General Hygiene :
It is necessary to clean one's hands and legs
properly before handling the child after coming
from outside and before bathing the child. It
is necessary to keep a clean cloth on one's
legs while bathing the child. You should not
wash the breast before every feed. Washing the
breast when bathing is all that is required.
Nails : It
is imperative that everybody handling the child
should maintain proper nail hygiene. Baby's
overgrown nails should be pared taking due precautions.
This can be best done with a pair of small scissors
or a small nail cutter when the child is asleep.
Scalp : Applying
oil(Patting oil into the fontanel) does not
hasten the process of closure of fontanel (a
diamond shaped soft space at the top of the
head). This space closes by itself by 18 months.
Nose and ear :
Do not put oil into child's nose / ears. The
former may cause oil pneumonia / nose block,
and the latter can damage the ear. Earwax need
not be removed in infants.
Do not clean a child's tongue / mouth with glycerine
or by any other method. Some whiteness on the
tongue is natural and does not interfere with
feeding. Spotty / patchy white deposits on tongue
and all over mouth are because of fungal infection
(thrush). This needs treatment.
Due to mother's hormones baby's breast tissue
may get a little enlarged and may start secreting
milk. Expression of this milk is not necessary.
It causes breast tissue enlargement and pus
formation. Subsequently infection can spread
the blood. (Similar hormonal effects in a female
child can produce vaginal bleeding lasting 1-2
days. This should not worry the parents)
Bath : It
is advantageous not to bathe the baby soon after
birth. Bathing soon after delivery can cause
lower the child's body temperature. It may also
lead to skin infections. It delays the first
contact with the mother as also the first breastfeed.
Bathing can be entirely done away with in maternity
While bathing the child at home,
do not turmeric powder, gram(Channa) flour,
milk cream or other substances. These can cause
skin irritation and heat boils. The tiny hair
on the body which is likely to fall, will gradually
fall off on their own. A baby can be
bathed with any low alkali bathing soap and