3 min read
Lets’ talk bath time. We invited Maddie, a practicing midwife of 7 years, to teach us how to bath a new baby. As a mum of two little girls and from her work in postnatal services within the hospital and in the home, she loves educating new families and instilling confidence during the postpartum stage, with particular attention around parent-crafting.
Parent- crafting or mother crafting is a great skill or knowledge base on how to care for new babies and young children. One of her favourite skills to teach is how to bath a new baby!
Bath time can be a beautiful time to bond with the baby and help calm them in the evenings, its also a great way to get the whole family involved. Baby bathing should be delayed until your baby is at least 48-72 hours, your midwife can show you prior to discharge how to bathe your baby and incorporate things like baby massage and tummy time.
Why the delay in baby bathing?
Babies are born covered in what we call birthday frosting! Otherwise known as vernix, it is a creamy substance that protects delicate newborn skin. Letting vernix naturally absorb has wonderful benefits for baby.
When should you bath your baby?
You can bath your baby at any time of the day really, if your baby loves a bath you can use it as a lovely way to settle them for sleep in the evening. It’s always best to bath baby distraction free, avoid using your phone and have everything you need prepared.
So here are my favourite tips and tricks for baby bath time!
Preparation is key
- Have everything you need ready, a caddie is great for this!
- Portable tub, outfit changes, singlet, nappies, cotton buds, a bath towel and smaller hand towel, baby wash, baby moisturiser, cotton tips.
- Baby wash, this is totally a personal choice but we recommend fragrance free and natural. My daughter Marigold loves Wotnot Naturals baby wash.
- Position your bath somewhere stable at a good height to avoid overuse of stomach and back muscles (be kind to yourself Mumma!).
- Prepare your baby bath, the ideal temperature is between 37-38 degrees, fill your tub to at least halfway, so that baby can enjoy a deep relaxing bath. Use a thermometer or your elbow to check the temperature of the bath, it should be lovely and warm not hot.
- Gently undress your baby leaving the nappy on and wrap them in one of the towels.
- Start by cleaning your baby’s eyes with cotton buds using bath water without any added wash, clean from the inner eye to outer eye, you can also use the cotton buds to clean their face. You can then use some baby wash to wash their hair.
- Return baby to changing pad, dry their hair and take the nappy off. (Their hair may get a little damp in the bath again however washing and drying prior to a full body bath helps them to not feel too cold).
- Cradle baby and support their head and body as you gently lower them into the bath, place the smaller hand towel over baby.
- Gently wash your baby, cleaning tricky creases and other places where milk, baby poo or vomit may be hiding.
- Your baby does not need to spend a lot of time in the bath, ensure you support them at all times.
When its time to get out
- Supporting your baby’s head and neck , lift them out of the bath and gently place them on their back and dry using your soft towel. Clean and dry all the little creases to ensure no water is trapped, as it causes excoriation.
- Once bub is all dried, start a gentle baby massage using a lovely fragrance free lotion if you have noticed that baby has a little bit of nappy rash you can apply Wotnot Natural nappy rash cream & baby balm to the area.
- Dress your baby in the chosen outfit and proceed with your bedtime routine.
After the relaxation
- When the time comes to put everything away, you can reap the benefit of a portable bathtub and natural product, by being able to tip the water into your garden.
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