Bathing a baby can be a stressful event with an infant screaming at the top of their voice, fear of dropping your child, the phone ringing and the towels and diapers somewhere else.
Or your baby’s bath can be a great moment to look forward to both for you and your baby. I’ve done it both ways. :-)
It just needs a bit of planning and timing. Follow my tips and you can’t go wrong!
Tips on How to Bathe a Baby Safely and Fun
- Bathing a Newborn or Not
- When and How Often
- Where to Bathe your Baby
- How to Bathe a Baby
- Safety Issues
- Watch out for Kicks
- Bathing Together
- Load your Camera
- Bathing a Baby Instruction Video
Bathing a newborn?
The advices vary whether you can bathe a newborn baby or not before the umbilical cord stump or any circumcision has healed. I wouldn’t. It just doesn’t feel right to wet a wound on a little baby.
Instead, give your baby a sponge bath if you like. That is, put him down on a soft towel in a warm room. Wash him carefully with warm water especially on his face, neck, armpits and the diaper area.
Don’t care about the rest of the body; a newborn baby doesn’t get dirty!
When and How Often
Bathing babies can be done more or less anytime.
You don’t have to do it often, though. Babies don’t really get dirty. Once a week is just fine. If you wet him very often, there is a risk that his skin will get dry.
The evening is a good time of the day to set up your baby’s bathing routine. Bathing is said to first increase any person’s metabolism and then reduce it, making you tired.
Many babies sleep well after a nice, warm moment in the water.
Where to Bathe your Baby
Your baby is not picky. Buy an inexpensive plastic baby tub, like this one at Amazon; use the bathroom sink, or use the bathtub. If you use the sink, it can be a good idea to line it with a towel to make it a bit more comfortable.
Make sure the room temperature is nice and warm and that the water is of body temperature. A thermometer may be handy until you’ve learned to recognize the right temperature.
What you don’t need is to buy a special seat for the baby tub (unless it comes included with the baby bathtub you buy – it is, of course handy, but an extra cost). You can easily learn how to hold and support your baby’s back and neck with one hand and wash him with the other. Be two adults to help each other in the beginning.
How to Bathe a Baby
Before you start bathing your baby, prepare everything. Bring a towel, new diapers, ointment if you need it and clothes for your baby.
Then just have fun with your baby. Lower him or her into the water slowly and with a big smile to reassure your infant that everything is fine. This way you will also notice if he/she doesn’t like the water temperature.
Don’t use soap! I know it’s “allowed”, but I think it is completely unnecessary for bathing babies. Water and a few drops of organic baby oil are all that’s needed.
When your baby grows older, he or she is likely to start splashing the water like crazy. Very wet and a lot of fun. Take off your own clothes and let your baby splash away; it’s a great way to get used to getting water on the head and face.
Never leave your baby in the tub, not for a second.
Don’t “just” go to answer the phone, get a towel or anything like that. Babies can drown in very shallow water and very quickly. Nothing is worth taking that risk – which is why planning the bath and making sure to have everything you might need within the reach of one hand is so important.
Watch out for Kicks
When your baby grows, watch for his/her kicks if he or she is bathing in anything smaller than a big tub.
A great thing to do when your baby is old enough to hold his/her head just a little bit is to bathe in the tub together with your baby. It’s wonderful!
Just make sure you support their head so that he/she doesn’t dip the face in the water by accident.
Load your Camera
“One last tip; for your baby’s first “dive”, load the camera (or mobile phone)! Not because your baby likely to react in any particular way, but because it’s a memorable moment. Many newborn babies get very calm when put in warm (not hot!) water.
On the other hand, many newborns get furious when stripped naked. So if you don’t want to record that, wait until you are just about to put him into the water before you get any film rolling.
If you want to learn how to take magical baby photos, I have two online courses to recommend:
If the cost of these is too high for you, a great thing is to sign up FREE at Creative Live and attend one of their free on-air classes. They offer a lot of photography classes that are worth watching.
Bathing a Baby Instruction Video
Here is a video showing how to bathe a newborn baby is a safe way.
That was it! If you have any question OR if you want to share how your baby’s first bath went, please do below! :-)