Tips and hints on bathing your newborn
Bathing newborns can be tricky and frightening at first but as soon as you get used to it you relax and enjoy the experience.
Bath time should be enjoyable and easy for you and your baby.
Usually you bath your newborn baby two to three times a week but if your baby really likes the bath then once a day is fine too in the early days.
Before you start make sure that there are no distractions – take the landline off the hook and turn your phone onto ‘do not disturb’.
You can start in the kitchen sink with newborns and progress to a plastic baby bath or container when they grow a bit.
Bath your baby in a room that is warm, safe, and clean. Keep your baby’s face away from pouring water and make sure it is warm and not hot.
Make sure you have everything you need at hand – towels, washcloth, lotion. Clean clothes and soap or a non-soap cleanser.
Position the bath somewhere stable and at a height where you can comfortably hold your baby. A kitchen table is best.
Fill the bath with 5cms of water for babies up to 6 months old.
Take off your watch, jewelry and wash your hands.
Check the temperature of the water 37 to 38 degrees is ideal.
Don’t add extra water while you baby is in the bath and remember to run cold water through you tap so you don’t scald them.
- Supporting your baby’s head and neck, lift baby out of the bath then place baby on their back on a clean, dry, soft towel. Keep your baby warm.
- Wrap your baby in a soft towel and pat dry. Pay attention to skin creases, including armpits, groin, under the chin, around the neck and behind the ears.
- If your baby’s skin is dry, or if baby s nappy rash, you might want to apply a mild lotion.
- Dress your baby, putting a nappy on first.
- Place your baby in a safe place, like a cot or bassinette.
- Empty the bath water
Children can drown in a few seconds in very shallow water. Never leave your baby alone in the bath. Never leave older children or siblings to supervise. If you’re disturbed by the phone or another task, take your baby out of the bath and with you.