How To Take Care Of Your Baby’s Hygiene

Hygiene is a powerful word in today’s generation. With the increasing problem concerning pollution, proper sanitation, and proper waste disposal, humans’ health is obviously at risk. Taking care of one’s hygiene is an unspoken individual’s responsibility that most people tend to overlook, which is quite understandable as paying attention to this issue require more time and effort.

However, if this scenario continues, this could be the cause of illnesses, infections, and other health issues. Babies are one of the prospect victims of poor hygiene since they cannot take care of their own self yet. It is the parents’ responsibility to oversee the baby’s safety.

Baby’s immune system

Babies are very prone to illness for their immune system is not yet fully developed. This means they can easily get infected and may easily get sick. A low immune system gives germs a chance to propagate quickly.

Germs are microorganism which can be viral or bacterial. Although there are now available medicines to cure viral or bacterial infection in the form of antibiotics, baby’s health is still at risk as they may not be allowed to take this strong type of medicine. Newborn babies have a higher risk of developing serious health issues even when they just caught the simple flu or fever.

For the baby to avoid any serious illnesses, his immune system should be strengthened. Now, how can this be possibly done? Newborn babies still have the chance of improving their immune system through breastfeeding. Breastfeeding is a well-known practice used by most mothers to ensure their baby’s health. This is called passive immunity. According to Dr. Karr from the University of Washington, baby’s immune system develops gradually; thus, keeping them from any infectious disease in the first few months is very crucial.

Taking a bath

baby taking a bath

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Taking a bath everyday is part of our daily hygiene. Babies are no exception; they too need to take a bath regularly. When taking your baby for a bath, there are tricks that you must follow. One of which is to avoid too much shampoo. Using too much shampoo may cause baldness and will eventually make your baby’s hair looked thin and flat. In some cases, it can also cause dryness, making the baby’s hair tangled and disheveled especially when they get a little older and have more hair.

Babies do not need to have shampoo every day; this is according to Cozy Friedman of Cozy hair products. The recommended shampooing session is 2-3 times a week in little amount.

Hand washing

Since babies are not conscious of their actions yet, they have no control over the things that they do. They do not choose what they hold, may it be safe, clean, or dirty. What is even alarming is that they have the tendency to put anything on their hands into their mouth. This unconscious behavior is one of the main reasons why babies easily get infected by various illnesses. Thus, hand washing is highly recommended by many experts.

If your baby is a newborn, you can just use anti-bacterial wipes to clean their hands. To prevent them from touching and holding dirty things, you can use baby mittens. You have to change the mittens regularly. Once you think they are already dirty, then change them immediately.

Baby’s gums

Do I need to brush my baby’s emerging teeth regularly? What kind of toothpaste should I use? How can I make sure my baby’s gums are healthy? These are common questions that most new mothers are concern about.

Even if newborn babies do not have teeth yet, it does not mean that you will no longer pay attention to their oral health. You still have to clean their gums regularly because poor gums may result in poor growth of their teeth. Make it a habit of wiping your baby’s gum with a wet washcloth when you take him for a bath. You do not need to use a toothbrush and toothpaste yet. Use your index finger and wrap the washcloth around the tip. Rub it gently on your baby’s gum until you think they are already clean.

Parents should never forget to check baby’s oral health because bacteria in the mouth spread quickly. You might not notice it when the baby does not have teeth yet, but it is quite difficult to tell once teeth start to emerge. Taking extra care of your baby’s gums should start early.

Baby’s teeth

Once your baby starts to grow teeth, which generally emerge around six months or so, it is time to make use of a toothbrush. Look for a baby toothbrush recommended by doctors. Your baby’s teeth are not yet fully develop, making them too fragile for harsh brushing. Use a toothbrush with fine and soft bristle. Do not use your own toothpaste in brushing your baby’s teeth, use mild toothpaste which is specifically intended for babies instead.

Brush your baby’s teeth twice a day, usually in the morning and right before going to sleep. Only use a little amount of toothpaste to avoid too much fluoride. There should only be a small dot of toothpaste in your baby’s toothbrush. This should be enough to clean their emerging teeth. You also have to check their toothbrush from time to time. The usual life span of a toothbrush is around three months, but as soon as the bristles start to get yellowish, then you should buy a new one.

Cleaning baby’s ears

Aside from hands and teeth, parents should also regularly clean baby’s ears. You can use a cotton wool ball to clean the area behind baby’s ears. You can also use cotton buds to clean the outer part of the ears. Do not insert the cotton buds inside the baby’s ears to avoid any complications.

Trimming the nails

trimming baby's nails

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Use a pair of nail scissors or baby clippers that is specifically made for baby’s fingers. To avoid nicking the baby’s skin while trimming their nails, press the finger pad a little to have more access on the nail. When cutting the fingernails, just follow the curve of the fingers, but when it comes to the baby’s toes, juts cut the nails straight across.

Cleaning and washing baby’s genitals

Cleaning and washing baby’s genitals is part of the baby’s overall hygiene, especially if your baby is still uncircumcised (for boys). For uncircumcised baby, you only have to clean the outer part of the foreskin. Do not be alarmed if you see a milky substance under the baby’s foreskin. This is a normal occurrence, and the substance is actually called smegma. It is caused by dead skill cells and secretions which happen naturally. If your baby boy is already circumcised, just clean the genital using water. You do not have to use soap, but if you like to use one, choose the mildest soap specifically for babies with moisturizer. Using harsh soap is not advisable as it may cause irritation and rashes.

On the other hand, washing your baby girl’s labia is a different method. When bathing your daughter, gently wipe the labia with a wet cotton ball. Start from the front, then wipe backward. Avoid using any cream, soap, or vaginal deodorant when washing your baby’s labia for this can upset the natural balance and may lead to infections. Egg white like discharge is a normal occurrence, but if unsure of any other noticeable discharge, you can always go to your GP for a checkup.

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