Bathing your baby is one of the beautiful steps in the motherhood routine, but it can also be a source of concern for new mothers. New moms often feel anxious, especially for the first time. In this article, I will provide tips to make it easier for mothers to bathe their babies without worry or stress.
Many mothers believe they should bathe their baby daily; it becomes part of the bedtime routine for some. While there's no harm in bathing a baby daily, it's not necessary. A baby needs to be washed two or three times a week. You can clean the baby's body with a wet towel or give him or her a sponge bath between baths.
Consulting a pediatrician about the best time to bathe a newborn baby is essential. Usually, medical recommendations suggest waiting until the baby's umbilical cord stump falls off and, in the meantime, simply sponge bath the baby, clean the creases of their skin, and make sure to dry them thoroughly.
Make sure that all the baby's bathing essentials are within reach before starting the bath to avoid any confusion and not leave the baby unattended. Ensure you have a towel for drying your baby, diapers, diaper cream if you use it, and the clothes your baby will wear after the bath. It's worth noting that it's essential to keep your baby's hands, feet, and head warm and covered; you also don't need to overdress them after the bath.
It's vital to cover the baby's head as soon as you finish washing it and dry it with a special cotton hat for babies. Babies lose heat quickly from their heads, and covering the head immediately helps keep the baby warm and comfortable.
The room where you bathe your baby, whether it's the bathroom or the nursery, should be comfortably warm. It's essential to keep the baby warm during the bath, as feeling cold can upset a baby during bath time. Also, make sure that the water temperature is similar to the room temperature. You can test it by dipping your elbow into the water to ensure it's not too hot or cold. It's also crucial to provide enough water to prevent it from running low while bathing the baby.
Whether you bathe your baby in the morning or evening, ensure that it's a suitable time for both of you. Avoid bathing your baby when he or she is tired and needs sleep, hungry and requires feeding, or crying due to colic or discomfort. It's worth noting that you can bathe your baby about half an hour to an hour after feeding to prevent reflux.
Place the baby in the water gently and gradually, avoiding sudden immersion to prevent frightening the baby.
If your baby is uneasy in the water or during bath time, you can soothe them with a pacifier or a specific calming lullaby that usually works. You can also use baby bath toys to keep your little one engaged.
Making bath time a pleasant experience for both the baby and the parent involves completing it quickly. Five to ten minutes are usually sufficient for bathing a baby; extending it to half an hour is unnecessary.
Drying the baby's skin with a soft towel is essential, especially the skin folds, to prevent fungal growth.
Using safe baby skincare products, a baby's skin can easily dry and moisturize after bathing. Natural oils like olive oil or coconut oil can be sufficient for this purpose.
It's essential to remain calm and not get stressed during your baby’s bath. You can wait for your husband to return home to help you bathe the baby or ask for assistance from a friend or family member, especially when bathing the baby for the first time.
One of the things that help a baby accept bathing is being used to water through play in times other than bath time. You can place the baby with plastic toys in the bath to play in the water for a few minutes.