Question: What is wriggly, pink, often screams the first time you bath it and has a very special and unique smell?
Answer: A Baby.
One of the most common topics we get asked about is how to bath a new baby.
This is very scary thing for both baby and parents.
I think that your fear of dropping and drowning your baby is compounded by the often hysterical screams of baby, unless of course you got lucky and had a baby that loves water and immediately relaxes when placed into the water.
What are our first time bath tips and tricks:
Number 1: Decide on when you are going to give your baby its first bath. These days the common thought is to only bath baby 2-7 days after birth. Delayed newborn bathing is consistent with World Health Organization recommendations and based on medical research. The main reason for this is that babies are born covered in a white, waxy substance called vernix. This acts as a bacterial infection fighter as it is made up of early development in-utero skin cells and is an anti-bacterial and anti-germ barrier.
One of the other reasons is that you just want to hang on to that new baby smell for as long as possible.
Number 2: Decide on the best time of day for baby and mamma. Don’t try and bath your little one when she or he is hungry or at the end of the day when both you and baby are exhausted. This is guaranteed to bring on the tears, yours included.
I often suggest bathing baby in the mid-morning when you are not rushed or stressed or tired, as baby will easily pick up on your anxiety.
Number 3: Decide on what you will use to cleanse baby – will you use aqueous cream, baby friendly soap and products such as the new JOHNSON’S® TOP-TO-TOE® range or just plain water?
Everyone knows JOHNSON’S® and can relate to that amazing smell that every baby product of theirs exudes. What’s really awesome is that their new range called TOP-TO-TOE® comprises of the complete bath cycle products and is especially developed for newborns. This range includes the following:
A baby wash which gently cleanses without over-drying skin and has a really handy push pump to help when you only have one hand free.
A baby massage lotion which moisturises and has a very gentle and soft fragrance to enhance that new baby smell.
A baby massage oil – massaging your baby is one of the greatest gifts you can give your baby and one of the greatest skills you can learn.
An extra moisturising baby cream – which although is thick, is smooth and non-greasy.
Number 4: Make sure that you have all your supplies ready at hand so that baby’s first bath can flow and not be interrupted by having to get things that you forgot.
Things to include are:
2 x Face Cloths (one for face and body and one for bum)
A Bath Towel
Thermometer – to test water temperature
Wicusun Powder or Surgical Spirits
Number 5: This tip covers setting the environment!
You want to make this experience as enjoyable and relaxed as possible without overstimulating or shocking baby – so imagine how you would like to take a relaxing bath. Close all doors and windows to prevent any cold drafts blowing on baby. If you have music playing ensure that it is soothing for baby. Remove all your rings and jewellery so you don’t scratch baby and upset the apple cart. Run warm water into a baby bath or sink.
Ensure that water is not to hot nor too cold and should be between 26 and 27 degrees Celsius. Test this with your thermometer (eventually you will be able to confirm this temperature using your elbow dipped in the water. But for the sake of saving your nerves just use the thermometer.)
Number 6: Constantly talk to baby and tell them what you are going to do next.
Number 7: Remove baby’s clothes but keep nappy on, for obvious reasons, and wrap baby in a towel.
Using cotton wool that has been dipped in warm water, wipe your babies eyes from the inside to the outer part and use a different piece for each eye.
Use a new piece of cotton wool dipped in warm water to wipe the rest of the face, including the nose and the ears.
Remove baby’s nappy.
Get a firm and stable grip of the baby by using your one arm to hold baby’s thigh and the other hand to hold the opposite arm.
At this stage you can slowly lower baby into the warm water wrapped in the towel or without the towel on. If you do keep the towel on, once baby has been submerged then open the towel under water.
Once baby is in the water, give them a few minutes to adjust to this awesome and cosy feeling. Constantly maintain eye contact and never let go of baby.
Using one hand pump a small amount of JOHNSON’S® TOP-TO-TOE® baby wash and be sure to use a clean soft face cloth to wipe all of baby’s body including baby’s bum and “privates”.
Gently wipe umbilical cord stump to remove any dead skin.
It’s a good idea that if you are intending to wash baby’s hair that you use a soft jug to help wet the hair and then rinse off without getting water and soap into their eyes.
You will sense that baby has had enough of the bath with niggling or noises. At that point take baby out of the bath and wrap in a warm towel.
Dry all over, apply surgical spirits or Wicusun powder to umbilical cord stump.
Put a good dollop of a moisturiser into your hands (rub cream into your hands to warm it up) and apply to baby with soft loving strokes. Don’t forget the feet.
I love the JOHNSON’S® TOP-TO-TOE® extra moisturising baby cream. It smells yummy and locks in moisture. Alternatively you could use a good quality Almond oil available from most pharmacies.
Apply bum cream, nappy, baby vest and babygrow and give hair (or lack of) a gentle brush to stimulate growth and prevent cradle cap.
Lastly hold your precious bundle, look them in the eyes, give them a cuddle and tell them just how much you love them.
Well Done – You owe it to yourself to take a long relaxing bath now (yeah right – we all know that the chances of that are nil) or at least a very quick shower before you are summoned again by little cuddly person!!!
We want to know about your fun-filled, bubble-covered bathing baby moments! Share with us your bathing tips, tricks and experiences.
Be sure to enter our subscriber giveaway for the month of November, where you could win a JOHNSON’S® TOP-TO-TOE® Hamper and 4 packs of Extra Sensitive Baby Wipes valued at R500! Go here to enter: http://babyyumyum.co.za/subscriber-giveaway