Many first time parents feel a little fearful towards bathing their newborn as they seem so small and fragile. Worrying that during bathe, they may even lose grip of their little one who is wet and slippery. Having the presence of someone like your partner or a family member in the bathroom with you during the first few baths, may help to boost your confident. Slowly but surely, you will be able to get a hang of it.
Here are the steps to steps guide for bathing your baby!
1. Gather all your bath supplies
Items like mild soap (optional), washcloth, cotton balls, cooked warm water, lay out towel, clean diaper and clothes should be prepared beforehand. You wouldn’t want to be carrying your baby and scuffling around the bathroom looking for your baby wash or getting the towel to dry your baby. Do make sure the room is slightly warm so your baby will not catch a cold.
2. Fill the tub
After pouring the hot water into the tub, add in cold water to about 5 to 8 centimetre high and use your elbow to ensure that the temperature is warm enough for your baby.
Note: You can add mild soap, sparingly (optional).
3. Wash baby’s face first
Before removing your baby’s clothing, clean his face first. Dampened a cotton ball in the warm tub of water and gently wipe from the inner corner of his eyes, outward. Using another damp cotton ball to clean his nose. Dampened another cotton ball in the bowl of warm water to wipe the external part of his ears and also, the back of his ears. Similarly, clean his forehead and chin as well as cheeks too.
Note: Use one cotton ball for each facial features (forehead and chin is consider as one).
4. Shampoo his hair
Support your fragile baby’s spine and hold his head using the football hold in one hand while gently scrubbing his head using the wet washcloth with the other.
5. Get baby ready for the tub
Undress your baby and gently slide him into the tub with his feet first. Support your baby’s head by allowing his neck to rest on your arm. Using the same hand, grip on to his underarm that is the farthest away from you.
Use the other hand to support his bottom by gently gripping on his thigh. Once your baby is in the tub, with his bottom resting at the base of the tub, you can release the hand that was gripping onto his thigh. Wipe your baby’s body using the wet washcloth in a gentle manner.
6. Dress-up time
After rinsing, pat your baby dry with a clean towel and wrap him up. Apply moisturizing lotion if desire, and dress him up in clean clothing.
Things to note during bath-time!
1. You can clean baby’s umbilical stump during bath-time – Dampened a cotton ball with just warm water to gently clean around the stump. After bath, pat the stump dry with a clean towel. Do ensure that the stump has dried properly before putting on the clothes for your baby.
2. Purchasing the right tub – You may be spoilt with choices as there are a wide varieties of tubs available in the market. However, fancy looking ones may not certainly be the best for your baby. Choose one that is large enough to fit your baby and your arm. Getting a slightly bigger one is more economical as you can still use it when baby gets bigger and older.
3. Additional safety measure – It may get tedious to hold on to baby as the bath tub can be pretty slippery. Hence, do include a rubber mat at the bottom of the tub for baby’s safety.
4. Duration of bath – You don’t have to scrub every single part of your baby’s body till it’s sparkling clean. A bath for newborn should not exceed more than 5 minutes as baby’s immunity is still weak. The longer the exposure in the bathroom, the higher the risk of baby catching a cold.
5. Bonding time – Make bath time engaging for your baby by singing songs, talking to him and also, describing to him what is happening, such as ‘I am going to wipe your eyes’ etc.
Creating the special bond with your baby is the key aspect which all parents thrive to achieve. Just like breastfeeding time, baby’s bath session provides a great opportunity for parents to build bond with their baby. Hence, let’s treasure this time and make bath time an enjoyable experience for you and your baby!