How to give a sponge bath (baby sponging) to your child?
We all know about the importance of practicing good hygiene habits to keep ourselves safe from many diseases, but when it comes to our kids we are all the more attentive. Whether it is a new mother of an infant, who is completely dependant on her for hygiene or mother of a super active toddler who wants to pick everything from the floor and eat or even mother of a grown up kid who goes to pre school and does many activities throughout the day we try and do our best to save them from germs and infections.
When my parenting journey started, and I came back from the hospital, I had stitches and I was not in a position to bathe my baby. Also everyone else at home was; scared of going wrong and thus from next day itself a lady who massaged and bathed my baby came. She also massaged me. In a few days time, I learned from her and started doing it myself. I was extremely happy handling my child well alone and was content doing the thing myself.
But just when we were settled with a good everyday bathing routine, my daughter fell seriously sick. She was once running a 105 degree fever and even then I bathed her with warm water thinking about her hygiene. Her condition got worse. I didn't know then that when a kid has fever or is having cold or some other severe disease like dyssentry etc bathing can be very harmful. I told the doctor how I had used warm water and taken full care that she doesn't catch cold but the doctor then suggested me that whenever the child is not in a position to go for proper bathing one can always sponge the baby. If done correctly, this technique not only helps in maintaining hygiene for the child, but also is very relaxing. A sick child after sponging feels much comfortable and even sleeps sometimes. That feeling of freshness even helps induce a little appetite.
So, here I am sharing the process of how I do it.
- The first thing to do is to create a little cozy environment for this. One has to take care that the baby doesn't catch cold, so keeping AC and fan switched off is a must. You must also close all the doors and windows to keep room temperature normal.
- It is important to collect all the things and keep it by your side in order to avoid running in between the process. Baby clothes (top to toe), diaper, wipes, towel, small napkins, baby powder, comb, hair oil (if you use), warm to little hot water in a big bowl or mug with antiseptic liquid added to it. A good trick is to use little hot water so that till the time you start, it doesn't turn cold.
- The timing when you do this process is important. It takes 15-20 minutes so the baby should not be completely hungry or wanting to pee or poop. When sick, a child usually gets up late. Feed the child and start this process at least 20-25 minutes after that. This will give the child time to even pee and poop.
- Once you are ready with everything, while talking a little to your baby, remove the lower clothing first. Dip one clean napkin in disinfected water and thoroughly clean the thighs, legs, feet and toes. Dry it well with a towel. Also you can use baby wipes for cleaning the anal area properly.
- Now, take baby powder in your hand and slowly apply on legs and feet area. Avoid it completely near anal area as it's deposition can lead to infections. If you want to massage the baby a little you may do so too. Once done, make the baby wear fresh clothes and diaper.
- Once lower area is done, remove the upper clothes. If it is too cold you can loosely wrap the baby in a dumble. Take another fresh napkin and clean neck, shoulders, underarms, stomach and back. Dry it completely and apply baby powder. Put on the clothes, once done.
- 7. Last but not the least, the babies face also needs to be sponged, and as babies cry the most in this, use a wipe and very carefully do it. Sing a song or lullaby which can distract the child.
You can oil the hair (optional) and comb the baby’s hair.
Believe me a sick child will be relieved after this. I have extensively used this for my daughter during teething, virals, diarrhoea and many times when we were travelling where I knew if bathed she will surely catch cold.
We all usually carry baby stuff with us while travelling and even if baby can't bathe for a day or two sponging will keep them safe.
Disclaimer: The information in the article is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your doctor.
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