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Maintaining the Health of Babies during a pandemic

Maintaining the Health of Babies during a pandemic 

Maintaining proper baby hygiene is very important to avoid irritations or infections in your skin and other organs. In addition to choosing suitable products, it is recommended that you follow a series of routines to ensure that your baby is clean, healthy and happy. Discover them in this article!

Maintaining the Health of Babies during a pandemic

Tips to bathe your baby without damaging his skin 

Do you know that it is not advisable to bathe babies during their first hours of life? Doing so would eliminate vernix caseosa, a substance with a pasty consistency and whitish color that permeates the newborn's skin. It has moisturizing, isolating and antimicrobial properties, which is why the WHO (World Health Organization) recommends waiting to bathe for the first time at least 24 hours after birth , and if this is not possible, never do it before 6 hours. From that moment on, you have to start a daily bathing routine.

To be appropriate, keep the following tips in mind:

  • Choose a quiet time to bathe your baby: it does not matter if it is in the morning or at night, the important thing is that it is a relaxed and intimate moment and it takes place without distractions or rush. Many parents have a habit of bathing their babies in the late afternoon. It is a good time because the baby is relaxed before going to sleep, and it also helps to establish a routine from the first moments of his life.
  • Take care of the temperature of the room: it is recommended that the room in which you bathe the baby be around 23ºC and not have drafts. 
  • Use a suitable bathtub: it should not include any toxic material, have no pointed parts, and be solid and stable. This will prevent the baby from falling or hitting himself.
  • Fill the bathtub with about 10-15 centimeters of water : this amount is enough to wash the baby. 
  • Examine the temperature of the water: the appropriate thing is that it is about 36ºC. To check that it will not burn the baby, you can dip the back of your hand or elbow in the water.
  • Use soap with a neutral pH and in very little quantity , and rinse the baby with the same bath water.
  • Control the duration of the bath: in the first baths of the baby it is recommended that they do not last more than two minutes. With the passage of time they can be prolonged and become a moment of enjoyment and relaxation for both the child and the parents. 
  • Dry the baby without rubbing with the towel: after bathing, carefully remove the baby from the bathtub and wrap him in a towel that is dry and warm. With it we will absorb moisture by gently tapping, but never rubbing, since we could irritate your skin, which is very sensitive.
  • Moisturize baby's skin: The last step of the bath routine is to hydrate baby's skin by massaging her skin with specially formulated baby lotions.  

Hygiene and care of the baby's navel 

The umbilical cord is cut as soon as the baby is born, about four centimeters from its abdomen. The excess cord fragment takes between 5 and 20 days to come off and once it does, a wound in the navel remains that takes between 3 and 5 days to heal. During this process, the baby's navel requires certain care:

  • Clean the area daily with soap and water: you can do it during bath time. Before it falls off, the umbilical cord will change from yellow to black. Don't panic, it's completely normal.
  • Avoid humidity in that area: it is a wound, so it should be kept dry and clean to avoid infections and help it heal. After bathing, make sure to remove moisture well by drying carefully.
  • Do not use navels or girdles , as they can promote infections and also make it difficult for the baby to breathe.
  • Pay attention to any change in the state of that area: if you notice secretions, blood or a bad smell, go immediately to your pediatrician as there could be an infection.
  • As we have mentioned, cleaning the area can be done during bath time, and that is enough. However, it may be that your pediatrician recommends that you complement the care of the area by applying a gauze soaked in 70% alcohol or chlorhexidine, this can be done two or three times a day and after bathing, and also when the area becomes dirty with urine or feces.

To do this cleaning correctly:

  • Dab in a circular motion around the base of the navel , without making prolonged contact with the baby's skin.
  • Never use products with iodine , opt only for alcohol or chlorhexidine, always following the instructions of your pediatrician. 
  • Baby hygiene in ears, nose, eyes and teeth


  • Never clean the inside of the ears, especially using cotton buds or sharp objects.
  • Do not clean the wax that secretes from the ear, as it is a defense mechanism of the body.
  • If necessary, clean the outer part of the ear, using a pad for each ear, impregnated with physiological saline. 


  • Don't worry about baby sneezing, as they are an innate mechanism for clearing the nostrils. It allows them to eliminate dust particles or milk residues that can regurgitate, a phenomenon that, as we explained in the article "When can newborn vomiting be dangerous?" it is very common in babies. 
  • If there are nasal secretions, you can clean them with saline after bathing.
  • If your baby has a lot of mucus, you can do a nasal wash using saline administered with a rubber bulb.  


  • If the baby has crusts, remove them using a gauze soaked in physiological saline. It is very important that you use one for each eye, and that you wipe the tear duct outward.
  •  If the baby's eyes are red, go to the pediatrician, as there could be an infection.


  • Once your baby's teeth start to erupt, clean them every day with a
  • gauze soaked in water.

How to take care of the diaper area

  • Change the baby's diaper frequently: this will avoid prolonged humidity in this area.
  • Do not abuse the hygienic wipes or clean the area excessively , as it could deteriorate the baby's skin barrier, creating more irritation. 
  • Clean the area using mild soap and water. If you use disposable wipes, they must be special for this purpose and, as we discussed in the previous point, it is advisable not to abuse them.
  • Clean the area from front to back, to reduce the risk of infection in the genitals, especially in girls.
  • Once clean, dry the area well to avoid moisture.
  • To prevent irritation in the area you can use creams (you should check with your pediatrician which one he considers to be the most appropriate), or wait a few minutes before putting the new diaper on the baby , so that the baby's skin breathes and loses moisture.
  • Discard talcum powder : although they have been used a lot in previous decades, today they are not recommended since, in addition to retaining moisture, they prevent perspiration through the pores of the skin and can be toxic if the baby breathes them in.
  • Choose clinically and dermatologically tested diapers, since the diaper is a product that is in constant contact with an area of ​​the baby's skin that is especially delicate. For this reason, in addition, opt for diapers with good absorption capacity and that offer the little one freedom of movement. 

We hope that these tips on baby hygiene will be useful to answer your questions and help you enjoy the adventure of the arrival of a new member of the family with more peace of mind.  

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