You are a parent now and so you need to prepare yourself for the challenge that parenthood is. Along with the delight that your little one adds to your life, comes huge responsibility – the responsibility of looking after the safety and well-being of your bundle of joy. A baby’s everyday chores – feeding, changing and bathing – can turn most parents into a nervous wreck.
While it is true that parenting is one skill that can’t be mastered unless you are prepared to learn on the job, it is also true that by the time you master the knack of handling an infant your baby is already a toddler with a totally different set of needs and requirements. In face rapidly changing phases of a baby’s growth, something as simple and routine as a bath can pose to be a big challenge.
Babies have different reactions to this daily ritual. While some absolutely love their bath time, others remain nonchalant about it and some may even get distressed at the mere prospect of being bathed. Also, challenges of bathing a newborn are completely different from challenges of bathing a toddler. Use these tips till you find your own baby bath cheat sheet:
Bathing a Newborn
Bathing a newborn is like the parenting equivalent of an awkward first date. You are both new to each other and often out of sync. As a new parent, you may not be sure how to hold a baby as tiny as that and bathe them at the same time. To make matters worse, your baby may absolutely hate the bath time. Following these simple steps can make the process uncomplicated for the both of you:
1. If your baby doesn’t enjoy the bath, consider giving them top and tail wash instead of a full bath on some days.
2. Talk to your baby or sing a lullaby to keep them calm.
3. When bathing a newborn, wash the face while the baby is still dressed. Do not pour water directly on your little one’s face, instead use a wet cotton swab.
4. Undress the baby and secure them in your arms, giving support to the shoulders and head.
5. Touch to see if the water is the right temperature – it needs to be lukewarm, neither too hot or nor too cold. The ideal temperature in 36 degree Celsius.
6. Lower the baby’s feet into the bath tub, followed by the rest of the body. Do not immerse the back of baby’s head into the water, cradle them up with the help of your arm instead.
7. Wash them gently, without using any soaps or cleaning products.
8. Hold the baby tightly while lifting them out of the bath, as baby’s skin tends to be slippery after a bath.
9. Wrap them in a towel before you step out of the bathroom.
By the time your baby is three months old, they’ll be comfortable with their bathing routine; and you as a parent would know what exactly do they like or dislike during a bath. Therefore, over the next phase – three to six months – you can use the baby bath time to relax and strengthen your bond.
1. By know you know at what time of the day your baby likes to have a bath. Set the routine accordingly.
2. Set the room at a comfortable temperature – preferably keeping it at room temperature – before you take your baby out for a bath.
3. Sing songs, nursery rhymes or lullabies to your little one during the bath to make it more soothing and enjoyable.
4. If you have time for a long luxury bath, try getting into the bath tub with your baby and use this time to strengthen your bond.
Keep an Eye Out
Six to nine months is the age when a child is most prone to accidents and injuries, because while children develop their mobility skills – turning on their backs, sitting with some support and even crawling – during this time, their sense of judgment is still impaired. Large of number of drowning incidents involving young children are reported across the globe, every year. It is, therefore, crucial for parents to always be alert and keep a watchful eye out on their babies, especially during a bath.
1. Do not leave your child unattended during a bath. Make a checklist of things you are going to need during the bath, and go over it to see if you have everything you’ll need during the bath before you get the baby in.
2. Even if you do forget something either ask someone to pass it to you or make do without it.
3. Make it a habit to check the temperature before your put your baby in the bath.
4. If you must, use only recommended mild soap products. But do not use them on your baby’s face and other sensitive body parts.
5. Keep away distractions such as your mobile phones and tablets.