Hygiene of the newborn

The baby bath

The nursery staff, before discharge, teach the new mother how to bathe her baby. But at home, alone, everything seems more difficult and dangerous. Do not worry: first of all it is good to prepare everything you need in advance, so that you have clean towels and clothes at hand, near the tub, and in any case in a well-heated place. The important thing is to immerse the baby slowly up to the neck and supported with our arm. "Just get used to water, even if in reality it is an element that he already knows well, having lived with it during the months of gestation" suggests Daniela Callegari, pediatrician at the Santagostino Medical Center in our city. “Despite this there are some babies who cry desperately during the bath because they are not yet used to the feeling of emptiness and absolute freedom that one feels in the water, preferring instead the safety that a hug offers. If the bath makes him uneasy, he can thin out and do it every two or three days rather than daily, but it must be said that the newborn by experiencing and noticing that nothing happens to him, gets used to it and will learn to appreciate this moment ".

The ideal time to take a bath? Definitely in the evening as it helps sleep, before the last feed. And the temperature? “The water must be a little warmer than body temperature, so around 37 degrees. Remember that bath should last a few minutes, especially if we are talking about newborns ”advises Callegari. One of the tools you will need is the thermometer to better measure the water temperature. You can also buy, perhaps from 3 months of age, special baby bouncers: it is a seat where you can rest your baby in complete safety. Then get yourself some special toys to put in the water during the bath at your convenience.

“One piece of advice I would like to give to fathers is to bathe with their child, because it allows them to experience a moment of physical identity with their child, a feeling that the mother has already lived for nine months. Of course there must always be two for reasons of practicality and safety ".

As for the baby's hair, it can be washed during the bath or, to keep it from getting too cold, just wrap it in the triangle bathrobe, designed especially for the little ones, and wash the hair with a mild shampoo. Recommended in this phase of growth are shampoo-oils, which are gentle on the skin and also useful for removing cradle cap.

The cradle cap: how to behave

"Cradle cap (the scientific name is seborrheic dermatitis) is a formation of crusting material mostly greasy and moist on the head and sometimes on the forehead and eyebrows, frequent in the first and second months of the newborn," says Callegari. “But it should be clarified that despite the name there is no connection either with food or with milk. Usually the cradle cap goes away on its own, alternatively before the bath you can wipe the scalp with gauze and almond oil and then wash the garment with Marseille soap every day and dry well. Cases with more extensive and intense manifestations must be evaluated by the pediatrician for the possibility of having to be treated with drugs ".

The umbilical cord: how to treat it

The stump is that part of the bond that the baby had with the mother, from inside the belly. At birth, the midwife will cut the umbilical cord, leaving only one piece attached. To allow it to fall, which occurs about 10 days after birth, it is necessary to medicate it. At each diaper change, disinfect the stump with cotton wool soaked in alcohol and spray on the piece of stump (lifting it with your hand) some disinfectant sold in pharmacies and in any case recommended in hospital. Then, just cover the part of the stump with a sterile gauze and fix it with the classic retina. The retina should only be changed if it gets dirty or wet, otherwise it is not necessary. Consult your pediatrician only if you notice some phenomena, such as the presence of yellowish pus or traces of blood on the gauze, or if you notice red skin around the navel.

The nails of the newborn

Babies' nails grow really fast and get dirty easily, but keep them short to prevent them from being scratched. The advice is to proceed with cleaning and cutting with a special blunt-tipped scissors at least once a week when he is particularly quiet, perhaps during a feeding or even when he sleeps.

Baby's ears: how to clean them

"To clean the ears it is good to specify that sticks should not be used at all (they help to form earwax plugs and are dangerous): it is sufficient to let hot water without soap enter the ears during the bath. The baby, leaning on the parent's arm, can stay immersed in the water so that the level reaches the ears. This position causes the wax to dissolve, while what appears to the eye can be removed with a bit of gauze ”advises the pediatrician Callegari.

Diaper rash

Given the delicacy of the infant's skin, the frequent contact with pee and poo, the sealing with the plastic patello that creates a warm and humid environment (even if it is often changed) it is possible that an erythema appears in the area of ​​the genitals and the ass: it manifests itself with red areas of warmer skin, irritated to the point of presenting small abrasions. “In these cases it is necessary to increase the frequency of diaper changes and at each change wash with Marseille soap and dry gently, very well, and leave patello free so that the skin“ breathes ”for as long as possible”, suggests Callegari. “Finally, make real compresses with zinc oxide paste, while in cases of severe redness alternate with Fitostimoline cream. It is very important to differentiate diaper rash from candida infection: for this it is essential to visit the pediatrician who will have to prescribe a treatment with drugs in the form of antifungal cream ".


Read also:


Children's hygiene


Newborn clothing


Baby weaning guide


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