Want To Be Better Prepared For Baby’s First Bath?

When a new baby comes into your life, there are sure to be a whole load of firsts around the corner. There are the exciting firsts, of course, like the first time your baby smiles or speaks. Then, there are firsts which can be more nerve-wracking, like the first time you take your baby into town alone. Or, what we’re focusing on here, the first time you bathe them.

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Too often, new mother’s put off giving their babies baths because they convince themselves it’ll be a difficult process. This is especially the case for first-time moms who already have a whole load of new experiences on their plate. The idea of adding water to that mix can be overwhelming for sure. But, your baby needs regular bathing for both hygiene and comfort purposes. Luckily, the presence of the umbilical cord means that you can put this off for around ten days. It’s best to use nothing more than sponge baths until the stump falls off. After that point, though, you’re going to need to get around to the bathing process after all.

The good news is, this doesn’t need to be as traumatic as you’re imagining. We’re not going to lie; bathing a baby can take practice to get right. But, if you take care of the following things before getting stuck in, you’re sure to get the hang of this in no time.

Have everything ready

One of the worst mistakes new mothers make is to scatter everything they need around the house. This then sees you having to take your baby out of the bath each time you go to retrieve the next lotion or towel. As well as being a hassle, this can lead to undue stress for your baby, which can cause them to cry and become irritable. And, if that happens, this bath time is sure to be as tough as you were expecting. But, things could be different if you ensure you have everything you need within easy reach. For one, you need enough towels to hand to deal with any splashes, and to wrap your baby in once bath time is finished. You may also find it beneficial to keep a few bath-friendly toys in easy reach in case things go downhill. It’s essential, too, that you keep things like lotions, gels, and shampoos close to hand. You could buy a complete bath time kit from a company like mustelausa.com to ensure every thing’s together from the off. Or, you could invest in a handy basket to keep everything in one place. Either way, you need to know that all the necessities are within hand’s reach before putting baby anywhere near that bath.

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Get the timing right

Timing should also play a massive part in this first bath. This applies in a variety of ways. For one, opting to bathe your baby after they’ve woken up could be a bad idea. Equally, waiting until they’re tired is sure to lead to a nightmare for everyone. In an ideal world, you want to wait until your baby is relaxed and content, but not due to drop off at any moment. That way, they’re sure to be a whole load more willing when the bath is underway. If you’re careful about establishing a routine here, bath time could even become a signifier for bed. By dimming the lights and bathing your baby at the same time each night, they may start to fall asleep as soon as they’re snug and in their clean clothes. This also has the benefit of ensuring baths help them to relax. And, that’s exactly what you want to make your life easier. Time also comes into play here regarding the duration of this bath. There are a few reasons to keep baby baths short and sweet. For one, a shorter bath ensures that your baby doesn’t become bored or irritable with the process. If you take too long about this, there’s more chance they’ll resist next time you get that baby tub out. If you’re quick, though, they probably won’t dread this next time around. Long baths can also cause havoc for a baby’s sensitive skin. In the first weeks of life, every newborn sheds their outer layer of skin. This leaves their skin very sensitive during early life. This is why issues such as eczema are common in newborns, and it’s why you need to hurry this up. In an ideal world, a baby’s shouldn’t last any longer than ten minutes.

Start small to put your mind at ease

The majority of mother’s stock up on baby bathtubs which are easy and convenient for those first washes. When you’re doing this for the first time, even a baby bathtub can feel a whole lot larger than you’re comfortable with. If this is the case, don’t be afraid to stick to smaller options such as sinks. Obviously, this isn’t going to be a solution for long. At this young stage, though, the chances are that your baby will quite enjoy bathing in the sink. You may also find that the added confinement of a tiny space like this helps to put you at ease. There will be less wiggle room for your baby, after all. As a result, there’s less risk of all those nightmare scenarios which have been stopping you from getting stuck in. Doing this allows you to build up slowly. Once you gain confidence here, you can then move onto that baby tub.

Practice your hold


Now, we’re onto the part which you’ve been most afraid of this entire time; the dreaded hold. Any parent who’s never bathed a baby before has nightmares about this. And, in fairness; getting a grip on a slippery baby isn’t always easy. But, that doesn’t mean you can’t get this right. In truth, all it takes is a little practice. For one, look to guidance from videos like this one at www.babycenter.com. Until you come to do this yourself, the chances are that you’ve never seen the way you should hold a baby during a bath. By watching someone else demonstrate, you’re sure to get a better grip on where to place your hands. Videos like this also give you handy tips, like the need to put a towel at the bottom of the bath for comfort and grip. You may also find it beneficial to practice your hold out of the water. Though it may seem strange, sitting your baby in a dry bath can help you to get this right without complication. Then, you’re more liable to be able to keep track when there is water involved.

Take care of the temperature

Temperature also matters a great deal when bathing a newborn. At this young age, your baby’s body is liable to lose heat fast in cold conditions. This is because temperature control takes time to develop. While you may be able to dash across a cold bathroom, then, your baby can’t do the same. That’s why it’s essential you ensure that a room is at least 75 degrees, and doesn’t exceed 80. That way, you ensure safety at all times. It’s also crucial that you monitor the temperature of the water. You may like steaming baths, but these can be incredibly dangerous for a baby. Instead, you want your water at a comfortable temperature. Make sure of this by testing with your elbow. There are even baby tubs with thermometers for added peace of mind. Make sure, too, that you never put your baby in the tub before you’ve filled it. A sudden temperature fluctuation could have severe consequences in this instance. To avoid that, fill the tub and then lower your baby into it.

What about the washing?

So, that’s the build-up, but what about the washing? At this stage, you need to do all the washing for your baby. That means taking care to wash in all the hidden areas. At this stage, it isn’t necessary to use soap for this. Doing so could cause more harm than good. Instead, you just want to dip a washcloth in the water and dab your baby’s skin. Focus on their face first, then move onto things like under their chin and behind their ears. You may even want to wash the outsides of their ears with a cotton bud. Then, end up with their bottom and genitals, but be careful here. Wipe from front to back, and make sure not to be too rough. It’s easy to cause discomfort without meaning to, so keep this brief and gentle. And, whatever you do, keep your washing here soap free at all times! The only real product you should use during baby bath time is tear-free shampoo. To apply this, it’s best to take your baby out of the bath and support their head over the tub to keep their eyes clear.

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Follow these pointers, and you can bet you’ll be washing your baby like a pro in no time.

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