Bathing Baby: No More Tears!
Bath time should be enjoyable for everyone!
What's worse than being cold & wet?! Watching your newborn scream because they're cold and wet!
In the early days, everything on a newborn is water-soluble, so no soap is necessary. In fact, no bath is necessary! A sponge bath or spot cleaning with a baby wash cloth is a great option. Keep baby wrapped up and only expose the parts that need cleaning.
Be sure to wash their neck, behind the ears and under the arms, milk gets into all the creases! Rinsing your baby’s bottom with warm water is a great alternative to using wipes and can decrease your chances of diaper irritation or rash. Be sure to thoroughly pat dry or give some air time to their bottom before putting on a fresh diaper.
When you're ready for a full bath, here are a few tips for making it easy and enjoyable, with no more tears for you and baby ❤️
Bathing a newborn:
1. We never want to leave a baby unattended near or in water so be sure to set up your bathing area with everything you'll need for bathing, and after the bath including dry towels, a smallish receiving blanket, coconut oil or other moisturizer and soap is still optional.
2. Fill your sink/ tub with enough warm water to submerge your little one right up to their neck. Many baby baths come with an insert that keeps baby only partially submerged which most babies find upsetting. If possible, remove the seat. When baby gets a little older, more comfortable with baths and more active that seat can be put back in for safety and your comfort. Bathwater should be 37 C to 38 C, which is around body temperature. If you're not using a thermometer, use your elbow rather than your hand to gauge the temperature (CAPT nd a, NHS 2015, ROSPA 2017). The water should feel neither hot nor cold.
3. Wrap your baby up in the receiving blanket and slowly lower them in the bath... up yo their neck! Keep baby submerged and slowly unfold the blanket. Use the blanket as a washcloth. The blanket not only makes the transition into the water more comfortable for baby but makes it easier for you to hold on to them. Check out this video of a newborn’s firth bath!
4. When bath time is over, throw a dry towel over your shoulder, pick up baby without the wet receiving blanket (be careful, wet skin is slippery!), and cover them with the rest of the towel or with the other dry towel. Cuddle your clean little babe close or nurse them if they were upset by the transfer out of the tub!
5. Once your baby is dry and content, you can do some baby massage with the coconut oil, baby oil or moisturizer. Make sure the room is warm and enjoy the boding time!
Written by Ruth Ruttan, Doula & Pre & Postnatal Pilates Specialist at Retrofit Pilates Ruth provides nurturing, judgment-free information & support, for pregnancy to parenthood. Encouraging you to be creative, respect your intuition & ask questions!
Ruth has enjoyed watching many bodies change, stay functional and become powerful humans. Education is at the centre of her approach, believing that knowledge is power and that informing our minds and bodies will help build an extraordinary life experience. Creative by nature and armed with an excellent knowledge of functional anatomy and physiology of pregnancy & birth, Ruth loves working with all sorts of bellies, babies and bodies!