How to Bathe Your Baby
Bathing your little one.
For our family, getting all the kids into the bath is our favourite time of the day. In fact, 84% of new parents say it is some of the best quality time with their children. Watching them giggle and splash around always has us laughing - it can be so much fun. It can also calm them down, relax them and get them ready for bedtime. Most importantly for us, has been the bonding; from the first time I bathed the little ones so gently and carefully, to now, where they throw themselves all over me in the bath laughing – they have been such special moments that I will always treasure.
Water isn’t enough to bathe your baby
Applying a gentle cleanser can really help avoid drying out the skin and breaking down the skin barrier. It also helps remove any of those white residues left from milk or nappies. It is wonderful to encourage all the soft bubbles to moisturise by washing through the little skin creases, whereas water alone can irritate these areas and leave red.
Use products that have been formulated to be mild and gentle to skin avoiding irritation.
Bathing your newborn
It is recommended to bath newborns two or three times a week. We increased this quickly as it was our favourite time of the day and so wonderful for the babies. On the days we didn’t bathe them, sponge baths are a great alternative making sure you get under the neck, behind the ears and in between those precious little skin creases.
How to bathe your baby
We must have used nearly every vessel for the bathing of our children. From washing-up bowls, to rubber duck inflatables to kitchen sinks (you may laugh, but if you can turn the taps away, the last one is a great option!) Whatever you decide to use, the below should help.
Only pop a few inches of warm water in to start with. The temperature should be between 37-39 centigrade, I always use a baby bath thermometer to swirl around and then check it is right. My husband can guess it right every time which is just odd… but anyway it is important that you get that right.
One arm should support you baby’s head, neck and back. The other can be used to support under the baby’s bum to lift into the bath. Then continue to support head, neck and back whilst your other hand can do the bathing.
Best to start with the face, dampened cotton pads, one for each eye, always wipe from the inside corner outward. Then use a sponge or gentle washcloth to wipe nose, mouth and the rest of the face. Don’t forget behind the ears and under the neck.
Our little ones have always loved a shampoo experience; in fact, our youngest used to be calm as soon as the water touched her head and it was where she first began giggling. Don’t be afraid to gently wash the soft spots on your baby’s head.
Then wash the rest of your baby, getting into all those skin creases. Leave the nappy area till last, washing from front to back, for boys gently wash the willy and genital area.
Make sure you and baby enjoy this time. Swishing the water gently over them is satisfying and it is a lovely time to sing or hum to your little ones, although for some reason my babies never seemed to enjoy that experience…
When ready to take the baby out, make sure you grip firmly under the arms with both hands, and support the neck, wrapping them straight up in a towel. Dry all over paying special attention to all the creases - you don’t want to leave wet spots as this can lead to irritation. Once you have put on a nappy, gently apply some moisturiser and dress, ready for bed.
Don’t forget to enjoy lots of cuddles, this is a wonderful time to bond with lots of cooing and touching. Your baby will enjoy all the undivided attention and will definitely be able to feel you relax as well.