Many experienced parents say that the birth is the easy part, it’s when you bring your new baby home that the challenges start cropping up. Child care doesn’t always come naturally and sometimes new moms and dads need to tips and advice to know what is the best way to look after their little one. One of the things that new parents often worry about is how to bath their newborn. Bathing your baby need not be stressful, in fact it can be a great opportunity for bonding. Here are some ideas for where to start.
When To Give Baby Their First Bath
As long as your baby was born at full term and is healthy, you can give your little one his first bath whenever you like, however you should try to keep it brief- no longer than 10 minutes. Your baby’s umbilical cord stump will still be in place for a while but you needn’t worry about this as long as you make sure the area is thoroughly dried afterwards.
Where To Bathe Baby
Although you can buy a baby bath, you could even wash your newborn in the sink. Using your own bath is possible but isn’t easy as you will have to stoop down and you could end up hurting your back.
What Time Of Day To Bathe Baby
You need to choose a time where you are unlikely to be interrupted and have plenty of time to spare. You should never try to bathe baby when he is fretful or sleepy and it is best to wait until between feeds.
Keep The Room Warm
Babies lose heat easily, so make sure the room in which you bathe your little one is warm and that the windows and doors are closed to prevent any chills.
How To Run A Bath For A Baby
It’s important not to make the water too hot or too cold for your baby. Start by running the cold water into the bath and then adding the hot water until you reach the right temperature. The water should be about 5 inches deep and you can use a thermometer to check that the heat is about 37 degrees C, or alternatively test with your elbow to ensure that the water is not scalding.
Face And Hair Washing
Undress baby (except for the diaper) and wrap him in a towel. Then gently sponge the face and hair over the bath. Make sure that the eyes, ears and nose are well cleaned.
Putting Baby In The Bath
Take off baby’s diaper. If there is any soiling, clean him gently first before putting him into the water. Then gently slide your little one into the water feet first, supporting his shoulders and neck. Wash using a sponge and water and clean from the top to bottom on his front and back. You may wish to use a baby cleanser, especially on the nappy area.
After a few minutes, lift baby gently out of the bath and wrap immediately in a fluffy towel. Pat dry then put his diaper back on and wrap again in a dry towel for a few minutes of cuddling time before dressing him once more.