The first thing to know about baths is that babies don’t have to have one every single day. Twice a week is probably OK. But, if you and your baby like the bath, do it more often.
Second. Sponge baths (washing the baby without putting his in a bathtub) are perfectly fine at first. There’s really one main area – and you know what it is – that gets really dirty. But even that area can be cleaned with water, a mild soap and a couple of washcloths.
Sooner or later, you’ll do your first bath.
Frankly the best ways to learn are by:
- Watching your partner
- Attending a baby bath demonstration if your hospital offers them
- Watching an online video. Here’s are links to two good ones. <<add links)
The main things to remember are:
- Make sure you have everything you need before you start — washcloths, a hooded towel, the bath tub, an extra towel, a cup for rinsing, a baby shampoo, and a mild soap (soap is not really necessary for newborns).
- Go from the top down – meaning, wash the butt area last.
- The other main area where babies get dirty is the chin neck area. Milk, drool and spit-up dribble into all the little folds.
- Never leave a baby alone in a bath, even in those reclined tubs with hardly any water in it.
Handling that squirmy, naked little body in the bath may feel awkward the first few times you do it. No problemo. Just keep working at it. You’ll get the hang of it. Bath time often becomes a great baby and dad playtime!
Bathing with baby
If you don’t feel comfortable bathing your baby in baby bath tub, try taking him into the tub with you. (Wear a bathing suit if that makes you feel more comfortable.) The advantage of this method is that you just stick him between your legs, which supports him really well. Your body also helps keep him warm. One caution.
It is not safe to get in or out of a tub while holding on to a baby. So you’ll need your partner to hand the baby in to you and to take the baby when you’re finished.