Bath time is always fun with the kids, even if you are working crazy hours and running late. Yes, you may have to manage other chores while one of you bathes the baby, but it is pretty fun to watch and clean the baby.
When babies get used to the idea, they enjoy being bathed which makes this bath time fun. Some parents prefer to give an evening bath as they find the activities of bath time help the baby to sleep more soundly. Others find it more convenient to bathe the baby in the morning. It does not matter which.
Preparations for Bath Time
In a warm room, young babies lose body heat very quickly and easily become chilled. Therefore it is important that the room in which the baby be bath is draught-free and warm-at at least 20°c.
Warm Water before Bath Time
The bath water should be warm but not hot- about body temperature, 37°C. It is usual to test the temperature of the bathwater with the elbow. Another thing to remember is always to put the cold water in the bath before the hot water, because if hot water goes in first, the bottom of the bath may be too hot for the baby.
Arrange Equipment before Bath Time
Collect everything needed for washing, drying, and dressing the baby.
- Make sure the baby’s room is warm.
- Close any windows and doors to avoid breaths.
- Ready to cold water and hot water, top and tail bowl, and cotton pads.
Bath Time Routine
The following routine, or one very similar, is often recommended for bathing young babies.
- After washing your hands, undress the baby apart from the nappy and wrap it in a warm towel.
- Test the temperature of the bathwater to check that it is right for the baby.
- Gently wash the baby’s face with wet cotton wool. Soap should not use. The eyes should only be clean if infected or sticky. Wipe each eye from the inside corner outwards, using a clean piece of damp cotton wool for each eye.
- Wash the scalp with water. Soap or shampoo only needs to use once or twice a week. The hair must then well rinse, using a jug of clean, warm water for the final rinse.
- Take off the nappy and clean the bottom with wet cotton wool and soap. Do not try to force back the foreskin of a little boy’s penis. This action is likely to tear the foreskin and make it bleed. The foreskin will gradually become able to retract, usually completely so by the age of 3 years.
- Soap the baby all over apart from the face. When turning the baby over to soap his back, the safest way to turn him is towards, rather than away from, the mother. An alternative and easier method is to add liquid soap to the bathwater.
- Place the baby in the bath to rinse off the soap. The baby needs to be held securely: note how one of the mother’s hands holds the baby’s shoulder, while his head rests on her arm.
- Lift the baby out onto a cloth. Dry by patting lightly- not by rubbing. Pay particular attention to the creases of the neck, armpits, groin, back of the knees, and back of the ears. If the creases are not dried, they easily become sore.
- Apply zinc and castor oil cream or other types of baby cream to the bottom and put a little baby powder into the creases to help keep them dry.
Every Bath Time Cleaning the Ears
Wax can clean away from the end of the ear canal ear hole, but the inside of the canal should never be cleaned. The wax is there for protection. Cotton wool buds can be useful for cleaning outside and behind the ears, but should never be poked inside. Anything which poked into the ear canal may damage the eardrum.
Cradle cap is the name given to the greasy scales or crusts which form on the scalp of many young babies. It first appears around four weeks of age and clears up by itself after about six months. It is harmless. If it is considered to be unsightly, it can be removed by the use of a special ointment made for the purpose.
Cutting the Nails
The fingernails of very young babies grow quickly and need to be cut every few days. This is best done the baby is asleep. If the nails are left to grow too long, the baby will scratch himself. With an older baby, the nails can be cut immediately after a bath.
Topping and Tailing
It is not necessary to bath the baby every day the face, hands, and bottom are kept clean by ‘topping and tailing’:
- Clean the baby’s face and hands with warm water and cotton wool, and then dry.
- Clean the bottom using warm water, soap, and more cotton wool. Dry and then apply baby cream.
The essential thing is to have fun and enjoy the time you spend with your children. A baby bath is achieved in various methods, and while bath time isn’t always the most enjoyable activity, it certainly can be! A bath can be transformed from a dreaded monthly occasion to a fun pastime for kids and parents with a bit of imagination. Finally, while following this blog post, I hope you’ll implement our suggestions to make bath time more enjoyable for the kids!