Giving your baby a bath can be one of the most joyous moments of the day together, and it can also be a great chance for Dad to get involved with his tiny son or daughter. Follow these top tips for everyone to enjoy.
Getting ready for the bath is quite possibly the key to a great time. Start by making sure that the room is comfortably warm, and that the water you are using is neither too hot nor too cold. A bath thermometer is very useful to make sure that the temperature is about 37 degrees centigrade. The water itself should not be more than 13cm or 5 inches deep for a baby under six months; just enough to cover the body to shoulder height. For older babies, water should not reach higher than the waist when sitting.
Gather around all the things you need, such as some cotton wool pieces, a cloth or sponge, your chosen baby wash, and at least one towel. Hooded towels are great to swaddle your washed baby. Having a new nappy, clean clothes and maybe a blanket ready are also good ideas. If your baby is a boy, he may wee when you take off his nappy so a muslin square or old towel may be very handy.
You can wash baby’s face before the bath, as it is easier this way. Dip the cotton wool in the water and squeeze out before wiping the face from the middle to the outside. Any dried mucus in the eyes or nose can be softened with dampened cotton wool first.
After the gentle introduction to bath time with a face wash it is now time to undress your little one. If you take off the nappy and find a solid surprise, simply use whatever you would to wipe a dirty bottom before putting your baby in the bath. Gradually lower your infant’s body into the bath, having both hands available as wet babies can get slippery and full of moving arms and legs. Make sure you support the head at all times unless your baby is bigger or is using a bath seat.
With your baby wash and hand or sponge or cloth, wash your baby from top to bottom, and front to back. For babies with sensitive or drier skin, you can use a natural and delicate pH-balanced bath emollient in the water. Rinse your little one well. It is important at all times that your baby starts to love bath time so you can check how they are enjoying their water time and extend with a song or a short play time involving water if you wish.
Lift your clean baby onto a towel and immediately wrap up and pat, rather than rub, the tender little body until they are dry. Using baby lotion after a bath is a great chance for baby massage, which can be an incredibly loving time for parent and babe. Finally dress, hug and kiss.