Some of my babies have loved bath time as a newborn and others have screamed each time they were undressed and put into the water. Janna turned so red from screaming during her first bath that I won’t even share the picture with you. I will just skip ahead to when she started to enjoy baths and share a picture of her enjoying a bath in the sink at 6 months.
After weeks of crying at bath time Janna eventually started to love getting clean. The bathroom sink was just as good of a place as any for her until she was sitting up well enough to be in the big bathtub. For my other babies I used a standard infant bathtub but they really aren’t necessary. When using the sink I just made sure my arm was supporting my baby’s back and head when she was tiny.
While it is fun to bathe a baby who can sit up and enjoys bath time, that isn’t how babies are born. Until the umbilical cord falls off babies should only receive a sponge bath and the cord should be kept dry. After the cord has fallen off your baby is ready for a “real” bath.
Some things to remember when it is time for baby to get a tub bath are to check the water temperature (90-100 degrees Farenheit), keep the bathroom warm, have all supplies handy, use a natural baby-safe soap (or none at all), and be very gentle with your slippery baby.
Here’s a handy printable guide to bathing a newborn from Babycenter that looks like it would be good for a first time parent.
While there are differing opinions about how often babies need baths, I give my babies a bath at least every other day until they are eating solids and then they get one every day.
Oftentimes I use a natural soap but sometimes I just use plain water to get them clean. There are some nice natural baby products like Earth Mama-Angel Baby Organic Baby Shampoo & Body Wash but I generally avoid most of the others.
After baby is clean you need something to dry them off with. While a regular towel works just fine I think babies look so cute in a hooded towel.
I have always found that most of the hooded bath towels that are available are quite thin. However, I do like my homemade hooded bath towels which are made from regular bath towels.
Bath Time Safety
- Never leave a baby unattended. A baby can drown in an inch of water. There is no phone call, TV show, etc. that is more important than your baby, so stay with them during bath time. Also, using a bath seat (which I have never used) for babies should never be a replacement for your constant attention either.
- Keep the water between 90 and 100 degrees Fahrenheit. You can purchase a tub thermometer to help you make sure the bath water is at a safe temperature for baby. Also, it is a good idea set your hot water heater to no higher than 120 degrees when there are kids in the house.
- Once your baby is a little older and able to sit up make sure you teach him or her not to stand in the bathtub. A baby or toddler can slip and fall in the blink of an eye.
Previous Baby Basics Topics:
- A Brand New Baby
- Cord Care
- Newborn Skin Conditions
- Tummy Time
- Clothing a Newborn
- When You Suspect a Problem
- Essential Gear
- Knowing Your Baby
- Trimming Nails & Suctioning Noses
- Baby Learning
- Attachment Parenting
- Sleeping Like a Baby
- Traveling with Baby
- Diapering Choices
- Starting Solid Foods
- Baby Learning Recap
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