Bathing Your Baby For The First Time

You’ve just brought home your very first baby.  For new parents this can be a daunting time.  You are likely feeling apprehensive about all the things you will need to learn in order to care for your baby.

Giving your newborn baby his or her first bath at home can be terrifying.  Parents worry about getting the water temperature correct.  They worry about having everything they need in place.  They worry whether or not the baby will like being bathed or will raise a fuss.  They worry if they can accomplish this daunting task of bathing baby.

First, your baby does not need a special bathtub although some parents have arranged to have a special bath on hand before the baby comes home.  Bathing your baby in a clean sink or even in the regular bathtub will work.

Make sure you have everything you need right near the bath.  This includes a changing mat, towel, fresh diaper, clean clothes and undershirt, lotions or powders if you use them.  Be sure the baby is in a safe place while you are getting ready for the bath.

Run some cold water into the bath first.  Then top the cold water with hot water and swirl the water around.  Be sure there are no hot spots.  Dip your elbow into the water to check the temperature.  The water should be lukewarm.  The skin on your elbow is a reliable way to test the water temperature since it is very sensitive.

Warm a towel.  Undress your baby and wrap him in this warm towel.  Holding the baby over the bath scoop up some water in your free hand and gently rub it over his head.  Shampoo is not necessary for very young babies since it may irritate their scalp.

Babies lose a lot of heat through their heads, especially when the head is wet.  Dry the baby’s head thoroughly.

Now place the baby’s neck in the crook of your elbow and hold the back of one of his legs with your hand. Gently lower the baby into the water.  If you are right-handed it is easier to place the babies neck in the crook of your left elbow and then hold his left leg with your left hand.  This will keep your right hand free to wash the baby.  If you are left-handed the reverse is true.

Some babies really enjoy having a bath.  In fact, some babies even fall asleep in the bath.  Other babies hate being bathed.

Cup some water in your free hand and trickle it over the baby.  You don’t need to rub or scrub the baby since babies do not get dirty.  They simply need to be refreshed.  Be very careful since the baby will get very slippery when he is wet.

Don’t keep the baby in the bath very long as he will get cold quickly.  Most important, never leave the baby unattended in the bath for any reason – not even for one second.  Accidents can happen in a very short time.

When the bath is completed, lift the baby out and again wrap him in a warm towel.  Dry the baby quickly and put on a fresh diaper before he has chance to have a little accident.  Finish dressing the baby quickly.  Now give him a hug.

See, it wasn’t so difficult.  You’ve successfully accomplished giving your baby his first bath.  Next time you’ll feel like a pro.