Baby care made easy! Proper baby care is not witchcraft, yet there are a few things you should pay attention to if you want to do it right. From hair care to fingernails and toenails, we’ve put together a few tips on how to properly care for your baby.
Table of contents
Eyes, Nose & Ears
Eyes, nose and ears must always be treated very carefully. If the eyes are stuck together, parents can clean them gently from the outside in with a damp cloth (e.g. a soft cosmetic tissue, but not absorbent cotton). Under no circumstances “poke around” inside the nose and ears, only wipe away the visible dirt with a paper towel.
Some babies have a lush head of hair from birth, others are still almost bald on their first birthday. When the baby has enough hair, the mop of hair should be brought into shape with a soft baby brush.
For mild hair washing, there are special baby shampoos that do not sting the eyes.
The Most Delicate Skin In The World
In principle, the infant’s skin does not require regular care, according to Prof. Dr. med Dietrich Abeck, specialist in skin and venereal diseases, Munich. But after bathing or washing and thorough drying, parents can pamper their offspring’s body with a light baby lotion.
In combination with a little massage, caring for the skin with a baby lotion is a boon for the baby. According to Prof. Dr. med. Dietrich Abeck, the situation is different if the skin is dry due to a specific condition, such as neurodermatitis (atopic eczema). In this case, regular skin care for babies plays a central role.
Skin folds are undoubtedly among baby’s “problem zones”. Because wherever skin rubs against skin, redness and irritation quickly occur, e.g. on the neck, under the arms and in the groin area. To prevent this, it is important to dry skin folds very thoroughly but gently after every wash or bath. Creams specially formulated for the texture and needs of baby skin are available for delicate facial skin, for the body and for the diaper area.
Even if babies are neither dirty nor sweaty, they should still be washed daily from head to toe.
Here’s how to do it: warm the washing area and your own hands, undress the baby, remove cream and powder residues with baby oil (e.g. ready-made oil care wipes) and then wash the body “from top to bottom” with warm water and a soft washcloth. The genital area and buttocks come last.
Also, please note: For girls, always clean the vagina from front to back. This prevents intestinal bacteria from entering the vagina and urinary bladder. For boys: Do not push back the foreskin of the penis against natural resistance. It can still be stuck together until the age of three.
Bathing is a heavenly pleasure for most babies, because they feel right at home in the warm water. Nevertheless, parents should not overdo it with the bathing fun: Only once or twice a week should the offspring take a full bath. On the other days, it is enough to wash the body from head to toe.
When bathing, preheat the room to a cosy 24°C and have all the utensils ready. The optimum bathing temperature is 36 to 38°C (check with a bath thermometer!).
Depending on the skin type, there are different mild cleansing additives for the little ones. The youngster should only splash around in the half-full bathtub for a few minutes and should always be held very tightly before being dried thoroughly with a soft towel.
Finger And Toenails
Cutting finger and toenails – for many parents this is a real challenge. But don’t worry, special baby nail scissors with rounded tips make the job easier. If necessary, cut while the baby is sleeping.
Just as with adults, the following applies: cut toenails straight so that they do not grow into the nail bed.
Navel care is an issue in the first weeks of the infant’s life. About two to ten days after birth, the umbilical remnant falls off. The wound area must be properly cared for and attended to.
How? Parents are best advised to ask their midwife to show them. It is important to keep the navel area as dry as possible until the wound has healed completely.
And: The diaper must not rub against the navel under any circumstances.