Thursday, October 22, 2009

Bathing Routine

It is important that the baby's cord fall off before we get into actual bathing sessions. Just use a wash cloth and some luke warm water with mild baby soap in the water. If the baby is in India, you can bathe the kid with water but no rubbing and all, just mild soap application and dirt cleaning if any, no rigorous rubbing near the navel at all.

Procedure to bathe a kid in the first few days of life
Do not give massage to the body, just apply mild soap, clean the body and give bath once a day in tropical climate like in India or maybe alternate day or so in colder places like US. The other days just give mild soap-water sponge bath and apply moisturizer or cream suggested. It is best that the kid's body is free of anything in the first few days.

Applying oil to the baby's head
Yes, we can apply coconut oil, baby hair oil, or castor oil on baby's head mildly. If giving head bath daily, it would be good to apply a little more oil before head bath.

If in tropical climate like India, people give head bath regularly to the kids every day in the morning up to a year.

Twice daily bath
Again, if in tropical climate like India, we can start it from 11th day if it is mid summer or from 21st day in normal days. No head bath in the evenings at all.

After bath
Pat dry the skin with a soft towel, apply cream when the skin is still moist. If applying powder or corn starch apply and dress in loose fitting clothes.


One main aspect of baby care is bath. Back in India, it is a daily affair but might vary on the type of climate, the baby skin and all and need to take a doctor's opinion for the same.

For me, Sreya was a summer baby born in April in Krishna district in AP, so bathing her is a daily affair infact daily twice affair from day 11th day onwards.

So starting from the beginning, the first day of her life she was just wiped off with clean soft old used cotton sarees and rubbed with coconut oil by the midwife after the delivery, no water used is what they told me. So, technically her bathing session began the 2nd day of her life with the nurses giving her a mild soap and hot water rinse rather than a bath. The moment we set our feet at home, I had a lady in the village assigned specifically for her bathing sessions which I must say is a boon.

oka peeta meeda koorchuni kaalu rendo peeta meeda jaapukuni babyni padukobettukuni snanam cheyistaaru.

We used hot water, paala meeda meegada or perugu meeda meegada for the pre-bath massaging and then Subhra herbal bath powder slight massage and then washing with Johnson Baby soap, and Johnson Head to Toe/No tears Shampoo for head bath every morning. Believe me with all the massaging and stuff (I am told we did very mild massaging and the babies in the villages really get wild ones :)), the baby gets so tired and sleeps peacefully for minimum 2 hrs after the bath, so I used to feed her after her bath and let her sleep. The bath also includes exercise for the baby pulling her legs, hands, stroking her head (supposedly to keep it round after the delivery trauma) which I felt was good.

After 11th day, we started the evening bath too but not as rigorous as the morning session.. just plain soap and water wash minus the head bath.

Doctors specifically recommend no rigorous nalugu, maalish, or massage whatever for newborns as their skin is delicate.
Just mild strokes for longer time would do and even we can do away with sunni-pindi/bath powder if the baby has a rash or becomes really red at bath time. Touchwood, Sreya enjoyed her bathing sessions, so we continued with everything in mild doses.

The actual massaging and stuff started once she entered her 3rd month and her skin was not as fragile with doctor's consent, mild exercising sessions became a little rigorous and I started massaging her with baby oil. Again, doctors advised no use of any type of oil massaging in the first and preferably second months of life. I used Johnson oil to start with and now shifted to Himani Ayurvedic oil after she turned 6 months old. An exercise routine in the morning with the oil and then a little play break and bath afterwards works wonders for them. Personal experience says that she gets one-on-one time with me, her exercise, and good sleep after all tiresome activity :).

This is an Indian, AP baby routine wrt to climate and body preference.. waiting for more inputs with regards to babies in US.

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