Your baby’s first bath is certainly a special milestone and you’re probably ready with the camera to document it. Bath time, every single one of them, is a great way for new parents to bond with their newborn. Your new bundle of joy loves your touch and your voice when you talk and sing to him/her during the bath session. However, as a new parent, you probably have a lot of questions when it comes to your baby’s bath time. Following sections in the article will help you find answers for the same.
Bath Time is Beyond Just Cleaning
Your baby’s bath time is not just about cleaning the little one, but beyond that. It relaxes your baby and gives you the opportunity to play and bond with him/her. From making silly sounds to kissing those tiny fingers, every single action from you conveys your love to your baby. In addition, bathing also engages your baby’s senses, and a great place for your baby to learn new things as well. Whether it is you naming his/her body parts as you wash them or teaching him/her to make a splash and kick the water, there is a lot your baby will learn.
In the case of a newborn, bathing them twice or thrice a week will be more than sufficient, since newborns do not really get a lot dirty. However, it is important that you keep their genitals properly cleaned at all times and wipe their face and neck after each feeding. On the other hand, older babies have to be bathed pretty much on a daily basis, especially as a part of their bedtime routine, as it can help them relax and get ready to sleep.
Baby Bathing Essentials
Before starting the bath, make sure you have all the supplies you need to bathe your baby, and have them right next to you so you don’t have to run around fetching something you’ve forgotten. Baby bathing essentials include:
- A clean wash cloth or bath sponge
- Mild baby soap and shampoo
- Soft towel
- Fresh diaper
- Clean set of clothes
- Baby lotion
- Diaper rash cream
Room and Water
Babies tend to lose their body heat very easily and quickly; therefore, it is important to make sure that your bathroom is set to a warm temperature so your little one doesn’t get startled as soon as he/she leaves the bath.
Whether you use an infant bath tub or the sink, fill it with around 3 to 4 inches of water, just enough to cover your baby’s bottom. Use your elbow to check the water temperature and not your fingers or wrist, because your elbow is more sensitive. DO NOT place the baby inside the tub or sink if the water is running.
For the first few weeks after your baby is born, giving your newborn sponge bath is the ideal way to start with his/her bathing routine.
- All you need is some comfortably warm water and a clean washcloth.
- Keep your little one wrapped up, revealing only those areas that you are currently washing.
- Remember to wash behind his/her ears, around the neck, and under the arms, because these are areas that get dirty easily.
- Remember to wash their genitals as well. For girl babies, wash the area from front to back. In the case of little boys, if circumcised, avoid washing the area until it is healed; if not, do not apply too much pressure on the foreskin.
- Though most newborns have very little hair, if you plan to wash them, do it at the end of the bath to avoid your baby from getting cold.
- Once the washing is done, gently pat dry your little one.
Bathing in the Bath Tub
Once your baby’s cord stump dries and falls off and the naval area is healed (and the circumcision is fully healed, if it’s a boy), he/she is ready for the big bath, in an infant bath tub or the sink. However, some babies may not like being bathed in the tub or sink initially; if you find your baby showing signs of not liking the transition, go back to giving sponge baths for a few more days before trying again.
- Have all the essentials, listed earlier, ready before taking your baby to the bathing area.
- Make sure that the room and the water temperature are set and tested, again as discussed earlier.
- Whether you use the sink or a baby bath tub, use a thick towel to pad the bottom.
- Always have someone to help you out when bathing a newborn, for safety reasons.
- If using your regular bath tub, use a baby insert and also make sure that the backing is slip-resistant.
- Slowly lower your baby into the water while supporting his/her head.
- Use small amount of soap and a washcloth to gently wash their body. Remember to protect their eyes when you wash the hair.
- When done, pat dry and continue with the dressing up process.
Your baby has ultra-sensitive skin at this stage; therefore, there isn’t much you need to do when it comes to skin care. Applying a little bit of baby lotion will be sufficient. Avoid using powder, because it can cause irritations to your baby’s breathing passages.
If your baby happens to cry during his/her first few baths, it’s okay. Just give them time, because this again is a new experience for the little bundle. Talk, sing, and caress him/her to soothe and let them know they’re safe. He/she will soon love bathtime.