Friday, June 7, 2013

Bath time tips

There is not one bath routine that works for everyone.
Tub and sink sizes, babies temperament and willing partners will vary from family to family

* generally I suggest just sponging of any dirty areas until cord/ circumcision sites are healed (usually by 2 weeks you are good to go)

Once you are ready to submerge the baby,  safety is key


-Have all supplies at hand.
(towel, wash cloth, cup for rinsing)

-Wearing a terry cloth robe will help keep you dry as well as offering traction to a wet slippery baby

-If possible have the room temperature nice and cozy ( 75 degrees would be ideal)

-Check the water temperature to make sure it isn't too hot ( it might be worth buying a baby bath thermometer. There are several cute ones that float in the tub)
A good water temperature range would be between 36-38 Celsius or 97-100 Fahrenheit.
Some infants have a little trouble regulating their body temperature so water that is either too hot or too cold can make them uncomfortable.
( normal body temperature averages 37 or 98.6)
Too cold is no good, but too hot is probably worse.
Babies have very sensitive skin that can burn easily.
As a safety precaution I would have you turn down your hot water heater to 120 degrees.
Many hot water heaters come from the factory set to 140 degrees. Way too hot!!

-Make sure there are no electric cords or tools nearby ( like shavers or hair dryers) that can get pulled into the water

*Remember that babies can drown in even an inch or two of water

How Often?
Babies don't get too dirty and usually don't need to be fully bathed more than 2-3 times a week.
If they have dry skin it is important to not over bathe. ( slathering with a good lotion after the bath is also very important for these kids)
Faces and diaper areas should be washed at least daily

In the tub I would start with the face and head.......then do the body and end with the tush. ( going from the cleaner areas to the dirtier areas).
You can use a warm, wet cotton ball to clean the eyes. I suggest cleaning from the outside of the eyes in towards the tear duct/ nose.

Some kids can get irritations from sitting in the soapy water so if you have an older baby who enjoys the bath, let them play and then do the soaping and rinsing right before they get out. 
Using a cup to rinse the hair usually helps
Find a nice gentle baby soap. There are a lot of good brands. Watch for any rashes or irritation when trying anything new. Bubble baths can cause urinary discomfort in some sensitive little girls, so keep an eye out for that.
Adding a splash of apple cider vinegar to the tub seems to be useful at preventing some rashes. It is hard to give an exact amount since the tub volumes vary so much, but I usually suggest between 1/4 and 1/2 cup.

In my family we made baths a two parent operation. My husband would get in the tub first and I would hand in the baby. Many parents have told me that they loved this tip. The babies feel very secure being held and it is generally much easier to get them nice and clean from within the tub.
If you don't have two willing partners I would usually use a big sink until the babies are good at sitting. (watch out for the faucet. There are products out there that can cover them for safety).
For your toddler, consider a plastic rectangular laundry basket that fits inside your tub. Your baby will have something to lean against, and the toys can't float very far.

There is nothing quite like the scent of a clean, sweet smelling baby. Enjoy the moment!

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