Now you tell me is there anything cuter than seeing your little baby splash some water, and having a completely carefree relaxing smile. It is a beautiful moment to cherish. I still remember when I was pregnant I used to really love those advertisements where the mum gives the baby a bath and wraps him up in a soft towel and cuddles up to the baby. It would just melt my heart.
Yes giving a bath to your baby for the first time might be a little daunting, and scary. But don’t worry I ‘m going to help you out with that and believe me, bath time will be something that you will always look forward too.
Previously it used to be a norm to quickly give the baby a bath as soon as the baby is born in the hospital. But now we don’t follow that anymore. According to the World Health Organization, a 24 hour delay is recommended. But why is it delayed
- Babies are extremely sensitive to cold, so to avoid cold stress.
- Babies have a waxy coating on their skin called vernix which helps to retain the heat and protect them from infections. It is a natural mechanism and you don’t want to let that go.
Baby will need a bath only two or three times a week initially. I would say until the umbilical cord stump heals which takes around 1 to 4 weeks; just give your baby a sponge bath. Even if the penis is circumcised, it is always better to wait and give the baby a sponge bath till it has healed completely.
What could be the benefits of this” BATH-TIME”
- Bonding– it a special time where you get to bond with your baby. Just simply staring at the baby’s eye, splashing a little water here and there, listening to your baby’s cooing sounds and those little giggles when you touch their tummy is so ethereal and a heavenly feeling. The baby also slowly gets a feeling that he is being loved and cared which is very essential.
- Learning time: every day is not going to be the same. Today your baby might be fascinated by something and tomorrow with something else. You simply can’t predict certain days. It is a continuous learning process. But at the end of the day make sure both of you are happy and you love doing it for your child.
- Soothing down: yes a good bath time is something I ‘m sure most of us adults look for at the end of the day. It really calms us down, removes out all the negative energy from our body and makes us feel fresh. It’s the same for your baby. Bathing helps to calm them down, makes them less cranky and enhances their mood. Oh but let me tell you don’t force your baby for a bath if he is hungry, or has an upset tummy It will only make things worse.
- Sleep– do you know giving your baby a nice warm water bath, putting on those fresh clothes and a warm hug from you can make the baby feel safe, secure and literally works like magic. In no time you can put your baby to sleep.
Routine: always keep a routine. It works very well for both you and the baby and your journey would be much easier. Following a routine sends signal to the baby and it will set the baby’s body clock which is very essential right from the beginning.
Baby’s First Bath – The How?
There are a set of things which you will have to follow before you start.
- Essentials: keep all your essentials ready first. You will need baby soap, shampoo, one or two cotton wash clothes, blanket, a plush towel, a basin filed with warm water, a clean diaper, diaper, ointment or cream, and a pair of clean clothes.
- Place: decide a place to give your baby a bath. A place that is fairly warm and comfortable for you to either stand or kneel. . Baby bath tubs are very convenient to use. They can be placed over the sink or tub. You even get to buy bath tubs that have a hammock style sling that can support the baby’s head.
- Tub: fill the tub with 2 to 3 inches of luke warm water and gently slide the baby into the tub with the feet first. The baby can be extremely slippery so make sure you hold him securely with one arm under the head and the other supporting his bottom.
- The temperature of the water should be between 90 to 100 degrees Fahrenheit and make sure it is not hotter than 120 degrees.
- Bath: make sure you use very little soap. A soap that is mild and exclusively for babies.
- Face: take you wash cloth or cotton ball and dip one corner with warm water and gently wipe the eyes from the inner corners and go outwards. Use a different cotton ball for the other eye. After that wet the entire wash cloth and gently wash your little ones face. Make sure you clean well around the mouth and below the chin and behind the ears. These are the areas where milk and saliva usually pool and cause infection.
- Body: dip the wash cloth in warm water again and then wash the baby’s neck and torso. When you reach the umbilical cord, be a little careful. Gently wipe the crustiness around it but don’t maneuver too much with the stump. Make sure even the area between the arms and between the fingers are also cleaned well.
- Private parts: here I would say use a clean cloth, a little bit of a mild soap and luke warm water to clean the baby’s genitals. Now if it is baby girl then make sure you wash from front to back and also clean between the skin folds. If you have a boy who has undergone a circumcision then don’t hurry. I would suggest gently wipe his penis and if he is not circumcised then don’t try and pull the foreskin.
- Once the baby is out, immediately wrap the baby up in a hooded towel for some time. sSowly dry the baby part by part. Make sure the baby is kept warm.
- Lotion: after the bath your baby’s skin might look dry but don’t worry and be in a hurry to put lotions and creams. Babies are born with soft supple skin and they naturally produce oil.
If you still feel there are certain dry patches especially around the ankles and wrist then you can try natural oils like coconut oil, sunflower oil or even petroleum jelly.
11 Powder: I know you are tempted to put some powder but wait. The baby powder smells good and feels good but pediatricians have advised that using powder can be risky as the particles present in the powder can enter the lungs and cause respiratory distress.
Apply your diaper cream or ointment, put on a new diaper and finally put on some fresh clean clothes on your baby.
Voila we are done with our first baby bath. Tell me how you felt about it. Excited, scared, a big bundle of emotions right. And last and most importantly don’t forget to capture these moments !!!