Having to groom a newborn can be a scary experience especially for new parents; from learning to care for your baby’s umbilical cord to cutting teenie tiny nails on their precious little fingers, every step of baby grooming is an achievement unlocked and something parents learn from which will come in handy when or if there’s another bundle of joy down the road. Babies do require persistent upkeep with almost every part of their body. Keeping a close eye and ensuring everything is in tip-top shape when it comes to baby grooming will help keep your baby comfortable and away from unnecessary shortcomings due to lack of grooming. The best way to work up that confidence is by studying up and getting to it, the right way and with our well thought out guide that will turn you a pro at baby grooming, you’ll have it in the bag!
Caring for the umbilical cord
All hail the life-giving organ that kept your little one in your tum tum nourished and healthy but once the baby enters this world, its time to say adios to the umbilical cord. You’ll have to care for it until it dries and falls right off (kind of like a dried-up leaf), the falling off of the umbilical cord takes about one to two weeks. Wipe the tummy of your baby very gently without knocking or hitting the cord as it’s extremely sensitive. Allow the cord to dry well before clothing your baby, have your baby air-dry after each bath session. Keep in mind to avoid tucking the cord inside the diaper as this can cause the moisture to be trapped causing bad odour and with the umbilical cord taking much longer than usual to dry and fall off. Have your baby air-dry after each bath session. Consult a paediatrician immediately if you notice an unbearable odour or puss being secreted from the said area.
Trimming your baby’s nails not only makes them tidier in appearance but they also prevent your baby from accidentally injuring themself, especially when you have a little one who’s always in reach of their face and it’ll save you from sustaining any accidental baby scratches. Since normal nail clippers are too large and can block easily block your view from how much you actually need to be trimming, baby clippers are the better option and there are tonnes out there in the market, remember to file down sharp edges. If cutting your baby’s nail with actual clippers make you nervous, then you can just file down their nails.
Often overlooked, a baby’s mouth can be a breathing ground for bacteria to be setting up camp even before their teeth start to emerge which is why it is important to keep their mouths clean by wiping them with a damp, clean cloth. Start brushing on a daily basis with a soft toothbrush and kid-friendly (fluoride-free) toothpaste when you notice teeth appearing.
Ears naturally clean themselves, which is why taking care of your baby’s ears only require minimum upkeep. As tempted as you may be, refrain from digging their ears with a cotton swab. Instead, use a cloth that’s been dipped in some warm water and wipe only the outer part of your baby’s ear, keep away from the inner part of the ear. Messing with the inner ear will only push the wax further into the ear canal.
Don’t forget the eyes
Another part of the body that requires minimum upkeep, use a warm washcloth or cotton pad that’s been slightly soaked in some warm water to remove the goop that forms in the inner corner of your baby’s eyes. Make sure your hands are washed thoroughly under warm water and soap before going anywhere near your baby’s eyes. Gently dap the goop off the eyes until your they’re completely clean, avoid tugging or rubbing at your baby’s eyes.
A baby’s scalp is extremely sensitive and it is important to be mindful of the soft spots on your baby’s head. As your baby’s scalp is super delicate, refrain from scrubbing the head vigorously when shampooing or washing your baby’s head. Avoid over-shampooing your baby’s head too often, stick to only a couple times a week. Gently massage your baby’s head during bathtime with an unscented, baby-formulated shampoo to help strengthen their scalp as all the collected impurities wash away with ease. Once your baby’s mane starts to flourish, it can easily tangle up and turn into a messy do; detangled your baby’s hair with a brush that’s designed for babies, with ultra-soft bristles. A normal hairbrush can irritate the scalp and even pull out your little one’s hair.
For the first week of your baby’s life, bathing your baby is not necessary. Since newborn don’t usually get very dirty and they get most clean-up time during diaper change time, they only require a bath twice a week. You don’t have to start by dunking your baby in warm water, you can opt it out with a sponge bath instead until the umbilical cord falls off. Lay your baby on their back, use a washcloth that’s been soaked in lukewarm water and wipe your baby down, keeping away from the umbilical cord. Remember to let your baby air-dry thoroughly, especially the umbilical cord. Once the cord has fallen off, your baby will be ready for real bath time. Fill a baby tub with lukewarm water and place your baby into the water with their back laid down, keep the head elevated which the tub usually already has covered. You can use a baby formulated soap or skip it altogether, baby formulated soap does not lather well so keep that in mind before adding too much soap onto your baby. You will need a soft washcloth to wipe your baby as they’re submerged in the water, this will help remove all the dirt and debris that has collected on their skin. Get them out of the tub and immediacy swaddle your baby in a towel, pat them dry gently and allow your baby to fully air-dry.