Spending quality time with your baby during bath time is an unrivaled feeling. From an infant’s perspective, bath time is a unique experience each time because there are a lot of new stimuli that he doesn’t normally encounter inside a crib or a bassinet. It’s a different kind of wonder and spectacle for a baby to be able to play with water, smell the scent of soap or feel the bubbles touching his skin.
In a previous blog post, we talked about the physical and emotional effects of bath time and how it creates the perfect bonding moment. But to achieve that, parents may sometimes need to go through an adjustment phase where they have to learn the basics and some tricks to execute bath time perfectly.
One of the biggest challenges, of course, is bathing your newborn for the first time when you’re also a first-time parent.
Even experienced parents may find bath time tricky, especially when their baby dreads the bath or they couldn’t rally their baby’s attention. It’s understandable why the task could be downright frightening for newbies; oftentimes they’re too afraid that they might scald the baby or because the baby’s skin is peeling or the baby is just too tiny to maneuver.
Pulling off a great bath time boils down to a unique connection that parents are going to have to figure out for themselves, but it also helps to know the fundamentals to equip yourself in advance with proper knowledge on what to do — or what not to do. Below are some frequently asked questions pertaining to bathing newborns, along with their corresponding answers.
When should I start giving my newborn baby regular baths?
It's up to you. You may enjoy giving your baby a bath from day one. Or you may find it simpler to top and tail your baby using cotton wool and a warm, damp flannel or sponge. You can carry on topping and tailing for the first week or so. You may feel you need time to recover from the birth and get used to handling your baby before you are ready to bathe him.
Newborns can lose body heat very quickly. So your baby's first bath should be quick but thorough, and last no longer than five minutes to ten minutes.
When is the best time to bathe my baby?
For newborns, morning is the ideal time to give your baby a bath when they are more alert. As they get a little older, bath time is generally better at night as part of a bedtime routine to help baby calm down and get ready for bed.
Where is the best place to bathe my baby?
The best place for bathing your baby is near a water source such as the kitchen or the bathroom. The bathroom is generally a good place for bathing as it is usually a smaller room that is easier to keep at a comfortable temperature while bathing baby. Many parents prefer to use the kitchen sink (or a tub that fits in the kitchen sink) as it is a more comfortable height for bathing younger infants than bending over a bath tub.
How often do I need to bathe my baby?
It is not necessary to bathe your newborn every day if you cleanse his nappy area carefully during nappy changes. A tub bath 2 or 3 times a week during the first year is generally plenty. You may find it helpful to alternate tub bathing with sponge bathing. Bathing your baby too often can remove the natural protective oils in his skin.
What kind of soap should I use?
A newborn baby's skin is very sensitive so it's wise to use a hypoallergenic wash or soap especially designed for babies. The same goes for choosing a baby shampoo; many adult shampoos can sting little eyes. (You do not need to use baby shampoo unless your baby has a lot of hair.) Do not use bubble bath to bathe your baby because it dries babies' skin too much.
Is it bad to get water in my baby's ears?
Your baby's ear canal and middle ear are separated by the 'ear drum', so water cannot enter his middle ear while you are bathing him. Therefore it won't be harmful if your baby gets water into his ear; however, it can be uncomfortable so it's safer to avoid getting water inside his ears.
What should I do if soap gets in my baby’s eyes?
Most baby washes are made with a mild, tear-free formula although it may still be bothersome to your baby if it gets in their eyes. If you should accidentally get soap in baby’s eyes use a wet wash cloth to wipe their eyes using plain, clean water until all the soap is gone.
Should I have toys in the bath?
Bath toys are not necessary for very young babies as the stimulation of the water and washing is exciting enough. Once your baby is old enough to sit independently in the bath, bath toys can become great source of distraction as you bathe your baby. There are many toys in the market specifically designed to add fun to bath time.
As your baby grows old and starts playing with toys in the bath, it’s important to tidy them up when bath time is over to avoid the buildup of mold and mildew. Get a bath toy organiser that’s quick and easy to use so you can get back to your baby as quick as possible.
Watch the video below to learn about the Funki Flamingo Bath Toy Tidy.