Bathing a Newborn

Bathing a NewbornToday we gave our six-day old baby a bath. Bathing a newborn was the most stressful experience I have had since my daughter was born.

We were paranoid about our newborn drowning in water. We were terrified that water would get into her cord stump. We were scared that the water would be too hot or too cold.

My wife and I both wanted to use a small washcloth for use in bathing our newborn rather than dipping her in water.

The American Academy of Pediatrics cautions against full baths for newborns until their bellybutton has healed. There may also be other benefits to delaying baths for newborn babies.

We also want to limit the frequency of bathing our newborn to combat dry skin on her forehead. While a few baths a week is the recommended maximum for newborns, we plan to bathe our newborn baby no more than once a week. Hopefully this will limit her skin problems and baby pimples.

We bought special baby wash and shampoo to make sure our newborn was as comfortable as possible while getting her bath. The baby wash and shampoo is hypoallergenic and fragrance-free, but we were still worried that our newborn wouldn’t like her bath.

Bathing our newborn was further complicated by her head injury from the vacuum extractor. Arya’s scalp is still bruised in the shape of the vacuum with burst blood vessels in a circular pattern around the top of her head.

Mommy and I wanted to keep the skin around her injury clean to limit the risk of further problems. Unfortunately Arya hated having water poured on her sore head.

Our friends gave us a cute whale tub as a baby shower gift so we didn’t have to wash baby in the sink (although it may have been easier with a special product) or a mixing bowl.

Bathing newborn Arya was traumatic for everyone. She screamed and yelled the entire time. I was particularly delicate with her sore head, but just having water on it made her uncomfortable. Hopefully the next bath will be more fun for baby and family.