Just like many things that are new, the first few experiences of bathing your delicate, wiggly, slippery baby may be rather awkward and can be a real adventure. But don’t worry: with a little practice, bath time will become a very special time for both of you. When you’re getting ready to bathe your baby, here are several tips for bathing your baby:
- Get everything ready before you start the bath. This makes bathing your baby easier and safer.
- Always test the water with your wrist or elbow. The water should be comfortably warm, not hot.
- Never leave a newborn or young child alone in a bath. If you must leave the room for any reason, wrap up your baby in a warm towel and take him with you.
- Talking to your baby in a soft, comforting manner. Your voice calms a nervous baby.
- When you’re finished bathing your baby, wrap him in a hooded towel and gently pat him until he’s dry. Don’t rob, as this can irritate delicate baby skin.
You may hear conflicting advice about how often to bathe baby. Some experts suggest 2 or 3 times a week is enough. Others say a daily bath helps keep sensitive skin from drying out. However, your newborn is not “dirty,” so you need not bathe your baby every day. Of course, your natural instinct may tell you that a daily bath is an essential, but too much water can actually dry your baby’s skin out. If you have questions about your baby’s bathing schedule discuss them with your pediatrician.