Bath time can be very fun, but also a bit exhausting, especially when children want to exercise their independence and refuse follow instructions. At this stage, babies acquire lots of new skills; one of them being standing up on their own. This is a major developmental milestone, and as a parent you certainly are very proud! However, these new skills come with increased energy and restlessness to explore his surroundings. Keeping still during bath time may seem impossible!
As parents and adults, we know the accidents that can occur during bath time. We don’t want our children to slip and hit themselves, so to see them stand up in the bath can be quite scary. When your indications to sit down don’t seem to work, what should you do? Here are several techniques you can try instead:
• If your baby loves bath time and you don’t want him to stand up, you can tell him that if he stands up, bath time will have to be over. In a gentle but affirmative tone say “You are standing up. You’re showing me it’s time to get out of the bath.” If he doesn’t listen, he must be taken out. He will soon learn that if he wants to play during bath time, he can’t stand up.
• You can also choose toys that he can only use if he’s sitting down in the tub. If he stands up, the toys are taken away.
• Another option that’s recommended by experts is to let him stand. Sometimes it may be safer to bathe him standing up than to have a quarrel every time he takes a bath. If you decide to let him stand, you need to adjust the bathroom space to make it as safe as possible. Place a rubber mat on the floor around the tub or shower. Remove any object that can hurt him if he falls and make sure to always keep an eye on him. Sitting or standing, he must always have someone watching over him.
Hopefully, these techniques will help! Remember to use your creativity and to adapt techniques to your own style. There is no single correct answer, the key is to be consistent, affirmative, and always be present. Your little one is excited about his newly acquired skills, so be considerate. He is not challenging you; he does it because it is something new and exciting for him. Understanding this will help you establish the best rules for his safety.
You have probably noticed that your little one’s skin is very soft and delicate. His skin is thinner than an adult’s and may easily become irritated, sunburnt, and/or dry. Therefore, it is important to take precautions to keep your baby’s beautiful skin healthy. The following tips can help:
1. Don’t use soap every time you bathe him. When you do use soap, make sure it’s hypoallergenic, unscented baby soap.
2. Avoid exposing your baby to direct sunlight. Try not to go out with your baby between 10 am and 4 pm, but if you have to, dress your baby with fresh, cotton clothing that covers his arms and legs. Don’t forget his hat and try to walk under the shade so that your baby has the least possible exposure to the sun.
3. Change your toddler’s diaper often to prevent a rash. Thoroughly clean the area with water and cotton, and make sure it dries out completely. If you use wipes, avoid those containing alcohol or fragrances because they can irritate your baby’s skin.
4. Make sure your baby is not exposed to harsh chemicals, like in some soaps and detergents. There is no need to buy special detergents; however, always make sure to completely rinse out all clothes and items that can be in contact with your baby. During these first months, it is advisable to wash your baby’s clothes separately from yours. After the first four months, you can combine them with the rest of the family’s clothes, but always make sure they are rinsed thoroughly.
Finally, it’s important to mention that your baby’s skin has a natural layer of protection so it doesn’t require moisturizers and creams. If you notice that his skin has become dry, you can use some unscented baby lotion on the affected area. Continue applying it only when necessary.
Your baby’s nails probably seem to grow very fast; this is due to her tiny fingers! You might be wondering if you should cut them, and the answer is yes – because by doing so you keep your little one from scratching and hurting herself. This can seem a bit challenging, especially if your baby moves a lot, but before you get nervous, know that her nails are so thin that cutting them should be quite easy! To avoid hurting your baby, you can cut her nails after a bath when she is relaxed and calm, or when she is asleep. The risk of cutting your baby’s nails while she is asleep is that she might wake up. If this isn’t a problem for you, go ahead! Nevertheless, if you prefer not to disturb her sleep, ask your partner or a family member to hold her hand while you cut her nails, keeping her still. You can cut them using a small nail clipper or special baby scissors. To avoid cutting your baby’s skin first press her fingertip back and then cut the nail. Remember to avoid using your teeth, this can cause infection.
And what about toenails?
Toenails grow more slowly than fingernails, so you’ll only have to cut them once or twice a month. Her nails at this stage are very soft and easy to cut. You can cut them the same way you cut fingernails, asking your partner or a family member to help you out if necessary.
Have your baby’s teeth made an appearance? Maybe he is just beginning to show signs of teething. In any case, his mouth’s cleanliness is very important! The following guide will help you keep your baby’s beautiful smile shiny and healthy.
How do I clean my baby’s mouth?
• If your child has no teeth yet, clean his mouth with a sterile gauze, passing it over his gums to ensure a clean mouth.
• When his little teeth come out, encourage him to drink water as this helps cleanse and get rid of remaining food in his mouth.
• Avoid tooth decay by not letting your baby sleep with a bottle.
• Once your little one has teeth, you can introduce his first toothbrush. Make sure it is extra soft and designed specifically for babies. Use toothpaste that contains fluoride, one that’s recommended by your doctor. You should only use very little of it, the size of a grain of rice, so that no excess remains in his mouth and he doesn’t swallow the rest of it. At this age he probably won’t spit it out, but if you can brush his teeth lightly a second time using just water to rinse out his mouth.
• Normally, it’s advised to wash a baby’s teeth twice a day. However, this recommendation can vary, so ask your pediatrician what is best for your child.
• The best position to clean your baby’s mouth is having him sit on your lap with his head resting on your arm.
• Try to make washing his teeth a game so that your baby will be more motivated to participate in this healthy habit.
• Finally, if your little one doesn’t like washing his teeth, try not to force him to keep still, instead distract him a little and continue. You could also ask your partner to help you!
After birth, the umbilical cord is clamped and snipped and babies are left with a small stump in the navel. This stump falls by itself, and it is necessary to let it heal and not try to remove it as it can hurt your baby. Your newborn’s umbilical cord stump requires special care to prevent infection. To ensure good care, try to maintain the cord and surrounding area clean and dry. If you notice that the stump has become dirty, clean the area by moistening (not soaking) a cotton ball with clean water and then dry it gently with an absorbent gauze or fanning it.
It’s important to regularly check the umbilical cord for signs of infection. Infections are rare, especially when cared for properly, but look for the following signs:
• The stump gives off a foul odor and yellowish discharge.
• The skin surrounding the stump is red, tender or swollen.
Remember to stick to sponge baths while your little one still has the umbilical cord stump. It will take about 1 to 4 weeks for it to fall off. Now, if your doctor tells you that you can bathe him normally, you can do it as long as you dry the cord area thoroughly.
Bathing a newborn can be a tricky task at first, but don’t worry, we’ve got some tips for you that will help you master it in no time! First of all, you should know that there is no need to bathe your little one every day. In fact, many experts coincide that bathing your baby several times a week (3 or more times) can dry out his skin. If you notice that your baby’s skin is very dry, you can apply a fragrance-free, hypoallergenic moisturizing lotion right after bathing him or her.
At what time should I bathe my baby?
In terms of night or day, there is no specific time recommendation. However, you should try to select a time in which you are least likely to be interrupted. Some parents opt for the day, when their baby is ready and alert to enjoy the experience, while others prefer at night, because it can become a soothing bedtime routine. It basically comes down to your preference!
How should I do it and what materials will I need?
Babies thrive in a predictable world, and for good reason – every day is filled with new learning experiences and excitement. Which is why getting your baby into a routine will provide a sense of safety, comfort, and trust. Another important factor to it is that babies don’t understand the concept of time yet, so they organize their lives based on the events that happen during the day. When things happen in the same order, babies have a better understanding of their world!
When and how should I start?
You might be wondering when’s the best time to establish a routine. It could be surprising, but experts disagree on when exactly parents should begin to set a routine. Generally, when your baby reaches 2 or 4 months of age he’s more likely to stick along with routines; but you can try to start before that because routines will also help you.