It’s bath time and you’re ready for some playtime, singing, talking, and lots of splashing around! It can be a bit of an adjustment to get used to bath time especially with a newborn. Thankfully there are now plenty of baby bathers out there to help ease the process. As your baby gets older, you can make it into a fun and engaging activity by including fun sponges, telling stories with bath toys, and making a bubble storm! Here are 10 helpful steps for giving your newborn a bath.
- Before you get your baby ready, make sure you prep everything you need for the bath. Be sure to have the following at an arms reach during bath time: washcloth, alcohol pads, bath towel (with a hood if you have one), clean diaper, and any other items you routinely use during a diaper change. You’ll also want to have your chosen baby wash and/or shampoo.
- Be sure to draw the bath ahead of time at the recommended temperature of 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Dip your elbow in to make sure the water temperature is comfortable.
- When starting the bath, it helps to wrap your baby in a warm towel. Hold him/her over the bath, cup some bath water in your free hand, and gently run it over his/her head. If they’re still a newborn, or with very little hair, shampoo is not necessary.
- Dry your baby’s head thoroughly after washing since babies lose a lot of heat through their heads, and more so when it’s wet. Tip: Wash your newborn’s hair near the end of bath time. This will help prevent him or her from losing too much body heat.
- Placing baby’s neck in the crook of your elbow, and your hand holding the back of one of their legs, gently lower him into the water or baby bather. (TIP: If you are right-handed it is easier to place babies neck in the crook of your left elbow. Holding his left leg with your left hand, wash him with your right hand. The reverse is the case if you are left-handed.)
- Cup some water in your free hand and gently trickle it over their body. For the most part, newborns just need to be freshened up since they don’t really get dirty. There is no need to scrub them, as their skin is very delicate anyway.
- Be mindful that your baby can be slippery, which is another reason why baby bathers can be very helpful.
- Only keep baby in the bath for a short time as he/she will get cold quickly. Once your baby is bathed, lift them out and wrap in a warm towel.
- Quickly and gently dry your baby. Place a fresh diaper on him/her before any accidents happen!
- Lastly, give your baby a big cuddle and quickly dress them.
Let’s face it, bath time can get a little wet and messy, but it can also be a special parent-baby bonding time. Keeping bath time as gentle as possible will give your baby a soothing reminder of the womb and ideally create a more comfortable experience.