Giving your baby a bath can be an intimidating experience, especially for new parents that don't know what to expect. Here are some tips to make bath time an enjoyable experience for you and your baby.
- Find a tub that works best for you. There are several basic types to choose from including plastic newborn to toddler tubs and inflatable tubs that sit inside the regular bath tub. For babies, plastic convertible tubs work quite well and can be used with newborn to toddler-aged children. Find one with a removable sling to use for your newborn. Using the sling allows you to cleanse your baby gently, without submerging her, until her umbilical cord falls off.
- Find baby-safe products that are dye and tear-free. Combination shampoo/body wash products are both convenient and effective for your baby's gentle skin.
- Prepare for the bath. Assemble the bath necessities such as shampoo, soap, washcloths, a towel and of course, the rubber ducky! Keep everything within reach so you don't have to leave the baby unattended.
- Fill the tub with about five inches of warm water, just enough to submerge and wash your baby. There is no need to fill the tub to the brim and doing so can be dangerous for your child. It only takes a few seconds for a baby to get in trouble in the water.
- Always test the water temperature to avoiding scalding your baby.
- Place the tub on your kitchen sink, on a stable countertop or inside the main bath tub. Make sure the tub is secure and will not slide or fall over.
- Wash your baby, leaving the hair until last so your baby stays warmer. Make sure to get those hard to reach places like behind the knees, under the arms and in the creases of her neck. Pour cupfuls of water over the baby to rinse. Rinse well to avoid leaving thin-layers of soap, which can be drying to the skin. Never leave your child unattended in the tub!
- Make bath time fun so your baby enjoys it. You can sing songs or play bath time games. Letting your baby splash their arms and feet about is a good way to get them used to the water.
- Wrap your baby in a towel and place the hood over her head to keep her warm. In dry climates, apply baby lotion to keep your child's skin moisturized.
You only need to bathe newborns once or twice a week. Once they are mobile and start getting themselves dirtier, daily baths will likely become the norm.