You’ve been released from the hospital with your newborn, a suitcase full of baby supplies, and exhaustion like you’ve never known before–now what? All your prep and planning got you this far, but what’s next? Welcome to the wonderful world of baby grooming. Your little one is perfect in every way (duh), but there’s additional newborn care that’s needed to keep them healthy and comfortable. Here are seven baby grooming essentials you might not have known you needed to do.
Trimming your baby’s nails is best described as a baby wrestling match. Unless you can slide in and out of the nursery in the middle of the night like some sort of nail clipper ninja, trimming baby’s nails requires skill, patience, and the right tools (like our Light Zoom Nail Clipper, *cough, cough*). Some parents prefer to file their baby’s nails until they’re a little older. Either way, avoid biting their nails, as it can spread bacteria or break the skin. It’s important to keep baby’s nails short to prevent accidental scratching – on your little one's precious skin–or yours.
Babies are the mini kings and queens of soft skin – as smooth as a baby’s bottom, anyone? – but we all need a helping hand every once and a while. Lotion up your LO’s skin to prevent dryness and cracking. Applying lotion right after bath time helps lock in moisture and creates a barrier against the harsh, dry air. You can also invest in a humidifier for the nursery, which adds moisture to the air and your baby's delicate skin. And speaking of skin, don’t alert the presses if your newborn develops acne on their face. Infant acne is common for newborns in their first few weeks. If your little one’s cheeks start to resemble a pimply teenager’s, treating baby acne is simple and easy.
When your LO is still an infant, they only need to be bathed 2-3 times a week – their skin is really dry as a newborn, so limiting washtime helps protect it. When you first bring your baby home from the hospital, your newborn won’t be ready to enjoy bath time in a tub. Sponge baths are in order until the umbilical cord stump falls off, which is typically around two to three weeks after birth. After that, keep baby-friendly soap on hand and ensure the water is warm (not too hot and not too cold–all babies are like Goldilocks). If you’re worried about the sink or tub being too big for your tiny peanut, get an infant tub to make bath time way less complicated.
Earwax, we all have it – even babies. Much like our adult ears, your baby’s ear canals will clean themselves, so don’t go putting anything dangerous in your LO’s tiny ears! If your kid starts tugging on their ear or you think something is amiss, use an otoscope to quickly and safely see inside the ear and determine whether it’s time to call the doc.
Just because your baby’s mouth is adorably gummy for the first few months of their life, doesn’t mean you don’t need to practice oral hygiene. Before teeth break through, keep the gums clean by wiping them with a damp cloth once a day. When your LO’s teeth start to come in, it’s time to start brushing. Buy a soft bristle toothbrush and use a pea-sized dollop of infant toothpaste. Get them used to the sensation of brushing a little at a time.
Boogers – nobody likes them, everybody’s got them. While for us grown-ups, it’s as simple as grabbing a tissue and blowing like a trumpet. Unfortunately, for our little angels, it's not as simple. If your LO is congested, you’ve got to do the hard work for them. Have a nasal aspirator on hand to suck out all the mucus and boogies. Congestion? Snot a worry anymore.
Whether your peanut comes out bald as their grandpa or with enough hair to braid, you’ll want to keep an eye out for cradle cap when they’re a newborn. Cradle cap causes oily and crusty patches to form on your baby’s head. Buy don’t worry – they aren’t painful or itchy, so your babe won’t be disturbed at all. Cradle cap will clear up within a few weeks or months, but you can use a cradle cap brush and some baby shampoo or oil to loosen the flakes and relieve symptoms.
OK, so caring for a newborn baby is a little more involved than you might have thought. If this sounds like a lot of stuff to buy, our infant health and grooming kits will prepare you for all types of care in one handy set. Happy baby grooming!