How to Give Your Newborn a Sponge Bath



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Cleaning your tiny baby for the first time can be quite scary for new moms.

Your baby might not be playing, but he or she still needs a sponge bath.

Top 3 sponge bath items every mom needs for their newborn

According to experts, sponge baths are appropriate for babies whose umbilical cord stumps have not yet fallen out.

It is important to note that daily baths might not be necessary because they could dry out the delicate skin.

The following is a helpful guide for washing your tiny baby. 

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How to Give Your Newborn a Sponge Bath. New mom tips | Newborn tips and tricks | Newborn care tips for new parents. #newborntips #newborn #habitatformom

1. Preparation for your newborn’s sponge bath

Giving your baby a sponge bath enables you to handle them before you move to the tub bath.

It means that you must make some few preparations.

Before you start, ensure that you gather all the necessities, and these include a large towel on which you will lay the baby, a mild baby cleanser, moistened cotton wool, clean clothes, a diaper, and of course a damp sponge.

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Perfumed wipes and soaps should be avoided because they could interfere with the natural balance of the baby’s skin.

Choose a comfortably warm room and keep warm water and then wash your hands.

Undress the baby and wrap them up in a towel and move to the next step. 

2. Wash the eye area

Dip a cotton ball in warm water to dampen it.

Hold the baby’s head firmly and clean the eye area.

Cleanse the corners as you move outwards.

Each eye should be cleaned with a different cotton ball.

Cotton balls are safe for the baby’s eyes because they do not shed any lint. 

3. Wash the face

Dip a soft washcloth in the warm water and squeeze out the extra water.

Wipe the baby’s face, mouth, nose and the areas behind the ears.

You should be as gentle as possible.

The creases in the neck, under the chin and the area behind the ears, should be handled with extra care.

The nose canals should be patted to dry.

4. Wash the hair

Your baby’s hair also needs to be included in this sponge bath.

Wrap them in a towel and place your arm around their back.

Your hand should be placed under his or her head.

Dampen a washcloth and gently wipe the head using the other hand.

Remember that using soap-based shampoos can cause skin irritation. 

5. Wash the body

Keep your baby’s head covered with one corner of the towel.

Remove the dirty diapers and uncover the rest of the body.

Use a soap-free baby cleanser, and use a wet washcloth to clean the baby’s body from the neck down to the waist.

Ensure that you also wipe the tiny arms and hands.

After you are done wiping him or her, pat them to dry and then cover the upper part of their body with a towel.

Use a fresh washcloth to wipe the legs, feet, and toes.

The diaper area should be cleaned using warm clean and warm water.

Get rid of all the excess moisture because it can cause skin irritation. 

6. Clean the umbilical cord area

Read: How to Care for Your Newborns Umbilical Cord Stump

Now that the baby is dry put them in a clean diaper and t-shirt.

Take a clean cotton ball and clean the base of the umbilical cord.

Leave it dry and avoid covering it with a diaper.

The cord and the area around it should be cleaned gently and adequately because the speed the base dries determines the speed in which the cord will fall off. 

7. Moisturizing

Moisturization is part of the newborn sponge bath.

Once you are done with cleaning the baby, apply a mild lotion to maintain the smoothness, softness, and health of the baby’s skin. 

8. Dressing the baby

Ensure that a receiving blanket is ready so that you can wrap the baby immediately after the bath.

Dress the baby in loose cotton clothes.

Most of the time, the baby is lying down.

Therefore, it is advisable to avoid clothes that have buttons or zippers down the back. 

A sponge bath is better for a baby when compared to a regular tub bath.

It also helps the mom to regulate the amount of water each body part receives.

Sensitive areas such as the umbilical cord can, therefore, be kept dry.

Don’t forget to check out the brand new online newborn basics class here!

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Jennifer LoVerde

Hey there! Jennifer here, and I run this website. I am a mommy to one amazing little boy + Childcare and development professional (10+ yrs). I created this website to provide useful information about pregnancy and newborn care, & inspire you to live your best mom life!

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