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Giving Your Baby a Sponge Bath
Keeping your new baby's skin clean with a regular bath is essential for her well-being. A baby sponge bath is also a wonderful way to engage your baby’s senses, helping in her development right from the start!
During a baby sponge bath, your gentle touch can lead to your little one’s improved physiological, cognitive, emotional and social development. Coupled with the smell of JOHNSON’S® delicate washes (like JOHNSON’S® Baby TOP-TO-TOE® Wash), it can improve her mood, calmness and alertness too.
A baby bath or tub, filled with water at a comfortable temperature
A large, soft, hooded towel
A soft wash cloth
Cotton Squares or rounds
A mild cleanser specially formulated for babies, such as JOHNSON’S® Baby TOP-TO-TOE® Wash
A holding blanket
A soft brush or comb
A protective ointment for the diaper area, such as JOHNSON’S® baby diaper rash cream
How to Give Your Baby a Sponge Bath
Take a few minutes to talk to your baby as you get her ready for the bath. Undress her, except for her diaper, and wrap her in a towel.
Holding your baby's head, gently cleanse around each eye with a cotton ball dampened with warm water. Cotton balls are good to use because they don't shed pieces of lint.
Use a new cotton ball for each eye and always wipe from the inside corner of the eye, outward. If there is no crust (dried mucus), there is no need to wash the eye area.
Using a soft washcloth, wipe around your baby's mouth, nose and whole face, working from the middle outward, using only plain water. Pay special attention to the area behind the ears, under the chin and creases in the neck. Gently pat dry.
Remember: Never put anything into the ear canal or nose.
While sponge bathing a new-born, make sure to wash her soft hair too! Keeping your baby wrapped in a towel, put your arm under her back and your hand behind her head. With your free hand wet her hair with the washcloth. Gently massage over her whole head with a baby wash, such as JOHNSON’S® Baby TOP-TO-TOE® Wash, which is specially formulated to not sting her eyes.
Rinse your baby's hair with water until all the cleanser is removed. Lay your baby down and dry her head gently, and lift the hood of the towel over her head to keep her warm.
Next, wash your baby's body using a gentle, trusted, soap-free baby cleanser. JOHNSON’S® Baby TOP-TO-TOE® Wash is mild enough for your new-born's hair and skin: In fact, it's used by hospitals for bathing new-borns more than any other baby wash.
Keeping her head covered with the corner of the towel, unwrap your baby and remove her diaper. Wet and lather your hand or washcloth and begin to wash the rest of your baby's body. Wash the neck to her waist, including her arms and hands, thoroughly rinse and pat dry. Cover her upper body with a towel to keep her warm and move down to her legs, feet and toes.
Remember to rinse and make sure all of her skin’s creases have been dried well because excessive moisture can lead to skin irritation. Wash the diaper area last using clean warm water: for a baby girl, just wipe the area gently from front to back. For a baby boy, also wipe from front to back. For uncircumcised boys, gently wash the penis and genital area, avoiding pulling back the foreskin. Take great care of these pointers while sponge bathing a new-born.
Before cleaning your baby's umbilical cord, you can put her shirt and diaper on to keep her warm. Remember to avoid covering the cord with the diaper, because the cord area needs to be kept dry and clean at all times.
Clean around and at the base of the cord with a cotton ball. Do not be afraid to clean the cord; the quicker the base dries, the sooner the cord will fall off.
Make sure your baby is fully dry before dressing her. After clothing your baby, wrap her in a receiving blanket to keep her warm. Hold your baby close and snuggle with her.
Your baby's head has a soft spot (called fontanels) where the skull hasn’t fully formed yet. Having this soft spot allowed her skull to mould during her passage through the birth canal. It is safe to gently touch and wash this area.
These can be some helpful guidelines on how to give sponge bath to a baby that can aid you in making these daily bathing rituals safe while enabling bonding moments between you & your little one!