Our postnatal expert MELINDA HUNT answers common questions about babies, pregnancy, parenting and more. Here, she shares some tips for new parents on bathing newborn babies.
What are some bathing basics for when we come home with baby for the first time?
The thought of bathing your newborn on your own once you leave hospital may be nerve-racking if you’re a first-time parent! However, with some practice and reassurance, this special time can become a good way to promote a relaxed state that’s conducive to sleep for your little one. It can also be a lovely time to bond and get to know how to handle your baby. Here are 12 tips for new parents.
Bathing your baby every day in the first couple of months isn’t necessary, but it’s also absolutely fine if you feel you prefer to do so.
Bath baby when they are contented, not when they’re hungry or over-tired.
Consider bathing baby every second day so as not to dry the skin out too much.
Alternatively, use the top-and-tail method. Topping-and-tailing is when you wash baby’s face, neck, hands, feet and bottom with a wet warm cloth without placing them in the tub. You can use a warm flannel and cotton pads dipped in water to clean around each eye and around the ears and face, too.
For a proper bath, use a portable tub that’s in a comfortable position for you to attend to your baby.
Fill the bath to the level indicated on the tub, or approximately five centimetres deep. The temperature should be 37 to 38 degrees Celsius.
Have the following articles set out ready before you commence the bath ritual:
- Filled tub
- Baby shampoo and mild soap
- Wash cloth
- Cotton balls for cleaning around the eyes and face
- Hooded towel
- Nappy and clothing
- Nappy cream and moisturiser (optional)
To hold baby, gently support the neck and head with one arm and use your other hand to wash. Pour warm water over baby to keep them from getting cold.
When bathing, make sure you get in all the creases of the skin.
Dry baby well with a hooded towel and give them an extra cuddle to keep the warmth in.
Once bub is dry, you can apply moisturiser or baby balm if so desired, before putting on a nappy and clothes.
Take time to enjoy this loving bathtime ritual with your little sweetie!
Melinda Maternity is a bespoke postnatal care and night nurse service. Melinda brings first-hand experience and professional advice on topics from feeding and settling to basic baby care.
This article first appeared in the Winter 2020 issue of Expat Living magazine. Subscribe now so you never miss an issue.