Beyond bath time – which besides the obvious cleaning, is also an incredible opportunity for the baby to relax and a great way to strengthen the bond between parents and baby – your baby’s hygiene requires special care. Check out these tips to make your little one always comfortable and smelling delicious as only babies do:
If all you have is a pee diaper, wipe and pat dry the area. use could use a cloth diaper or paper tissue. If the baby pooped, remove the excess with the soiled diaper – always in a front to back movement. Doing so, prevents the risk of a urinary tract infection by contact with feces, especially in girls.
If you can, wash your baby’s bottom every time she or he has had a bowel movement opt for hypoallergenic liquid soap, preferably suitable for babies. But if that is not possible, use cotton balls and water or wipes if your baby isn’t allergic to them.
Don’t forget the diaper rash cream every time you change diapers. Important to know, during the first couple of days, girls can have some white vaginal discharge and can even have some blood in it. Don’t worry! This is caused by the passing of maternal hormones during pregnancy.
Cleaning the belly button
After cutting the umbilical cord, your baby is left with a 2 to 3cm (1 to 1.5in) stump. This is known as the umbilical cord stump, which falls off after 7 to 15 days after birth. Until then, it should be kept clean and dry. Make sure that the baby’s diaper is not touching the area of the stump. Up to 10 days after the stump falls, the area can present some light bleeding. Keep cleaning it carefully. Don’t place any wraps, gauze, bandages, or any other product on the area, as they can restrict the wound from breathing and delay the healing process. Contact your baby’s pediatrician if the umbilical area oozes pus, if there are any bad smells or if it gets swollen.
You can find small scissors with rounded tips and nail trimmers made specifically for newborns. Regular nail trimmers or scissors aren’t recommended to avoid nicking the baby’s delicate fingertips. If you don’t feel confident when its time to cut your baby’s nails, try using baby nail files and just be gentle.
Ideally, you should do it in a well-lit environment, and, preferably, while the child sleeps. During sleep babies won’t pull their hands and accidentally hurt their little fingers.
Removing the cradle cap
Very common in newborns, cradle cap usually starts on the scalp, eyebrows, eyelashes, around the ears, and even on the butt cheeks. It looks like dandruff and is actually a form of seborrheic dermatitis caused by the stimulation of the sebaceous glands during pregnancy through the mother’s hormones. The problem tends to go away on its own within about six months to a year, but it’s worth letting the pediatrician know if the skin bleeds or if the crusts spread to other areas. To minimize flaking, use almond oil on the baby’s scalp and eliminate the flaky skin slowly, with a thin comb or a soft brush, before bathing. You can find special brushes made just for cradle cap. Sometimes hospitals send you home with a brush following delivery of your baby.
The safest way to clean your baby’s nose is by using a saline nasal spray. It will help thin the mucus, relieve congestion, and clear the nose. Doing it regularly can help avoid the build-up of impurities and secretions that contribute to infections like the flu, the common cold, and ear infections. Some pediatricians believe using a neti pot is safer than using a syringe. Talk to your doctor and together find the best option for you and your little one. The nasal aspirator, on the other hand, is supposed to “suck” the secretion. This is a great tool to help the child breathe and even sleep better.
The baby’s ears are very delicate, so you shouldn’t try to clean the protective wax that shields it from bath water and prevents infections. Clean only the external part, always with outward movements, delicately, with a clean towel or Q-tips.
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