Bathing a newborn baby is not just about cleanliness. It’s indeed a great opportunity for mothers to play and spend some quality time with their little one. Where some infants take to baths well, on the other hand, others don’t even like them a little bit and turn entire bath session into a challenging, nerve-wracking experience. If your little one falls into the second category, follow these nine scientifically proven tips on how to bathe a newborn baby and enjoy a happier, calmer, and better bath time!
Whether it’s a tub bath or sponge bath, always choose a time when your little one is well-rested and not hungry or grumpy. Find the sweet spot time of day when your baby is alert and also make sure you will be less likely to be interrupted during that time. If your preferred time slot works best for both of you, try to turn it into your baby’s daily bath routine.
Like any other aspect of motherhood, organization and preparation is the key to success. Before you start the bath, gather together everything you might need and place it within arm’s reach. The essentials include a baby-safe soap, a shampoo, a washcloth, and a clean towel. Having everything you need for the bath at your fingertips, you’ll be able to keep your one hand on your little one at all times – absolutely without leaving him unattended for even a moment.
As your infant’s skin is more delicate and temperature-sensitive than yours, bath water that feels comfortable to you might be too hot or too cold for him. Before you put the baby in the bath tub, make sure to check its temperature with your elbow, wrist or a special bath thermometer. The water should be lukewarm – neither too hot nor too cold. The recommended water temperature for babies is about 37°C.
Your little one becomes as slippery as an eel during bath and is more likely to cry if he doesn’t feel safe, secure and supported. To make the bath time as safe and comfortable as possible for both you and your newborn, we recommend you use a bath aid like a non-slip bath mat or a baby bather. A bath aid not only sets you free fear of your baby slipping out of your hands but also makes sure your little one will feel safe, secure and comfortable during bath time.
Your little one doesn’t need a lot of soap and shampoo for his tiny body and hair, but you would definitely like to use them a bit. When buying baby bath products, make sure they are tear-free and very gentle on your infant’s skin. If possible, try to use bathing products enriched with natural lavender fragrance as they smell too good and encourage a sound peaceful sleep after bath time.
Little ones love the bubbles! Bubbles not only improve your newborn’s hand-eye coordination but also turn the entire bath time into a fun, sensory experience. Use a baby-friendly foaming soap and let your little one feel and splash around in the bubbles. However, if your child is eczema-prone, avoid bubble baths as they can wreak havoc on skin.
To entice your reluctant bath taker and keep him engaged during the entire bath, offer him a few bath toys to play with. In addition to the traditional rubber ducky, there is a variety of bath toys you can use to turn your baby’s bath time into an adventuring playtime. These include singing toys, stacking cups, bath crayons, plastic animals, and sprinkling toys. Whatever toy you choose, the options are endless!
What do you think about co-bathing with your baby? Of course, it’s a great idea! Co-bathing not only provides your baby a lot of skin-to-skin contact but also it helps you both relax and promotes breastfeeding. In fact, it’s a convenient way to establish a parental bond with your little one who is often afraid of bathing. So whenever possible, consider taking a nice lukewarm bath with you infant.
If you’re extra worried or face challenges during the first few baths of your newborn, request someone to help you out in this effort. This faithful helper can be anyone from your mother-in-law to your loving partner. Asking for help will make you sure that nothing will go wrong and prove extremely beneficial if you need to step away from the bath.