Although the water is often relaxing and comforting to a newborn, sometimes the thought of baby's first bath can seem daunting, especially to first-time parents. If you find yourself worrying about what you should and shouldn't do before this milestone, there are some tips for giving your baby their first bath that can help put your mind at ease.
As you go through the list below, keep in mind that bath time isn't as scary as it may seem. Even better — bath time is one of the few things in a newborn's that parents have complete control over. Think about it — your baby decides when they poop, when they eat, and when they fall asleep. But bath time is different. From picking the bath products and toys you want to use to deciding when a bath is needed, you're able to make the call. And once you you get past the first time in the tub, bath time can even be used in your favor. If you have a fussy baby and need a way to get them to relax.
So for those who will be tackling first baths soon, check out some of the following simple yet effective tips.
1. Gather All Your Supplies Beforehand
According to What To Expect, you should have everything you may need on hand before bath time begins. Otherwise, you'll likely have to gather up your wet newborn to go grab a necessity. Some supplies that are good to have on hand include a towel or two, baby soap and shampoo, something to scoop water, and a diaper for afterwards.
2. Make Sure The Water's Warm
The aforementioned What To Expect article also encouraged parents to keep water toasty, as newborns lose body heat fast. Although you want the water warm, you don't want it too hot. Use your wrist to test the temperature of the water, as it's the most sensitive area on your body. There are also toys you can throw in the water that measure temperature by changing color if the water's too hot. What a time to be alive, right?
3. Only Fill The Bath With 2-3 Inches Of Water
According to Pampers, you only need 2 inches of water in your baby's tub. This allows you to make efficient use of water, while also offering some additional safety to your newborn for bath time.
4. Wait Until The Water's Done Running To Put Your Newborn In
According to Baby Center, you should never put your baby into the bath while the water's still running. This is a safety issue because the water can quickly get too deep or turn too hot.
5. Gradually Place Your Baby In The Tub
The aforementioned Baby Center article suggested slipping your baby into the tub feet first, and using one hand to keep her neck and head steady. This allows your baby to ease into the water and also gives you a little more control over your baby's reaction to the water.
6. Keep Your Newborn Warm During The Bath
Web MD noted that you need to keep your baby warm during the bath, or they'll become uncomfortable and fussy. The best way to do so is to consistently pour water over your baby's body with your hand, a washcloth, or a cup-like object.
7. Wash Between The Baby Folds & Creases
Don't forget to wash between your baby's rolls, under their arms, in the thigh creases, genitals, and all other areas that may not be easily accessible, according to the aforementioned Pampers article. Although newborns are small, you may be surprised how many little areas there are to clean.
8. Pat Your Baby Dry
Although most adults are used to rubbing or more aggressively drying themselves with a towel, the aforementioned Web MD article suggested you pat your newborn with a towel to dry them instead, as not to irritate their sensitive skin. Additionally, applying lotion directly after patting them dry can help keep them moisturized as well.
9. Don't Leave Your Baby Unattended
Even if you just need to run into the other room for a second or think about turning away for any reason, don't do it. According to the aforementioned Baby Center article, a baby can drown in less than one inch of water and in under a minute. There's nothing worth leaving your baby unattended, and if you absolutely need something, as inconvenient as it may be, take your little one out of the bath first.
10. Don't Give A Bath Every Night
Luckily, babies don't need a bath every day and, according to the Academy of Pediatrics, babies only need a bath roughly three times a week. So if you're not wanting the first bath to turn into a nightly bath routine, that's perfectly fine.
11. Grab The Camera
As with many firsts, parents hope and try to capture them on video or with photos. Luckily, with a newborn's first bath, you're in control of when it happens and can capture the moment to cherish down the line.