How To Care for an Infant after a Bath

Bathing an infant is a wonderful experience.  But it is after the bath that you experience real bonding with the baby.  Here is what you should do after bathing an infant:

  1. Right after her bath, wrap your infant in a soft, fluffy towel preferably with a hood.  Make sure the towel is made of high quality cotton and does not bleed.
  2. Lay her down on a soft sturdy surface like a changing table.  Wipe her gently in a soft, dabbing motion.  Make sure to dry areas where moisture can stay like under the arms, the back of the ears, between the thighs and under her neck.   When creases of her body are left moist, this can lead to skin irritation.
  3. Use the corner of the towel to wipe her ears.  You can use a cotton bud to remove excess moisture from her outer ear but do not clean her inner ear.  A cotton bud can also be used to clean just near the entrance of her nose.
  4. With clean hands, massage some baby lotion on her body.  Using a circular motion, rub the lotion gently all over her skin.  Start at the shoulders all the way down to her feet.  Do not place any lotion on her face.  Use just enough lotion that it is easily absorbed.  Choose a lotion without perfume or any other ingredient that can give her an allergy.  Never use adult body lotion no matter how mild it is.  Ask your pediatrician about baby oils as an alternative.
  5. In order to avoid chafing, apply cornstarch powder on your baby especially in the folds of the neck, thighs and elbows.  It is best to put the cornstarch powder on your hand first then apply to the specific areas.  Make sure it does not get into her eyes, nose, mouth and ears.  Avoid talcum powders or baby powders that have talc as an active ingredient.  Some studies have linked talc with upper respiratory issues in infants.
  6. Put on the infant’s diaper making sure it is snug and not tight.  If the diaper is too tight, her blood vessels may become constricted.  If she has a rash, you can put a pediatrician prescribed diaper rash ointment on her before putting on the diaper.
  7. Dress your baby in comfortable clothes depending on the weather and temperature inside the house.
  8. Using a soft baby brush, gently brush the hair of the infant.  Never use a comb on an infant because it may hurt her head or hit her eye by accident.
  9. Use nail cutters specifically designed for infants, trim each nail carefully if necessary.  You can also wait till the baby is asleep so she is not too fussy when you trim her nails.
  10. Avoid putting colognes or perfumes on your infant.  Even if the cologne is made specifically for babies, it is best to hold off on this until she is a little older.  Colognes and perfumes may contain ingredients that your infant is allergic to.

Bathing your infant is both a scary as well as an exhilarating experience.  The best part of the whole bathing experience is after the bath.  This is the time when you get to massage your infant gently and simply enjoy her soft, smooth skin.  It is a great bonding moment for the two of you.  Enjoy the whole bathing and after bathing experience with your infant because this opportunity will not be around for a long time.


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