Being a new mom or parent can be stressful enough, you finally got your child to finish eating and now it’s bath time? Some kids (like my nephews) aren’t exactly excited about bath time, but I say start the process when they are babies so they expect it. Eventually they realize it is all part of a daily routine they must do that can be both fun and painless (for them and you!). So from the beginning, here are some pointers on how often you should bathe your baby and kids…plus a few tips for beginner moms.
How often should you bathe your baby?
Although some parents bathe their babies every day, until yours is crawling and gets very messy, a daily bath isn’t really necessary. Know that many parents and babies love bath time, but there’s no evidence that suggests babies must have a daily bath. It’s all up to you! However, washing your baby’s face frequently and thoroughly, as well as their genital area after each diaper change is a must!
Bottom line – most babies find the warm water very soothing and enjoyable!
Where should I bathe my baby?
There are usually two typical options – the bathtub or a kitchen sink/plastic baby bathtub. When you use the bathtub, it can require you to kneel or lean awkwardly over the baby and there is less control over your baby’s movements. The kitchen sink can be a little easier on the back, but both locations work well.
Important Things to Know About Bathing Kids
- Never leave kids unattended in the bath, even for a second.
- Stay focused on a baby or younger child during the entire bath.
- Make sure towels and other bath supplies are within easy reach.
- Test the water carefully to be sure it’s not too hot, especially for babies.
Don’t answer the phone or a text while a child is in the tub. This is dangerous and babies need your full attention during the entire bath.
Tip: Toddlers and kids can slip in the tub because they tend to stand up and want to play. If you’re worried about kids hitting their heads on the tap, wrap it in a washcloth so they don’t hurt themselves. To avoid falls, don’t let kids stand up in the tub until it’s time to get out.
Be Prepared for Bathing your Baby
First, gather all the things you’ll need, including:
- a clean washcloth
- mild, unscented baby soap and shampoo
- an infant tub
- a clean diaper (and diaper rash cream or lotion)
- clean clothes or PJs
- ps – it doesn’t hurt to sing along too! Rubber Ducky is my favorite from Sesame Street.
- Place the infant tub in the bathtub.
- Fill the infant tub with 2 to 3 inches of warm — not hot! — water (to test the water temperature, feel the water with the inside of your elbow or wrist).
- Be sure the room is warm.
- Undress the baby and put him or her in the infant tub right away so the baby doesn’t get cold.
- Use a washcloth to wipe the baby’s face and hair.
- Using baby shampoo, gently massage the baby’s scalp with the pads of your fingers or a soft baby hairbrush.
- When you rinse the soap or shampoo from the baby’s head, cup your hand across the forehead so the suds run toward the sides and soap doesn’t get in the eyes.
- Gently wash the rest of the baby’s body with water and a small amount of soap. Throughout the bath, regularly pour water gently over the baby’s body so he or she doesn’t get cold.
- While bathing an infant or young child in the tub, never leave him or her alone for any reason. If you need to leave the bathroom, wrap the baby in a towel and take him or her with you.
- After the bath, wrap baby in a towel immediately and cover his or her head.
Enjoy this time bathing your baby since before you know it this will all be a memory!
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