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Newborn Care Topics..

You are here : home > Newborn Care > Massaging and Bathing > Sponge Bath

Sponge Bath

Sponge Bath

A sponge bath is recommended if the mother is not confident of handling the baby initially in the first few days. Sponge bath is also done when the navel is not healed. Sponge bath   boosts the confidence of the mother and also gives time for the navel to heal.

Is there any special care for the unhealed navel?

You should clean the unhealed navel with an alcohol-soaked cotton ball or a mild first-aid ointment which is prescribed by your doctor.  When you give the baby her bath, make sure that this area remains dry.  Therefore, tub baths are certainly out while the navel is not healed.  A sponge bath can be the answer; it will give you more confidence on handling the baby, and it will take care of the baby's unhealed navel.

How do I give my baby a sponge bath?

Now you are ready to start. You can do a sponge bath right there in the baby's crib. Place a large towel under her and place a bowl of warm water, about body temperature, nearby. Test the temperature with your elbow or wrist. To keep your baby from getting cold, do not undress her all at once. Wipe across her eyes first with a fresh, damp cotton ball. Wipe with a cotton cloth around the ears and clean her mouth, chin and neck.

Then take off her shirt and wash the abdomen (being careful to keep the unhealed navel dry) and arms, rinsing carefully. Support her head and gently wet her scalp with a washcloth; pat dry. After washing her back, dry and dress her upper body. Next, remove the baby's diaper, and soap the genital area, buttocks, legs and feet. Rinse her thoroughly and then dry, diaper and dress her. Keep all the things that you require near you so that you do not have leave your baby alone while getting-up.

What precautions should be taken while giving a sponge bath?

Here are some precautions that you can take.
  • Always keep your one hand on your baby while you are cleaning her.

  • You can turn the fan of air-conditioner off to prevent your baby from catching cold while she is naked.

  • Check the temperature of water.

  • Use cotton ball for cleaning the delicate parts like eyes.

  • Do not use same cotton ball for cleaning both the eyes. Take a fresh cotton ball while cleaning the other eye when you finish cleaning the first one.

  • Soak the cloth in water in such a way that water is not dripping from it.

  • Do not be harsh while cleaning your baby. Wipe and pat her dry gently.

  • Make sure that you clean the folds as well.

  • If you are using soap, make sure that you wipe the soap off properly by cleaning her again with a damp cloth.

  • Make sure that the soap does not go into your baby’s eyes.

  • While cleaning the back of the baby, make sure that you turn her to one side.

  • If you need anything, do not leave your baby alone. Ask someone to help you.

  • Pat her dry properly before dressing her.

  • If you are using a talcum powder, make sure that it does not enter her noses-trills. Rub it on your hands before applying it to her.

For how long do I need to give sponge bath to my baby?

You can give sponge bath to your baby till the baby’s navel heals completely. It will nearly take 4 to 5 weeks for the navel to heal properly after which you can begin with normal baths.

Giving a sponge bath to a baby is also a good time for bonding with her. Enjoy these precious moments to the fullest.

You may also be interested in:

Benefits of Massage
Getting your Baby Home
Shampoo for Your Baby
Bathing your baby
How to bathe a baby
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Krishna.9 years ago
hey! these are really very informative articles.
preparing for babypath
demonstratebaby bath
mother to be
mother to be.9 years ago
i want to know how to give bath to a new born,is ther any need to use soaps and washes for him since hes so small.anybody with an answer?plz help me.
ness.9 years ago
hello! please don't use alcohol on the cord! it actually makes it take longer to dry up & fall off!
Seema.9 years ago
whenever i bath my children just prior to bedtime, i purposely leave off their rubber pants for about 20 minutes to give their skin a chance to "air out" before putting rubber pants on over top of their cloth diapers. this nifty little tip will help reduce the likelihood of diaper rash.
new moms
new moms.9 years ago
as a new mom its ok to ask questions on newborn/infant care but ask the right people or at least confirm with the pedeatric doctor or nurse your baby will be healther and you will be happier. every baby has thier own specific needs. ps for mother to be from past experience the instructions on this website are very good other tips are check the room temperature make sure it is comfortable not to hot not cold. just relax and don't be scared but be informed. my son he is big now was also very sensitive and had broncitis and rsv at 2 weeks old there are a lot of moms out their that understand. just relax enjoy time with baby and you will be fine remember good room temperture, no, no, no submerging in water until umbical has fallen off and navel has healed completely, mild baby soap adult soaps and bathing products may be to harsh for sensitive skin mine was alregic to everything. if something seems odd, tell your doctor. 1 or 2 drop of soap on a damp warm cloth and one little precious baby section at a time. newborns skin doesn't get dirty as quickly as aduts check with a nurse. i was told by a nurse to wash every other day and every day for diaper area. remember baby feels your emotions as well so be confident and enjoy your newborn. if still feeling overwhelmed never be inbaressed to ask a doctor or nurse. also the notes from other moms very helpful!
alice brown
alice brown.9 years ago
interesting comments, but what about a rash that's both on the legs and in the diaper area, almost like small bites? heat rash? bedbugs?
AJ.9 years ago
i didn't know you couldn't get the umbilical cord wet very informative. pregnant just now so good to know. wish me luck?!?
Seema.9 years ago
one very important safety tip i have for mothers and even babysitters is to leave on the baby's diaper (if not soiled) until you get the baby into the bathtub. i take off my newborn baby's rubber pants then grab hold of his cloth diaper to keep a firm grip of his slippery little body. it works great!
abcd.9 years ago
alcohol on the cord is a good thing....please dont stop using it
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