First bath – nothing to be afraid of
First bath is a big moment in new parents life – and, of course, their new born child’s as well.
Every newborns have an innate swimming reflex due to floating in the womb for previous 9 months. Babies are not scared of their first bath that much- but their parents are. ;)
First step in preparing yourself for this experiences is to make sure you have all necessary supplies around you within arm’s reach so you don’t have to step away. Then make sure the room is warm enough [not below 24oC] and there are no drafts. The bathing water should be only slightly warmer than baby’s body temperature, the best is 37oC.
First few baths should be quick – not longer than 2-3 mins.
It is good to wash baby’s face first before the main bath; wash his face, eyes and bottom with disposable cotton pads dipped in cooled boiled water or saline solution. Remember to use separate cotton pads for every part to avoid spreading potential bacterias.
You should dip your baby into the bath water slowly and carefully. There are two methods:
- while holding you baby facing up, putting his legs and bottom into the water first;
- while holding your baby facing down and putting his knees and belly into the water first;
Second method is less popular, but it works very well when the baby isn’t very fond of baths. This position gives him more sense of control of what’s going with him, can see the water below and won’t be this surprised with changes in his position. This method is still used in many hospitals while bathing babies there.
It’s crucial for us to hold our baby in a strong and steady grip. Consider letting your partner to do it as his hands are usually wider and stronger.
Even in warm water baby can lose body heat quickly, so keep him covered during the bath. You can cover the baby with bamboo or muslin diaper and put him like this to the bath and sooth the first contact with water this way.
Use cotton or bamboo washcloth or clean your baby with your bare hand. Pay special attention to creases under the arms, behind the ears, around the neck and the genital area.
Once baby is out of the bath, act fast and wrap him up warmly in a hooded towel, making sure he won’t get cold. No one likes to be wet and cold ;)
Our special towel will come handy here as you can use it as an apron, hang it on your neck [and protec your own clothes while doing so] then hug your baby right away after the bath with warm fluffy towel.
Towel for kids are made of special soft fabrics. You can choose between bamboo towels that will dry your skin right away or cotton towels that are very soft and fluffy. You can choose between small and bigger sizes. Pick whatever works best for you ;)
While drying your baby remember to just touch and squeeze him gently around with towel, don’t rub his delicate skin. There’s no real need to apply any after-bath products, but if you feel like it, you can use some baby cream or oil on dry spots. Now you can dress and feed your baby. :)
To sum things up, while getting ready to bring your newborn to your house, remember to get following supplies:
- baby bathtub [ can be freestanding] or bath bucket;
- water thermometer;
- bamboo or cotton diaper to cover your baby with it;
- terry-cloth towel with a hoodie;
- baby soap and shampoo [natural, scent-free];