There are a lot of firsts after bringing home baby, and at Moms On Call we know that some are more nerve-wracking than others. One of the sweetest firsts—and for some, the most intimidating—is bath time. Here are a few tips to quiet those first-time nerves so you can truly cherish every moment of these special, early days.
Time to wash away those nerves and jump right in! (Figuratively, of course. This bathwater is only a few inches deep. Bath time is one of our favorite times of the day with baby. Let’s start by talking about preparation, safety and success.
What you do before the bath sets you up for success.Have a basket within arm’s reach of bath time essentials. You can find some specific products we love here, including:
- Towels (Our favorites are soft and fluffy, which is incidentally how I, Jen, am occasionally described)
- Extra wash cloths (One is going cover baby’s tummy to keep them warm)
- Mild baby shampoo and wash (Lavender still brings back memories of a freshly washed baby)
- Baby hairbrush with soft gentle bristles (Did someone say “scalp massage?!”)
- Prep the bouncy seat with a cozy towel as a “docking station” right outside the bath for a quick and easy transfer in and out of the bathtub.
Safety is key
- Moms On Call eliminates the guesswork! Watch exactly how a pediatric nurse would do it.
- Support baby’s head and neck with one hand, and wash with the other.
- Do not try to stand up with a wet, slippery baby in your hands. Transfer them to the bouncy seat (see above) and then you can stand up and subsequently pick the baby up from the bouncy seat safely.
Enjoy the moment—this is what it’s all about!
- Use this time to talk to baby.
- A big key to a happy baby in the bath, is keeping them warm. The warm washcloth on their belly helps us achieve this.
- Support baby’s head and neck to keep them secure. Feeling your touch as you wash them will provide comfort and connection.
- Crying is not failure – some babies just have extra energy to burn off in the evening and may do so at bath time. The acoustics of that small space can amplify those cries and turn a 10-minute bath time into a “quick dip.” Either will do.
- Worried about drying the skin? At Moms On Call, we recommend “tender time” after that bath. Once the diaper is on that clean, fresh smelling angel, we put a little baby lotion on their arms and legs and speak to them with love. It is the sweetest time – ever.
- Lastly, for babies three months and under, we swaddle in our oh-so-soft double-napped flannel swaddle blanket, with just the right balance of tightness and elasticity to feel secure without restricting the lungs or legs. (Here’s a quick refresher to achieve the perfect swaddle!)
Bath time is a time set apart. It can be a time of giggles, relaxation –and occasionally it can be a cry-fest. That’s totally okay. The success is in the consistency of being together.