I had never washed a baby before my niece was born. My sister-in-law showed me how to wash the adorable little girl (who is now taller than me). I think the most important thing I learned was how to wash a baby’s hair without getting water in their eyes.
Over the years I have washed more babies – including two of my own – and learned a few other tricks on how to make bath time a nice and fun experience for the baby.
So how exactly do you go about it?
Gather All The Things You’ll Need
You’ll first need to have all the bathing materials ready. They include:
- A soft cloth
- Baby shampoo
- Soft brush
- A tub
- Baby oil
- Baby shampoo rinse cup
- A plastic duck
Fill the tub with at least two inches of lukewarm water and gently put your baby in the water.
Wash the baby’s body first.
If your baby is not able to sit without any support, use one of your hands as a support mechanism around the neck to keep the baby upright.
Pour liberal amounts of water on the body with the other hand.
Wash your baby’s body using a soft cloth and some soap or baby body wash.
Washing The Baby’s Hair
Now, it’s time to clean your baby’s hair.
Lower your baby into the tub slowly until the water gets up to the chest region and your baby is almost entirely horizontal.
Sprinkle some water on your baby’s hair and spread it evenly until the hair is considerably damp.
This is the point where you add some mild shampoo and massage your baby’s hair gently for a few minutes.
As soon as you are satisfied that the hair is all clean, use the shampoo rinse cup to pour water gently on your baby’s hair, so it doesn’t get into the eyes.
Every time you pour water with the cup, use your other hand to squeeze the water out gently.
Repeat this until you have washed off all the shampoo.
After shampooing, gently pat the baby’s hair with a clean towel.
You’ll then rub a little baby oil on the hair and use the soft brush to comb it out gently.
Finally, wrap your baby in another clean towel immediately.
Ensure you dry the entire body carefully especially the back of the ear and skin folds to avoid excess moisture in these parts.
And what is the plastic duck for?
That is for your baby to have some fun during bath time.
Ok.. it doesn’t have to be a plastic duck.
You can use your baby’s favorite toy to keep them distracted during the shampooing process.
After this, bath time is over!
However, if it is still a bit difficult for you to bathe your baby without getting water in the eyes, you should consider using a baby shower cap.
Using Baby Shower Caps
There are hundreds of baby shower caps available for sale, and you shouldn’t find it difficult to get a suitable one for your baby.
You can use a baby shower cap for children who are below six or seven years old.
The shower cap is made in a way that protects your baby’s eyes from soap, shampoo, and even water.
It is convenient and easy to use.
You can make bath time fun since your child will not be dreading shampoo or water getting into their eyes.
When to Wash Newborn Hair For The First Time
In most cases, newborns don’t have a lot of hair, and so it doesn’t have to be washed with shampoo.
However, there are a few times when babies are born with so much hair, and this could leave you wondering on how exactly you should keep it clean.
The first question is: Should you wash your newborn’s hair every day?
The honest answer is no!
A brush with soft bristles is all you need to remove dirt from your baby’s hair.
So, when should you wash a newborn’s hair for the first time?
Well, you should wait at least 12 hours after birth before bathing your newborn.
This information is backed by researchers at the Boston Medical Center, who in 2010, increased the time to wash a newborn from about four hours after birth to twelve hours after birth.
According to a study done at Cleveland Clinic, delaying a newborn’s first bath is linked to higher rates of exclusive breastfeeding.
Is It Necessary to Use Shampoo Everyday?
When it comes to keeping your baby’s hair clean, using water only is enough to remove any form of dirt.
According to the British Journal of Midwifery where the topic “Care of the newborn: proposed new guidelines” was published by Trotter. S in 2004, using shampoo is not necessary when your baby is not yet a year old.
However, as soon as you start using such baby products, ensure that you rinse your baby’s hair thoroughly after each use.
What to Steer Clear From When Buying Baby Shampoo
When purchasing baby shampoo, you must check the list of ingredients to ensure that you are not buying something toxic to your baby’s scalp.
Here are some of the ingredients contained in some shampoos that you should avoid:
These are common preservatives that you’ll find in a lot of cosmetic products.
Although they are useful in preventing bacteria from growing in cosmetic products, they are also neurotoxins.
They can lead to skin irritation and disrupt the normal functioning of hormones in the body.
Do not buy baby shampoo with ingredients such as butylparaben, propylparaben, methylparaben, ethylparaben, and isobutylparaben.
An example of this is formaldehyde, which, unfortunately, is quite common in baby shampoos.
It’s said that over 80% of baby shampoos contain formaldehyde.
Ingredients that fall under this group include bronopol, quaternium-15, dimethyl-dimethyl (DMDM) hydantoin, formaldehyde, Diazolidinyl urea, quaternium-15, imidazolidinyl urea, and sodium hydroxymethylglycinate.
If your baby shampoo says it’s formaldehyde-free, then it is safe for your baby.
Go for a shampoo that has natural scents gotten from essential oils.
Ensure there are no harmful substances such as synthetic chemicals.
If your baby shampoo has a neutral pH of 7 and contains no alcohol, then you have made the right choice.
It’s quite easy to wash your baby’s hair without getting water in their eyes.
Follow the steps detailed above so that you can make bath time to be a fun session for both you and your baby.
Do not hesitate to use baby shower caps if that’s what you prefer.
Remember to shampoo the baby’s hair only when it is necessary.
Finally, ensure you give your baby maximum protection by buying a shampoo that doesn’t contain toxic ingredients.