Bath time is one of the best moments for parents with newborns when it comes to creating memories. While watching your child splash and shriek in the tub can be much fun, bathing can also be an excellent way for parents and babies to spend some quality time together. Consider it a continuation (or expansion) of kangaroo care or the belief that skin-to-skin contact between parent and baby is good for the development of a newborn. While kangaroo care is most effective within the first two hours after birth, further direct contact after that time, such as bathing with Baby, can still be beneficial.
There are, of course, some limitations. First, your infant might not be ready to bathe—the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends waiting at least 24 hours after birth before giving your newborn their first bath. One Cleveland Clinic study found that this improves breastfeeding success. You should also wait until the umbilical cord area, and circumcision (if Baby had one) are entirely healed before immersing your newborn in water. Sponge baths should be your go-to cleaning method before that.
It's also worth noting that bathing your child might be very deadly if done incorrectly. Therefore, it's preferable if you have a partner or another adult hand Baby to you and then picks them up when you're ready to leave. If no other adults are available to assist, make sure you can securely manoeuvre your baby into and out of the tub—don't get up and walk out with Baby in your arms.
A sponge bath will be the first bath. Choose a warm and flat surface such as a bathroom or kitchen counter, a changing table, or a bed. Using a thick towel, cover the surface. Because babies are easily chilled, make sure the room temperature is at least 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Assemble all of the baby bath items you'll require:
Never let your baby alone in the bath, even if it's only for a few minutes. Take baby with you if you need to get to the phone, the stove, or whatever.
Gentle sponge showers are ideal for the first few weeks until the umbilical cord falls out, the circumcision heals, and the navel heals fully. The fundamentals of bathing a baby are as follows:
Your clean baby is ready for a clean diaper and clothes now that bath time is over!
It's time to try a tub bath once the umbilical cord has fallen off and the circumcision and navel have healed completely. If your infant becomes cranky during the transition, go back to sponge baths for a week or so, then try again. Bathing a baby is a process that requires both the baby and the parent to acclimatize. To get ready, do the following:
Avoid using bath seats or bath rings. These are not for infants but rather for older babies who can sit up on their own.
Lather, Rinse and Moisturize: When it comes to how much soap to use and where to apply it, keep it simple. It's vital to remember that a baby's skin barrier is still developing, making them more vulnerable to irritants and drying out. Also, keep one arm cradling Baby's head while you bathe them with the other, and make sure you're solid in the tub.
Make the first tub baths as brief as possible. Fill the tub only 2 or 3 inches deep with warm, not hot, water. Support the baby's head with one hand, then slowly lower the other.
Again, don't get out of the tub with your tiny one in your arms after rinsing. If you're with a partner or another adult, give Baby to them first. If you're alone, double-check that you can securely remove your child from the tub without standing up and stepping out while holding them. Finally, dehydrate Baby and cover them in a towel to keep their body heat in, making sure all creases are clear of water before applying any lotion, diapering, or dressing.
When bath time is finished, wrap the baby in a towel as soon as possible, covering their head for warmth. Again, congratulations on a job well done!