Giving a newborn baby a bath can be a scary thing when you are a new parent.
Bath time with mommy doesn’t have to be boring or stressful.
But bathing your baby is not only about getting them clean.
It is also a great bonding time for parents and their newest family member.
If you have a baby that doesn’t like baths or are a new mom with a newborn this article is for you.
You should wait until your baby lost the umbilical cord to give an actual bath.
While the umbilical cord is still attached sponge baths can be a great and easy alternative.
Babies are so fragile and super slippery when they are wet but don’t worry – here are a few tips to make bath time with your baby a breeze.
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Tips for bathing your baby:
1. Steam up the room
You can either give yourself a quick hot shower before the baby gets into the bathtub or just let hot water run for a few minutes to steam up the bathroom prior to giving your baby a bath.
It just makes the bathroom extra warm and cozy and hot steam does wonders in case your baby has a cold or is congested.
2. Get a detachable shower head
We all know the old showerheads that are screwed right into the wall and are not at all or very little adjustable.
We bought a detachable shower head and I’ll have to say it was one of the best purchases in my whole life.
Not just when you have kids but also for showering yourself it is just so much easier.
Sprinkling some warm water over your baby while in the bathtub or washing their hair just becomes so much easier with way less back pain for the parent.
3. Non-slip everything
Get yourself an anti-slip mat right in front of the bathtub.
Those are great to protect your knees too while you are bent over the bathtub to wash your baby.
And if that is not enough for you get some for inside the bathtub too.
It is so important to keep things as safe as possible when you are handling a tiny baby and water at the same time.
4. Get a sling-bathtub
And make your life so much easier.
Instead of filling up a whole bathtub wasting water you can get a baby bathtub with a newborn sling insert.
It’s genius – We got this bathtub and are still using it for my toddler now.
The sling is detachable and you can set the whole bathtub on top of the sink in case you don’t have an actual bathtub in your home.
You can even throw it in the washing machine for easy cleaning.
Before you go and buy a new one keep your eyes open for yard sales and facebook groups – I always see someone selling the exact same one we have in our area.
5. Hot glue toys
Babies and toddlers love those cute little squirt toys that fill up with water and then splash it out through a hole making bath time more fun.
But did you know that those toys can easily mold inside?
If you want to be better safe than sorry there is a super easy hack – simply close the holes of the squirt bath toys with hot glue before the first use.
If you do want to be able to use them as intended make sure they can fully dry out after every use so there won’t be mold building up inside.
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6. Cover your baby with Washcloths
When you are bathing a newborn baby they are not fully submerged in the bath water and therefore their belly can get cold quick.
To prevent that you can just use a few washcloths that you soak in the nice warm water and then lay them on top of their body to keep them warm.
Make sure you add new warm water on top every few minutes.
7. Bath toy storage
It’s hard to find a good space for bath toys when your baby is done playing and you don’t want to have them laying all over the bathtub.
We got a few of these storage nets for bath toys and we use some for toys and some for our bath and shower supplies.
The suction holds up very strongly on the wall of the shower.
8. Be prepared
Making sure you got everything in the bathroom with you before you start giving your baby a bath just make your life so much easier.
Make sure you prepare things like
- A fresh diaper
- Lotion or ointment
- Hair brush
- Nail clipper
And anything else you might need right after the bath time.
9. Make it a routine
Babies do not need to bathe often.
Especially when they are newborn a bath every week is more than enough.
Once your baby reaches toddlerhood a bath can become part of their bedtime routine.
Toddler feel more secure when they know what to expect next so having a set night time routine can result in less melt downs.
You know what they say – when your kid is not tired put them outside or in water.
A warm bath with some lavender bathing soap can do wonders to make your kid sleepy before bedtime.
That’s why it’s a great idea to make it part of the bedtime routine at night.
10. Massage after
Once you are done giving your baby a bath you can put a little bit of baby lotion on your hands and gently massage your baby with the lotion.
Baby massages help your infant fall asleep better.
There are plenty of lotions with lavender oil in it which is known to help with sleep.
According to studies babies and infants that experience touch and massage on a regular basis are 50% more likely to make eye contact and are 3 times more likely to have a positive expression compared to infants that don’t. (according to Johnson Baby)
11. Check temperature
You can buy one of those bath thermometers that check the water temperature for you or just use your wrist or elbow.
That’s where your skin is the most sensitive and if it feels too warm for you it definitely is for your baby.
The perfect water temperature for newborn babies is around 100F.
12. Don’t bathe your baby hungry
Make sure your baby eats before getting in the bathtub.
Especially if your baby is not a big fan of bathing in general it will only make things worse if it is also hungry.
13. Use a shower visor
A shower visor is really a great invention – It let’s you wash your baby’s hair without getting any water or shampoo in their sensitive eyes.
14. Clear up cradle cap
If you want to make sure the cradle cap disappears as fast as possible you can help out by putting just a little bit of shampoo on their head and gently brush it with a soft-bristle baby hairbrush.
It can also help to massage your baby’s head.
And if you are breastfeeding you already know that breast milk is like magic potion.
Your milk can also help getting rid of cradle cap.
Add a few drops of your breastmilk on top of the cradle cap and let it soak for 15 minutes before you give your baby a bath.
Or give co-bathing a try!
Co-bathing just means that you are taking a bath together with your baby in the big tub.
Having the baby with you for a real bath time with mommy can be so much fun.
Having mom close makes your baby feel more secure in the bathwater and you can do skin on skin in the bathtub and bond with your baby even more.
Besides the tips for bath time you already read above these tips are extra helpful for co-bathing.
Tips for co-bathing with your baby:
1. Don’t add soap
Soap can get in their eyes quickly and then irritate them.
If you do want to bathe with your baby it is better to not add anything to the bath water.
2. Get in first
You do never want to have your baby in the bathtub first or attempt to get in while holding your baby.
Wet babies are slippery and you can also lose your balance very quickly going in the bathtub and sitting down while also handling a baby.
It is safer if you leave your baby in a safe baby seat next to the bathtub and get comfortable first and then grab your baby.
This is a lot easier if you have another adult helping by just giving you the baby when you sit but you can also do it by yourself.
3. Sit away from the water tab
You don’t want to accidentally turn on the water while sitting there with your baby.
4. Have everything close by
Before you do anything make sure you have all the bath supplies you will need within arm’s reach so you don’t have to get up during the bath.
5. Don’t bathe too long
Taking a very long bath can dry out sensitive baby skin so it is best to keep the bath time with your baby short.
6. Get baby out first
When you are done with the bath get out how you got in – the baby leaves the tub first and goes back into the baby seat next to the bathtub or to the adult helping you.
Then you leave the bathtub.
No matter if you are giving your baby a bath or get in the tub with your baby – I hope you these tips are helpful to you.
Here are some other questions about bathing your baby that moms ask:
You can bathe your baby at any time of the day but it is a good idea to pick a time when you can be uninterrupted, relaxed and all other baby needs are fulfilled. (like eating for example)
One of the main reasons for delaying the first bath for a newborn is that the new mom can bond by having skin on skin contact and breastfeeding right after birth. Another important reason is to leave the Vernix caseosa (the white, creamy stuff on your newborn) on your baby’s skin for at least 6 hours or better 24 hours according to the WHO. It protects your baby’s skin.
No, but it makes things easier to buy one.
Once or twice a week is more than enough. Of course you can bathe your baby more often if it is really messy or had a blowout.
Do you have a lifesaver hack when it comes to bathing your baby?
Share it with us in the comments.
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