Giving a baby a bath is not an easy task. Daddy prefers not to do it at all. I’m not sure if he’s ever given our youngest baby a bath. I know it’s daunting, and a bit scary at first, but anyone can master it. Anyway, here’s how I go about bath time:
Baby Bath Tub
Two Wash Cloths
Washing Little Babies:
- Put all items, including phone and camera (I don’t want to be at all tempted to leave the room), within arm’s reach of the bathing area.
- Fill baby tub with a couple inches of water that feels slightly warm to the elbow.
- Fill pitcher with slightly warmer water.
- Lie Baby on incline of baby tub. My older baby will sit on a textured spot in the baby tub, or on a wash cloth so he doesn’t slip, and I keep a firm grip around his upper arm throughout bath time. If Baby cries, I do the rest rather quickly.
- Give Baby a toy that will distract him from squirming.
- Wet a wash cloth and spread over reclining Baby’s belly to keep warm. I’ll re-warm it intermittently throughout the bath, by dipping my other wash cloth in the pitcher and squeezing it over the one on his belly.
- Dampen the scrubbing wash cloth and start by wiping the eyes, then move on to the rest of the face. Don’t use soap on the face.
- Use a corner of the wash cloth to clean inside the ears, and don’t forget behind the ears.
- Make sure to spend time on the neck. All kinds of stuff hides in those folds. I don’t always use soap on Baby’s skin, just lots of water.
- Keep scrubbing down the body, leaving the diaper area for almost last, and the hair for absolute last.
- Shampoo the hair by creating a lather in your hands, then spreading all over Baby’s head. Scrub using flat fingers. I also use the wash cloth to really scrub the scalp, so he doesn’t get cradle cap.
- Rinse hair by creating a visor with my hand against his forehead, and dipping the wash cloth in the pitcher and squeezing it over his head repeatedly. My sitting baby will recline so his neck is on the crook of my arm, and I rinse the same way.
- Open the towel and put the spot where you want the head to go under your chin, while throwing the ends over your shoulders. If you’re wearing a bra, you can tuck some towel in the straps to keep it out of your way.
- Pick baby up under his arm pits, using your fingertips to support a wobbly head, and place his chest against yours on one side, so his face is on your shoulder. If you’re confident, pick Baby up and turn him around so his back rests against your chest with his head under your chin.
- Wrap the towel around him so his head is covered.
- Dump the water out of the baby tub. I don’t want to risk forgetting about it.
I hope that takes some fear away for new parents, or even offers new tips for old pros. I love bath time, and often take a snap shot or two so I’ll always remember those moments.