|Practical Hands-on |
As usual, the class starts with a video. This time, it is not an overseas video using mainly Caucasian people. It is a locally produced video starring Mrs Wong Boh Boi herself. An amateurish production since it was done by a daddy and she also said that a better video is in progress of producing.
The video essentially shows the process of bathing a baby. So why bathe the baby you ask? Why not just get the domestic helper to do it? No, you should not do that. By bathing the baby, you are bonding with the baby. Babies like to be touched and proper bathing can also make them feel very relaxed.
Steps to bathing a baby
- Your own cleanliness first. Make sure you scrub your hands and fingers. Keep your nails short.
- Prepare the bathtub, washcloth (Wong does not support use of sponges), bath shampoo and towel. Bath water should be at EXACTLY 37 degrees so as not to startle the baby. So, we probably got to get a thermometer to measure the temperature.The other method will be to use your inner wrist to test the water temperature.
- Consistently keep talking to your baby or sing to him
- With his diaper still on, moisten the cotton wool ball and clean the eye area using cooled boiled water.Throw away after one side and use a clean one for the other side. Confinement nannies tend to swap the cotton wool around.
- Once done with his eyes, clean the face with the wash towel.
- Pour ONE DROP of non rinse shampoo into the bath and then wash his hair with the wash towel. NEVER squirt shampoo direct to his head like for adults. Their skin is still extremely sensitive and this could result in cradle caps occurring. Not a very pleasant sight.
- Strip the baby of the diapers. Support him properly by the neck and butt and then lower him slowly into the water, feet first, then butt and body. If done properly they will love it as it imitates what he has been experience in the mother's womb for months covering in crystal clear water.
- Use the cotton wool to clean creases on the neck and under the armpits. To release his tightly clenched fingers, draw small circles on his hand and he will release. Wash all his fingers, palms, fingers, toes gentlely.
- Flip the baby to his back by supporting him from the front using your arms. Clean his back and bottom.
- Place him on the towel already on the table and pat him dry. Do not use powder as there is a concern about respiratory problems should newborns sniff in the talcum. If required, use the liquid form instead. At the first month, Mrs Wong also mentioned that newborns have a special smell in their feet!
- Clean the baby's outer ear with the cotton sticks. Clean the private areas. Do not pull back the foreskin of the penis for boys.
- For the first few weeks, the baby has some natural barrier protection. However if you think it is required, put some barrier cream on his bottoms and then wear his diapers.
- Clean the baby's cord with cord spirit or medical sterlie swaps. There will be some mucus discharge. It is normal.
Other important notes from the session
- Mittens should only be worn for about six weeks. After that, stop using mittens and trim their nails on a regular basis. Use a special baby nail clipper for better control. Infants start to develop their skills after about one month and covering their fingers will hinder their development.
- DO NOT wear those velcro bips or caps, hoods for them to sleep.It may cause Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)
- Clean the private areas properly after poo poo and wee wee. For boys, clean the penis first and then the balls and then the sides. Then clean the anus area.
- Never shake the baby which might cause blood vessels to break.Do not throw baby around. Monitor confinement nannies or domestic helpers in this aspect.
- The head is the heaviest organ during the infant years. Always support his neck and head when holding the baby.
- Learn to listen to different cues of crying as it might refer to different things.
- Read her book! Everything discuss here is fully detailed in her Basic Childcare book priced at about SGD$13.00