Washing Baby

Washing Baby

IV loooved smearing peas all over himself
IV loved smearing peas all over himself! He is also manly enough to wear purple and rock it.

I’m getting the vibe that some people think babies bodies are magically immune to their own germs and excrement. Now, I get it, babies are beautiful and perfect, and there is nothing in this world better, but you still need to keep that perfect, glowing, sweet smelling little body clean.

It shocks me how many mothers think it is okay to wash their baby only once in a blue moon. How many people kiss and touch and pinch your baby? Does your baby spit up, drool, drink milk or suck on their hands? They are living life and getting dirty. They even have underwear that traps pee and poop right up against their privy areas! Hopefully, you are at least changing their diaper every 2-3 hours, but those parts are covered, wet, and occasionally poopy, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. People wonder why they get so many diaper rashes? They need to be washed regularly!

METHODS:

There are many methods for washing your baby, and there are pros and cons to each. Here are the ones I have found, but everyone does things differently

  • Sponge/washcloth:
    • Pros:
      • A level up from wipes
      • Good for when belly button stump has not fallen out yet
      • Good for when circumcisions, or other surgeries, have not healed yet
      • C-section survivors don’t need to worry about holding them for an extended period of time
    • Cons:
      • Baby can get cold easily
      • If baby is partially dressed, s/he will get cold if clothes accidentally gets wet
      • Can be difficult to thoroughly clean all of Baby’s tiny nooks and crannies
      • Can irritate baby’s skin with rubbing cloth
    • My opinion:
      • Infinitely better than nothing, but personally, I feel like sponge baths just push dirt around. To me, they are more of a hassle, and don’t clean as well as good-old running water. I tried washcloth cleaning when IV was a newborn, and his neck and back of ears never really stopped smelling like old cheese. No matter how much I scrubbed and wiped. Needless to say, I was ecstatic when his stump finally fell off.
  • Baths:
    • Pros:Bath essentials
      • Reduce diaper rashes
      • Baby can be kept warmer than sponge bath with water poured on him (or colder with no clothes)
      • Baby can lay on a sponge or infant bathtub, so C-Section survivors don’t have to hold them for extended periods of time
      • Higher risk of water getting on belly button stump and circumcision/surgery areas, but still manageable
      • Baby’s can splash and play in water
    • Cons:
      • If water is too hot, baby body temperature will rise, and could overheat
      • If water too cold, baby will be cold
      • Drowning hazard
      • C-section survivors: potential incision pain from crouching down to reach baby in normal sized bathtub
      • Knee/back pain from kneeling to reach baby in normal sized tub
      • Clothes gets wet with splashing
      • Will need sponge or baby tub, washcloths or buckets or extendable shower heads, etc.
    • My opinion:
      • I feel like they are a drowning hazard, and if the water is too hot, they will just bake, and if the water is too cold, they will freeze. Also: they are just lying in their scum. I never liked the idea of baths myself until I was SUPER pregnant, and only then because it was December, with no available pools and my hips were absolutely dying. The “baths” I give IV are half bath, half shower.
  • Showers:
    • Pros:
      • Younger babies will be calmer and warmer while being held by a parent the entire time
      • Promotes skin-to-skin time between parent and baby
      • Reduces diaper rashes
      • Promotes good hygiene and healthCutie Pie
      • No chance of your clothes getting wet, because you aren’t wearing any!
      • Don’t need any fancy equipment. (Just good soap and gentle shower-head, if you want to)
    • Cons:
      • Risk of baby slipping and falling (following my detailed how to, and keeping a firm grip on your baby, should reduce this risk)
      • More labor intensive (have to hold baby the whole time)
      • Older baby’s won’t have as much chance to play in small pool of water (younger baby’s don’t care. They can watch water spray down, which is fascinating enough)
      • Cannot do (harder to manage) if umbilical stump has not fallen off yet, or surgical areas need to stay dry
    • My opinion:
      • Showers let water run through every tiny nook and cranny, and they let all the filth wash away instantly. No pool full of grime. In addition, if you take a shower with your little one, then they are comforted by being held in your arms, and they are kept warm with your body heat. Plus, you constantly feel how warm or cold the water is, which leads to better temperature control.

PRODUCTS:

Here is my post on things I consider nice to have for bathing a baby.

HOW TO:

Here is the link for my incredibly detailed written out version of how to shower with your baby. I hope to post a video soon.

What do you think about washing baby? Any other pros and cons you can think of? Post a comment below!

Thanks for rolling with me! See you next time!

~Kimberly

If you have any feedback, I would love to hear it!

***This post may contain affiliate links, but it in no way affects my reviews or recommendations, which are my full and honest opinions. It is at no extra cost to you, it is just a thank you from Amazon for sending people to them. I am not a medical professional, and these are just my opinions, based on experience***

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