Your precious little bundle isn’t quite ready for splish splashing just yet! They’ll need the TLC treatment as they adapt to the world around them – and mummy and daddy get a grip on things! Here's your essential guide to bathing a newborn baby.
The last thing you want to be doing with your new B.O.J (Bundle of Joy) is bending over a bathtub precariously. It’s a major safety hazard, with slipping and falling at the top of the list, not to mention a pain in the …. Knees and back. Instead, invest in a plastic bathtub that can be placed safely on the kitchen table or somewhere else at waist height, or, try a clean kitchen sink or your laundry trough! The important thing is that you are comfortable, able to hold baby safely and have everything you need (baby towel, wash, washers) within reach.
You only need a few inches of warm water – the temperature will alter according to whether or not it’s summer (humid) or winter (cool) but the ideal water temperature is 37 degrees C. Give the water a swirl and test the temperature on the inside of your wrist.
Perfecting your newborn grip may sound tricky, but it’s not. Imagine you’re holding a (precious!) rugby ball, with your newborn’s head gently resting in your inner elbow and his neck and body supported along your forearm. You may need to manoeuvre around slightly to find the most gentle, supportive position, then gently immerse baby into the water. Keep their tummy covered with a washer, which you can gently pour warm water over, so it doesn’t go cold.
Newborn babies are born with unique bacteria on their skin which is thought to act as a protective barrier from harsh environmental elements. Using a gentle and effective cleanser that is pH balanced and, sensitive to a newborn’s skin is essential to protect baby’s natural skin barrier and the healthy bacteria which reside on the skin. A simple splash splash in water alone won’t cut the mustard, so to speak! In fact, water is not an effective cleanser because it doesn’t remove the fat-soluble impurities left behind under nappies and clothes. And, these impurities are retched for causing havoc on bub’s delicate skin barrier.
Most babies love bath time, but bathing bub too often can actually cause moisture loss and dry bub’s skin out, particularly if you’re home has hard water or chlorinated water. In extreme cases it can cause skin irritation or redness. Once a day or every other day – with a little ‘top and tail’ alternate days – is ample. Use a moisturising pH balanced bath oil or gentle bath was to lock in moisture and cleanse effectively.
You’ll hear people telling you to develop a routine, but when should you schedule the essentials? Some people suggest 6pm, to relax baby and prepare them for the night. Others suggest bathing baby at 10pm, so they sleep for the long stretch through the night. Find what works best for your family and baby. Dad’s often find bathing baby a lovely binding activity and routine to share.
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