5 Tips on bathing your baby

At first, bathing your baby may seem like a huge undertaking, with all the things you have to remember. Don’t panic! It won't be long before it becomes a routine. Check out these useful tips to help make bath time a little easier.
At first, bathing your baby may seem like a huge undertaking, with all the things you have to remember.

Don’t panic! It won't be long before it becomes a routine.
Handling a wriggling, wet and slippery baby takes practice and confidence, but you and your baby will get used to bath time and start to really enjoy it. Most babies find warm water soothing and it helps them to relax.

5 Tips on bathing your baby

Follow these tips to help make your baby's bath time safe and fun - and just that little bit easier!

1. How often should I bath my baby?

  • It’s really up to you! Some babies love being in the water and having a bath every day, although a couple of times a week when they’re newborn is fine too.
  • In between baths, wash your baby's face regularly, clean their bottom after each nappy change and wipe any other mess off your baby's skin.

2. Where should I bath my baby?

  • To begin with, whilst they’re still quite young, you may find it easier to use the kitchen sink or a small plastic baby bath or bowl on the kitchen bench.
  • You could use your big bath, but it can get awkward when you need to kneel or lean over the side.

3. When should I bath my baby?

  • When you first start out, choose a time of day when you're not expecting any interruptions and have time to devote to your baby.
  • It's best if your baby is awake and happy before you start, and in between feeds, so they’re neither hungry nor full.
  • When your baby is newborn you may find it easier to bath them during the day. But after a couple of months, a bath can become part of their bedtime routine. 

4. What's the best way to bath my baby?

You need to do what works best for you and your baby. However here are a couple of suggestions for you to consider:
  • Make sure the room where you’re giving the bath is nice and warm.
  • Fill the bath or bowl with warm water around 37oC. For newborns and babies up to six months old, fill the bath with about 13cm (5 inches) of water. Or just make sure there’s enough water to allow your baby to settle in with their shoulders well covered. Never fill the bath more than waist-high (in sitting position) for older babies.
  • Bring your baby to the bath area, undress them and remove their nappy.
  • Before you bath your baby, wash their face. It's easier than trying to do it while your baby is in the water. There's no need to use soap or cleanser on your baby's face.
  • Gradually slip your baby into the bath, using one hand to support their neck and head. Keep a good grip, as they might get quite slippery when they’re wet.
  • Wash your baby with a little mild, unperfumed soap or pH neutral liquid baby cleanser.
  • Use your hand or a flannel or sponge, to clean your baby from top to bottom and front to back.
  • Lift your baby out of the bath and straight onto a dry towel. Wrap them up in the towel to keep them warm and pat, rather than rub, them dry. You may want to smooth on a mild moisturising cream or oil if your baby's skin is dry.
  • Dress your baby in clean clothes once they're all dried off.

5. What things do I need to bath my baby?

Before you start bathing your baby, gather all their bath time essentials things you’re going to need so that the whole process is as smooth as possible when you get going.
Depending on the age of your baby, one or more of the following things may be helpful:
  • A bath or bowl of warm water (37oC).
  • A sponge or flannel.
  • Baby wash or mild soap or cleanser.
  • A clean, dry towel. Hooded towels are great for helping to dry babies and keep them warm.
  • A thermometer for testing the water temperature.
  • A clean nappy and clean clothes.
  • Bath toys for slightly older babies to play with to help make bath time more fun.

REMEMBER: Never leave your baby or toddler unattended in the bath, not even for a few seconds! That could be all the time it takes for them to get into difficulty in the water and drown.

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