As a new parent, everything you do for the first time might seem wrong or risky. Soon enough, even with the best cooling towel, your baby is going to outgrow sponge baths and wipes, and they’re going to need their first bath.
The baby’s first bath at home can be quite stressful, with a lot of blank questions. How often should you bathe them? How do you know it’s the right time? What is the right temperature? Go easy. Here is a simple bathroom time manual that you need to solve everything.
Why is Bath Time Essential?
Other than cleaning time, there are several other reasons why this part of the day is important to you and your young one.
For starters, you get to bond with your baby. Other than breastfeeding, this is a great way of creating a healthy relationship with an infant. It also creates an intimate moment for your partner and your baby to bond. Besides getting them clean, play with the infant, sing songs, and coo to them. This is the universal love language for babies.
It’s a Learning Experience
Even when it’s your baby’s first sponge bath, you get to learn so much about them and their bodies. You get to know what actions captivate and amuse them, and what they don’t like either. Once they are ready for the tub, teach them fun actions such as creating a splash and forming bubbles. As they grow older, get into a habit of naming their body parts and or singing songs associated with bathing time.
Sooth your Fussing Infant
You probably learned this through personal experience, but there is hardly anything a good bath hour won’t solve. Are you feeling cranky and tired? Are you exhausted and angry for no particular reason? Please get in the tub. The same applies to your young one. If they are fussy and you’ve already tried all the soothing remedies in the book, simply soak them in the tub. Water has relaxation properties, and you can boost them with a baby massage right afterward.
Adding bathing time to your young one’s bedtime routine works the magic faster than anything. If your child is fussy and cranky before bedtime, try putting them in the tub for a warm bath.
A Bath Time Guideline
Nowadays, newborns are not bathed immediately after birth to reduce cold stress. The question on how long to delay baby’s first bath was answered by a 2013 study. Waiting at least 12 hours increases an infant’s ability to retain heat and significantly boosts breastfeeding rate. But what happens at home? Many mothers go to give their baby their first baths after they are finally home.
Once You Get Home
There is no pressure on when it’s time for the newborn first bath, which is entirely up to the parents. It’s advisable to wipe the baby for the first two weeks instead of bathing them. Sponge baths are recommended until the stump is healed. In addition, baby boys who are circumcised at birth should not be water bathed until he heals.
When it’s time for the baby’s first bath at home, there is no need to fret about it. You won’t be getting them into the bathtub immediately, and all you have to do is give them a sponge bath once in a while.
Here are the basics of giving a sponge bath.
Assemble the Supplies
Collect all the bath supplies and place them at an arm’s length. Never put yourself in a situation where you have to leave the baby alone or turn your back to them. Basically, you will require a towel, a washcloth, baby soap, and a fresh diaper.
Pick a Spot
Choose a location in the house where you can clean the baby, either while standing or kneeling. Ensure the spot is comfortable for your infant as well. Baby bathtubs are not necessary, but they’re pretty convenient and can be placed either in the tub or sink.
Alternately, pick a flat surface and layer it with soft towels. Ensure the place is warm and free from draught.
Now take off your baby’s clothes and diaper and cover them with another dry, soft towel. Dip the washcloth in warm water and gently lather it with baby soap. Wipe the baby in sections, and pat dry before moving on. Pay attention to areas with rolls and creases and the diaper region.
Wash the Head Last
There is not much hair on the baby’s head at this age, so there is really no need for baby shampoo. Just sponge-wash the head and avoid getting water into their eyes. To achieve this, tip back the head a little.
Once you’re done, oil them and dress them up warmly. Apply a little powder between the thighs and the butt before putting on the fresh diaper. You’re all done!
It’s Tub Time
Once the stump and circumcision are entirely healed, this is when to give the newborn first bath – time to get your baby wet! However, not all infants will warm up to this change, so try to match your baby’s pace. Get a first year baby bath tub that fits your child’s size, and throw in an insert. This one will help to keep the infant’s head out of water. Do not get a first year’s bath seat if your baby can’t sit up on its own.
Bathing a baby is a lot of fun, even for you. Learn their dislikes and preferences for bath time, and try making this a fun experience for them. What are some of the things you learned as a new parent? Leave us a comment, we would love to hear from you.
Rachel Burns is an experienced copywriter and photographer with a design diploma. She works with startups, entrepreneurs, bloggers and companies from around the world. In addition to writing articles and promotional materials, she enjoys hiking, reading, cooking and spending time with her family.