Your newborn has so many firsts in store! Their first words, their first holidays, their first playdates, and so much more. While most firsts are welcomed with great joy, your baby’s first bath is probably not as eagerly anticipated.
It is totally normal for new parents to have concerns before bathing their infant. This is new for both parents and baby, which means there are a lot of unknowns. Not to forget, newborns can’t hold themselves up yet so putting them in water is not something to perform without proper caution. However, with the right preparation and a few strategic moves, any new parent can become a bath pro in no time! Here are our expert tips to help you and your baby have a more comfortable and safer bath time.
Practice Makes Perfect
It might sound silly, but bath time is something that can be practiced far in advance before the baby has even arrived. Most childbirth and new parent education classes will go over the very important steps for giving a baby a bath. They should cover crucial aspects, such as what products to buy, how hot to make the water, and how to physically wash a baby. There are also many online resources and videos available for learning the right washing techniques and steps. Just keep in mind that bath time can mean different things depending on the gender of your baby. Also, remember that your routine and the products used will need to change as they grow out of their newborn stage.
Turn Up the Heat
The most important thing to keep in mind at bath time is that babies get cold very fast. The water temperature should be similar to their body temperature, which means somewhere between 98-100°F. It helps to put a thermometer in the water to keep a close eye on the heat levels as you go about. Also keep in mind that you really only need to fill the tub with about 2 inches or so of water, which unfortunately means it can get cooler even faster.
In addition to the water temperature, you also need to make sure the air temperature in the room is just right. A warmer room will help to prevent the heat in the water from escaping too easily and chilling your baby once they are out of the water. The ideal room temperature is between 75°F and 80°F. One easy way to heat the room up fast is by running the shower before your baby’s bath time and allowing the room to build up steam.
To keep from wasting time and creating a fuss, have everything that you will need at an arm’s reach away. This will make for a safer bath time, as you won’t have to get up and can keep your eye on your newborn at all times. Store all the necessary supplies in a bin or shower caddy that you have at the ready. Don’t forget the sponge, washcloth, baby-safe soap, a dry towel, lotion as well as a clean set of clothes and a diaper for after. Once the supplies are ready and the warm tub is filled, then you can undress your child and put them in the water.
Distractions are Key
Babies need to be entertained constantly and bath time is no exception. Distracting your newborn while bathing them is a great strategy for a fuss-free time. Some great toys to add to the bath are rubber duckies, animal themed washcloths, plastic rattles, and other floating toys. If toys become too overwhelming, try soothing your baby by singing a song or using a calming sound machine. Just remember to keep a hand on your baby or use a safety strap at all times, especially when trying to distract them.
Before you know it, you and your newborn will be bath time pros! While there is a lot to keep in mind when giving a young infant a bath and it may be difficult at first, like all other aspects of parenting, you are bound to get better at it with practice and patience. The best part is that bath time is one of the fastest ways to bond with your new baby. So, take in each little moment while they last. Oh, and don’t forget to bring along the rubber ducky!