Does your baby love his bath? While many parents imagine that bath time will be an immediate hit, many babies seriously dislike having a bath, especially during the first three months. Bath time often becomes more fun once babies can sit up and manipulate toys, but even in those early days parents can help their babies enjoy bath time by making sure it’s as comfortable as possible. Here’s a few tips for making bath time fun for young babies.
Warmth is Essential
Many parents are worried about scalding their little baby’s delicate skin, so they make the bath water cooler than it needs to be. While there is a legitimate danger in too-hot baths, too-cool baths are unpleasant and uncomfortable for babies. Pour bathwater that would be a comfortable temperature for yourself to bathe in, and if you’re really unsure, check the temperature with a thermometer. Baby baths should be around body temperature, 36 or 37 degrees Celcius. Make sure the air temperature in the bathroom is comfortably warm too. Getting out of a warm bath into a freezing cold bathroom isn’t fun for anyone.
Join Your Baby in the Bath
Newborn babies crave skin-to-skin contact, the security of being held close and the comfort of having a trusted caregiver nearby. Bathing together meets all of these needs! For safety, if you’re planning on bathing together with your baby, get into the tub yourself first and then have your partner pass the baby to you.
Choose Baby Skin Care Products Carefully
Babies have very delicate skin, digestion and respiratory systems, and harsh skincare products can be irritating. Babies often ingest creams, lotions or soaps by accident by putting everything they possibly can in their mouths, including their own hands. Anything that goes on baby’s body should be carefully chosen to be mild and free of irritants.
Bathe Newborns Quickly
Little babies have very short attention spans and get tired, hungry and overstimulated much more quickly than adults may expect. Keep baths short and sweet for young babies. Focus on getting into those creases and rolls, behind the ears and around the neck. Extended playtime in the tub is more fun for older babies and toddlers.
Bath time for newborns is a very sensory experience. Keep it enjoyable by making sure your baby is warm and comfortable, joining your baby in the bath, choosing natural, mild cleansers, and keeping bath time short. If your baby really protests baths despite all these precautions, consider doing daily sponge baths with a warm washcloth instead. Getting clean doesn’t always have to mean being immersed in the bath water.