‘Will it be safe to give my baby a bath?” “How will be I able to bathe my baby?” “My baby is so fragile and tiny.” “Ohh, the soap is so slippery”. It’s pretty sure that these questions arise in your mind when you think about your baby’s first bath. Right? Bathing a baby is not at all an easy task. Yes! This requires special attention and care. It’s like driving on a roller coaster ride.
Bathing the baby for the first time might seem daunting initially but with little preparation and the right steps, it can be both stress-free and joyous. Don’t worry, here are some simple yet useful tips for making your baby’s first bath enjoyable!
1. Gather Supplies
Firstly, and most importantly make sure to have a bathtub for your baby. Bathing the baby in the bathtub will be comfortable both for you and the baby. Apart from this, the bare minimum things you will require are a clean slipper, dry towel, baby soap, and washcloths. Have all your supplies within reach of your arms so that you don’t have to leave the baby. Remember! never make the mistake of leaving the baby alone in the bathtub. And yes! If you wish to capture the moment of your newborn’s first bath then you can have a camera too!
Following this, choose an appropriate place to keep the bathtub. It can be fairly warm so that the baby does not feel cold. You should also be comfortable so that you can either stand or kneel on your toes and hold the baby with one hand.
2. Fill the bathtub
Ensure to fill the bathtub with about 2 to 3 inches of water. The temperature should be between 90-100 degrees F. This should not be more than 120 degrees F. You can always dip your finger and check the temperature of the water. Also, keep in mind to never put the baby in the bathtub while the water is still running from the tap.
Gently lower the baby in the water with one of your hands supporting your little one’s head. He might be slippery initially but you will soon learn to hold him. Don’t let the baby sit for too long in the water. This might irritate the little one’s skin.
3. Wipe softly
Dip a corner of a clean washcloth in the warm water and start wiping the body. Start with the eyes first. Gently wipe one eye with one corner of a washcloth and another eye with another corner. Then, wet the entire washcloth and start wiping the little one’s face. Also, wipe neatly around the mouth and under the chin where milk droplets can pool. Also lay special focus on creases under the arms, around the neck, and behind the ears. Wipe carefully around the umbilical cord if there is still a stump.
You can use mild baby soap to clean the diaper area and hands. It might seem that a newborn’s bath is incomplete without lathering with baby soaps and shampoos but the fact is that it is strictly not necessary. Though using a gentle soap is not harmful, warm water with gentle wiping is more than enough if bathing is done daily.
If you are using shampoo to wash hair then take only a tiny bit of it and lather your baby’s scalp. Massage it gently with the pads of your fingers so that your newborn does not feel uncomfortable.
4. Rinse and dry
For the final rinse, use clean and warm water. Hold the little one in football-style with the back of the head in one hand and the rest of the body draped in another hand. Then gently pour warm water over the baby’s head. For drying, use a soft dry towel and yes don’t rub the baby’s body. Rather pat on the body with the towel and ensure to dry thoroughly. Take care of folds of skin as these should not be left dry.
5. Skip lotions
Well, it is always tempting to apply lotion and powder to your newborn baby’s body. But you can skip this as babies are born with soft skin with natural oils. In fact, pediatrics advise not to use powder as particles can enter your baby’s lungs and can cause respiratory issues.
There are a whole lot of things to think about when it comes to your baby’s first bath. But don’t worry bathing a newborn will soon become fun as your baby would start splashing away water in the tub! And that’s when the real fun begins!