Perfect baby in 10 steps: what you need to know about newborn hygiene

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As soon as you get home from the hospital, one of the first worries of moms and dads is there cleaning of the newborn. A baby, in fact, needs a lot of attention, including some rules of hygiene to grow up in good health. From the bath to the diaper change, up to the hygiene of the umbilical cord and the cradle cap, let's see together everything you need to know.

In this article

  • how to bathe
  • hair cleaning
  • the cradle cap
  • umbilical cord care
  • if the bottom is red
  • if pimples appear
  • cut the nails
  • cleaning the nose
  • cleaning the ears
  • the cleaning of the eyes
  • other useful tips

1. Baby hygiene: everything you need for a bath

On the shelves of the supermarket and in the pharmacy there are long lines of products dedicated to the hygiene of the newborn, but what is really necessary to have at home to clean the little one? First you should know that there is nothing better than that use only lukewarm water. Infant's skin, in fact, does not need bath products, because soap and shower gel would dry it out. In addition to lukewarm water, you can also add a teaspoon of corn starch or rice starch. Nothing else since the baby is not dirty.

However, if you prefer to buy a specific product, then better orient yourself on oily cleaners which are more delicate. No categorical, however, to products containing perfumes.

Read also: Rice starch for babies: which one to choose and how to use it

What temperature should the water be?

The water for the bath should be slightly warmer than the temperature corporeal, that is between 37 and 38 degrees(you can measure it with the appropriate thermometer or by dipping an elbow in water).

When filling the bath tub it is always better to pour cold water first and then hot water to avoid accidental burns. When you have reached the right temperature, you can add the soap or bath oil and then immerse the little one.

The baby's body is able to regulate the heat of the skin only from the second year of life, so it is important that the bathroom is also warm when the baby is taken out of the water. Ideally the room temperature should be around 25 ° C.

How long should the bath last?

The skin of the little ones is very sensitive, therefore the time to dedicate to the bath, for babies up to one year, should not exceed about ten minutes.

Read also: The essential products for the hygiene of the newborn

Is it enough to wash the little one "in pieces"?

Yes, because as we said above, the little ones are not dirty. Therefore, in the first 2-3 months of life, you can also gently rub the baby with a non-soapy towel. At the same time, there is no contraindication to bathing him: a moment that, indeed, can become a ritual. If your little one has dry skin, after washing it you can moisturize it with a special non-perfumed cream.

2. How do you wash your baby's hair?

Little ones don't need shampoo. By bathing their fine hair can be washed along with everything else and can be cared for and cleaned with or without shampoo. Only when the little one's hair has gotten thicker does it make sense to use one light shampoo for children. Baby shampoo is gentler and respects the skin of the baby's head more than an adult shampoo.

Read also: How often should babies and children be washed?

3. Milk crust: how to behave?

Many mothers do not know what to do with cradle cap, the kind of dandruff that forms on the heads of many babies. There is no reason to worry: the "cradle cap" is completely harmless and just forms until the sebaceous glands are working right. However, you can wash the baby's head with baby oil and gently wipe a fine-toothed comb and with rounded tips, but without insisting on eliminating it: it will go away by itself when the time comes.

Read also: The cradle cap in the newborn: causes, remedies and advice

4. The care of the umbilical cord

At the end of the bath thehanging of the umbilical cord it must be dried carefully by dabbing it. If in the first few days there is still one secretion of blood and serum used a disinfectant that does not burn and wrap one at the base garza sterile dry.

Read also: The care of the umbilical cord

5. How is a red bottom treated?

The best thing to do is not to get to the so-called "diaper rash". To prevent it, you need to:

  • change the diaper often to keep the bottom dry;
  • wash the baby only with lukewarm water, avoiding soaps that could be too aggressive;
  • leave the little one without diaper, so that the skin gets air;
  • pat dry the skin folds and the bottom with a soft towel;
  • apply one thin layer of cream based on calendula, chamomile or zinc oxide, but without exaggerating;
  • do not use wet wipes, When possible;
  • avoid softeners and scented detergents for washable nappies.
Read also: The intimate hygiene of boys and girls

If the skin becomes moist and formed small nodules with ridged edges it could be a fungal infection: in this case you should definitely go to the doctor.

6. Why do small children get pimples in the body?

Often the pimples that appear on the baby's skin are caused by excessive and prolonged sweating. The only things to do are:

  • dry the baby's skin very carefully, especially in the folds;
  • increase the number of baths and use non-aggressive detergents;
  • avoid using talcum powder which could clog pores;
  • put in contact with the baby's skin only cotton or linen clothing, which absorb sweat and let the skin breathe.
Read also: Sudamine or miliaria in children, what it is and how it is treated

7. How do you cut baby's nails?

The little ones sometimes have some very pointed nails with which they get painful scratches on their own. To prevent the baby from getting hurt, you can initially file his nails with one cardboard file, after which we will move on to scissors with rounded tips. The operation is simpler than you might think, however, if the little one gets upset, the manicure can be postponed until he sleeps.

Read also: How Do I Trim Newborn's Nails?

8. How to clean the nose

The baby's nose can be cleaned with the physiological solution: there are special pumps on the market that suck the mucous membranes, very practical to use for washing the nose. An important procedure, especially if you live in polluted areas.

Read also: How to do nasal washes for babies and children

9. Cleaning the ears

Cleaning the baby's ears, as the Ministry of Health points out, "is limited to external pavilion and access to the ear canal ". Therefore, under no circumstances should you try to clean more deeply because the inner part of the ear, under normal conditions," cleans itself ". That's why the use of cotton buds is absolutely not recommended, whose only use allowed, as also indicated on the packaging, is that in the folds of the external auricle. The advice is to clean the baby's ears when taking a bath so as not to have to "disturb" him at a later time. In fact, with every bath, a little soap and water always enters the ear canal and takes away the surplus ear wax. The important thing is to remember to dry your ears well. You can help yourself with the corner of a towel or with a sterile gauze, as long as there are no soap residues and the ears are dried well.

Read also: Cleaning Children's Ears: 10 Questions and Answers

10. Cleaning the eyes

Finally, let's move on to cleaning the eyes. The newborn's eyes would go cleaned daily using a sterile disposable garzina soaked in physiological solution or boiled water, or with a wipe for ocular use (can be purchased at the pharmacy). The eye should be cleaned gently with a light movement from inside to outside, avoiding rubbing the garzina too much so as not to irritate the skin. If there are crusts that are more difficult to remove, you can soften them a bit before removing them.

For eye cleaning it is also important:

  • do not use the same gauze for both eyes, so as not to carry germs from one eye to the other;
  • do not use the cotton because the filaments could irritate the eyes;
  • avoid using chamomile to soak the garzina. The chamomile that we buy in sachets at the supermarket is in fact often full of sugars that would irritate the eyes even more. Additionally, chamomile tea could cause allergies.
Read also: Cleaning the eyes of the newborn: how to do it?

Other advice on newborn hygiene

How to take care of the baby's skin in the best way? Here are the indications given in the digital magazine "A Scuola di Salute", edited by the Bambino Gesù pediatric hospital in the city.

 Tips to follow:

  • the healthy skin of newborns and infants does not require the use of specific products, and to take care of them the first advice of the experts is to do not abuse it, because they could cause irritation and promote allergies;
  • in case of dry skin, In addition to emollient baths, it is recommended to use moisturizers as well to balance the skin barrier and relieve itching.  

Things to avoid:

  • better to avoid foaming detergents e prefer products without surfactants;
  • some products widely used by adults they can be harmful to children.Avoid applying creams or disinfectants, even the most common type, if you have not asked the pediatrician for advice first;
  • avoid excessive use of emollient creams or pastes(such as zinc oxide) for the nappy area: applying thick layers, at each change and on healthy skin, contributes to skin maceration, promoting irritation and infectious complications;
  • last thing to avoid, the use of "natural" products,especially oils for hydration of the body, because they have not been tested on children. Some even alter the skin barrier and cause folliculitis or irritation.

- Updated on 08.07.2008

  • baby bath
  • baby cleaning
  • newborn hygiene
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