Baby bath time brings fun for both the baby and the mother. It brings you closer to your baby, and produces warmth, skin to skin contact and joy. The baby loves to be in the bathtub and play with water. But, being in the water for very long time can be harmful for the baby’s health. Therefore, as a mother or even a father sometimes, one has to be careful while bathing the little one. Some of you might feel that it is easy to bathe your baby but, initially it may be difficult as the behavior of the baby at the time of bathing is unpredictable. He/she becomes excited and can go out of your control leading to severe consequences. Even the accidents occurring in the bathroom because of electricity, slipperiness, etc., are common and should be taken into consideration. To make you aware and guide you in giving your baby a bath properly and safely, there are some tips in the following paragraph.
Tips for Bathing a Newborn Baby
The most difficult task is to bathe a newborn as the skin is soapy and slippery and there is no head control achieved yet by the baby. Follow the tips listed below to make the bathing easy and safe.
- Decide the number of baths you want to give the baby in a week and also the time of the bath. Plan it in the morning because, warm water will relax the baby and make him/her sleepy. Newborns are supposed to sleep for maximum hours in a day. Generally, it is recommended that bathing a newborn once or twice in a week is more than enough. Between the baths, you can just wipe the body with warm water once in a day and clean the genitals at regular intervals.
- The time chosen should be such that there are no interruptions in between the bath like doorbells or phone calls. I know, it is difficult to find lots of free time but, you can consider the frequency of the interruptions and plan accordingly.
- Arrange for a baby bathtub and other required materials like soap, oil, warm water, towel, etc., beforehand. Clumsiness at the time of bathing might result in an accident.
- The bathtub must be suitable for the size of the baby. It should have a rubber mat at the bottom to avoid slipperiness.
- Bring the baby to the bathroom after everything is ready and remove his /her clothes in the bathroom. Remember, the baby needs as much warmth as he/she had in the womb because the newborn takes time to adjust to the temperature outside the womb.
- Hence, the temperature of the bathroom should be approximately 75ºF and that of the bathwater should be 90 to 100ºF.
- It is advisable to be with the baby in the tub, if it is a bigger size tub, to give the baby a cozy and comfort feel like the womb and prevent the baby from crying. You can hold him/her to your chest with one hand and wash the body slowly with the other.
- If the above guideline cannot be followed, don’t worry. You can still give your baby a proper bath. When the bathtub is ready with water, check the temperature of the water by putting your finger into it. Otherwise it can cause burns to the child. Slide the baby inside the tub carefully and hold your hand under the baby’s neck.
- Make sure that the level of the water is not more than 2-3 inches, which means it should reach only till the baby’s belly.
- Apply unperfumed soap on the baby’s body except the face as it might go into his/her eyes and cause irritation. It is convenient to use disposable washcloths instead of soaps and shampoos as they are chemical free. You can wipe the face just once, at the end of the bath.
- Cover the baby with a towel immediately after the bath to keep the warmth intact.
- It is always better to take help from someone else for initial bathing sessions as it will be convenient and less stressful.
Tips for Bathing Toddlers and Older Kids
To bathe a toddler or even a kid older than that, is much easier than bathing a newborn only when you have control over the child. These children love to stay in the tub for hours. Hence, here are a few general tips to follow while bathing toddlers and other children.
- The water temperature matters here as well because, the requirement of hot water of a newborn and a toddler are different.
- You should be careful with the time span of the bath.
- Make your child sit in the tub and not stand, to prevent falling. You can also sit inside and keep the child on your stretched legs.
- Do not allow the kid to play in the soap water for long as it can cause rashes and skin irritation. It can also affect the genital organ severely. You can allow the child to play in the plain water for some time and then make it soapy.
- In case of a rebellious child, keep talking to him/her to give comfort and make the bath longer and enjoyable.
- Arrange some bright-colored toys to engage the child while you are cleaning him/her.
- Never keep the child unwatched in the bathtub.
Once you bath your baby a couple of times, you will get over your fear and you will not need a maid for bathing your baby. Follow the above guidelines and make the bath time enjoyable for the baby and memorable for yourself.