Skin Care and Baths
Until the umbilical cord falls off, sponge baths (sponge with soft cloth and lukewarm water once a day) are recommended; thereafter, regular baths can be given. Use of soap should be minimal. Any mild soap can be used. It is advisable to wash diaper area with lukewarm water at the time of diaper change if the baby has soiled the diaper. Some babies may develop dry peeling skin during the first few weeks of life. This is a normal feature and will clear up without any specific treatment. Baby lotions may be useful for some babies with dry skin. During the first week, some babies will develop a pimple-like rash on the face and insect-bite-like rash on the body which should clear up without specific treatment. Consult us if the rash spreads.
During the first 6 months, place the baby on his/her back for sleeping. Studies have shown that most “Sudden Infant Deaths (SIDS)” occur when infants are sleeping on their stomachs. Babies will wake up every 2-3 hours during the first 2-3 months. Long-night sleep usually comes after 3 months of age.
The umbilical cord stump will dry and usually fall off between 10-20 days of age, but this can vary anywhere from 1 to 6 weeks. Keep umbilical stump dry and clean. Occasionally there may be slight bleeding from the navel when the cord falls off. At other times, reddish glistening nodules called “umbilical Granuloma” may develop which can easily be handled in the office by application of a special medicine. After the cord has fallen off and the area has healed, you may begin tub baths. Any foul smell or discharge from the cord or redness of the skin at the base of the cord should be reported as soon as possible.
Wash the area with water a couple times a day to wash urine or stool around the penis. Applying A&D Ointment or Vaseline to the circumcision site at every diaper change will help. Within a few days the wound will heal. After healing, the foreskin should be gently pulled back and the area cleaned with soap and water during the daily bath.
The amount of clothing has to be in keeping with the weather conditions outside or the indoor temperature. Overdressing is a common error. Remember that the amount of clothing comfortable for you will be comfortable for the baby as well. In general, drafts, showers, extreme weather changes and crowded places (such as shopping centers) should be avoided in the first 3 months.
Going Outdoors and House Temperature
You and your baby should stay at home indoors for the first 2-3 weeks so that you both get the needed rest and become acquainted with each other. Please do not take the baby to shopping centers or malls for two months. The temperature in your home should be kept between 68-72 degrees during the winter. During the winter time, you may use a vaporizer or humidifier.