December 18, 2007 |
Bathing your baby for the first time is a precious moment, but can also be accompanied by a bit of anxiety. Here are some tips to get your feet wet…so to speak.
Wait until the time is right. Do not immerse your baby in water until after the umbilical cord has fallen off and/or the circumcision has healed. You can give your baby small sponge baths during this time, however.
How often? Since your baby isn’t moving around much, you only really need to completely bathe your baby 2-3 times per week. Just make sure you’re always keeping his or her hands and face clean and that the diaper area is clean and dry.
Create a comfy environment. Bath time should be calm, relaxing and focused. Make sure there are no distractions and make sure the room temperature is around 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Check the bath water with your wrist or elbow, just like you would check the temperature of a bottle. It should be warm, not hot. You really only need a few inches of water.
Keep supplies close at hand. Gather everything you will need ahead of time and keep everything close by.
Never, ever leave your baby alone in a bath. Also, make sure your tub is the right size for your baby - consider purchasing a tub with an insert so that it’s easier for you to keep your baby’s head out of the water.
Consider your baby’s gentle skin.You’ll want to use a gentle, unscented soap when washing your baby. You can get baby soap or use a brand like Dove or Neutrogena. Don’t use much soap and avoid scrubbing.
Make it fun. While you’ll definitely introduce more bath toys as your child gets older like cups and rubber duckies. For the first few baths, consider something simple like a washcloth for your baby to suck on. Also, you may want to sing to your baby or put on some gentle, relaxing music.