Bathtime can be a special opportunity to bond with your little one. It can also be nerve-wracking. But, it doesn’t have to be. With the right approach and the right supplies, this can become a soothing ritual you both look forward to.
How often do you need to give your baby a baht?
Babies don’t need to bathe every day. In fact, bathing too often can dry out their skin. Generally speaking, bathing a baby three times a week is enough. But as your baby becomes more mobile, this frequency will likely increase, as they are more likely to get dirty, sweaty or both.
Should You Bather Your Baby at Night or in the Morning?
When you bathe your child is entirely up to you. However, it’s best to choose a time when you won’t feel rushed or be interrupted. You should NEVER leave your baby unattended in the bath.
Some parents prefer morning baths, as their babies tend to be more alert. Other parents gravitate to evening baths, making this part of their bedtime ritual. Regardless of when you bathe your baby, try and avoid a bath right after feeding. You want to give their tummy time to settle so you don’t get excess spit-up.
Can You Just Stick with Sponge Baths?
Until your baby’s umbilical cord stump has fallen off, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends you stick to sponge baths. This helps avoid infecting the open wound, which can take a week or two to heal completely.
For a sponge bath, you’ll need the following:
- A warm, flat surface. Your bathroom counter, kitchen counter, changing table or firm bed would all work. Even the floor can be used in a pinch. Make sure to cover the surface with a clean, soft blanket or towel. If the surface is on the cool side, consider warming it in advance with a heat pad. Once it’s warmed up slight, remove the heat pad and lay down the blanket.
- A Sink of Shallow Bin of Water. Fill your sink or a shallow bin with warm water. Always be sure to check the water with your hand to make sure it’s not too hot for your baby.
- Mild Baby Shampoo. Babies have extremely sensitive skin. You always want to use a mild shampoo that won’t dry out or irritate their skin.
- Soft Washcloth. The softer the better. Remember how we mentioned your baby’s sensitive skin. You want to make sure you don’t irritate it with a rough towel.
Start by undressing your baby and laying them on the towel in your prepared area. To help you baby stay warm and comfortable, wrap the towel around them and only expose the section of their body you ware washing.
Wash their body in sections, wiping with a wet washcloth. Pay special attention to all your baby’s creases, including:
- Under the arms
- Behind the ears
- Around the neck
- In the diaper area
- Between the fingers and toes
- Within any fat folds
You’re Ready for a Bath. How Much Water Should You Use?
Generally speaking, filling the tub with 2-inches of warm water is enough. To keep your baby warm throughout their bath, you can pour water over their body. Some research suggests filling the tub with more water to keep your baby warm and calm. But regardless of how much water you use, always hold your baby securely during the bath, making sure their head is never submerged.
How Should You Hold Your Baby in the Tub?
How to hold a baby in a tub can be one of the most intimidating parts for new parents. A good way to support them and clean them is by using your non-dominant arm to support their head and neck. You may also consider getting in the bath with them and using your body as a plank.
What Part of Your Baby Should You Wash First?
Generally speaking, it’s best to wash from the top down — starting with the face and moving on to the dirtier parts (read diaper area). This helps keep clean areas clean and avoid over soaping.
Do You Need to Wash Your Baby’s Hair?
Not all babies are born with hair. In fact, many newborns have very little hair, if any. If your newborn does have hair and you feel it needs washing, this is perfectly fine. Use a free hand to massage a drop of mild baby soap into your baby’s scalp. Then rinse the shampoo with a cup of water or a damp cloth.