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The role of the Registered Nurse or Newborn Care Provider is to feed, soothe, bathe, change & provide all other gentle care to baby through the night.

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Your First Night Home with Baby: Questions About Newborn Diapering and Bathing

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To conclude our three part, “Your First Night Home with Baby” series, here are the most common diapering and bathing questions our Registered Nurses and Newborn Care Providers receive.

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To conclude our three part, “Your First Night Home with Baby” series, here are the diapering and bathing questions our RN’s and Night Nurses receive most often.

How often do I change my baby’s diaper?

It is best to change baby’s diaper every time you feed your newborn. Try to change baby before feeding them. If you change baby’s diaper after feeding having them lay horizontal may cause them to spit up.  

How do I care for my newborn son’s circumcision? 

If your male baby was circumcised, you were probably instructed to use petroleum jelly and gauze at each diaper change. When bathing, stick to sponge baths only and use unscented soap and warm water.  If you notice any continuous bleeding, trouble urinating, fever, or swelling, call your pediatrician immediately. The circumcision should heal in about seven to ten days.

Can I use baby wipes on a newborn?

Many doctors and health care professionals highly suggest using warm water and a clean washcloth to wipe at each diaper change.  Others say it is fine to use disposable wipes on newborns, as long as they are the unscented type.  The important thing is to be sure that baby is completely dry before putting on diaper creams or vaseline.  It is also fine to let baby go diaper-free for 10-20 minutes (or as long as is preferable to you) to allow the diaper area to stay dry.  

Should I bathe my baby every day?

Babies do not need to be fully bathed everyday. Their skin is sensitive and can dry out a lot faster then adults. It is best to give baby a sponge bath their first week or two. Making sure to get in their rolls and in between their fingers and toes. You would be surprised how much lint collects in fingers and toes! Once baby’s umbilical stump has fallen out and heals up then it is okay to give baby a full bath.  Babies do not need to be bathed more than  three times a week.

What temperature should my baby’s bath water be? 

Babies should be bathed in warm water, not too hot.  Test the water with your wrist, not your hand. Also, babies bodies lose heat quicker than adults.  Keep the bath time brief to avoid chills.

What kind of soap should I use on my baby?

Warm water is just fine for bathing newborns.  If you do use soaps, lotions or oils be sure they are non-toxic and baby safe so baby’s skin does not dry out or become irritated.   It is advisable to avoid a scented soap or bubble bath.

For more information, please see the other two articles in the series:

Your First Night Home with Baby: Questions About Newborn Feeding

Your First Night Home with Baby: Questions About Newborn Sleep

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