Advice Column, Bennetts, Parenting, Pregnancy & Baby

Bathing your Baby

  • Bennetts
  • Category Advice Column, Bennetts, Parenting, Pregnancy & Baby

How often should I bath my baby?

It’s up to you how often you bathe your baby. Some babies love being in the water and giving your baby a warm bath can become a fun and relaxing ritual. That’s not to say you have to bathe your baby every day. If your baby is new born, a bath two or three times a week is enough to keep him clean. Bear in mind that if you live in a hard water area, too much tap water may dry out and damage your baby’s skin.

Between baths:

  • wash your baby’s face regularly
  • clean your baby’s genitals and bottom after each nappy change
  • wipe any grime off his skin

When you do bath your baby you may find it a little scary the first few times. You may want to have someone with you to give you a bit of support. It’s also helpful if you’ve forgotten something you need for your baby. Until you get into a routine, you’ll probably find this is a common occurrence!

Handling a wriggling, wet and slippery baby takes practice and confidence, but you and your baby will get used to bath time and start to enjoy it. Most babies find warm water soothing and a bath may help a fussy baby to relax and calm down.

Where should I bath my baby?

To begin with you may find it easier to use the kitchen sink or a small plastic baby bath. You could use your big bath, but it can be awkward as you need to kneel or lean over the side. If you do use your big bath, it may help to use a bathing seat or support, or a rubber mat or sponge bath base.

When should I bath my baby?

Choose a time of day when you’re not expecting any interruptions and have time to devote to your baby. It’s best if your baby is awake and contented before you start, and between feeds, so he’s neither hungry nor full.

When your baby is new born you may find it easiest to bath him during the day. But after a few months, a bath can become part of his bedtime routine.

Warm water can help to relax your baby and make him sleepy. It’s also an opportunity for other family members to get involved. Bath time is a part of baby care that dads often enjoy taking on.

If someone comes to the door or the phone rings and you feel you must answer it, scoop your baby up and take him with you.

Never leave your baby unattended in the bath, not even for a few seconds. That could be all the time it takes for your baby to get into difficulty in the water. Even if one of your older children is in the bath with him, or you are using a special bath, bath support or bath seat, you must stay with your baby.

Once your baby is a couple of months old, you or your partner could share a bath with him. Being in the bath with your baby is a lovely way for you to be close to each other. It’s a great way for dads to have precious skin-to-skin time with their baby, too.

Have a quick shower or wash before you get in the bath. Make sure the water is warm, not hot. Use mild baby cleansers and washes, as your normal bath products will be too harsh for your baby’s skin.

It can be tricky, and risky, to get in and out of the bath while holding your baby, so ask your partner or someone else to help. They can pass your baby to you once you’ve got in and lift him back out again when you’ve finished.

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