How to bath your baby
Bath time is a great time to bond, distraction- free with your baby as they enjoy the relaxing sensation of the warm water on their skin.
It can also appear to be a little daunting for first time parents, wondering if the water is too hot or too cold, what is the correct way to hold their baby to ensure you have a secure grip, what products to use on their delicate skin etc.
So we have created this video and blog based upon midwifery advice to help answer these questions and more, so you can both relax enjoy your bath time experience together.
Beyond the health and emotional benefits, bath time with your baby also offers many cognitive and developmental benefits thanks to the 4 senses which are engaged during this special time including sight, smell, hearing and touch. It’s also the perfect opportunity to engage one-on-one with your baby to create beautiful childhood memories.
Safety is paramount when bathing your baby. It is important to:
- Never leave your baby unattended during bath time.
- Avoid using slings / seats in the water as having your baby in your arms in the water ensures your baby is ALWAYS with you.
Start by creating a safe, warm and comfortable environment for you and your baby. The temperature of the room should be warm and free from cool drafts. Before you begin, ensure you have everything you need to wash your baby within arm’s reach. You will need:
- A clean towel
- Fresh set of clothing
- A new nappy
- Face washer, cotton wool ball / sponge
- Natural Baby Wash & Shampoo and Natural Baby Moisturiser (Shop Here)
Your baby’s skin is a unique structure and is much more sensitive than adults. Therefore, when choosing skincare - it is important to make an educated decision based on the ingredients, additives and any other potentially harmful chemicals contained within the products. Our 99.9% Natural products are made using the highest quality Natural & Certified Organic Ingredients are FREE FROM:
- Perfumes or Synthetic Fragrances
Depending upon your baby’s age, you can either choose to bath them in a bathtub or clean sink. Keeping in mind that bathtubs are much lower than sinks, which may cause strain on your back particularly in those early months.
Sinks are an ideal position when bathing newborns, as it allows you to stand at the optimal height eliminating the need to lean down. It doesn’t need to be full, just enough to cover their back. They can float in this position, in your arm with a warm washer over their belly to keep them warm.
If using a bathtub, you only need to fill enough to allow your baby’s back to be covered whilst laying in your arm. Ensuring that the water is at the optimal temperature, which is Body temperature – aim for around 37 °C - 38°C degree (100 F) and slightly cooler for newborns at 36 °C.
To check the water temperature, you can use either your wrist or elbow or a bath thermometer.
As your baby’s skin is more sensitive than adults, it is important that you swirl the water around the tub or sink prior to testing. This ensures that there are no warm or cool patches, prior to placing your baby into the water.
STEP 2 – WATER TEMPERATURE & GRIP
Begin to wash your baby by gently placing them in room temperature water.
Rest your baby’s head on your forearm, securely holding them under their opposite arm to ensure you have a good grip. This position allows you to hold your baby comfortably, whilst ensuring that your baby will not move away in the water.
STEP 3 – WASHING YOUR BABY
Newborn – 4 weeks
It is advised not to use any products on your baby’s skin during the first 4 weeks of life. This is due to the fact their skin delicate skin is still developing. However, as our Natural Coconut Baby Wash & Shampoo is made using 99.9% Naturally derived plant- based ingredients, you may of course choose to place 1 pump of our product into the water and swirl it around their bathtub. This will not only gently cleanse their skin and hair, but it will also provide a safe natural coconut scented bath which will gently cleanse and nourish their delicate skin. This decision if completely at the discretion of yourself on what you feel is best for your baby.
Newborn – 4 Weeks+
From around the age of four weeks, you can choose to continue to use water alone, or our Natural Coconut Baby Wash & Shampoo by:
- Pumping the product into their bathtub under running water to create a fun and relaxing bubble bath experience.
- Pump the product onto a washcloth / sponge.
- Pump the product into your hands and mix with water to create a lather and apply directly onto your baby’s skin and hair.
It is important you avoid your baby’s eyes and mouth, and ensure you rinse all product from your baby’s skin and hair using either your hands, a clean face washer or sponge, prior to removing them from the bath.
- Begin by washing your baby’s eyes from the inner corner to the outer corner, using a clean washcloth or cotton ball.
- Then proceed to clean the rest of your baby’s face and hair proceeding down, gently cleaning their neck, tummy, arms, underarms and all creases.
- If your baby still has their umbilical cord, make sure you just wash around it and pat it dry when finished.
- Once you’re done with washing the upper part of their body, move onto washing between their legs. It is important to know that your do not need to separate the labia of little girls or the foreskin of little boys. Just washing over the area will be fine.
- Continue down their body washing between their groin, knees, and their feet and toes.
- If you feel comfortable to do so, now is a good time to turn your baby onto their belly to let them kick around with their head up out of the water at all times. Use this time to carefully wash their back and bottom.
IMPORTANT: It is very important to have correct grip to ensure you have full control of your baby at all times, so their head always remains securely out of the water and safely in your grip so that can’t ever slip out. Remembering baby’s skin can be extremely slippery when wet, particularly when using wash on their skin. So extra care must be taken if you choose to bath your baby in this position.
- Wash all product from their skin with water prior to removing them from the bath.
STEP 4 – POST BATH MOISTURISING YOUR BABY
When removing your baby from the bath its important to maintain a warm and comfortable environment. Note that the temperature of the bathroom should ideally around 25°C. Ensuring you have a flat surface prepared with a clean dry towel to place your baby in immediately after the bath to dry them off completely and ensue they are nice and warm.
- Maintain contact at all times so they don’t roll away
- Dry all creases including their hair
- Apply moisturiser to their skin by ensuring you pump the product into your hands to warm it first prior to applying to their skin. Moisturising as soon as you remove them from the bath helps to lock in moisture and re-hydrate the skin.
- A full body massage is a great idea, particularly prior to bedtime to help with relaxing your baby.
How often should I bath my baby?
A common question asked by most new parents is how often their baby should be washed? The answer is - it is entirely up to you as their parent. Baby's don't 'need' bathing every day, as they don't really getting dirty - and they are also being cleaned with each nappy change in the areas which do. So choosing to bath your newborn 2-3 times a week is enough to keep them clean.
But if your baby enjoys their bath and you wish to bath them daily as part of their bedtime routine - that is also completely your decision as a parent to do what best for your baby. Keeping in mind that their skin can be quite dry in their first few weeks of life, so moisturising after each bath is a great way to help keep their delicate skin hydrated and prevent it from drying out.
Generally at around the 4-6 week mark, many parents like to begin incorporating bath time as part of a night time routine. But again, this is completely at your discretion, as all baby's are different and its important to do what works best for you both.
Shop our range of Natural Coconut Baby skincare products here.