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!
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 to do it during 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. Whatever you prefer!
How should I do it and what will I need?
Your baby’s first bath should be a sponge bath. Before you undress him, make sure you choose a warm room with a clean flat surface, it could be a bathroom, a kitchen counter, or the floor. Cover hard surfaces with a blanket or fluffy towel. If your baby is on a surface above the floor, use a safety strap or keep one hand on him at all times to make sure he doesn’t fall. Before you begin, make sure you have the essential supplies at hand:
- Soft blanket or towel – Spread it out for your baby to lie on.
- Safety –Always keep one hand on your baby and, if you are on a changing table, make sure you use a safety strap as well.
- Plastic basin or sink – Run warm water into the basin or sink. Don’t use too much water, make sure it’s shallow. Check the water temperature to make sure it’s not too hot.
- Other supplies: Washcloth, a towel, baby wipes, a clean diaper, and a change of clothes.
If you’ve forgotten something or you need to answer the phone or door during the bath, you must take your baby with you, so keep a dry towel within reach. Never leave your little one alone in the bath.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends gentle sponge baths during the first few weeks (approximately 3 weeks) until the umbilical cord stump falls off.
Remember to clean your baby’s face face first, and then wash his body (move carefully around the umbilical cord if there’s still a stump). To clean his face, dip the corner of a washcloth or cotton ball into warm water, and gently wipe each eye from the inner to the outer corner.
Bathing your baby is much more than just cleanliness. Giving your little one a bath can be a lovely way to strengthen your bond, as well as a learning opportunity! Help him explore his senses by trickling water gently onto his belly –he will probably giggle with pleasure– or pour water near him, check if he is captivated by the sound or amazed with his wide-eyed gaze!
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