Baby hygiene: everything you need to know

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Catherine Le Nevez
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Hygiene of the newborn

Cleaning the newborn

One of the most delicate issues for parents is the cleaning of the newborn: from bath al diaper change, up to the hygiene of the umbilical cord and milk crust. All "tests" that can be faced with serenity thanks to the advice of Digging, midwife at the Santagostino Medical Center and the La Luna Nuova association.

In this article

  • What is needed
  • Changing the diaper
  • The baby bath
  • Cleaning the umbilical cord
  • The hygiene of the cradle cap
Read also: How Do I Trim Newborn's Nails?

What is needed

What is needed and how to properly clean the newborn

«The first thing to do is to equip yourself with mild cleansing products, designed especially for the delicate and thin skin of newborns - explains Scavello -. And then pay attention to some areas, such as the armpits, neck folds, Those behind the ears or in the legs, because sometimes that's where dirt lurks. To eliminate it, just wipe with a cotton swab wet with vegetable oil and then dry. The same method can be used to clean the eyes, but by passing the wad from the inner corner outwards once per eye with two separate wads ».

Changing the diaper

A perfect diaper change

One of the most delicate steps is changing the diaper, because it happens frequently. “Now the nappies are very absorbent, but it is still important to keep the genital area clean: the ideal is use lukewarm running water and then immediately dry the baby, because the humidity makes germs proliferate. In case stool is present, it is also good to use a mild cleanser. When it dries, it is good to pay attention to the folds of the scrotum in boys, where residues of feces can remain. At this stage, then, it is not necessary to drop the foreskin, unless there is a medical indication. For females, however, it is important to clean them from the front towards the bottom to avoid carrying the feces towards the genitals ».

About the crema, the indication is to evaluate according to the child's skin type, but above all the situation: "If the little one has discharged and has very light and sensitive skin, perhaps already irritated, you can think of protecting it with a veil of zinc oxide cream ».

«To avoid getting to that point, however, the best thing is to change the diaper more frequently, as soon as you see that the skin is red. In this way, you can avoid using the cream and let the skin breathe better »adds Elisa Casazza, obstetrician at Aied in Genoa.

The baby bath

A very pleasant moment for the newborn

"In the common imagination, the bath is the topical moment of cleaning the newborn - continues Scavello - However, it is not an obligation. In the first 2-3 months of a baby's life, bathing him is not strictly necessary. This is because he has a different sweat from that of adults and then it doesn't move much during the day. More, lives in a clean environment, that of the cradle ».

It is therefore necessary to get out of the perspective of unbridled hygiene, which can come to be counterproductive: "At the same time, there is no contraindication to giving him a bath: a moment that, on the contrary, can become a ritual. It is a practice that can be very pleasant for the baby, because it reminds him of the uterine environment. The only trick is to soften the water, for example with therice starch, because that of the tap is often very hard and calcareous and could irritate the delicate skin of the child ».

Cleaning the umbilical cord

How to clean the umbilical cord

Again, there is no need to be obsessive about hygiene. “The cord is dry and hardened, mummified, after some time it will fall off by itself. Generally, this is allowed to happen naturally - continues the midwife -. It is possible that some secretion forms at the base: it should be left and covered with an absorbent gauze, clean and dry, to be changed from time to time with clean hands ».

If desired, the newborn can also be bathed when the umbilical cord is still attached: "The important thing is to dry well and dab the area around the stump and put on a dry cloth". Exceptionally, you may need to disinfect the area: for example, if the smell of the secretion is not good, or if the emanation is great: "Then you use a generic skin disinfectant, or the mother tincture of calendula diluted ".

The hygiene of the cradle cap

Soften the cradle cap with a baby oil

In newborns, the formation of the milk crust on the skin of the head. It is a cap, which prevents the correct transpiration of the skin, so if it is thick, it tends to be removed. "To do this, I recommend softening the area of ​​the cradle cap by anointing it with an oil of those for children, preferably vegetable. Then give the baby a bath by washing the scalp well and dipping the head so that the oil is absorbed and makes the crust even softer. At this point, with the fine-toothed comb, it comes off slowly. Also in this case, it is important not to be relentless, because the cradle cap is a phenomenon that heals naturally ».

Read also: Give your baby a toilet

  • hygiene
  • newborn hygiene
  • housewife tricks
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