the bathroom continued1
The Big Tub in the Bathroom, continued
  • Run a little cold water last so that if the child touches the faucet it won’t burn him/her.
  • Don’t allow the child to pull up or stand in the tub.
  • Play is good. Lots of “learning” can occur during bath time play.
handling the baby
Handling the Baby
  • A healthy baby is not a fragile as it might seem to be.
  • Shaking a baby younger than 2 years old may cause severe brain damage or even death (Shaken Baby Syndrome).
  • The fontanels (soft spots on the baby’s head caused by spaces in the skull) are protected by a sturdy membrane.
    • It is O.K. to wash the baby’s hair in this area, to touch it, etc.
handling the baby continued
Handling the Baby, continued
  • Cuddle, rock, and talk to newborns as often as possible.
  • Don’t worry about spoiling a newborn baby because you pick him/her up when he/she cries. Newborns cry for specific reasons (not to be obnoxious)! Newborn needs should be taken care of promptly! Allowing baby to cry for long periods of time communicates lack of love and concern.
handling the baby continued1
Handling the Baby, continued
  • Support the head when picking baby up and laying him/her down.
    • Be gradual and gentle in your movements to avoid stimulating the Moro (startle) reflex.
    • Support baby’s head until the end of the 3rd or 4th month.
handling the baby continued2
Handling the Baby, continued
  • During the first 3 to 4 months most babies like being swaddled.
    • Swaddling = tightly wrapping the baby in a small blanket with arms confined against the side of the body.
    • Swaddling is comforting to baby because it simulates the warmth and sensation of constant touch that he/she felt in mother’s womb before birth.
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Handling the Baby, continued
  • Rocking is soothing to a newborn.
    • Rocking recreates the motion the baby felt during the prenatal period in the mother’s womb.
    • Don’t rock too slowly if you want to simulate pre-birth conditions. Rock at the pace mom walked late in pregnancy. This may be as fast as 60 rocks per minute.