One of the most frightening things you’ll first do with your baby, aside from driving home with them in the car is to bathe them. There is nothing quite like a squirmy, floppy baby to make you suddenly fearful when trying to give them their first bath.
1. Not Too Much At First – Infants don’t need to take a full submersion bath. Instead, just wash off the smelly parts and truly dirty parts about three times a week. Never put a new born naked into a lot of water as their temperatures drop really fast. Instead wash the bottom half, dress the baby on the bottom, and then wash the top half.
2. Sponge Baths Are Awesome – A sponge bath is about all your new baby needs or should have. You have special concerns such as circumcisions as well as umbilical care to consider. Sponge baths work very well. Just soap up the cloth or , wash, rinse, dry well, and you’re done. Most children and babies actually enjoy this process if you keep it nice and warm and toasty.
3. Tools of the Trade – While you don’t necessarily have to have these tools they come very handy and help make bath time easier. Tools such as a , a to protect your babies face and eyes, an , , and nice are good items to start with.
4. Never Leave Baby Alone – This should go without saying, but due to the fact that 110 children under five die from drowning in tubs each year, it’s important to mention it. Do not leave your baby in the tub or near any body of water for even one second. Even if you are using one of the , it’s just not worth it.
5. Check The Water Temperature — 90 degrees Fahrenheit is the highest you should go for a baby, you can ensure that you don’t go over it by using a . For infants you just want the water to feel lukewarm, which feels like neither hot nor cold to your touch. Set your water heater to lower than 120 degrees Fahrenheit while your children are young to avoid scalding.
6. Make it a Family Affair – For infants under 8 months or so, it can be helpful to bring baby into the tub with you and your husband. If nothing else, have your husband in the bathroom with you so that after you wash off the baby you can hand her off to daddy to dry and dress as you finish up your bath. This type of family participation makes bath time a wonderful bonding time.
7. Use Gentle Soap – The soap you use for yourself is not likely the right soap for your baby. You may have to try a few kinds to figure out what works well, but even plain water is good to use to wash your baby. Some moms swear by . A little goes a long way.
8. Special Considerations – It’s important to remember that a baby has special considerations during a bath. Don’t press on the baby’s soft spot, or let soap get into their eyes or ears. Never put a Q-tip in the baby’s ears. You can use a Q-tip to wash, if your pediatrician advises your baby’s umbilical cord. Be careful with your baby’s private areas too. Just rinse with water, and follow instructions for caring for your son’s circumcision if he had one.
9. Rinse & Dry Thoroughly – One of the most important things to do when washing your baby is to remember to rinse the soap off, and then dry all the areas well. A baby has a lot of fat and creases in their little legs and arms; ensure that these areas are patted dry carefully. Don’t rub hard, just pat carefully until dry.
At first, it will feel as if you’re trying to wash a fish. But, as your child grows it’ll get easier. The important thing is to get off most of the smelly stuff, and to avoid infections, as well as to bond with your child. Make bath time special and you’ll succeed.