I remember the very first time I bathed my daughter, I was still in the hospital after having my emergency c-section, but I was up and about. I had never given a baby a bath before and to say I was worried would be an understatement.
Luckily, I had the midwives on hand to show me how its done, but Im well aware that most people will leave the hospital just a few hours after giving birth, so don’t get that help.
I’ve put together this information to help ease your stress.
First of all, choose a time when baby is settled before giving them their first bath. Bathing before you put baby to bed will help them to gently relax and get them ready for sleep.
Avoid bathing them when they are hungry as they may get wriggly and upset. They are hard to hold on to anyway and if they are upset because they are hungry you’re going to have a slippy baby.
Also, don’t bath them straight after a feed as they may vomit when full.
How often should you bath them?
You don’t need to bathe your baby everyday, but for older babies that you are trying to get in to a good sleep routine, bath time can help settle them in the evening.
For younger babies you can choose to wash their face, neck, hands and bottom every day, this is called “topping and tailing” and them only bathing them once or twice a week.
You don’t really need any special equipment, although there are plenty on the market.
You can use a baby bath or just get yourself a shallow plastic tub.
You will need two flannels, one for babies face and the other for the rest of their body.
You don’t really need to use and product on baby, in fact, they recommend you don’t really use anything apart from water. I was always advised to stay clear of Johnsons baby products as they can dry baby’s skin. I can recommend, Child’s Farm products if you want to use a baby wash, Its lovely gentle stuff and they have had some brilliant reviews.
A nice soft towel to dry baby is essential and maybe another one to put on your knee to stop you getting wet.
Check the temperature of the water. You can by special bath thermometer, but trust me when I say you’ll use it maybe twice then you’ll find its far easier and quicker to test the water with your elbow. The bath water should be nice and warm but not too hot.
If you decide to use any products, only use a tiny bit otherwise you might end up with a very slippy baby.
Gently lower your baby into the water, using one hand to hold their arm and supporting their head.
Always keep your babies head clear of the water, use your other hand to gently wash your baby, taking care not to splash.
Lift your baby out and pat dry with the soft towel, making sure that you dry the lovely baby creases so they don.t stay damp.
To wash babies head, wrap baby in the towel and hold them over the bath, using a flannel wet babies head and gently wash their face.
Heres a great video from StremingWell.com that shows you how its done.