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Initially, bathing a baby will not be an easy job; the baby will be slippery, and you will have to struggle to keep the fragile little being safe in your hands; it will not be a very enjoyable experience for your baby too. But slowly with time, as you master the art of bathing a new-born and your baby learns to splash in the water, this oh-so-difficult task will turn into a time of fun for both mother and child.
As a new mother, you have to follow some rules when bathing your child which will help things go smoothly.
The most important thing to keep in mind is to never leave your baby alone. Infants can drown even in water which is less than an inch deep. So, before you start bathing your baby, make sure everything that you need is near you so that you don’t have to leave your baby alone in the bath tub. Ensure that towels, toiletries, soap, vest and a clean nappy are close at hand. If there is some call, which you cannot ignore, wrap the baby up in a towel and take him with you.
It is not necessary that you bathe your baby daily. In fact, this is bound to dry out his skin. Give your baby sponge baths until his umbilical cord stump has fallen off because if you are changing his diapers and burp clothes immediately, all the areas in the body, which need special attention, are already being cleaned – the diaper area, the face and the neck. Your baby will need to be bathed daily only when he starts crawling and accumulating dirt. Also, remember not to bathe the baby as soon as he has finished feeding.
With time, you will come to know your baby’s preferences for bathing. Some babies love a morning bath while some may prefer it in the evenings. Similarly, some babies would love water and some might get distressful when near it. Allow yourself and your baby at least a minimum of three months’ time to understand his preferences. Also, choose a time when you are less likely to be interrupted.
How much water is required in the bath for the baby? Generally, it would be 2 to 3 inches of water which is warm. Ensure that it is not very hot so as to harm your baby, the ideal temperature being 37 degrees. Using water level which will cover his shoulders helps to reduce heat loss and also calms the baby.
You can bathe your baby with plain water without the use of soap or any cleanser. If you want to use any of these, ensure that you use only mild baby soaps or baby cleansers which are gentle for his skin. Gently wipe him dry with a baby towel. Hooded towels can be used to keep the baby’s head warm after the bath. In case your baby has developed any skin allergy, take your pediatrician’s advice on the type of products to be used.
You have the option of choosing from a variety of bath-tubs designed specifically for babies such as free-standing plastic ones. There are plastic basins and inflatable tubs that fit inside the bath-tub. Rather than the bath tub, safety of the baby is more essential. So, keep one hand on the baby at all times when he is inside the tub, and also make sure you keep electric appliances, such as curling irons and hair dryers, away from the tub.
Use a clean and soft baby towel to pat your baby dry. Use a separate dry towel to wrap him with it. Put on fresh clothes and a clean diaper. If you see the skin getting dry, apply a baby moisturizer.
Bathing is a great time for a mother to bond with her little one and vice versa. So, learn the bathing rules, and take time off to give a safe and refreshing bath to your baby. Click here to learn more about baby bathing rules.
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