How to take care of your baby: Pointers for first-time parents

By Dr Priti Thakor

Newborn babies are bundles of joy who enlighten every parent’s life and help them embrace parenthood, a journey of learning, love and patience. Be it opting for the best clothes to choosing the right skincare products, parents want what is best for their baby. These unprecedented times have left a lot of parents under stress, especially first-timers. With no crèches or help available currently, no masseuse for massaging and bathing the baby, nuclear families have limited access to help from the baby’s grandparents. New mums and dads are now sharing the baby care responsibilities dealing with their doubts and uncertainties.

While first-time parents may have some apprehensions about massaging and bathing the newborn, adopting some simple steps can make this routine a fun-filled activity. Since the baby’s skin barrier is the first line of defence from the outside world, keeping it clean, hydrated and moisturised is important. Choosing the right products which are clinically proven mild will ensure that the baby’s skin care needs are met with 100 percent gentle care.

Providing baby care is both art and a science and it is important that new parents feel confident about it. Nowadays, brands have evolved not only to meet the needs of babies but are also designed to turn moments of care at every age and stage into opportunities to strengthen the baby’s connection to their parents making it safer and easier.

Massaging with love

Newborn babies are very wriggly and massaging them can be a task. Choose a gentle oil to massage your baby’s skin, a product which is fast and easily absorbed, ultralight with no unwanted residues left behind on skin. Using slow and positive strokes, not spending too much time in one area is the best way. A routine massage with gentle and loving touch can help parents grow their bond with their child and lead to a baby’s healthy cognitive development.

Bathing with ease

It is very important to choose the right bathing products to ensure that your precious moments with your baby also do well for the delicate skin. Parents need to support the baby with one hand while washing with the other hand. It is recommended to opt for a baby wash that is less slippery, easy and fast to rinse. With innovations like one hand easy to use pump packs there are user-friendly products that don’t dispense excess quantity and allow parents to keep one hand on the baby, thus providing the extra care, helping prevent spills and clean-ups. The experience of using such products enables parents to be more comfortable, confident and focused on the baby’s comfort. Even a new dad can bath the baby confidently.


As the baby grows into a toddler, adding baby shampoo and conditioner to nourish the toddler’s hair is a great idea. One should opt for shampoos that rinse quickly, are specially formulated to not sting the baby’s eyes and are mild. This will gently unlock knots and tangles of hair without any fuss especially for toddlers who have thick and curly hair. Using a two-in-one shampoo with conditioner can also be considered for a baby’s hair care.

Keep your baby’s skin hydrated

A baby’s skin is delicate, while it absorbs water faster than an adult’s skin and it can also lose its water content faster. After a bath, it is recommended to use a light moisturiser or lotion especially developed for a baby. Regular moisturising will help to retain the moisture levels of the skin and prevent dryness. Using a moisturiser developed especially for baby skin is beneficial in protecting and maintaining a healthy skin barrier.

Gently talking to the baby for a few minutes while beginning these rituals helps to prepare the baby. Touch is a powerful way to communicate your love to your baby. With these parent compliant products having only essential and purposeful ingredients and adopting these small yet important practices will help smooth the parenting journey with improved experiences. Being gentle is the key as it means safe, pure, confident, happy healthy babies and their families.

(The writer is General Medical Affairs Manager, Johnson & Johnson Consumer Health India.)