Clothing and Bathing Baby

Clothing

  •   Keep the environment at a temperature that is comfortable for you.
  •   As a general rule, baby will need one more layer of clothing than you
  •   Baby will need a hat if it is cold outside, because she can lose a lot of heat from the surface of her head.
  •   Make sure baby has clothes that are easy to take on and off .
  •   Avoid ribbons and ties, especially at the neck, they can strangle baby.
  •   Make sure the clothing is loose, with room for growth, rather than too tight
  •   Ensure bootees and socks are big enough.

Dressing newborn baby

Feet

Babies don’t really need anything on their feet except for socks when it is cold. Once your baby starts to walk routinely, you may want to get shoes to protect her feet from stubbed toes and sharp objects. Shoes should be wide enough so that the toes are not crowded together.

All babies have fairly flat feet to start with. The arch gradually becomes more defined as the child starts to stand and walk. Almost all infants look as they have slightly bowed legs, this is normal and should correct by two years. Many young children look as if they may be pigeon-toed or knock kneed, by about three years this should be correcting itself spontaneously.

Trimming Nails

You might be surprised how quickly your baby’s nails grow.  They need to be kept tidy and trim so that baby does not scratch themselves.  You can use baby scissors or an emery board.

How to trim your baby’s nails

Bathing

Some new babies love their bath, others hate it. Most enjoy it as they grow older.

  •   A daily bath is not always needed. A face, hands and bottom wash is fine on days when you don’t feel like facing bath time.
  •   Make sure the room is warm and that you are not in a rush, or likely to be interrupted.
  •   Choose a time when baby isn’t too hungry or too tired.
  •   Gently splash water on her, avoiding her face
  •   She may prefer a bath with an adult.

Bath Safety tips

1. Have everything you need ready before you begin
2. Always put cold water in the bath first
3. Make sure the cold and hot water are thoroughly mixed before testing the temperature
4. Use the inside of your wrist-never your fingers to test the temperature
5. A bath thermometer should not read more than 36 degrees C
6. Never leave your baby alone in the bath. A small baby can drown in a few centimeters of water
7. If the phone or front door bell rings, ignore it, or take your baby with you, wrapped in a towel

Massage

  • Some babies love a massage after the bath
  • Massage works best in a warm, peaceful environment. It is a lovely way to soothe, relax and bond with your baby
  • The way you massage is not important just do whatever your baby enjoys.
  • Try massaging from baby’s head and stroke downward over all parts of the body.
  • Use a gentle circular motion with your fingers
  • Baby massage oil will help your hands slide over baby’s body, but avoid highly perfumed oils as they may irritate the skin.

Ask your midwife or other health professional for information about baby massage groups in your area.

How to massage a baby