Welcome back to the third post in my series for new moms. If you enjoyed my first two posts on things to do before baby arrives and learning to decode baby’s cries, you’ll appreciate today’s topic which is all about baby grooming!
As I began brainstorming for this post, I started to think long and hard about all the ways I had to care for baby’s delicate skin and body those first few weeks. Everything from bathing, nail care and diapering filled my mind. There were so many little tips and tricks that I wish I had known. Today I’m sharing everything I’ve learned when it comes to bathing and grooming your newborn baby!
Umbilical Cord Care
As your pediatrician will tell you, baby will only need a sponge bath for the first few days while the umbilical cord stump dries out. It typically takes about two weeks for this to happen, so try not to get that stump wet. However, as my mother told me, treating it with a little rubbing alcohol can help speed up the process. Once it falls off, you are free to wash your little one in a bath tub.
As a new mom you can sometimes feel overwhelmed by the amount of baby gear options out there. I totally was! I read tons of reviews and did some comparative shopping before narrowing it down to one I thought was perfect because it converted from baby to toddler. But I didn’t realize how uncomfortable it would be for me to crouch down in the tub with baby, supporting baby’s fragile body with one hand and needing the other to grab all my supplies…especially after a c-section. That’s why I recommend new moms have a tub with a newborn insert to support baby’s entire body. This way your hands are free to do all the work! If you need a recommendation I purchased this baby-friendly tub for my second child, and wish I had it for the first one!
It’s also super important to make sure you have all your bath supplies (body wash, wash cloth and towel) ready to go because you should never leave a baby unattended to grab something.
Here’s another tip: when it comes to the actual washing process, start with the face and hands and work your way to the tushie and feet. That way you aren’t spreading any germs!
After a bath, all you have to do when it comes to ear care is a simple wiping behind and around the ear. This is where a swab comes in handy, but don’t go crazy! It may sound silly but so many new parents think cleaning baby’s ears means inserting a cotton swab into the ear canal — and this is a big no-no because it can do more damage that good! There’s actually no need to remove the wax yourself — this will typically fall out on it’s own and if it doesn’t your pediatrician can clean it out carefully for you!
I am always surprised how long and sharp a newborn’s nails are, so caring for them immediately is a must to prevent scratches and keep baby safe. You can always start with baby mittens if you are afraid to handle those delicate fingers, but sooner than later the time will come when you have to trim them. Start by filing them down with an emory board made for baby — doing this daily during nap time seems to work best to prevent nails from growing too long. You’ll want to be careful and get plenty of lighting first. Then place one finger in your hand and file down gently with the other. Once baby is a couple months old, it’s safe to move to a baby scissor or clippers.
Did you know that even before baby has teeth it’s important to start cleaning his mouth and gums? I didn’t! Apparently this can help with setting good brushing habits down the road and provide relief when the teething process begins. You can use something as basic as your finger wrapped in a damp cloth or purchase one of those cute baby brushes [affiliate link]. Obviously as baby sprouts more teeth you’ll have to get more serious about cleaning and brushing!
As a mom, you’ll go through numerous dirty diapers. I think it’s about 10-12 during the first couple weeks, so be prepared to become an expert here ;). The most important piece of advice I can offer when it comes to diapers is to change them frequently to avoid diaper rash and to choose a brand that will treat your baby’s delicate skin with care.
That’s why I recommend the NEW! Huggies Little Snugglers Diapers, which has a GentleAbsorb* Liner to provide a cushiony layer of protection with hundreds of tiny absorbent pillows to help draw mess away from your baby’s delicate newborn skin. For a gentle clean, I also use Huggies Natural Care Wipes with the simplest formula ever for baby’s delicate, soft skin.
If you haven’t tried this new line and could use a sample, visit Huggies.com/SampleHug!
NOTE: Get this FREE BABY CARE JOURNAL to help you better manage life with a newborn baby. The journal includes 6 pages + cover to help you track baby’s feedings, new foods introduced, doctor appointments, medications and of course, his grooming schedule! Download below –>>
This is a compensated campaign in collaboration with Huggies Little Snugglers and Latina Bloggers Connect.
Ana, a mom to three rambunctious little boys, has supported thousands of women throughout their pregnancy and motherhood journey since 2012 as a prenatal and postpartum educator at MommysBundle.com.