When you are bringing a new baby home for the first time, whether it be your first baby or your fourth, there can be a huge learning curve. Every baby is completely different, so each new bundle of joy comes with its own set of joys and challenges. Unfortunately, new babies don’t come with a training manual on what to do in every situation, including their hair! Fortunately, we have created a handy guide that walks you through everything you need to know about hair care for your newborn.
Hair or no hair, it’s all normal!
First off, let’s talk about what is normal when it comes to newborn hair. Some babies are born with a full head of hair and then lose much of it in the first six months, some babies are bald, and many babies fall somewhere in between bald and a full head of hair. Your baby may also just lose hair in the back of their head creating a bald spot. All of this is very normal!
To shampoo or not to shampoo?
Most pediatricians advise only bathing an infant one to two times a week, and when a baby is in a tub, washing their hair can be a soothing experience for both of you. Before you begin with a bath, make sure you have a safe, secure baby tub. The tub should have a buckle so the baby is secure while you bathe and wash their hair. Look for a natural or organic baby shampoo
The first bath
Get the cup and baby shampoo ready where you can grab them with ease to optimize safety. To begin, grab the small cup and very gently wet your precious little ones’ hair. Place a dime-sized dollop of shampoo onto your hand, and very gently rub in a circular motion on their head. You may feel soft indented spots on her head, which are called fontanelles, one on top of that sweet little head, and a second, smaller one toward the back, are gaps between the bones of your baby’s skull. Before birth, the fontanelles give a baby’s head the flexibility it needs to squeeze through the birth canal. After birth, they stay open long enough to accommodate her growing brain. Fontanelles may seem fragile to the touch, but the good news is that they’re protected by a sturdy membrane that can be gently touched.
As you begin to rinse out the shampoo, make sure to keep their head tilted back just a bit to make sure that water and shampoo does not get into their eyes and nose and cause discomfort.
Once you have rubbed the baby shampoo into their head for about two minutes, grab the cup once again, and with clean water very gently rinse the baby’s hair. Your baby may cry as bathing and water are new experiences. You will want to remember the first bath, so don’t forget to take pictures!
What do to if baby has cradle cap?
Does your baby have flakey, dry, or even scaly flakes on their head? Some babies develop what is commonly known as cradle cap which occurs on the scalp, and rarely on the eyebrows, forehead and ears. Treating cradle cap is straight forward. You can try a shampoo or cream, specifically made for treating it or if it persists, your pediatrician may be able to give advice or a prescription.
Following this guide, and enjoying the learning process will make taking care of your baby’s hair one of the easier, more fun things you get to learn to