For the first few weeks your baby may not enjoy bath time. This feeling will pass quite quickly and when they start feeling more confident in the water, your baby will start to enjoy splashing and kicking.
Some parents bathe their baby two or three times a week, leaving the nights in between for baby massage. I find by giving a bath every night it can establish a very good bed time routine. It gets rid of extra energy and helps your baby wind down in the evening. A good time to bath your baby is before the last feed in the evening. Prepare the bathroom for bath time in advance by ensuring everything you will need is within easy reach. To bathe your baby, first undress them and wrap them up in a nice warm towel. Also have your bathroom warm, so baby does not get a chill. Unwrap baby from towel and lower them slowly into the bath always giving direct eye contact and talking softly, with one hand supporting their shoulders and head with your fingers under the armpit and your other hand supporting their legs or bottom. Always have one hand under your baby’s head supported on your arm, leaving your other hand to wash baby. Talk to your baby throughout bath time as this will build confidence in the bath.
When bathing is finished lift baby out with both hands and wrap in an easily reached warm towel. Make sure you dry your baby well, getting into all of their little creases e.g. under the armpits under their neck even in between their toes.
Throughout my many years of experience, I love using the “Mamas and Papas © Acqua Bath Support”; I feel it is more comfortable for both parents and their baby. It goes directly into your bath tub, so there is no lifting of water and it fully supports baby leaving both your hands free for washing and play.
As mentioned above, before you give your baby a bath, make sure you have everything prepared and ready before hand. Never leave your baby unattended. Not even for a few seconds while its bath time. Fill your bath with water. Use your thermometer to check the temperature before placing baby into the bath. The recommended temperature is 36 degrees C. Make sure to swirl the water around to ensure there are no hot spots.
Use one sponge for the top of your baby’s body and the other for the bottom half. Wash your baby’s body first. Leave your baby’s head until last. If this is not followed it will result in your baby’s temperature dropping.
Use a drop of shampoo on your finger tips and massage gently. Rinse well with fresh clean water at the appropriate temperature. Clean baby’s face and eyes with cotton wool and clean water.
Babies that arrive past their due date can have very dry skin. Parents may need to moisturize their baby’s skin more than once a day. Use baby oil without perfume or olive or almond oil. You may also use some aqueous cream.
Recommended Bathing Equipment
Baby bath or baby seat
Cotton wool & Baby shampoo
2 baby sponges
Remember to make bath time lots and lots of fun; you can also have a bath with your baby. Always have someone at hand to help put baby into the bath once you are in and also to take baby out. Never try to do this on your own. At 4 months you can take your baby to swimming classes.