Bathtime with your new baby can be lots of fun, but for first time parents it can also be a little daunting when you feel like you don’t know what to do. So here to help is a quick guide on how to bath your new baby, but remember – the best way is whatever works for you and in time you will find your own system of giving your baby a bath.
First of all before you start undressing your baby get everything ready – run the bath, put baby wash or shampoo nearby if you’re using it, flannels and cotton wool for wiping eyes, a towel, a clean nappy and clothes to put your baby in afterwards. It works well to have them all set up nearby (on the floor next to the bath worked well for me!).
Make sure the room is nice and warm so when your baby comes out they don’t feel too cold. Run the bath so there’s just enough water to cover part of your baby’s body, but it’s not too deep. Check the temperature is warm, not hot, with your elbow or a bath thermometer.
Undress your baby and place them gradually into the bath, supporting their head and neck with one arm and holding him in a semi-reclined position. You can buy baths with supports in now which are ideal as it means you can have both hands free to wash your baby.
Once all clean rinse your baby thoroughly all over their body making sure no bubbles are left. Then take your baby out of the bath and wrap in a towel, ideally one with a hood as babies loose a lot of their warmth through their heads.
If your baby doesn’t like the bath, don’t worry – over time most come to love it. You could even try taking your baby in the bath with you, just make sure the water isn’t too hot and ideally have someone else ready to take your baby off you and get them dried nice and quickly.
Ideally there is no need to bath your baby more than two or three times a week (it is now proven excess washing can cause skin irritations such as eczema) – just make sure you top and tail them with cotton wool and warm water every day that you don’t bathe them.