Baby Care

It’s a good idea to have a fairly regular time for bathing your baby. Generally, babies need not be bathed more than 2-3 times per week. More frequent baths will dry out your baby’s skin. The room should be warm with no drafts.

Wash your baby by sponging until the navel (and penis, if circumcision was performed) is healed. Then, you can bathe your baby in a small tub containing 3 inches of comfortably warm water. Check the temperature of the water with your elbow. Not all babies enjoy being placed in a tub, it may take some getting used to.

Wash the baby’s face with plain, warm water and a soft cloth; do not use soap. To clean around the eyes, use cotton dipped in cool water. Wipe from the bridge of the nose toward the ears. Do not try to clean the inside of either the nose or ears, but clean outer areas with a moist washcloth or cotton ball.

Your baby’s head need only be washed 2 to 3 times per week. Wash your baby’s head with a mild shampoo. Work from front to back to keep suds out of the baby’s eyes.

Use a mild soap and warm water to wash the baby’s body. Be sure to wash in the folds of the skin. Rinse well, pat the baby dry. If the skin is very dry, you may use baby lotion sparingly after the bath.

When your baby’s nails need trimming, use a nail clipper, or scissors gently.

A wash cloth dipped into a small basin of soapy water (use a small amount of mild baby soap) adjacent to baby’s changing area should be used to wipe off baby’s diaper area between each diaper change. This will greatly reduce the incidence of diaper rashes.

Care of Navel and Circumcision
The umbilical cord will fall off with a few weeks. Swab your baby’s navel once or twice a day with rubbing alcohol, and continue until the cord separates and the navel remains dry. Don’t worry if a little bloody discharge is noted.

If your baby boy was circumcised, cleanse the area when needed with cotton and water. Keep it lubricated with vaseline until healed.

No effort to retract foreskin in uncircumcised males should be made. Retraction of foreskin is a natural process which will take place as the child grows.

Diapers and Diaper Rashes
Disposable diapers, a diaper service, or home washed cloth diapers are all suitable methods of diapering your baby. Feel free to choose whichever option best suits your circumstances. Some babies develop rashes from commercial wipes. Avoid their use except when away from home. Also avoid using waterproof pants unless you are taking the baby somewhere, since they keep out air and retain heat and moisture.

Don’t be alarmed when your baby develops a diaper rash. Virtually all infants have a diaper rash at some point early in life. Fortunately, almost all rashes are nothing more than a minor nuisance, and most resolve by taking a few simple steps. Keep your baby’s diaper area as dry as possible. Fasten the diapers loosely so that air can reach the skin and if possible leave the baby’s diaper off for part of the day. Zinc oxide containing ointments such as Desitin serve as a protective layer on the skin and should be used liberally with diaper rashes. Almost all diaper rashes respond to keeping the skin clean, dry and protected with Desitin. However, if your baby’s diaper rash does not improve with the measures, is particularly angry looking, or if it spreads beyond the diaper area, please call us.

Additional Items
Baby girls have a vaginal discharge at birth and sometimes a small amount of vaginal bleeding is noted during the first few weeks of life. These are natural phenomena, and need no treatment.

Both boys and girls have some breast enlargement for the first 2 to 3 weeks. This is also a normal phenomena, and if a small amount of redness appears, apply warm soaks a few times a day.