When your baby has a bath, it is a really good communication time. You are close and must touch and hold to keep baby safe. It is a good way for dad to bond with the baby too. So first of all, assemble everything you will need so that towels, cloths, baby soap and fresh clothes are all close by. You may need a heater on in the room if the weather is cold.
Always run the cold water in first and then add hot water to give a pleasant warm temperature when you test it with your inner wrist.
Now you are ready to go!
- Remove baby’s clothes and wrap him in a towel.
- Tucking him under your arm, place his head above the bath and with a wet facecloth, wipe each eye from the inside out – using a different part of the cloth for each eye. Then wash the face and ears. The tip of your finger is the biggest thing that should go in the ear.
- Hold baby over the water and wet the hair and cleanse with soap or baby shampoo. Rinse thoroughly and gently towel dry.
- Lie baby down on the side table and remove the towel. With wet hands, soap all over then place baby in the water and rinse it all off.
- Carry out a conversation as you do all this!
- When cleaning the penis, do not pull the foreskin back – just cleanse over it. With a little girl, gently separate the sides of the vagina and clean with a cloth from top to bottom. Any discharge is usually normal and blood may be seen a few days after birth.
- Very small babies usually cry in their baths but they learn to enjoy it and later may cry when they are taken out of the water.
- Once the skin is washed and clean, lift baby out and dry thoroughly all over.
- Take care drying behind the ears, under the neck and in other folds of the body especially if they are a little chubby!
- Vaseline (petroleum jelly) is an effective way to treat any dry skin.
- To dress baby put the nappy on first (it’s wise to be safe), then the rest of the clothes. Babies usually need a layer more than an adult to keep their body at a comfortable temperature.
A baby can have “top and tail” days as they do not need a bath every day. A shower with dad can become an enjoyable time. Mum needs to be on hand to dry and dress baby. As baby grows, bath times will become a fun time as they play with toys in the water.
NEVER leave a baby or toddler in the bath alone. Do not leave the bathroom for any reason if they are sitting in the bath which has water in it. So plan baby’s bath time into the daily routine and probably keep to the same time each day. Enjoy this time as well!