Bathing your baby everyday is very important to maintain health and hygiene of the baby. Bath time can be real fun as most kids look forward to playing in the bath. You can make it a special time which you can share with your little one.
Bathing the baby looks easy but it requires practice and precision as your little one is very sensitive and even a small mistake can hurt him badly. So you have to be very cautious while bathing your baby. Infant bathing may seem like a tedious task, especially for new parents. Just keep the following tips in mind to keep your baby safe while he gets squeaky clean.
Check with your doctor. Most doctors do not recommend a daily bath for the new born. The frequency depends on the baby’s health, climate and time of the year. Sponge baths are good enough until your baby is six weeks old. So start giving your baby a sponge bath as soon as the umbilical cord falls. Sometimes, the first bath can be very stressful.
Do not worry and be patient. Most newborns love this experience. The combination of warm water and hearing your heart beat and voice makes your baby feel as if he is in your womb again. Your baby responds to your emotions. If you are calm, relaxed and smiling, your baby will feel good. Take off your baby’s clothing gently. You may use a washcloth to gently clean the head, neck and other delicate parts of the body.
If your baby cries through every bath, leave the diaper on at first. It can give him an increased sense of security in the water. Schedule your baby’s bath for afternoon before feeding. Always make sure that you do not bathe your baby after feeding as this may lead to vomiting. Gently massage your baby before giving him a bath. When you are bathing a newborn baby, have your partner or a helper nearby.
The most important thing is to never leave your baby unattended even for a minute. This is very important as children can drown themselves even in an inch of water. So gather all the things you need like soap, towel, diapers etc ahead of time. If you have to answer the doorbell or the phone, wrap your baby in the towel and take him along with you.
Little babies can get chilled quickly so make sure that your bathroom is comfortably warm. Always check the temperature of the water before giving bath. The water should be comfortably warm for the little baby. As your child grows older, you can gradually lower the temperature of the water according to the comfort level of the child. It is recommended to set the water temperature at 90 to 110 degrees Fahrenheit. A child can get third degree burns in less than a minute at 140 degrees.
Do not put your baby in the tub while the water tap is running. Run your child’s bath for him before he gets into the bath tub. Keep baby’s head out of the water and place your left hand on the baby’s back. Remember how slippery your little one will be when she is soaped up. Always run the cold water first. Never fill the tub with hot water first. If your bathroom has mixer taps, run the hot and cold water together.
If you need to increase the temperature, add more warm water, not straight hot water. Your child may put a hand or foot in the running stream and get burned. Test the water temperature with your wrist before your child gets in. Choose the right kind of bathtub for your baby. Family bathtubs are very slippery. So use a rubber bath mat to make it secure for your baby.
A cushioned spout cover can help in protecting your child’s head from painful bumps. Also, make sure that the sliding glass shower doors are made with safety glass. Fill the bathtub with only 3 to 4 inches of water for the babies up to 6 months of age. For older children, water level should never be more that the waist (in sitting position). Always teach your baby that he should never stand in the tub as the bath tub is slippery. If your child needs something, tell him to ask you to get it.
When your baby is little older, you can place some bright coloured floating toys in the bath tub. Encourage him to play and splash. Try to use very little amount of soaps, shampoos and bubble baths as they can dry your baby’s skin and may cause rashes. They can also irritate the urethra which can increase the risk of urinary infections.
Do not let your baby sit in the soap filled water for very long. Keep the playtime at the beginning of the bath and save the soap and shampoo for the end. Wash your baby’s head and face at the end. This way you can easily dry and dress him without worrying about washing his rest of the body. Always try to use good quality soaps and shampoos. Use neutral and safe baby soap for infant bath. Put your baby in the bath tub with his back to the faucets. This way, your child will not be able to touch the faucet handles.
Make sure that you keep the electrical appliances like hair dryer, curling irons away from the bath tub. Teach your child never to touch anything that has an electrical cord while taking a bath. You should be very careful while drying the arm pits and groins. Use very soft towel for little babies.
Be careful while applying talcum powder. Avoid sensitive areas like genitals, eyes and nose. Wrap your baby in the hooded towel after bathing and pat him dry. If the skin of the baby is still peeling after birth, you can apply a mild baby lotion after the bath. This is the dead skin the needs to come off anyway. Dress your baby and kiss him on his sweet smelling skin.