Bathtime Tips for New Moms
As a new mom, it can be very stressful to bring a baby home and be confident in the day-to-day routine. From feeding to diaper changes and everything in between, there is a learning curve that happens in those first few months home. Bath time is just that, so keep these tips in mind when bathing your newborn.
Where to Begin
Your newborn will not need a bath every day; it is recommended that you give your baby a bath approximately 2-3 times a week. However, there is no hard rule due to things like diaper blowouts and other messes your child gets into warranting a spur-of-the-moment bathtime. The most important thing is not to overdo it; this can cause dry skin and irritation if you bathe them too often. In the first few months, your baby isn’t on the move and therefore won’t get very dirty, so you can feel reassured that a daily bath isn’t necessary.
When it comes time to set up for a successful bath time, you’ll want to have a few things in order for your newborn. First, a small portable tub that can be set in the sink or bathtub is important. Your baby won’t be able to sit up on their own and this tub will make it easier for you to keep them in a safe and comfortable position. Another item that can help simplify bathtime is a warm wet washcloth. Babies get very cold and this can lead to a lot of stress when bathing. Placing a warm wet rag on their belly during the bath will keep their body temperature warm, reducing any uncomfortable cries that are sure to happen.
Water temperature is another element to prepare; water that is too hot can burn the baby and water that is too cold will be uncomfortable, about 100 degrees Fahrenheit is ideal. During the first month or so, you’ll only want to sponge bathe your baby with room temperature water; starting from their head and gently working your way down. Take the time to focus on creases such as knees and elbows, allowing for a more thorough but gentle clean.
Use Clean Products
Babies have very sensitive skin and therefore any parent needs to be careful which products you choose to use. Certain baby brands may contain things that can cause irritation and even lead to eczema. Not only are clean toiletries important, like soap and shampoo, but also using laundry detergent that is free of dyes and fragrances will reduce the chance of any additional irritation.
When it comes to the home, you’ll want to be cautious of what cleaning products you use, and pay extra attention to any candles or air fresheners. Once your baby is crawling this is extra important because their hands will be all over the floors and surfaces of the home. Those same hands that carry them around are also something they’ll love to put in their mouth, so using clean products will reduce the chance of them ingesting any toxins.
As Your Child Ages
Bath time will become a lot easier with practice and as they age. At some point, you’ll transition from those kitchen sink baths to the full bathtub. You’ll want to be sure your bathroom transitions with your child, helping them to be continuously set up for a successful bath and stocked with the essentials.
There are several items that will help as they grow older, learn to walk, talk, and play, that will keep their attention on the task of getting clean and keeping them safe. First, be sure to get a mat that goes in the bottom of the tub to reduce the risk of your child slipping and falling. Then to make bath time fun, ultimately making it easier for you, you can include toys in the tub as a distraction from the regular chore. As they grow up so quickly, investing a little more into bath time can help it become a memorable bonding experience for both you and your little one.
Storage and Organization
To manage all of the items that help make bath time better and to reduce stress, you can create an organizational system within your bathroom. You may need to make a few renovations to be sure you have a space that allows for streamlined bath times for years to come. First, the bathtub is the necessity; one that has enough room, but edges that aren’t too high—making it tough to reach in and wash your child.
Storage is another very important part of a successful bath time routine. It’s possible your bathroom may not have enough space for everything you need. Linen closets are a great option, but not every home has these, and sometimes they are not large enough for homeowners and their families. Bathroom vanities are a great storage solution to keep all of your products under the sink and easy to reach. It’s important to really make this area work for you; some homes don’t include vanities or certainly not ones with optimal functionality. You can consider swapping out your bathroom vanity for something with a little more room to grow. Here you’ll be able to keep all of the additional baby products and bath toys organized. Better yet, you can use clear bins to sort them, making them easy to access, while keeping them out of the way to not impose on your home’s aesthetic.
A newborn baby is a huge life change, but it’s going to be so magical to experience every valuable first moment, especially bath time. In the beginning, you can alleviate stress by focusing on reducing the toxins in your home, purchasing clean products, and taking the time to set your space up for success. Try to use the time before going into labor or through the process of adoption, to make these adjustments early on. Being proactive will not only help to reduce any stress later, but it will allow you the ability to really focus on your beautiful new baby and all of the precious time you’ll spend with them.