If your baby is about 2 or 3 days old, it is time for his or her first bath! You baby in the bath immediately after the delivery or the day after is not necessary. In fact, it is better to wait a little longer. Your baby has a thin protective layer after birth and you can not wash it off properly.
Your maternity assistant will (fortunately) assist you with the first bath so you will receive good information at that moment. But if you do not know, you can follow the steps below for the next time your baby is having a bath.
Preparing baby in the bath: put these things ready
It is incredibly dangerous to only let your baby take a bath for a few seconds. A baby can already drown in a small puddle of water. For that reason, a small preparation is essential for safe bathing.
Make sure you prepare the following items:
- clothes or nightwear;
- clean diaper;
- soft towel;
- bill towels;
Before you undress and bathe your baby you can still do the following things:
- Make sure that the room temperature is between 21 and 24 degrees Celsius;
- Close the windows and doors so that it does not draft;
- Prepare a jug and put the clothes you put on your baby after the bath on the jug so they are nice and warm;
- Fill the bath with water that is 37 degrees Celsius. You can measure this with a bath thermometer or check with your elbow if the water is not colder or warmer than your own body temperature (it feels so warm to the touch).
Baby in the bath: how do you do that?
It's time to give your baby a good bath! Place the head of your baby on your left wrist. Hold the upper arm with your left thumb and forefinger so that your baby does not slip. With your other hand you lift the buttocks. If you are left-handed, place the head on your right wrist and do it the other way around. If you have your baby well, you can let him or her sink into the water.
Some babies love to take a bath. Others do not like it very much. Probably your baby first has to get used to it. If your baby does not like it, place the feet against the bath rim. This can give your baby a safer feeling and maybe it will.
Should a baby bathe once a week or more often? More often is desired but your baby's skin is still tender so 2 times a week is more than enough. Read more about this: How often should a baby take a bath?
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Soap or no soap when you bathe your baby?
In principle, it is not necessary in the first months to wash your baby with soap. The skin is still very fragile and your baby is clean enough of just water. If your baby is older (4 months) you can put some baby soap in the bath.
Does your baby suffer from dry skin? Use special bath oils for baths.
Never use your own shower utensils, they are far too aggressive for that delicate skin! You do not have to wash the hairs of your baby for the first time. After a few months you can gently wash the hairs with baby shampoo. Always do this at the end of the bath. After the bath you can rub your baby with baby oil. This is also allowed in newborn babies.
After the bath
After the bath it is the art of drying and your baby will probably find it less pleasant. Always make sure your baby does not cool too much.
- So dry the head first (there your baby loses the most heat),
- Then the buttocks and then immediately put on a diaper. Otherwise your baby can take a bath again!
- Then dry the rest of the body dry. Do not rub.
- Put a cap on after drying and dress your baby immediately.
- Pay attention during drying that you take all the pleats so that you prevent the skin from irritating.
When to bath babies?
The first time you can give your baby a bath is 2 to 3 days after the birth. After this, 1 or 2 times a week is sufficient. Every day is too much for the delicate skin. Choose the time of day that you are bathing your baby. The baby in the bath just after feeding is not convenient because that is not good for the stomach. But too long after feeding is not good either because your baby is hungry. The golden mean is the best!