How to bathe a newborn

Bathing your new baby can be very daunting, especially if this is your first baby. It can be even more worrying if your little one was premature. You can bathe your baby in a tub as soon as the umbilical cord stump has come off and has healed, until then, sponge-bath your baby. The trick to a happy bathtime for a young baby lies in being prepared.

Choosing a Tub

Deciding where to bath your baby is the first step. You can choose to use a baby bath which you fill with warm water in the room of your choice (some parents like to place the baby bath inside the family bath tub). A baby bath certainly makes it easier to bath your baby as it offers easier access. You can, of course, choose to bath baby in your own bathtub but if you do, it makes sense to get a support designed to be placed inside the bath to make it easier and safer to bathe your little one.

Choosing Bubbles

In the early days, plain warm water is all you need to take care of your baby’s delicate skin. In time, you can introduce baby-friendly toiletries; your little one will love the bubbles. Make sure the water is never too warm; check it with your forearm or elbow or buy a bath thermometer.

Bathing your Baby

? Gather everything you are going to need. This will probably include a soft towel, clean clothes, a clean nappy, and a baby sponge or flannel.

? Fill the bath with clean warm water (the temperature should be around 37degrees), you only need four or five inches of water.

? You might like to wash baby’s face and hair before placing them in the bath. You can shampoo baby’s hair or just clean it with a flannel, depending on how much hair your little one has. Dry the hair to stop baby getting cold.

? Support your baby’s neck and head with one hand and place the other under their back, then gently lift and lower them into the water. Keep the hand underneath the neck and head and then use the other to gently move some water over baby. Your little one should be covered by the water so as to stay warm. Chat to baby and make eye contact to keep him happy. Babies, especially younger ones, will only be in the bath for a few minutes.

? Lift baby carefully and place them on the dry towel, then wrap them up warm and hold them close. Pat the skin dry, make sure you don?t miss any nooks and crannies! Baby powder is not necessary but if you like using, make sure you choose a baby-safe product and always place a small amount of powder in your hands and then apply it carefully and slowly to your baby. This is to reduce the risk of your baby breathing in the powder.

RELATED: Making bathtime fun for babies

Some babies simply love being bathed while others simply love to scream about it. The only way you can convince your little one to love the water is to let them experience it. In time they will get used to the water, and some toys, singing and keeping bathtime short can all help.

Another way to bathe your baby, especially if they aren?t keen on bathtime, is to share a bath with them. Just remember to keep the water at the right temperature for baby and leave your fancy bubble bath out! It can help if someone lifts baby in and out of the bath to you and can dry baby off to allow you to get dried too. Bathing together can be a great opportunity for skin to skin contact.

Please feel free to share any tips or advice you may have.