When your baby is just days old, he/she is most susceptible to infection due to a nascent, developing immune system. That is why a newborn is more likely to catch a cold or an infection than a regular, healthy adult.So your first priority should be ensuring your child’s care through adequate measures. In order to do that, you are to make sure that you, yourself are up to the mark when it comes to cleanliness.
Health is a function of hygiene to the extent that it is said that “health is hygiene”. Let us now look into some critical moments with your baby where hygiene is an absolute must.
Bathing the baby
One of the first hurdles that will come your way is to bathe your newborn. Bathing a newborn can be a crucial task so you are to make sure that you’ve sanitized your hands thoroughly. However, a newborn may not need a proper bath until he/she is at least a week old but one should wait until the umbilical stomp heals and fall off. So in the meantime you can clean your baby by topping and tailing i.e. by wiping the baby’s face and neck, also sanitizing the nappy area. Applying oil after wiping your newborn clean would help smooth your baby’s skin and fight dryness .
Now comes the time to give your baby his/her first bath. It is better to have a helping hand as bathing a newborn requires a lot of attention. So, here are some tips that you need to follow to take the best possible care of your child:
- You may add a drop or two of an antiseptic liquid usually available to make sure that the baby’s bath water is entirely germ-free.
- Also, make sure that the temperature of the water is perfect i.e. warm enough for the newborn to be bathed in.
- Make sure that the room in which you change your baby is warm enough.
- Make sure that you bathe your child at noon or in the afternoon as this is the warmest part of the day.
- Make sure to have a gentle but firm grip of your newborn while bathing.
- Make sure you’ve readied everything before taking your child for bathing i.e. the towel, the clothes that the newborn will change into and the diaper.
- Make sure that you have all the baby oils and lotions within reach so that you don’t have leave your newborn unattended in order to get them.
Trimming the baby’s nails
Once the bathing of the newborn is complete, now comes another critical part that is trimming the baby’s nails. A newborn’s nails tend to grow quite rapidly so you may find yourself trimming the baby’s nails more than once a week. The key is to keep the baby’s nails clean and short. A newborn’s nails need to be trimmed because although they seem extremely fragile but they are fairly sharp. So as to prevent the baby from scratching his/her face or yours, you are to snip the nails before they get too long.Another reason is that babies have a habit of putting their hands in their mouth. So by trimming, you’re also eliminating any possible way due to which germs could enter into your child’s body. Now, one has to be very careful while doing so. Why? Because if you accidentally trim the baby’s nail too low, it might nick the tip of the baby’s finger and it may bleed which could cause infection .
How to trim the baby’s nails?
In the early days you could always just strip the ends of your baby’s nails with your fingers but make sure your fingers are well- sanitized, use the Dettol sanitizer, if you may. But, a better option would be to file the baby’s nails with a nail filer to shorten them, using a filer would be easier and it would eliminate the risk of snipping the baby’s skin which is usually the case while trimming with a baby scissor or a clipper. Now, what to do if you have a baby scissor or a clipper? You have to be very vigilant while using a scissor or a clipper on your baby’s nails. The trick is to lower the finger pad away from the nail to avoid piercing the baby’s skin and to keep a firm grip of the baby’s hand while trimming his/her nails. Or you can always wait for the baby to be asleep before trimming his/her nails .
If mistakenly you nip the baby’s finger, do not panic. Put some pressure on the nipped finger withdamped cotton and the bleeding will gradually subside. Use a small band-aid to cover the nipped skin but don’t forget to change it as leaving it there for too long might result in an allergy .
 Babycenter.com. When can I give my newborn a bath? URL: http://www.babycentre.co.uk/a553837/bathing-your-newborn
 Babyceneter.com. How to trim your baby’s nails. (2014, April). Retrieved from: http://www.babycentre.co.uk/a536692/how-to-trim-your-babys-nails