Five Tips for Giving a Newborn a Bath

N loves his baths!
N loves his baths!

I got some really good tips on bathing newborn babies before N was born, most of which I do every day when he has a bath, and he really seems to enjoy them and I mentioned after two months (here). As such, I thought I should share them with you!

First thing to mention though is that newborn babies don’t need a bath every day. They generally don’t get exposed to the same level of dirt and grime as adults and children do, so you can be a bit flexible. I don’t think we bathed N until one week and then every two or three days for a while. We started doing it daily when we wanted him in a routine, which seems to be working well. That started after about three weeks from memory.

So, here goes, my tips are…

1. Room Temperature

Try and get the room nice and warm
Try and get the room nice and warm

Think ahead and make sure the room you will be bathing the baby in is nice and warm. You wouldn’t like to get out of the bath into a cold room, so make sure your baby doesn’t or they may cry. We just upped the radiator temperature but didn’t change when the heating was coming on. That has done the trick well for that room. I’d love some WiFi thermostats on each radiator but it’s quite expensive to get those and the central unit.

2. Water Temperature

This is important in many ways. Firstly of course if it’s too hot then you could scald your baby. If it’s too cold your baby won’t enjoy their bath and could scream the whole time. We of course want the temperature just right, the Goldilocks temperature if you will!

We’ve not bought any fancy thermometer or anything like that, I just stick my elbow in. Putting just your hand in really doesn’t tell you if it’s right, the elbow works perfectly. Just get it so it’s warm on your elbow but not hot, and that should do it.

The first time we gave him a bath we were not prepared and the bath water got colder as we got ourselves sorted. He did not like that and he let us know!

3. Cotton Wool Pads

These are so handy. In essence this is to clean some of the more difficult areas that your baby may not like getting cleaned but it’s so important to do. I always do it before the bath actually begins by keeping them warm in a towel and doing the following…

Before you begin it’s important to discard each piece of cotton wool after a single use (for example don’t wipe an eye twice with the same piece of cotton wool). Firstly get six pieces of cotton wool. One at a time clean both ears (just the outside, NOT down the ear canal as you could push wax etc into the ear or damage the ear) and both eyes (with one motion moving from the inside of the eye to the outside in one smooth motion – do only once and discard the cotton wool). Next do the nose by wiping wet cotton wool across the bottom of the babies nose (outside of the nostrils), and finally the last piece is to wipe across the mouth. I personally would suggest cotton wool pads as they don’t leave bits of cotton wool anywhere like eye lashes.

4. Be Prepared

The Shnuggle Bath is Fab!
The Shnuggle Bath is Fab!

When I get out of the bath I don’t want to spend time going to find a towel, then time finding my clothes. I want a towel to hand and clothes easy to get quickly so I’m not cold. It’s the same for babies. I have found it best to get everything you need ready before you start the bath (plus you can’t leave them in the bath by themselves to go get stuff anyway). Get the cotton wool, towel, nappy, vest, baby grow, shampoo or similar cleaning liquids etc, perhaps a cradle cap baby brush and anything else you need ready before you take the babies clothes off. It’ll make things much easier for you in the end. It’s also thinking in advance what bath you will use.

We use the Shnuggle Cosy Bath Tub with Bum Bump Support. We find it great. N can sit up easily unsupported which gives me two hands to clean and play with him. You can use this in the bath or on a surface or on the floor as I do. It also has some material on the back of it so N doesn’t slip about quite as easily. I’d definitely recommend it!

5. Have Fun

This is a new experience for your baby and could be very scary, as could any new experience in fairness. As such, my approach was to just use the first few baths to simply play with N in the bath. I sat on the floor in front of him, continuously smiled, talked in a happy voice. nice and high pitched and excited. I simply pushed water over his tummy and arms and talked to him the whole time. A few small splashes with my fingers (rather than whole hand) just to get him used to it. I ran my hands across his arms, legs, tummy and head to get used to that too. I personally didn’t use any toys to start with as it could be a bit much to get used to but we did after a while.

Happy Bath Time

So they’re my tips and hints for a good bath time, I hope you find them useful!

Do you have any good tips to share?

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