How To: Have a Safe Baby Bath Time
Bathing a newborn can be daunting, but we’re here to let you know how to become a pro.
That first bath time with baby sometimes has your heart racing and every scenario running through your mind. How do you support them? What happens if they don’t like the water? How can you make bathing simple? Natural questions all new mothers ask themselves, and ones that are easily answered. We’re here to guide you through those first experiences, help you to relax and most importantly remind you that you’re doing amazing, no matter what.
Of course there are aspects to bathing a newborn that need to be considered to ensure they’re safe and comfortable, but once you know them, you’ll never forget. Becoming a professional scrubber takes a little bit of practice, but something we always want you to know is to just embrace everything that comes your way.
After giving birth, you’re going to feel fragile in more ways that you would like to admit to. Little one is also going to feel the same, so it’s about making sure you don’t put too much pressure on your mind and body. Leaning over a bath to keep baby stable with one hand and wash them with another can be strenuous and tiring on your back, so there’s some other options for you that will stop you from injuring yourself.
If your kitchen or bathroom sink is large enough, then you can use it as an alternative. Always make sure it’s clean from any harmful germs before filling with water – cold water and then hot water. You can also buy baby bathing tubs, however, most parents will use the sink and it also creates the perfect photograph opportunity. Standing at the sink means you won’t have to stretch over, keeping you more comfortable.
Just a little bit of time
How long should you wash baby for? Well, this varies dependent on little one – some take to water like a fish, others find it distressing and will need some time to adjust to this new sensation. If you’re finding the latter is more relevant, then you want to focus on not stressing baby and yourself out, so just swish them around for approximately 20 seconds.
It seems like a very short time, but newborns really don’t need to soak for a very long as their skin is delicate. Every time you bathe them, try adding another 10 seconds to the timing. This way you’re gently introducing them to water without forcing them to like something they don’t yet. If they really love splashing around, then you can definitely have a longer bath, but we advise no longer than 10 minutes at first otherwise the water will go cold & they’ll become uncomfortable.
Share The Commotion
For the first few weeks you’re most likely to have someone with you at all times to help you with everyday baby chores. You might feel like you’re burdening someone or not doing as much as a new mother should, but we assure you, they will want to help and you should definitely let them whilst you can.
Whether it’s your partner, health visitor, mum or friend – they’ll all be more than willing to provide an extra pair of caring hands whilst you clean little one. The easiest way to do so, is to let them support baby whilst you focus on washing and keeping them entertained. If you’re worried about holding onto a slippery, wriggling baby then this will make you feel more confident and show you that next time you’ll be able to conquer it
Create a Bonding Experience
Those early stages are all about getting to know this new tiny human being and creating an everlasting bond (don’t worry, it comes naturally). Rather than thinking of looking after little one as numerous tasks, look at each to-do as a unique bonding experience that will bring you closer together.
Bath time can become one of the most special and intimate moments between mother and baby so just embrace it. Bond with baby by sharing the bath – you can lay them in your lap or rest them on your chest and tummy so that they’re close to you and stable. Gently use your hands to trickle water over the both of you. With you relaxed and enjoying the moment, baby will feel your vibes and instantly relax too, leaving you both docile and ready for a serene night’s sleep.
Breathe & Forget Bath Time
Even though we’re advising you on how to safely and easily bathe your newborn, there’s also one last piece of advice that we think you might want to consider and it goes against everything else. If the whole process is stressing you both out too much, then just forget bath time altogether and tackle it another day.
For the first few weeks you can keep to topping and tailing baby as you did in the first few days, so if this doesn’t make them upset, just continue doing what you’re doing. Have your cotton wool and two bowls of warm water ready for the cleaning process. Keep them dressed whilst you softly cleanse their face using the wool dipped in water – then dry them off and wrap them in a hooded baby towel to keep their heads warm as that’s where they lose most body heat. Afterwards you can repeat the same with their bottoms and it’s as straightforward as that. It’s all about keeping those first stages as simple as possible and just remembering to breathe, relax and enjoy this new adventure.
Just a few items to help keep bath time super simple: