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    First 24 hours: Bathing Your Newborn

    First 24 hours: Bathing Your Newborn

    Updated on 23 April 2024

    The first 24 hours after the birth of your baby will be filled with mixed emotions as your body starts to heal from the delivery and the newborn's arrival. It takes time to get to know the sleeping and feeding pattern of your little one. So, do not hurry in bathing your newborn as every newborn gets a clean wipe after the birth in the hospital. 

    When you are back at your home, all you need to do is to wipe around your baby's neck and face and wash the nappy area. You can even opt to use gentle baby wet wipes to keep the diaper area clean, fresh and hygenic. Follow the same procedure until the umbilical stump heals. Wait for at least a week, so that the umbilical stump falls off to give the baby his first bath. 

    Things to keep in mind while bathing your newborn

    • The water must not be too hot or cold. It must be warm.

    • Get some assistance from your parents or a midwife if you are a new mom.

    • Have a firm but gentle hold of your little one. 

    • A small plastic tub and a cup are enough to get a complete bath for your baby.

    • Have changing mat, clothes, clean towel, and nappy handy. For the nappy, its completely your choice to go for reusable cloth diapers, a normal cloth nappy(usually made at home) or a normal diaper.

    • Dip a clean cotton cloth in warm water, squeeze out and gently sweep throughout the face.

    • Always have a better hold on your baby's neck and head throughout bath time.

    • Pat the baby's skin and umbilical stump dry with a soft towel after the bath. A baby towel must be skin friendly, soft and higly absorbent so that you need not rub the baby's skin. A light pat dry should work.

    As a tradition, newborns are given a bath by their grandparents or midwives in India so that the new moms can watch and learn. This custom allows the new moms to relax after their delivery process, and get the new parents trained to give a comfortable bath to their baby. 

    A gentle application of baby lotion is advisable to keep your baby's skin hydrated. A natural baby face cream can also be used everyday after bath to keep baby's skin soft and supple.

    You may also like: When should you massage your baby- before bath or after a bath? (

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    Written by

    Roohi Kalra

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