Being a new mom is hard, and it doesn’t matter if it is the first, second or third child. There is always an adjustment phase in the beginning as mom learns back all her skills at how to care for such a new baby. Newborns are cute, snuggly and adorable, but they are also extremely fragile. Some get very nervous when it comes to having to handle them.
Newborns also have very new and fragile body systems, and they are much more prone to illnesses and rashes. That is why hygiene is so important when taking care of a newborn. Their skin is brand new, and it has not been hardened up like ours has been over time.
Mom needs to make sure that she is making sure her baby, and the baby’s environment, is as clean and germ-free as possible. This will help protect her baby against bacteria that could make them very sick. In order to provide a sterile environment, like the womb was, mom would need to be constantly cleaning her baby and her house. A new mom just does not have time for that.
We can help! There are 20 hygiene hacks that mom can take advantage of when it comes to keeping everything clean and safe. Some of them have been used for years and passed down through generations, and some are brand new.
20 Kitchen Sink Classic
We are going to start off with one that has been used for years, and there is a very good reason why it is so popular. Once the baby has lost their umbilical cord, they are allowed to be submerged in water and take a proper bath. They can stop having sponge baths to get them clean. Bath time is fun for a lot of new parents as it is a great way to bond with their baby.
The kitchen sink will always be the best place to bathe a newborn. The area is small, but large enough for a baby and it is always the perfect size. The flower-bath cushions that fit in the sink are incredibly popular now as well. Bathing a newborn in the kitchen sink can also help mom who may still be recovering from labour, it is much easier to stand instead of kneeling over a tub.
19 Pesky Cradle Cap
Cradle cap is one of the most common skin conditions to occur in newborns, it is categorized by a very dry and flaky scalp. When the baby was in the womb, it was constantly surrounded by liquid. This makes the outside world seem very dry and this can affect the baby’s skin and leave them with dry and flaky skin. It can be itchy and cause some discomfort, so moms are always looking for a way to get rid of it.
If mom notices her baby has some cradle cap, there are only two things she needs to help; coconut oil and a baby brush. Lather that head in coconut oil and then gently brush through it with the baby brush. This will help moisturize the area as well as flake away some of the looser skin.
18 Nail Care
There may be nothing scarier in the parenting world than having to trim your baby’s nails. Mom’s around the world are scared that they are going to snip the little baby’s finger. It has happened before. The easiest solution to this is to use a nail file. The only problem with a nail file is that it can take a long time to work those nails down. Baby nails take some time to harden because they have just spent so much time in liquid.
If mom can get her hands on a pair of nose-hair trimming scissors, these are the best tools for the job. These scissors are normally small and have a rounded end which makes them a lot easier to use. Another great tip is to try and cut your baby’s nails when they are nursing or sleeping, so that they are not moving around so much.
17 Swaddle Bathing
A lot of newborn babies do not like being in the bath, and when we think about it from the baby’s perspective, we can understand why. The womb was a very warm and confiding space, the baby always felt protected when they were curled up in there. Now, they are in a big world and a bathtub may feel too open for them. They will feel insecure and unsafe. But there is a solution.
Mom can try some ‘swaddle bathing.’ Swaddle bathing is when you wrap your baby up in a light blanket and place them in the bath. One at a time, mom will take a limb or body part out and give it a good wash. Then she can wrap it back up and proceed onto another section. The swaddling helps the baby feel safer.
16 Cover Up
A lot of parents use a change table. They are handy to have, and they are a great storage piece for all the diapers and wipes. There is always usually a changing pad on this table and due to the nature of its business, it can get quite messy quickly. Mom may find herself changing the cover as often as she is changing her baby which can get time consuming.
To make this a bit easier, mom should layer covers on the changing pad. Just put one, two or three on top of each other. This means that when the one on top gets dirty, all she has to do is remove it and there will be a clean and fresh one waiting for her.
15 Diaper Cream Mess
Changing a diaper is not easy feat, it can get pretty messy. We all know that we need to put a barrier cream on the diaper or the baby to prevent any rashes that may occur. This can get messy for mom who has to lather this all on her hands, and diaper cream is usually a very thick paste.
They now sell little silicone spatulas that are specifically for applying cream to a baby or a diaper. This means mom does not have to get cream on her hands anymore. The only downfall to this is that she now has something else to clean, but we have to pick our battles.
14 Kitchen Tap Hack
This is another hack that is pretty old, but it has stood the test of time and it still works just as well. Washing a newborn's hair can be quite the puzzle. How do we make sure we get all the shampoo off while supporting that little neck? Usually, babies will end up with some residue left in their hair and this will only cause irritation.
To make sure you are rinsing this all off, try this hack that involves a tap. Hold your baby like you are holding a football and place their head under the tap. Now, you want to make sure their face doesn’t go under the water, but just the hair. Make sure the water is nice and warm and you can now safely and quickly rinse that hair. The best thing about this hack is that you can keep the baby swaddled so they are sure to love it.
13 Boy “Problems”
If there are any moms out there who have a baby boy, they know that being a mom of a boy comes with some certain diaper challenges. Baby boys are known for going to the bathroom at the worst time, and it is usually when there is no diaper on. Mom’s have learnt the hard way by not covering it up. There is a neat hack that can prevent accidents.
Before you go to change your baby boy’s diaper, run a wet wipe just under their belly button and above their diaper. This sensation will be cool on their skin which may trigger them to go to the bathroom before you take the diaper off. Just make sure you wait a few seconds after doing this trick before you take off the diaper.
12 Vegetable Oil Is Not Just For Cooking
If an expectant mom is reading this, and she is packing her hospital bag, she should throw some vegetable oil in there. Not because she will be doing any cooking but because it can be really helpful when changing that first diaper. A baby’s first diaper is waste that was ingested while they were in the womb. It is known to be dark and very tar-like in substance, and it can be impossible to clean off.
If mom places some vegetable oil (or even coconut oil) on their baby before they change one of these diapers it is said to make it a lot easier to wipe away. This may prevent a mom from going through a whole package of wipes, not like that happened to me or anything.
11 DIY Bibs
Bibs are essential when dealing with a baby. There is so much that comes out of our little one’s mouth that we need to make sure there is something there to catch it. From spit-up to drool, we want something that will draw this away from the baby and not leave it sitting there. We also don’t want to be changing outfits all day, it is much easier to change a bib.
You can make bibs right at home with some old sweaters. This is a much more cost-effective choice. All mom has to do is cut off part of the sleeve of an old sweater and place it over the baby’s head. Making sure the cuff is the part at the baby’s neck. Since the sweater is larger than the baby’s head, there is no chance of baby getting trapped or hurt.
10 Keep That Diaper On
Being a parent is expensive, there are always so many things mom will need to buy and one of the things she will buy the most are diapers. If she is using disposable diapers she may be going through a lot with a newborn, and sometimes we get defective diapers. These seem like a waste and our wallets cry every time we have to throw away a diaper that was not used.
These diapers can be saved. If the closure tab on the diaper has come off, we don’t need to throw it away. A band-aid or painting tape will work just as well. Now, we have just salvaged a diaper that we would have normally thrown away and we have saved ourselves about twenty cents. May not seem like a lot, but it all adds up.
9 Foaming Baby Wash Recipe
There is a huge market out there for baby soaps and washes, but how is mom to know which one is right? The truth is, finding the right one may take some trial and error. You may need to see which one is going to have the best relationship with your little one’s skin. Some moms may want to try a foaming baby soap because they feel that it gets the baby cleaner, but there isn’t a big market for those.
Not to worry, mom can make her own. All mom needs to do is mix foaming hand soap with baby wash and water. Then she will have her own homemade foaming baby soap. Just be careful and watch out for any reactions to the hand soap which may be too harsh for the baby’s skin.
8 Onesies Have A Secret!
I spent my whole first child’s life not knowing this hack that could have saved me a ton of time and it is so very obvious. Onesies are very popular for babies, they are quick and easy to put on and they have little snaps on the bottom to make diaper changes quick and easy. Sometimes, babies can make messes that are a bit too much for the diaper to handle and it gets everywhere.
You will notice that on a lot of onesies, there are folds at the shoulders and you may wonder what those are there for. Well, they are there to allow mom to take the onesie off from the head down. That way if there is a big mess, mom can just pull the onesie down and off instead of up and getting mess in the baby’s hair and face.
7 New Under The Old
A lot of the hygiene hacks involve diaper changing, and that is because as a new mom you will be spending a lot of time changing diapers. We need to make this as quick and easy as possible. A great trick for changing diapers is before you remove the old one, lay a clean one underneath. This cuts time and it is also another layer of protection.
If the baby decides to go to the bathroom in the middle of a diaper change, there is a clean one right there to catch any messes.
6 Get An Air Purifier (Trust Us!)
Hygiene is about a lot more than just clean skin and hair, it is also about the home we live in. We want to make sure our home is as clean and germ-free as possible. There are only so many hours in the day and sometimes, dusting can get pushed aside for more important tasks. This can be a problem because dust and other irritants in the air can bother a lot of babies who are new and not used to these things.
Purchasing an air purifier is one of the best things a mom can do. These will help to pull out the dust, particles and pet hair that are floating around. Place it in the room that your baby spends the most in and it will make sure to catch anything that could bother the baby.
5 Skip The Bath
One of the most common questions asked by new moms is how often they have to bathe their newborn. They assume they need to bathe them every day because they know how important it is to keep them clean. That would be a mistake. A newborn does not need to have a bath every day, and it could be doing them more harm than good to bath them every day.
Their skin is new, and constant washing can dry out their skin even more. Since newborns don’t tend to roll around in dirt and mud, they don’t get that dirty during the day. As long as spit-ups and diaper accidents are cleaned properly, there is no reason to give your little one a bath every day.
4 Take Care Of The Nose
Newborns constantly sound congested, at least for the first few weeks of life. They are not sick with a cold, they just have some amniotic fluid left in their system that needs to work its way out. It usually sounds scarier than it is. However, mom may want to help clear some of that because newborns can only breathe through their nose so that they have the ability to eat.
There are bulb syringes that mom can use, however they don’t work that well because mom cannot get a good seal around the baby’s nostril. The Nose Freida, or Snot Sucker, is a much better option. It gets a tighter seal and is better at pulling out what is congesting your little one.
3 What About After The Bath?
We now know that when the baby has a bath, it is important to make sure everywhere gets clean. We know how important baths are, however, they can be hard for the little one. It can be a stressful event for mom and baby and it is normally because when the baby gets out of the bath, they are going to be cold. A cold baby is an upset baby.
There are a couple hacks that mom can do to help their little one stay warm when coming out of the bath. Mom can make sure the towel she has is nice and warm by running it in the dryer for a few minutes before she gets her little one. Mom can also make sure the bathroom door is closed while bathing, so the air remains warm and mom can get her little one dressed while still in the room.
2 Ear And Eye Care
Moms are really good at washing their baby, but there are two places that often get neglected and that is the eyes and the ears. These two areas need to be cleaned, but they need to be cleaned properly. A lot of babies can get eye-gunk, which is a substance on their eyes after they wake in the morning. The best way to clean this is by taking a cotton pad with just a little bit of warm water and gently rubbing it over the eye.
Ears also need to be cleaned, and mom should not be reaching for the Q-tips. Q-tips should never be used to clean ears, in babies or adults, as they can cause damage if accidentally inserted in the ear too far. A warm, wet washcloth is all mom really needs to get the baby’s ears clean.
1 Did You Know You Have To Clean The Tongue?
We often forget about oral hygiene when the baby is a newborn because they don’t have any teeth. We assume that if there are no teeth, we don’t need to be cleaning in their mouth. That is not true, and moms need to make sure their newborn’s mouth is clean and fresh. Breastmilk and formula can build up on the baby’s tongue, and this will be visible when mom looks in the mouth.
This should be cleaned, which is easy to do. Mom just needs to take a damp washcloth and wipe the baby’s tongue. She wants to make sure she gets all the bacteria off, and she can do this in the morning and night as a good way to start a routine for when it comes time to brush some little teeth.
References: todaysparent.com, popsugar.com