Photo : Masha Theone
You have returned from the maternity ward and are slowly starting to settle into your new life. Although happy to be at home with your loved ones, you also feel a little apprehensive. A young mother faced with sudden motherhood can feel rather lost at how to look after her new baby. This is normal – you will find your routine in just a few days!
The ritual of your baby’s first bath can be unsettling. Preparing for it in advance means you can feel confident and enjoy it. For it is a special moment between parents and a baby. It would be a shame to miss this relaxing moment because a towel is missing, the soap is in the wrong place or the room is too cold!
So here are some ideas to help you work out your washing ritual.
1/ What time of the day should I wash my baby?
There is no specific rule. It is up to you to choose when: morning, midday, afternoon, evening – really whenever your baby is awake and calm and you feel up to it. A daily bath is not necessary; a quick sponge wash is fine on your day off.
2/ Where to wash my baby?
In a bathtub, shower or sink in the bathroom or kitchen. Make sure the container is clean. To avoid slips you can place a thin towel at the bottom of the tub or sink. A few inches of water are enough; do not leave your child alone for even a second. If you need to leave then take your baby out of the bath.
3/ Watch the temperature.
The room where you undress your baby should not be too cold. A small electric radiator will quickly raise the temperature. The bath water must be 37 degrees centigrade. Fill the tub before putting your baby in it and regulate the water’s temperature using a thermometer or your elbow.
4/ The towel and changing mat.
A successful routine requires a changing mat with two towels placed on it. Undress your baby and use the first towel to soap and the second to dry. Remember to wipe very carefully to avoid causing redness.
5/ The arrangement of your things.
Before starting the bath remember to put the diapers, bodysuits, pyjamas or other clothing next to the changing mat, as well as a moisturising cream for the bottom. In this way you can avoid the many trips back and forth with your baby naked in your arms.
6/ Which soap?
One with a neutral PH or a sweet and subtle Minois Paris! The cleaning gel must be suitable for a baby’s skin. There is no need to buy a shampoo. Start by washing the head and then move onto the body and finish with the bottom. It is always about going from the cleanest area to the dirtiest.
7/ The areas requiring meticulous care.
The umbilical cord, eyes and nose require special attention. If the umbilical cord has not fallen off you will need to clean it with a sterile compress and antiseptic. Fold your baby’s diaper below the belly button so it does not touch the umbilical cord. It is very important to not pull on the umbilical cord, even if it is partially detached. It will fall off on its own when it is fully healed. Use a saline solution to wipe around the eyes and nose. Remember that the cotton soaked with saline solution must be applied to the eyes going in the direction from the inside towards the outside. Always follow this order of washing steps. Do not cut your baby’s nails but wait until they are long enough or simply file them.
8/ Any perfume?
Do you love delicate fragrances? Do not apply them to your baby’s skin; a few sprays on the clothes or pyjamas will avoid causing skin irritation.