Washing your baby's hair?
A client asked me about washing her baby's hair... and I didn't know much on the subject. So, I did a little research for ya'll. I realized that with all the dauniting and complicated task that come with babies, washing a baby’s hair has to be high up on the ‘how the hell do I do that?” list!
So, this is what I learned...
How to Wash a Baby’s Hair
With newborn babies, the best way to wash their hair is with a sponge. Support your baby’s shoulder and head, which again should be tilted slightly, and gently pat the wet and warm sponge over the hair until it is sufficiently clean.
I have always heard from my clients that a lot of parents are ‘freaked out’ by their baby’s soft spots and avoid touching them at all costs. Dont worry, these soft spots are protected by a thick membrane and cleaning these areas of your baby’s head is as important as the rest of the baby’s scalp.
As your baby grows from a newborn into a young baby, at about four to five weeks, you will need to start applying shampoo to your baby’s hair. Always use a mild shampoo, preferably designed for babies.
Wet your infant’s hair with a sponge and add a tiny amount of shampoo, no larger than a small coin to his or her hair, and gently massage it in, working up a small lather. Rinse the shampoo out thoroughly by pouring warm water over your baby’s hair; once again keep his or her head tilted back slightly to avoid any contact with the eyes. It is important that all the shampoo is removed as shampoo left on the scalp can cause a baby’s head to become dry, which can lead to cradle cap. Always wash your baby’s hair last, allowing an infant to sit in water which is full of shampoo suds can lead to a urinary track infection.
How Often Should I wash My Baby’s Hair?
A baby’s hair should not be washed every day and even every other day can be considered too often, an infant’s hair is washed on an “as needed basis”. Excessive washing of the hair will only dry out a baby’s scalp, which could lead to cradle cap. Instead of washing it every day, gently wipe it with a flannel daily to remove any dirt.
What Shampoo Should I Use to Wash my Baby’s Hair?
Shampoos designed for adults often contain sulphates and are generally much harsher than shampoos made especially for babies.
Although baby shampoos are milder and kinder to a baby’s hair and skin, and do not sting as much if the shampoo gets in the infant’s eyes, if the shampoo contains a high PH, it can cause tangling of your baby’s hair. Use a shampoo which is especially formulated for babies’ hair but which is also PH balanced and falls in between the 4.5 – 6 PH range to avoid excessive tangling.
...Babies Born on the Bald Side
Some babies are born with a head full of hair, and others with little or no hair at all. If your baby does not have any hair, his or her scalp will still need to be washed. The easiest way to do this is to support your baby’s head and shoulders while he or she is in the bath with one hand, and with the other hand slowly pour warm, soapy water over the scalp, keeping the head tilted back slightly to keep the water from going in the baby’s eyes.
With newborns just to use water to wash their head and body in those first few weeks as soap can easily make newborn skin become dry and flakey. As your baby reaches four or five weeks, soap can be added to the bath water and poured over the baby’s scalp. Make sure that the soap added to the water is PH neutral so it will not aggravate your baby’s delicate and highly sensitive skin.