5 tips for bathing your baby

September 27, 2013 12:00 AM by

Giving birth can be an incredible experience that is unlike anything you'll ever have again - unless you deliver another child into the world, that is!

But for first time mothers, the feelings of intense happiness that come after several difficult trimesters of carrying a baby can be overwhelming, but so can all the tasks that need to be done to ensure that a little one is properly cared for!

One of the big tasks you'll need to master quickly is the proper way to give your baby a bath. This may seem easy at first, but it can actually be a little tricky, which is why it's essential that you try and get this down as quickly as possible – even before the baby is born.

With these five tips, you'll be able to bathe your little one with confidence and feel certain that he or she will be safe throughout the experience.

1. Invest in the right accessories
No matter whether your baby is a newborn or is 6 months old, the fact of the matter is, in order to make bath time more engaging for your baby as well as safe, you'll need to invest in the appropriate bathing accessories.

This includes a basin or seat that can be used to prop your baby up in the water – you want to make sure one is appropriately sized based on the weight and height of your child. In addition, you should pick up soaps, along with shampoos and conditioners, to help make the most of this. A thermometer and spout cover can also be good investments when bathing babies.

2. Monitor the water temperature
Babies are especially sensitive to fluctuations in temperature, and water that may seem warm or welcoming to you can have dangerous connotations for little ones. If the water is too hot, it could scald your baby's skin, so be sure to do your best to test the water before you slip your baby into it to avoid potential dangers.

3. Find the right position
During the first few weeks after birth, you should sponge-bathe the baby until the umbilical cord falls off. After that, you may be unsure how to hold your baby while bathing him or her, and while this can be confusing, it's important to note a few key things. You should hold on to your baby at all times and place your baby into the tub feet first to avoid potential issues. Always be sure to support your baby's head and neck while bathing him or her.

4. Set the water levels
How much water should you fill into your baby's bath? While your little one still has his or her umbilical cord, you want to be certain not to submerge him or her in water, as this could negatively impact the healing process. Even after this, you never want to keep the water levels high in the tub or basin you're using to clean your baby in. Instead, you should consider only putting in a few cups or inches of water.

5. Embrace bath rituals
More than anything else, when it comes to getting ready for baby bath time, you should embrace the post-bath rituals that follow. From drying off your baby to making sure the water is all drained, you can have fun and show your child that baths and the periods afterward can be times to play and enjoy everything. Giving your baby toys to play with will help him or her be stimulated in the water, and you can create games out of each toy to support that.

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