Pediatric Specialists of Plano

Newborn Bathing and Nail Care: Safety First

Let’s talk about newborn hygiene. It’s a crucial part of keeping your baby healthy and comfortable. Newborn bathing and nail care can be scary and intimidating at first. Infants are so tiny, and many new parents are terrified of making a mistake. Our Plano pediatricians are here to give you some tips and reassure you that you can do this.

How to bathe your newborn

Your newborn doesn’t need to have a bath every day. Until the umbilical cord falls off, which usually happens a week or two after birth, you need to give your baby sponge baths. Here are some tips for making baby’s sponge bath a good experience for everyone.

  • Gather the things you need, including a small container of water, a washcloth and a towel.
  • Place the baby on a flat surface, such as a bed, countertop or changing table. Keep one hand on the baby at all times, or use a safety strap to keep baby from falling. Always keep safety in mind during newborn bathing and nail care.
  • Gently wash the baby’s face and body with a warm, damp washcloth. You don’t need soap.
  • Keep the baby warm by wrapping him or her in a towel, only uncovering the part of the body you are washing.
  • Be sure to gently wash the baby’s skin creases, usually in the neck area, around their arms, and in genital areas.

After your baby’s umbilical cord falls off and the area heals, you can start bathing your baby in an infant tub. You don’t need much water. Check the water temperature before putting the baby in the tub.

Our Plano pediatricians want to emphasize one thing about newborn bathing: Never leave the baby alone — not even for one second. Keep in mind that most babies who drown at home drown in bathtubs.

Trimming your baby’s nails is an important part of newborn hygiene

Often, no part of newborn hygiene inspires more fear than the thought of cutting those tiny nails. It’s a scary job, but it’s also an important one. Babies can scratch themselves or their families. Ragged nails can also tear. You should check your baby’s nails often to see if you need to trim them. Here are some nailcare tips.

  • Don’t forget to wash the baby’s fingernail and toenail areas when you bathe them.
  • There are many tools for trimming newborn nails, but the safest and easiest way is an emery board or nail file.
  • You can also use baby nail scissors with a rounded edge, or nail clippers made especially for infants.

Our Plano pediatricians can answer your questions about newborn bathing and nail care

We know that infants’ parents have lots of questions and concerns. Our team is here to help with everything from newborn bathing and nail care to other types of newborn hygiene. Contact us for an appointment.