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Baby Bathing

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What do I need to bathe my baby?

You will need a few things to give your baby a bath including:

  • A clean sink or baby bathtub
  • A baby bath seat, if needed
  • A baby bath stand, if needed
  • Soft washcloth
  • Baby soap
  • Soft towel
  • Thermometer to test the water temperature, if needed

It is important to be prepared and have everything you need before getting started, so you can fully concentrate on bathing your baby. If not careful, babies can end up swallowing large amounts of water, or worse, drown while bathing.

How to bathe a newborn?

Fill the sink or baby bathtub with warm water and test the temperature to make sure the water is not too hot or cold. Gently place your baby in the water and support their fragile head and neck. Use the washcloth to clean their face and body. Be careful not to get water in their face.

Use baby soap to wash their hair and body. Or you can add a few drops of baby oil to the water. Always test any baby products that you use on the skin to see if your baby has a reaction to it. Alternatively, you can use nothing. Warm water is good enough to clean a newborn baby's sensitive skin.

Gently rinse your baby off with warm water and wrap them in a soft baby towel. Pat them dry, apply baby lotion and put on their baby clothes. Bathing your newborn can be a special and bonding moment for both of you, especially as lots of babies love being in the water.

Do babies need shampoo?

You only need to use shampoo on your baby if they are dirty or have crusty build-up on their scalp. Otherwise, baby soap and water are all you need to clean them. If opting for a shampoo, pick a gentle, fragrance-free shampoo that is specially made for babies. Regular adult soap and shampoo can be too harsh for a baby's delicate skin and scalp. If soap or shampoo gets in your baby's eyes, rinse them out immediately with clean water. If their eyes are still irritated, call your doctor.

What's the most important rule when bathing a baby?

The most important rule when bathing a baby is to never leave them alone. Even for a moment. It only takes a second for an accident to happen. So, always stay close and within arm's reach of your baby when they are in the bathtub or sink.

How often should your baby have a bath?

Most babies do not need to be bathed every day. In fact, bathing them too often can dry out their skin. A good rule of thumb is to bathe your baby 2-3 times a week, or as needed. If your baby is extra dirty or sticky, they may need to be bathed more often.

What time of the day should you bathe your baby?

It's best to bathe your baby at a time when they are usually calm and happy. For most babies, this is right before bedtime. Bath time can be a relaxing way to help them get ready for sleep. Some parents swear it helps their babies sleep faster and better.

What if my baby cries at bath time?

There could be a few reasons here such as the water and room temperature. Some babies hate the sudden change in temperature when you strip off their clothes and put them in the bath. They could be hungry, sleepy, or just not in the mood. Newborn babies may feel insecure floating in the water or with the whole bathing process.

How can I make bath time fun for my baby?

Here are some ways to make bath time fun for your baby:

  • Play peek-a-boo with them while you're washing their hair.
  • Blow bubbles in the tub or sink while they splash around.
  • Sing nursery rhymes or their favourite songs while you bathe them.
  • Play with their favourite bath toys.