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Sponge Bath

Until your baby’s umbilical cord is healed and if you have a boy, the circumcision is healed, your healthcare provider may instruct you to sponge bathe your baby. The first bath you give your baby after you get home from the hospital may be scary. Your whole family and the neighbors may be there for support. You will find that it may take you an hour to bathe this tiny little thing that is not even dirty. This is a new experience, plus the “crowd” telling you everything you’re doing wrong does not help. Please know that in no time you will be able to do a sponge bath in minutes. Your confidence and skills as new parents will kick in rather quickly.

Some Steps To Help You:

• Bathe the baby before a feeding. With all the jostling, a feeding will just come up.

• Pick an area in the house where you will be comfortable bathing. • Make sure all of the bath supplies are in reach. Make it a rule to never leave your baby unattended. • Choose an area that is draft free.

• Lay baby on a towel and undress. Cover up with a second blanket and only expose the area you are washing.

• Start with the eyes. With a clean corner of a washcloth, wash from the inner aspect of the eye to the outer aspect using warm water. Repeat with the other eye, this time using another corner of the washcloth. • Wash the baby’s face with clean water. You may choose to use a washcloth or your hand.

• Wash around the nose and ears. Never insert a cotton swab up your baby’s nose or into his ear. You are only asking for problems if you attempt to do this. You can cause extensive damage, especially to the ear drum.

• Wash the baby’s body making sure you get into every fold and crevice. • Check the umbilical cord for proper healing. Keep the stump clean and dry as it shrivels and eventually falls off. Use clean, warm water unless advised otherwise by your healthcare provider. Also, roll the diaper below the cord to keep urine from soaking the dried stump. You may see a few drops of blood on the diaper around the time the stump falls off; this is normal.

• Babies are born with fingernails that are tissue-paper thin, but these nails can be sharp and scratch your baby’s face. Right after birth it may be difficult to tell where the nail ends and the skin starts when using baby clippers or scissors. You may want to start with an emery board at first and file the nails when he is sleeping. Plan to trim the nails about once a week.

The Gift of Motherhood – your personal journey through prepared childbirth 116

Supplies Needed:

• Changing mat • Baby bath towel • Cotton balls • Baby soap • Baby shampoo • Diapers • Clean clothes

Page 118 - Stormont-Vail GOM baby friendly ebook

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