Learning How And When To Bathe Your Newborn Baby
Newborn babies don’t need bathing every day as their skin is very sensitive and too much exposure to water can make their skin dry. In the first six weeks of life, you probably don’t need to do any more than keep their face and nappy area clean and dry, unless your baby’s healthcare provider has advised you otherwise.
In preparation for when baby bath time becomes a more regular occurrence, we’ve provided a few well-tested tips to help you:
How To Prepare For A Newborn Baby Bath
Choose a time carefully: Try to bathe your baby when you are feeling relaxed and not rushed; bathing should be a fun time for you and your baby.
Make bath time the focus: Don’t bathe your baby straight after a feed or when she/he is hungry or really tired.
Prepare the bathroom: Take time to make sure the environment is nice and comfortable and warm with no draughts and be sure to find the optimum newborn bath temperature before you begin the bath.
Make it a family event: Involve your partner as bath time presents a great opportunity to have special bonding time.
Gather your bath time products: Get everything ready before you start as it is crucial that you do not leave your baby unattended in the bath at any time:
- Soft sponge
- Clean clothes
- Bath toy
- Bath book (The Flying Bath is a particular favourite of ours)
- Toiletries (Try our Earth Friendly Baby® range of natural and organic toiletries for all skin types)
- Bath support for your baby so that you have two hands free to concentrate on having a fun time.
How To Bathe A Baby
Many new parents worry about what kind of bath to buy and how to do it. There are many different shapes and sizes of baths available, so it pays to have a look around and buy the one that feels right for you and your family.
As for technique, a good place to start is to wrap your baby in a towel, leaving only their face and head exposed – clean his or her face first, then wash their hair by gently holding them over the bath and slowly pouring water over their head.
After you’ve rinsed the head, remove their nappy if you have left it on, and gently place them into the bath. As long as you don’t get their head under the water, you’re doing just fine!
Find a way that’s comfortable for you and your baby – it’s important to trust yourself and enjoy this special time.
Here are a few safety pointers to help you make baby bath time easier:
- Lay a flannel or something similar on the bottom of the bath. This will help stop your baby’s bottom slipping. This does not replace you, though – keep hold of your baby securely and never leave them on their own in the water, no matter how shallow it seems.
- Water temperature should not be too hot or too cold. Test the water by dipping your elbow into the bath before you put your little one in. If it feels nice and warm to you then it should be fine. Your baby will soon let you know if she/he is uncomfortable – it’s a very common mistake for parents to make the water too cold and then wonder why their baby screams!
- Look after yourself. Don’t lift a bath full of water in the early days because it may hurt your tummy muscles, especially if you had a caesarean birth. Ask your partner to help and get them involved whilst you take the time to recover from the birth.
- Think about where to place the bath. Having the bath on the floor may be a good idea as it will give you good access and will lessen your need to lean over and strain your back. Placing the bath on a chest of drawers or tabletop may be better if you have any back problems, but be sure it is secure and cannot slip or fall off the surface.
Finally, when bath time is over, get ready with a dry, soft towel and cuddle up quickly to avoid chilling and lots of protesting from your little one.