Quick, safe and clean — here’s all you need to know to become an expert at bathing your baby.
Of all the duties that come with taking care of your baby, bath-time is the most therapeutic for both parent and child. Enjoy the bliss.
Safety is priority when bathing your infant in a baby tub. Supporting the neck during tub bath is vital because the neck muscles are not strong. Also, never leave baby unattended in the tub. Remember “Baby can drown in seconds, so keep your eyes on your baby.”
Preparing the Bath Having all that you need in arm’s reach before you begin bathing baby ensures you won’t need to scramble and interrupt baby’s bath. Besides the tub itself, get these items ready.
· A cup (for scooping water)
· Mild baby soap and shampoo
· Cotton balls
· Washcloths and sponges
· A clean diaper
· A fresh set of baby clothes
· Two towels
· Baby lotion (optional)
· Diaper rash cream (optional)
Filling the Tub
Before filling the tub, lay a non-skid mat under the bathtub, and make sure the bathtub sits on a flat and even surface. Undress baby and wrap him or her up in a towel. For baby, the ideal starting temperature of the water for a bath is 38 degrees Celsius. Keep the final water level of the tub shallow, at the height of the baby’s ankle, to minimize the risk of drowning. Never fill the tub with your baby inside.
First, clean your baby’s hair and scalp. To wash your baby’s hair, hold him or her with your dominant arm by tucking lower body between your upper arm and torso, scooping your forearm under the body and supporting the head and neck with your hand. The head of your baby’s head should be above the bath water. With your free hand, shampoo your baby’s hair gently. After washing, dry the hair thoroughly with a towel.
It’s time to unwrap the baby and always feet first is the mantra when putting a naked baby into a filled baby tub. Do this slowly in keeping baby’s neck and head supported with one hand.
Begin the bath by first wiping baby’s eyes and face gently with a moist cotton ball without any soap. Pour cups of water over baby from time to time to prevent getting cold. If you spot dried mucus, dab on it several times to soften it before wiping it off. From neck down, use a washcloth or sponge. Go easy on the soap as too much may dry out the skin and make him or her too slippery to bathe and handle safely. Once you’re done, rinse baby’s body thoroughly with cups of water and give a final wipe with a clean washcloth.
Drying and Clothing Baby
With one hand supporting your baby’s neck and head and the other supporting his or her bottom with fingers around a thigh, lift your baby out of the tub and onto a changing table laid with a towel. Wrap the baby in the towel and pat dry thoroughly. You might also want to apply baby lotion and/or diaper rash cream before dressing your baby in a fresh diaper and clothing or enjoying some skin-to-skin time with your precious.