My baby’s nose is blocked! Ears are dirty! What should I do? These are the questions that arise in your mind when you have a newborn at your house and you are a first time mom. This is when the real challenge arises as you are not aware of how to handle these situations and consulting a doctor every time is not possible. My motherhood journey has been a result of trial and error and learning through various sources. Here are some tips as to how to maintain hygiene in newborns:
Eyes: This is perhaps the most easy as when your baby is born more often than not, you will notice that there is a deposit near your baby’s eyes. for removing this, please do not use your fingers like what we normally do when it happens to us. Please use a soft cotton and wet it in lukewarm water and then gently remove the gunk near your baby’s eyes. Also, sometimes you will notice that an eyelash will break and might enter the eye. Do not worry, even if you do nothing, you will not see it the next day but if you absolutely must do something then gently using the tip of your finger, slide the eyelash and try to bring it on either corner of the eye and then using the tip of the finger try to remove the eyelash GENTLY.
Ears: According to pediatricians, the inside of the babies ear must not be cleaned. However, sometimes if you notice some wax depositing, you can use ear buds and clean that area. Remember, clean only those portions that you can see, don’t venture into unseen territories. Also, please use the cotton buds which have bulb at the end so that you do not penetrate deep into the ear. Reference picture and link can be found here. Another place that my dear moms usually forget to clean are the back of the ears. When not cleaned regularly, the skin becomes dry and is filled with dirt. Please ensure to apply oil while massing. Also use a soft wash cloth and wet it in lukewarm water to wipe the area clean everyday.
Nose: This requires your attention because the mucus can fill your baby’s nose and become dry. Please do not try to insert your nails (more often than not you will not be able to). Please note that I have personally not used the bulb suction method, hence I will not be able to comment on the same. However, you can use one of the two methods:
- Nasoclear drops: These are drops recommended by the pediatrician and you have to put one drop in each of the nostrils. However, please remember that there should be a gap of at least 3 minutes between the drops in each of the nostrils. This melts away the mucuous.
- Coconut oil and ear buds: This is a personal favorite and the credit for this technique goes to Dr. Surabhi Gupta from I care my child youtube channel. For this you will need coconut oil and regular earbuds. Dip the ends in a coconut oil and insert this inside the baby’s nose and pull away the mucuous. This is an efficient, quick and the most effective way and gives easy results.
Tongue: Babies tongues have to be cleaned on a regular basis and it is important for moms to not ignore this. It is really important to maintain tongue hygiene in newborns. For this one can use the silicon brushes that are available here. Alternatively, one could use a muslin cloth and wet it for use. Remember that in both the cases, you have to wash it and boil it (sterilize it). For cleaning, you can use the Babyhug liquid cleanser.
Neck area: Cleaning around baby’s neck is tricky as babies do not like this and become cranky. Please apply oil during massage and after bath, cleaning it with a washcloth which is dipped in lukewarm water.
Private parts: Again, use a washcloth dipped in lukewarm water. Please refrain from using baby wipes in this sensitive area. Also, make it a practice to clean the private parts regularly and maintain hygiene.
Nails: Babies nails have to be cut because they grow like anything. Initially, it can be difficult for you because one might be scared that they might end up hurting the baby. However, you have to learn cutting your baby’s nails because there is no other option. You could either use nail cutters or scissors for this purpose. Plenty of options are available at Firstcry.com.
In short, lukewarm water and wash cloths/cotton pads are your best friend. Invest in 7-8 wash cloths and trust me you will be using all of them. For a list of newborn essentials, kindly refer to my previous blog. Also, please let me know if I have missed out on anything in this post. Let’s learn together!