Bathing an infant can be a little nerve-racking, especially when they are very small. Fortunately, because they’re small, it’s a pretty quick job. Here are a few tips on bath-time routine and products.
Newborns can be wiped down with a cloth and don’t need real baths. Once they are about 4-6 months and they are making more of a mess of their meals and getting into things, daily baths are more appropriate (and can also be integrated into the bedtime routine – which is what we do). You probably don’t need to wash their hair every day, though. We found that 1-2 times/week is plenty, if your baby has hair.
What do I need?
- Baby tub or sink, laundry basket when they are older – we loved the Fisher Price 4-in-1 Sling N Seat Tub. It grew with our baby and she felt secure and could reach her toys.
- Bathwater temperature indicator
- Baby soap/body wash
- Baby toothbrush/toothpaste
- Rinse bottle
What’s the Routine – With Hair Wash?
- Fill the sink/tub with warm water and use the temperature indicator toy/device to be sure it is “just right.”
- Also fill your rinse bottle with clean, warm water.
- Put baby in water – and ALWAYS keep eye on baby.
- Use the clean water of the tub to wet hair.
- Lather hair with baby soap.
- Use the rinse bottle to rinse hair.
- Use a small towel or washcloth to dry the hair a bit immediately and then comb through the tangles
- Allow baby to play while gently cleaning all parts with the now-soapy water – not forgetting behind the ears.
- Use Q-Tips to gently clean the outside of the ears and the opening of the ear canals.
- TIP: use a finger braced against the side of the baby’s head so that if baby jerks, your hand moves with them and you don’t inadvertently push the Q-Tip in too far.
- Brush teeth/gums using baby toothbrush/toothpaste. (The sooner you start this, the easier future hygiene will be.)
- Make sure all suds are rinsed off and remove baby from water – immediately wrapping in dry towel.
What’s the Routine – No Hair Wash?
Basically the same as above, except instead of using the hair lather as soap, I put a pump of baby wash in the tub while it’s filling to get it slightly sudsy – and skip steps 4, 5 and 6.