Taking care of your new born baby’s hygiene, especially in the first couple of weeks may make you anxious, because the skin around your baby’s genitalia is a lot more sensitive and delicate than yours. Although each bowel movement ensures that the genitalia is washed thoroughly, you still need to follow a specific hygiene routine for your baby.
Gentle is how it should be: A bath everyday may not be enough. You may need to attend to your baby’s genitalia several times a day because it attracts a lot of germs. Be very gentle and careful while cleaning, as the baby’s skin is vulnerable to rashes.
Zero germs: Your hands should always be clean. Also, if your baby is only a few weeks old, try not using regular bathroom tap water to clean the baby. Sterilize the water by boiling. Allow it to cool to normal room temperature before using it.
Handy accessories: Use balls of cotton wool, moistened in sterilized water to wipe the baby’s genitalia. While giving a bath, you may use the wet bathing sponge to clean the genitals.
However, Baby girls and baby boys require different attention.
Caring for your little girl’s hygiene.
Stay clear of Urinary Tract Infection (UTI): Girls are more prone to UTI, which is usually caused by harmful microorganisms that have been transferred from the anus to the vagina and the urethral opening. This generally occurs when you wipe her genitals from back to front. Always wipe her vagina from front to back. In fact, as your little one grows older, potty-train her to wipe herself from front to back.
Time to change her nappy: When she needs her nappy changed, dip a ball of cotton wool in sterilized cool water and wipe her from front to back. Sometimes her bottom may be too soiled and you may find feces in the folds of her genitals as well. Part the folds of her genitals very gently. Take a ball of cotton wool that has been moistened in warm water and wipe her from front to back as suggested earlier. Repeat the process if required. Finally, use a fresh set of cotton wool balls to clean the inside of her genitals. Always use a moist sponge to bathe your baby.
Discharge from her genitals: Right after your baby is born, you may find a bloody discharge in her genitals. There is no need to panic though. This usually occurs as a symptom of your baby withdrawing from the maternal hormones she was exposed to inside the mother’s womb. However, if it persists beyond the usual couple of days, consult your paediatrician.
Caring for your little boy’s hygiene.
Be careful while changing his nappy: When you change your baby boy’s nappy wipe his genitals with a ball of cotton wool, moistened in sterilized water. Be very gentle and careful about the amount of pressure you use.
Caring for his foreskin: Be very gentle with the foreskin of your baby’s genitals. If pulled too hard, it may get injured. Till the age of 2, his foreskin remains attached to the head of the penis. As he begins to turn 3, the foreskin slowly separates itself and soon it is able to slide back effortlessly.
So that’s it. A little bit of care, and your baby’s hygiene is no more a mystery or a scare. The human body has its own methods to clean all its outlets. We just need to assist it in preventing infections by ensuring proper hygiene. This fact remains true for your baby as well. Remember to be careful and not try too hard. Overdoing the cleaning might alter the balance of good micro-organisms in the baby’s genitals leaving him/her more vulnerable.