I remember watching the nurse give our son a bath our first night in the hospital and wondering how she did it with such ease; he was so tiny and seemed so fragile. When we went home two days later my husband and I knew that it was now our turn to bathe our son. What seemed like such a daunting task can be made a bit simpler with these 5 tips for bathing your baby.
- Hold your baby in a way that makes him/her feel comfortable and stay safe in the tub.
Supporting your baby’s head with one hand and using the other hand to wash the front side of the body will help your baby feel secure during bath time. Then when it’s time to clean your baby’s back and bottom, lean your baby forward on your arm and hold them securely under the armpit.
- Have bath essentials ready.
Have everything you need to give baby a bath ready when you get started, you cannot walk away from your baby once you get him/her in the bathtub so have these essential on-hand:
- Hooded towel
- Soft washcloth
- Cotton balls
- Baby soap or bath wash
- No-tears baby shampoo, when needed
- A baby brush or comb
- Wash newborn’s hair if it seems dirty.
It’s not necessary to wash your baby’s hair every time you give your baby a bath; wash your newborns hair if it seems dirty or if cradle cap develops. When washing your baby’s hair be sure to support their head and shoulders with your free hand and gently massage baby shampoo into the scalp. It may be easiest to rinse shampoo with a damp washcloth or even with a small cup, paying special care to keep suds out of your baby’s eyes.
- Buy a baby-bath thermometer.
Baby’s skin is more sensitive than that of adults so what feels comfortable to you will be too hot for a baby. Buy a baby-bath thermometer to ensure the bathwater is not too hot for your baby. A good temperature for a baby’s bath is 90 degrees F or lower.
- Never leave baby alone in bath.
The most important thing to remember when giving your baby a bath is to never leave your baby alone. Babies can drown in as little as 1 inch of water. Don’t turn away from your baby during bath time for even one second; if you must attend to something when you are giving them a bath, wrap him/her up and take them with you.
Follow these 5 tips for bathing your baby and you will be a baby-bathing expert in no time!