Moms like to keep their newborns clean most of the time, but daily bathing is not required until he starts playing on the floor and gets dirty. The newborn needs to be bathed not more than 2-3 times weekly. This process needs to gradual, you should stay confined to washcloth bath until the umbilical cord is healed (it takes almost four weeks to heal).
Now you can start bathing your baby in a bathtub. You can start giving him a bath in a bathtub when he starts sitting without support and is big enough that he does not adjust in the small tub for infants. The joy you get from watching your baby playing and splashing water during bathing may tempt to bathe him quite often. It is an adorable sight to see soapy bubbles spreading on his dimples and flabby folds.
How To Give Baby First Bath
Besides the essential cleanup of your baby, you are likely to give him a bath for having many of his lovable pix for your picture album or to share on social media.
- Bathing Improves your Bond with your Baby
The time you spend with your baby during bathing him; becomes a significant event of your day. You two enjoy each other’s company with no one else around. Your baby feels comfortable and protected in your company.
He enjoys your soothing voice singing or saying anything to express your joy that you get from looking into his eyes and kissing him. You love to touch his small chubby belly, counting his tiny toes and listening to his coos.
- You Learn from this Experience
It may sound a little strange but this bathing time helps you in s few things that were yet unknown to you. When you tickle his senses by dripping some water onto his belly, he can giggle with joy. You can amaze him by pouring some water in the tub. You can teach him how things affect others; you can teach him to splash water by kicking it.Keep noticing that he enjoys the things that you do for him during a bath.
You can teach him many words during the time he spends in his bathtub. You can name his body parts by touching them gently. Soon you will get to know that he has learnt many words without much effort.
- Soothe your Fussy Baby
It is comforting and calming for anyone to have a bath time. Soaking yourself in water after a tiring day just soothes your mind and body. Infants find the same relaxation during and after bathing. You can get him more relaxed by giving a gentle massage with your hands all over his body. Most of the babies enjoy this massage, if your little one does not enjoy it, you can still continue till you learn what way works best with him.
- Helpful to Induce Sleep
Moms usually enjoy giving a bath to their infants for one important reason that it adds to sleep time. Baby feels secure sleeping in a warm cosy room after being bathed in warm water. Your love and care works like a magic on him and make him to sleep for longer period.
If your baby has recently been circumcised and his penis has not healed yet or his umbilical cord is still intact, you must avoid bathing him in a bathtub. Instead, you can clean him using some sponge or simply with your hands. When you find your baby being able to bathe, you can start giving him short and gentle baths on some smooth surface; anywhere in your kitchen, bed, floor or bathroom.
A few simple tips can help you in giving a bath to your baby in a better manner.
Manage a Routine.
You can manage bathing routine for your baby one day to day or alternate day basis by bathing him before his sleep time. This can only be a cleanup with a washcloth, one with a sponge or a proper tub bath. This will set the body clock of your baby and he will be able to understand that after the bath, he will be ready for bedtime.
You can reinforce this sleep time for him by giving him massage in dim lights and by keep noise level low and activities limited.
Postpone giving him a bath when he is feeling hungry, irritated and having an upset stomach it can disturb both of you. Remember that bedtime bathing is to relax the baby but you can choose any other time of the day according to your convenience and baby’s mood.
Collect the Supplies.
It is better that you get yourself properly equipped before giving a bath to your young baby. Otherwise, you will have to pick him naked to go looking for the required things.
The important things required arebaby soap, baby shampoo (you can choose showering gel that can be used for both purposes), sponge or soft washcloth, a soft towel, blanket and small plastic tub containing warm water.
You can make this bathing time fun having a partner, friend or some relative all set to take baby’s pictures. If it is baby’s 1stbath, you would really love to get it captured. If you have enough space in the bathroom, you can also keep things with you that are required after the bath like a diaper, diaper cream and baby’s clothes.
Keep it Warm.
Usually, babies tend to lose their body heat quickly especially being naked. It is important to manage the bathroom temperature between 75 to 85 degrees you can do so by turning on warm water for a little while ahead of bathing your baby.
For young babies, it is better that you fill the bathtub with warm water. Never try to fill it with running water when your baby is sitting in it. You can dip your elbow to check that water is appropriately warm for your baby or not.
Keep the Grip Firm yet Gentle.
Slowly you can slide your little one into the water tub. You would need to hold him from the underarm, also supporting his head. Hold him from the bottom with the other hand, as your baby can slip like a small fish. Remember that keeping him in the tub for long can get his skin irritated, avoid it.
Use Soap Occasionally.
Use some mild soap to wash his diaper and hands, for the rest of his body you can use water only.
Keep his Face Clean.
Try to keep his face clean using some cotton ball dipped in warm water. You can clean his eyes gently. You can use a washcloth to wipe his face especially around the mouth and chin area, as the milk or dibbling gets collected under the chin.
Clean with Wash Cloth.
You can clean his body with a washcloth dipped in lukewarm water and gently clean his torso, neck, underarms and toes. Carefully clean the umbilical cord area and remove any crusts around it. Clean his fold and his skin creases properly.
Gently Clean his Private Parts.
Bathing your boy or girl, you need to be gentle in wiping their private parts. With a washcloth dipped in warm water clean those folds carefully, not hurting these areas. Wash your baby girl from front to back. You can use a little soap to clean the bottom part of your baby son.
When your baby is able to sit properly in the bath tub, you need to have some specific tips.
Use a Tear-Free Shampoo
You can wipe your baby’s head with a washcloth if he does not have hair. Apply a little quantity of a mild baby shampoo to wash his scalp. You can massage his head with the soft edge of your fingers.
If he gets his head skin flaky, your pediatrician can suggest some mineral oil and to wipe it with some washcloth.
Proper Rising and Drying
Give the final rinse with clean water, support your baby on one arm and wash his backside properly as well. Pour some water over baby’s head and gently dry his skin without rubbing. It is important that you clean the folds in his skin especially if you have a flabby baby.
Do Not Insist.
Some babies simply do not like to take bath at all. For such babies, it is better that to keep them confined to sponge baths for some time. They are expected to get into the habit of bathing gradually.
Stay with your Baby
Never leave your baby unattended when he is in the tub or even standing near it. Keep him holding with one hand all this while.
After Bath Tips:
Baby Lotions and Powders
The skin of newborns is quite sensitive and does not need much of these lotions. You can op[t for a very mild one at times. You should not use baby powders because they can affect your baby’s breathing passages.
You can use some lotions or powders only when recommended by some doctor for some particular skin condition.
Dress Him up:
Now your baby is neat and clean, you should use a clean diaper for him. Dress him up in clean and neat clothes, wrap him in his baby blanket and enjoy a good sleep with your fresh and clean baby.