Approved by the What’s Up Moms Medical Advisory Board
Around this time, baby’s umbilical cord stump will fall off, and once it does, you’ve got the green light for a full bath. Since bathing a newborn is an experience akin to manhandling a wet, squirming walrus with no muscle control, we’ve put together a few tips to help you get that fresh, clean-smelling babe in the hooded towel. The hooded towel! With the ears!
No need to bathe baby every day, but when you do, it’s helpful to have another person around the first few times (the squirming walrus and all). Use the tiniest amount of mild soap with a washcloth and have some cups nearby for rinsing baby’s skin. Post-bath, a small amount of mild lotion is fine if the skin is extremely dry.
Oh – and baby’s really needing those baths now because spit-up time is upon you. Literally. Your little one may spit up part or even nearly all of a feeding, but as long as she’s gaining and doesn’t seem uncomfortable, consider it a laundry problem, not a medical problem. Burping baby after feedings (and when switching breasts) helps – and you’ll get used to having burpcloths or washcloths stashed all around the house.
Now, your turn to get cleaned up: No matter what the day has in store (like, say, hanging out in your house and going nowhere), take a shower each morning. Get dressed, even if “dressed” means putting on some slightly nicer, clean sweats. Put on a stretchy bra. These little things make a big difference in the feeling-like-a-human-being department.
Now that everyone’s clean, take some newborn pics! You’re right in the sweet spot now: baby’s swelling has subsided, her head is less conelike, and you’ve got a little window here before her skin will be beset by baby acne and her head riddled with crusty cradle cap. Don’t worry, she’ll still be cute to you.