Bathing place. You can bathe your baby anywhere, in a warm room or the bathroom. However, be a bit careful and cautious as the place may get slippery when they are wet. This puts your at a slightly higher risk of falling from your hands.
Types of bath. There are two ways to bathe your baby- sponge bath and tub bath. In the initial days after the birth, sponge bath is a good idea as the touch of water on the skin may startle the baby. Later on you can start giving tub baths to your baby.
Sponge bath.Sponge bath is considered a safer option because it does not wet the entire body. You can uncover and clean one area at a time. This also keeps your baby calm and comfortable.
Place for sponge bath. You can give sponge bath to your baby while holding her in your lap. If you find it difficult, you can also lay her on the changing mat and give sponge bath. However, before bathing the baby make sure that you have all the supplies needed near you. You can begin with topping and tailing the baby.
Cleaning the upper half. For giving sponge bath to your baby, lay a towel on your lap and place the baby over it. Remove the clothing from the top half of the body and clean the front upper half of the body using a clean soft sponge or a soft towel dipped in warm water.
Dry your baby. After that lean the baby forward on your arm and wash her back. Pat the baby dry. You can also put the vest on, if your baby does not like to remain undressed for long. If needed, you can also wash her hair with a wet sponge and slight rubbing.
Clean the lower half. After the top half of your baby’s body is cleaned, start cleaning the lower half. First, remove the clothing and clean the nappy area using a wet sponge or cotton. Then you can wash the baby’s legs and feet. After that, gently pat the skin dry and dress the baby.
You can also sponge bathe your older baby on days when she does not want to take tub bath or when she is unwell.
You can start giving tub baths to your baby once you are comfortable with handling her when she is wet. You can also seek help from your partner or a relative. Keep shifting the baby between hands when you feel the need and do not keep her in water for very long.
Keep your supplies ready. Before you start with the bath, you must have all the supplies ready at an arm’s reach. Clean the nappy area and do topping and tailing before putting the baby in bath. Check the water temperature before placing your elbow in it. It should not be either too hot or too cold. Undress your baby, wrap her in a towel and wash her face gently, using a moistened cotton.
Wash her head. You can then wash your baby’s head. While doing this, hold her firmly with her legs tucked inside one of your arms. Lean over the bath tub and wash your baby’s head. Rinse her well and pat her dry.
Techniques to follow for tub bath. You can now uncover your baby and put her in the tub. Support her shoulders firmly with one hand. You can do this by putting your fingers under her armpit and by supporting her bottom with the other hand. Always keep one hand under the shoulder in order to keep her head up and above water. Use the other hand to wash her body. Seat the baby gently in the tub. You can also put a wet towel on the side of the tub to seat her and prevent her from slipping down in the water.
After you are done with the washing and rinsing, raise her back gently. Use both your hands to lift her and quickly wrap her in a dry towel. Pat her dry and then dress her.
Using soap. You can use some gentle baby soap or baby wash liquid to bathe your baby. However, you do not need to use it very frequently. You can recognize the need of it by feeling the baby’s skin while she is still dry. Once a week is enough.
Using baby lotions. Baby lotions can be used as per the need. Try to use these as less as possible. However, if your baby’s skin feels dry you can use these lotions in consultation with your paediatrician. She may suggest a cream instead of lotion. Just keep in mind that if you are using a baby lotion, it should be mild and water based so that it gets easily absorbed in the skin and does not clog the pores.
Don’t leave your baby unattended. For your older baby, you can allow her to sit in the tub and play for a while if she wants to. You can even allow your older baby to bring in her toys to the bath. But never, under any circumstance, leave her unattended in the bath.
Precautions during tub bath. While giving tub bath to your baby, you need to exercise some precautions.
? Always put cold water into the bath first and then add warm water if needed. Mix the water and check the final temperature using your elbow
? The temperature of water should always be checked before bathing your baby. Lukewarm water keeps the baby comfortable while bathing
? Never add warm or cold water in the tub when your baby is already there
? Keep the bath shallow. 2-3 inches would be just enough to bathe the baby
? Keep your baby undressed for the minimum amount of time.
Bathing your baby can be quite an enjoyable process. You can also let your older baby enjoy the bath with her sibling or even with yourself. It enhances the family bonding. You can make the bathing time enjoyable by engaging the baby in some song or soft talk.