When to Use a Brush on a Newborn
Even though some newborns are born with almost no hair at all, your newborn might need you to begin caring from her hair shortly after her birth. If she was born with a full head of hair, you might enjoy brushing it as part of your early bonding process.
You can brush your baby’s hair to help prevent or reduce cradle cap or tame any wild tresses. Oral hygiene is also important for newborns, and very gentle brushing of her gums with a toothbrush can help set the tone for future dental health.
You can brush your newborn’s hair so she looks well groomed for her newborn pictures or visits from friends. You might simply enjoy lightly brushing her hair and she might find the sensation of the soft brush on her scalp relaxing.
Even the Children’s Physician Network reports that is it normal for her to lose her newborn hair before her permanent hair grows in, you can brush her first hair with a soft brush.
For bi-racial or African American newborns, the Pennsylvania Child Welfare Program recommends brushing in the direction that the hair naturally grows.
A gentle nailbrush or other soft brush can be used to clean your baby’s hair with a bit of infant body wash or shampoo during bath time, according to Group Health Corporation. After you’ve washed her body, gently brush a small amount of infant body wash or shampoo onto her head and rinse with water.
You can also brush her hair while getting her dressed after a bath, as the North Dakota Department of Health recommends.
For a newborn with cradle cap, a brush might help loosen or remove some of the scales on her head. While cradle cap is likely not bothering your baby, you might be able to hasten its exit by brushing her hair before shampooing.
For more severe cases, you might need to brush her hair after applying mineral oil or medicated shampoo to loosen more scales, as Kids Health reports.
Although most newborns do not have any teeth, proper oral hygiene begins at the newborn stage. Cleaning her mouth after she eats or before she sleeps helps establish healthy habits.
During her first sixth months of life, brush gums with a soft brush or fingertip brush after feeding her or before bedtime, as Ohio State University’s Wexner Medical Center recommends. She is likely to cut her first tooth sometime after her sixth month.
Once a tooth erupts through the gum’s surface, a soft-bristled toothbrush and water should be used at least twice daily, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
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