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The first bath is always a scary one. For most new parents, this is a team event filled with caution and a lot of worry. This was true for me….however, my husband was gung-ho and super excited with no reservations about bathing his son. Being the oldest of eight kids, he is well versed in bathing, diaper changing, feeding and entertaining babies which makes for a fantastic match for this one sibling mom with some baby-sitting experience. 

I was glad to see Aaron (my husband) take charge in our first bathing experience with Elijah. We had watched all the videos, taken the classes and even YouTubed the How To’s on bathing a newborn. Now that we have given many…MANY baths to our little guy we feel like old pros, I even bathed him once by myself *wink* (of course Aaron does this all the time, as he constantly reminds me).  Here are some things that we found helpful in bathing our newborn.  Feel free to add your suggestions in our comments section below.

  1. Use an infant tub with a sling – they may be an eyesore but they make bath-life a whole lot easier.
  2. Always check the water to make sure it is tepid. The optimal temperature is 75 degrees F. If the bath is too cold, baby is not going to be happy. 🙂
  3. Be Prepared:
    • Have a hooded towel and fresh diaper ready near by
    • Two-three wash cloths (one for the body wash, one for the private’s wash, and we use one to cover his private area)
    • Tear-Free shampoo
    • Baby cotton swabs for cleaning the ears (don’t use adult cotton swabs!)
    • I even like to have his outfit ready, for a quick change so he doesn’t get cold
    • Take a few minutes to sprinkle water over baby to get him used to the bath water – we get LOTS of smiles at this point!
    • Start washing from the top of the head down to the feet. Cleaning the front and back private areas last. We even use a separate wash cloth – okay, we may be a little anal
    • Rinse with a clean wash cloth
    • Pick baby up CAREFULLY and wrap him in a hooded towel. I prefer to have a helper here – one to lift baby out and one to wrap baby in the towel
    • Diaper and clothe baby – in Le Top  and rabbitmoon clothing of course!!

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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
  • towels
  • 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. 🙂

Bathing Steps

  • 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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