Newborn Care: Keeping Baby Clean
Caring for all of your newborn baby’s needs can be overwhelming. Many new moms wonder where they can turn for good advice on newborn care. Look no further – Home Ever After is here!
Trimming Fingernails: Newborn babies are constantly fussing and thrashing their arms around. If baby’s fingernails are too long, she can easily scratch her face when her hands are waving around in front of her. Trimming her nails is an essential, yet nerve racking task. A newborn baby’s delicate little hands are so tiny and frail, their fingernails are almost microscopic.
Many parents elect to trim their newborn’s nails while she is sleeping. This provides the best opportunity for you to cut them while she is still. This method is not foolproof though, as babies have a startling reflex that makes them jump unexpectedly, with no warning. Take your time and cut the nails slowly, always being sure to hold baby’s hand away from her face and yours. Good lighting is key, as is a good safety clipper, available at pharmacies and baby superstores.
Cleaning Ears: When it comes to cleaning babies ears, you should never insert a cotton swab into your newborn’s ears under any circumstances. Not only do you run the risk of inserting it too far and possibly damaging the eardrum, but if there is wax in the ear, you chance pushing it further down the ear canal, which can lead to infections down the road.
Basic newborn care for ears should consist of gently cleansing the external areas and the ear itself with a warm wash cloth or baby wipe. Stores do sell safety cotton swabs that are designed with a larger tip to prevent them from being inserted into the tiny ear canal, however washcloths can reach the same areas.
Giving Baby a Bath: When bathing baby, whether in a baby tub or in the kitchen sink, parents must always check to make sure the temperature is neither too hot or too cold. Avoid cleansers that contain harsh chemicals and fragrances. The more natural the ingredients, the better it is for your baby.
Newborns do not need to be bathed every day. In fact, many pediatricians recommend limiting bath time to 2-3x per week to prevent skin dryness. Babies that have not yet lost the umbilical cord stump should not be bathed in water, as it is best to keep the stump dry until it falls off. Dry bathing or sponge baths work well in place of a wet tub bath when necessary.
Cradle Cap: Read about how to treat cradle cap here.
Circumcision Aftercare: Newborn care includes circumcision care for baby boys. Clean the area 3-4 times per day with warm water. It is not necessary to use soap. Some doctors will provide prescribe an antibiotic ointment. Apply this as directed. If your pediatrician did not prescribe an ointment, you can apply a dab of petroleum jelly at every diaper change. Once the scab falls off, special care is no longer necessary.
There’s so much involved in caring for a newborn baby. Ready to read more? Learn about what causes colic, colic cures, dealing with baby not sleeping through the night, and even how to get things done when you have a baby.