Bathing Your Baby
Bathing your baby can be an enjoyable experience for both of you. He gets to splash around in warm water, and you get to laugh at his antics and spend some face-to-face time after a busy day.
A bath time routine is important for your baby to get him used to be washed and eventually learning how to wash himself.
Bath time is also a great way to help your baby relax and wind down for bed after a busy day. Many people include bath time as part of their baby’s bedtime routine.
Any time children are around water we need to be extra vigilant. Even older children can drown in less than one inch of water and it can happen fast so children must always be supervised.
Even running out of the room for a minute to grab a towel is dangerous. Have all your supplies ready before you start bath time. If you need to grab something then call for your partner or another older child to bring it to you.
When babies are younger you also need to pay close attention to water temperature. Change your water heater’s max temp to 120 degrees Fahrenheit to prevent accidental burns.
Water heaters are usually set much higher and a temperature of 140 degrees Fahrenheit can burn a baby. Turning your water temperature down will also save you money on your energy bills!
Always check the water temp on your wrist before bathing your baby to ensure a safe and comfortable temperature.
Before your baby is able to sit up unassisted, you may want to use a special baby bath. These baths keep your baby’s head elevated and make it easy for you to wash him. Most baby baths are quite inexpensive, usually under $20.
You can find some models that are quite costly and have more bells and whistles but considering you probably will only use it for a few months before starting to use the regular bath you may want to go for the cheaper options.
Rubber mats are a great idea for babies who are able to sit up comfortably. This reduces the risk of slipping but you may want to keep an arm around your baby until he’s a bit older and used to righting himself if he starts to fall over.
As soon as your baby can stand, or even pull to standing, teach him there is no standing in the bathtub. Even rubber mats can get slippery and there is the worry that he might slip and hit his head on the tub.
You may also want to consider getting faucet covers to prevent injuries.
Get Your Baby Used to Hair Washing
Many parents with older children can tell you that battles over washing hair are frequent. Older children often do not like showers or lying back in the bath to have their hair washed.
Even if your baby doesn’t really have much hair to wash it’s a good idea to start the routine off now so he gets used to the feeling of lying back.
If your baby is upset and uncomfortable at having his hair washed, just reassure him you won’t let him fall back into the water, and you won’t get water in his eyes.
Start with just water and then try to find a gentle tear-free shampoo once he has more hair.
Make Bath Time Fun
As your baby gets older bath toys can be a fun addition for him. There are plenty of different types of toys, just make sure none are a choking hazard.
Even something as simple as different sized containers can provide loads of bath time fun. Older babies love to fill containers and dump the water out into other containers.
Boats, rubber ducks, and fish are all great and inexpensive choices for bath toys. You may want to keep a bin close by and have your baby help you put all the toys away when bath time ends.
Teaching your baby to clean up after himself is an important skill and you should reinforce it whenever you can.
Bathing with Siblings
Bath time with brother or sister can be especially fun for little ones. However, it is extremely important that you supervise at all times (you should be anyways).
Small children seldom think of the consequences of their actions and all it takes is one push for a smaller sibling to end up underwater.
It’s best to set some rules before bath time starts; such as if anyone pushes or shoves then bath time is over. Be sure to stick to your rule.
Bath time is not only a way for your baby to get clean but to enjoy some quiet uninterrupted time with you. By taking care to follow safety rules and watching your baby at all times you can ensure a safe and fun experience for him.