Giving importance to your baby’s appearance through grooming your baby is not only an important step for providing her good health and hygiene but also inculcating the basics of life-style, at the very beginning.
Grooming your baby: What needs to be done?
Let’s get an exposure to the basics of grooming your baby from getting a haircut to a pedicure that is from head to toe.
Your baby must look cute and pretty. Make sure she has a lovely haircut by you, an experienced hand or through a professional.
Practise to comb your baby’s hair with a soft-bristled baby hair-brush. Regular brushing of hair stimulates hair growth and can aid to loosen pesky cradle cap. The cradle cap causes crusty patches on your baby’s scalp that appears quite awful. Periodically oil her hair before a hair wash to leave the hair soft and silky. Well groomed hair will enhance your baby’s beauty.
Brush! Brush! Brush!
Regularly clean your baby’s mouth by following the steps :
• Take a piece of sterilised gauze, cotton or clean cloth and a cup of drinking water.
• First, wash your hands thoroughly with a hand wash.
• Wrap the gauze, cotton or cloth around your finger and damp your finger with water.
• Gently, put your finger inside your baby’s mouth. Wipe the upper and then the lower gum pad once. Practise this at least twice a day.
• Make sure you wipe your baby’s gums after feedings and before bedtime. This is a good grooming habit.
• You can graduate to a baby-toothbrush which is soft, has a small head and a large handle as soon as her first pearly tooth erupts.
• In the beginning, wet the tooth brush and use toothpaste to the size of mustard.
• You can use toothpaste to a size of a rice grain (preferably a fluoridated toothpaste) when your baby is around 3 years.
A bath is a must
Your baby should be bathed every day in the summers and on alternative days in winter with warm water. During very chill weather you can go for a sponge bath. Always moisturize your baby’s body after a bath to retain the skin’s moisture and avoid drying. You can use branded moisturizers, or massage oil or baby lotions. Cetaphil is one of the recommended lotions by paediatricians for dry skin.
You have to be very cautious while trimming your baby’s nail. It is advisable to trim her nails soon after the bath, when her nails are softened or while she is sleeping. Use the perfect tool like a pair of baby-nail-cutters or clippers specially made to use on tiny fingers. Gently press the finger pad away from the nail to avoid nicking the skin. Hold your baby’s hand firmly as you clip.
• For fingernails, cut along the curve of the finger.
• For toenails, cut straight across.
• If necessary use a nail file to smooth the rough edges.
For new born babies, doctors recommend a nail file for the first few weeks.
Your baby’s ear canal is covered over with wax. This wax contains helpful microbes which can keep off ear infection and protect your baby from water entering into the ear canal. Follow the steps for cleaning your baby’s ears:
• Dampen the washcloth in some warm water and gently rub it around the ear (front and back on the outer surface of the ear).
• Take care to stay away from the ear canal.
• Do not use a cotton swab to clean the ear canal, as you may push the wax back leading to blockage of the canal.
• For cleaning the wax blockage, help your baby lie on her side with the blocked ear facing up.
• Put two drops of the ear drops prescribed by your paediatrician into her ears.
• Keep her on the same position for 10 minutes so that the ear drops have time to enter the canal and begin the work on loosening the wax.
• To facilitate the drops to enter into the canal you can encourage a sucking action on your baby by breastfeeding her in the same position.
• Use a wash cloth to wipe away excess ear drops coming out.
• The loosen wax will come out in a period of time and gently clean them away.
• Most babies smell of milk. So after every feed, wipe the mouth and the neck of your baby with a clean wet cloth and wipe dry with a wash cloth.
• Use a cream or an ointment prescribed by your paediatrician after the nappy changes to avoid diaper odour and diaper rashes.
Massage your baby’s skin with good branded oil like olive oil, almond oil, coconut oil or moisturizing lotion to enjoy your baby’s soft skin.
Dress in smart clothes
Your baby must wear well-tailored and well-fitting dresses. Ensure that she wears clean, dried and pressed clothes. Do not leave your baby in the birth suit for long. It is not a presentable gesture to be naked.
During feeding time, tie a bib around your baby’s neck to avoid all the mess occurring while eating and also keep her dress away from dripping.
Put on foot wear
Initially, put on the crib shoes or socks for your baby and later on you can go for booties, sneakers, slippers or shoes. It is a must that she steps out with correct fitting foot wear.
Avoid diaper mishaps
Your baby must be properly diapered when she is sleeping or going out. Always make sure she is diapered when she is visited by guests.
How to groom your baby: Tips to remember
The most important tip for babies is to ensure that no signs of neglect are shown on them. For example: Rough skin, oily hair, dirty nails, soiled clothes only reflects the grooming sense and negligence of the parents.