Bathing your baby

Bathing your baby can be a wonderful experience for both you and the baby. The first thing to do is to be organised. Have the bath filled with really warm water usually at 38 degrees (best to have a floatly thermometer in the bath for accurate temperature) – anything cooler will have the baby screaming out – “it’s far too cold in here!!”

The bath needs to be deep enough – right up to your baby’s neck. Have clean towels and face washer, some nappies, a singlet, an outfit for the baby, and organic cream for the baby’s bottom all ready.

Bath your baby every night and do not shower your baby, it is dangerous as the baby could easily fall or the parent trip with a slippery baby.  A bath is calming, warm and relaxing.

First you undress your baby, but leave the nappy on just in case! Wrap your baby up in a towel and hold your baby under your arm so his head is just being tilted over the bath. With some organic soap on a face washer gently rub around his head. Ensure you rinse off all the water before you rub dry the baby’s hair. Gently wash his face, massaging softly between his eyebrows to prevent cradle cap that might build up there.

Massaging his head around the fontanel area, the soft spot on the baby’s head, is also to prevent cradle cap on his head. Cradle cap is a collection of dry skin and often parents are too afraid to rub in the soft area of the head thinking they may hurt the baby. By avoiding the area cradle cap (dry skin) builds up.

Once you have washed his head you can undo your baby’s towel and the nappy. Pick your baby up with your left hand under his head. The best way to hold a baby in the bath is to gently lay the baby on your left wrist with your arm around the baby and your fingers grasping the arm. Hold both legs with your right hand and gently settle the baby into the bath bottom first, lowering him and very slowly into the bath until the water is just at his neck.

With his head still resting on your left wrist, you can let the baby’s legs go and let him float and enjoy the beautiful, warm water. Put your right hand on his tummy to make him feel more secure and gently remove it once the water is covering him. Slow movements are best as the baby will get a fright with sudden movements.

Your baby will settle and slowly open his eyes and look around. Let the baby float in the water, watching his eyes gently open as he starts to relax. There’s no length of time that you need to let your baby stay in the water. If he cries in the bath, the water is either be too cold or too shallow.

Pat your baby dry, making sure to dry well under his arms and between all the creases. If you have two wet surfaces rubbing together, it can cause an irritation. Lift your baby’s arm up by holding his elbow.

When he is dry put the nappy on first.  This will prevent him wetting his clean clothes and ensure you won’t have to bath him again! Put a singlet on and dress him in a onsie wrap him up in Cath’s Wrap.  Your baby is now ready for a lovely feed.

The key points

  • I bath newborn baby’s at 10pm every night.
  • Have the bath warm & deep.
  • Be organised have a clean nappy, clothes, towels ready to go.
  • Use organic soap on newborn skin.
  • You don’t need a seat in the bath.
  • Don’t shower a baby.
  • Bath the baby every night.
  • Dry the baby well after the bath especially
  • Dress and wrap the baby after the bath.
  • Feed the baby straight after the bath
  • Lots of love, kisses and cuddles
  • Put the baby to bed

Relax and go to bed yourself