Midwife Cath shares her ultimate tips for safely bathing a baby.

Bathing your baby can be a wonderful experience for both you and the baby.

I always recommend to my clients that they bath their baby every night and do not shower your baby, it is dangerous as the baby could easily fall or the parent trip with a slippery baby. A bath is calming, warm and relaxing.

The first thing to do is to be organised. Have the bath filled with really warm water usually at 38 degrees (best to have a floaty thermometer in the bath for accurate temperature) – anything cooler will have the baby screaming out – “it’s far too cold in here!!” I also like to put a little squirt of Organic Care Baby Body Wash in the bath to gently wash their skin.

The bath needs to be deep enough – right up to your baby’s neck. Have clean towels and face washer, some nappies, a singlet, an outfit for the baby, and Organic Care Baby Moisturiser for the softest baby bottom possible!

We speak to an orgasmic birth expert on our parenting podcast, This Glorious Mess. Post continues after. 

First you undress your baby but leave the nappy on just in case!

Wrap your baby up in a towel and hold your baby under your arm so their head is just being tilted over the bath. With some Organic Care Baby Conditioning Shampoo on a washer gently rub around their head. Ensure you rinse off all the water before you rub dry the baby’s hair. Gently wash their face, massaging softly between their eyebrows to prevent cradle cap that might build up there.

Massaging their head around the fontanel area, the soft spot on the baby’s head, will also help to prevent cradle cap on their head. Cradle cap is a collection of dry skin and often parents are too afraid to rub in the soft area of the head thinking they may hurt the baby. By avoiding the area cradle cap (dry skin) builds up.

Once you have washed their head you can undo your baby’s towel and the nappy. Pick your baby up with your left hand under their head. The best way to hold a baby in the bath is to gently lay the baby on your left wrist with your arm around the baby and your fingers grasping the arm. Hold both legs with your right hand and gently settle the baby into the bath bottom first, lowering them and very slowly into the bath until the water is just at their neck.

With their head still resting on your left wrist, you can let the baby’s legs go and let them float and enjoy the beautiful, warm water. Put your right hand on their tummy to make them feel more secure and gently remove it once the water is covering them. Slow movements are best as the baby will get a fright with sudden movements.

Midwife Cath Curtin. Image supplied.

Your baby will settle and slowly open their eyes and look around. Let the baby float in the water, watching their eyes gently open as they start to relax. There’s no length of time that you need to let your baby stay in the water. If they cry in the bath, the water is either likely too cold or too shallow.

When you’re finished, pat your baby dry, making sure to dry well under their arms and between all the creases - Baby Buntings little bamboo hooded towels are perfect for this. If you have two wet surfaces rubbing together, it can cause an irritation. Lift your baby’s arm up by holding their elbow.

Once your baby is dry put the nappy on first. This will prevent them wetting their clean clothes and ensure you won’t have to bath them again! Put a singlet on and dress them in a onesie wrap them up in Cath’s Wrap – Aden + Anais have a great range of swaddles. Your baby is now ready for a lovely feed.

My top tips

  • I bath newborn baby’s at 10pm every night.
  • Have the bath warm & deep.
  • Be organised have a clean nappy, clothes, towels ready to go.
  • Use organic products on newborn skin.
  • You don’t need a seat in the bath.
  • Don’t shower a baby.
  • Bath the baby every night.
  • Dry the baby well after the bath especially
  • Dress and wrap the baby after the bath.
  • Feed the baby straight after the bath
  • Relax and enjoy.
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