Bathing Your Baby – Safety Tips And Supplies
January is National Bath Safety Month, and what better way to take part than to learn some extra safety tips on how to bathe your baby, and to stock up on some bath supplies that will make bath time more enjoyable for you and your little one.
How Often Should You Bathe Your Baby?
For newborns, daily baths are not necessary. Skipping a bath every day or so is absolutely fine, and you can keep your baby clean by using a warm cloth to wipe their face, bottom, and hands. This way your little one can still keep most of their clothing on to stay warm.
Many moms choose to sponge bathe their baby for the first week or so, to avoid bathing in a tub. When you are ready for your first tub bath, here are some tips on how to make it an enjoyable and safe experience:
Pick the right time for bathing
When you are introducing your baby to bathing or helping them get used to the sensation, it is best to choose a time when both you and your baby are relaxed. It doesn’t matter what time of day it is, be it the morning, afternoon or night, your bath times will be more successful with a relaxed mom and baby.
Bathing your baby before bedtime or nap-time is a great way to calm them down, and ease them into a comfortable sleep.
Test the water
The bathwater should be lukewarm. Use the inside of your elbow to test the temperature of the water, it is more sensitive than your hand and should be a good indication of whether or not the water is at the right temperature. If you are bathing your baby in a sink instead of a baby tub, place a towel at the bottom to prevent slipping.
Ease your baby into the water
For first time parents, it can be quite daunting doing the first bath at home. It is best to introduce them to the bath slowly. Remove your baby’s clothing and diaper, and slowly lower your baby into the bath using one arm. Until you get used to holding your baby with one arm and washing them at the same time, you could ask your partner for help to either hold your baby or to wash them gently. Start by gently wiping the face, ears, and eyes, moving slowly down to the torso, legs, and bum.
Don’t take too long
Babies are born without much body fat and can become cold quickly in the bath. If your baby starts looking cold, starts crying or soils the bath, it is better to just cut the bath short. Try and soothe your baby by singing a song to quickly wash them up and then wrap them up snug in a warm towel.
Dry your baby thoroughly
Once bath time has finished, dry your baby carefully, paying attention to drying the little folds of skin. If these areas remain wet, it could lead to rashes and irritation. Babies do not need to be lathered in body lotion regularly, but if you do want to use one, make sure it is hypoallergenic and safe to use on your baby’s skin.
Bathing Supplies – What You Really Need
The last thing you want is to be holding your baby in the bath, only to realize you have left one of the bathing supplies in the other room. Make a mental checklist before each bath time, or always keep bathing supplies close to the tub for easy access.
Here are some of the necessities you will need for successful bath time:
Washcloth – A washcloth is the easiest thing to use to wash your baby. Make sure it is soft and not irritating, and clean before use.
Soap – You do not need to overdo it with the soap. Use a gentle, baby-friendly soap to lightly cleanse your baby’s skin.
Cotton pad – Cotton pads are used to wipe around the eye area. They are soft and will not cause any irritation, and do well to pick up any dirt left around the eyes.
Towel – Keep your baby’s towel close by to wrap them up after bath time, as your baby will quickly become cold when taken out of the warm water.
Clothes and diapers – Try to keep clothes and diapers close by to dress your baby up soon after being taken out of the bath, to keep them warm and comfortable.
Celebrating Bath Safety
Bathing your newborn can be such a special moment, but for many parents, it can be quite stressful. Take things slow, pick a time where both you and your baby are relaxed, and lastly, be prepared. This will ensure you and your baby will have a wonderful bath time.