I have washed kids in tummy tubs, kitchen sinks, bathroom sinks, in the shower and in our regular baby bathtub. What I’m saying here, is that you can wash a baby just about anywhere… My kids loved getting wet, being bathed in warm water with full attention from us – all but one that is. She hated it. So we cleaned her with wet cloths, waited a week and tried again. One day she just liked it and has never looked back! She loves the water.
What I do remember is trying to get our baby out of the water without dropping her and getting soaked myself. An art in itself I say. Babies are just plain slippery when they are wet. I don’t think there is any tip I can give about this other than practice makes perfect.
Here are a couple of Questions & Answers found in the chapter Bath Time from my book Babies 0-6 months.
How often should I give my baby a bath?
In the early stages it’s best not to bath your baby every day since her skin is still very sensitive and is prone to drying out and let’s face it, they don’t get very dirty yet. After the first weeks, I have always given my kids a bath before bedtime as part of their “relaxing it’s time for bed” routine but it is absolutely not necessary to do every day. If you do give a bath to your baby every day make sure you keep a good eye on her skin (you can use a bit of oil in the water, almond oil is a good one) and make sure it’s not too hot as the hotter the water, the more quickly the skin will dry out. If you notice a lot of dry patches then give your baby a nice oil massage and avoid giving her a bath for a couple of days. Don’t forget to wash behind her ears and in the folds of her neck, as milk tends to drip into these areas.
How warm should the water be?
You should have a water temperature of about 100 degrees Fahrenheit, which is between 37-38 degrees Celsius. Test it on your wrist and use a thermometer in the beginning to get used to what that temperature feels like. If your skin flushes (reddens) when you put it in the water to test then it’s too warm for your baby. Also try and bath her in a warm room and get her dried and warm as soon as possible after taking her out of the bath, as newborns cannot yet regulate their body temperature and get cold very quickly.
Why does my baby cry when I put her in the water?
If your baby is not enjoying her bath then clean her with a cloth or sponge where necessary (behind ear, necks, bum etc.) and try again in a couple of days or in a week. It’s usually a phase but it could also be that she’s hungry or tired. You can also try bringing your baby into the shower or bath with your as it may create a more intimate setting for your baby.
Lianne is a Canadian mother of 4, entrepreneur and author of Lianne’s Quick Guide – for the busy woman. Her first title is called Babies 0-6 months and can be purchased directly from her website: www.liannesquickguide.com. She lives & works just outside of Amsterdam and can usually be found biking around on her bicycle built for 6.