Before I had a child, I would have never fathomed what science in itself your baby’s bath time is especially if you have a newborn. My husband and I spent hours watching videos online researching the most appropriate baby bathtub and being fascinated at how organized some of these YouTube moms kept their baby bath caddies. I was very grateful that these moms shared their experience and expertise because – let’s be honest – no new parent has any idea what they’re really doing. Now that I have bathed my son every single night for the last two-and-a-half years, I learned a thing or two. So hopefully, these tips below will help some new and expecting moms.
- Have an appropriate bathtub for the baby’s stage
Keep in mind that babies develop in different stages. So obviously, don’t throw your newborn who can’t even sit up yet in the adult bathtub. Since babies can only lay on their back at the beginning, I’d highly suggest getting an infant tub that they can lay in. We loved our tub since it would display the temperature and display when it would get too warm (super important since you do not want to burn those little feet) and you would be able to drain the accumulated water and refill it (because no one wants to lay in poopy water). It is important to not wet the belly button of a newborn until the umbilical cord comes off. So until it comes off, it is best to give them a sponge bath. If you are delivering at a hospital, you or your partner can watch how the nurses do it at the nursery. My son had to stay an extra day in the nursery for some phototherapy so I saw plenty of newborns coming in being bathed with a sponge by the nurses which helped me learn a lot. Once we were home we would set up our infant bathtub in the kitchen sink every night which brings me to the next super important point: read on to see how to efficiently and effortlessly set up your bath time caddie.
2. Organize your diaper caddy
Like I mentioned before, we would set up the infant tub in the kitchen so we had to take all the needed items as well. Even if you’re bathing your child in the bathroom, I highly recommend having an organized diaper caddie with all of the baby’s items ready in one place so you don’t have to look for them. Trust me on that, as a mom you want to make sure you are organized and don’t waste your time looking for things, and also since mom-brain is totally real you do not want to add an extra headache to your life. Here are the must-haves for my baby’s bath time caddy:
- Baby shampoo and body wash
- Baby conditioner
- Vaseline (always worked the best for my baby but if you use butt cream, rash cream, or anything else, you should add that to the caddie too. You should avoid baby powder as it can cause breathing issues and choke.)
- Baby wipes
- Toys (be careful with the squeeze toys that have a hole. Even if you squeeze out all the water after each use, there will still be some moistness in there. Given that they are wet and dark inside, these toys quickly develop black mold and other bacteria which are extremely detrimental to your child‘s health. I personally would recommend buying bathing toys that do not allow water to enter)
- Baby brush
- Baby towel
- Optional: baby nail file/clippers and a baby toothbrush
3. Make sure to dry baby off right away
To ensure that your little one does not catch a cold, make sure to dry them off with a warm towel immediately after the bath. I love hooded towels as they cover their hair. If your baby‘s hair is still very short, rubbing it dry with the hood might be all you need. I love animal hooded towels: they look super cute and make sure your baby stays warm. If your child’s hair is a bit longer, you may want to blow dry them after towel drying them. Just make sure the temperate is not too hot and that your baby can’t touch the outlet. I like to blow dry my son’s hair in front of a mirror to do some speech exercises at the same time, e.g. asking him for different parts of his face and have him point at them in front of the mirror.
4. Transition to the bathtub
Once your child can sit up by themselves, you can start transitioning them to the adult tub. Just be sure to be very careful with the water temperature. If your child already stands up, I would recommend getting a non-slip mat that sticks to the floor of the bathtub. For yourself, I’d advise you to buy a mat for outside the tub so you can kneel down more comfortably. Last but not least, I need to point out that it is super important to never ever leave your child unattended during bath time. Not even for a few seconds! I hate to be a fear-monger and Negative Nancy but I personally know parents who lost their baby in a drowning accident. And these are not negligent parents but these incidents can, unfortunately, happen in a heartbeat.
I hope these tips were helpful for your little one’s safe and fun bath time. I hyperlinked some of the recommended products but you can also find them here.