Rather than write one single blog, I have decided to do a series of Newborn blogs, that will focus on a specific area to make it less daunting and definitely an easier read.
This series will focus on making your little one smell AMAZING! Yep, it’s bathtime!!! I still vividly remember, trying to give my daughter her first bath at one month old. She was tiny and sooooo fragile and honestly I was petrified. Thankfully my mum was with me and after raising 5 children herself, I definitely followed her advice.
My daughter is a December baby so I naturally chose to bathe her every few days. I remember reading somewhere, and I guess it makes sense, that baby skin is very sensitive so, too many baths can actually dry out their skin.
Here’s are some helpful reminders:
- Babies should be sponge bathed until they’re about 4 weeks old before you introduce them to bath time.
- Topping and tailing should be done everyday.
Why should you Top and Tail?
I found it easier to clean my baby this way to start with. I wanted to make sure that the nappy area was clean after every nappy change, and that her face, skin folds under her chin, and hands were clean after feeds.
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Preparation is key, make sure you have EVERYTHING that you need, at hand. You will find it super hard to leave baby once you start, unless you have a helping hand (definitely recommend in the early days!).
In the early weeks, I used a washing bowl to top and tail and then bathe my children in. Honestly, what’s the point in wasting money on fancy stuff that will only be used for such a short time. I still have the washing bowl and it now houses the kids snacks 🙂
I would close the living room door and windows and put the gas fire on. The room should be warm (24 degrees C, 75 degrees F), because babies lose heat from their bodies quickly. You will need the following items:
- Washing bowl filled with water that is at a comfortable temperature (37 degrees C). I tested the temperature with this bath and room thermometer (I still do).
- A large, soft, hooded towel
- Cotton pads
- A mild cleanser especially for babies. I have always used Johnsons Top-to-toe Baby Bath, and have never had a problem with it.
- Baby oil or moisturising lotion (love using this, as my daughter suffers from mild Eczema and this moisture has worked wonders)
- Clean clothing and nappy
- Cellular blanket
- Soft brush or comb and nappy cream (see my blog on healthcare items for a newborn)
- Changing mat
7 steps: How to Top and Tail your baby
Step 1: Environment
First put warm water in to your washing bowl. Use the bath thermometer to be sure of the temperature. I still don’t prepare my children’s baths without it- easier to take the guess work out of it.
Create a calm environment to give your baby some reassurance. You might think I’m crazy, but I used to play Mozart classical music- seriously! Once your baby is nice and relaxed, undress them, but leave their nappy on, and wrap them in a towel.
Step 2: Eyes
Hold your baby’s head and gently wash around each eye, using a cotton pad that has been dampened with the warm water. I strongly recommend buying larger cotton pads, rather than the cosmetic ones, which are smaller and you end up using loads of them. I personally loved the Boots baby brand ones.
TIP: If there is dried mucus (looks like crust) then always wipe from the inside corner of the eye, moving outward. Use a new cotton pad for each eye.
Step 3: Face
Use a wet cotton pad and wipe around the mouth, nose and then the whole face. I also cleaned under the chin, behind the ears and the creases in the neck. Then gently pat dry.
Step 4: Hair
I always found this bit the most tricky. Leave your baby in the towel and gently rest their back on to your left arm and place your hand under their head. Now, place their head over the washing bowl and using your free hand wet your baby’s hair. Add a small amount of Johnsons Top-to-toe Baby Bath (I love the fact this has a squeezy top, so you can totally use it ONE hand!). Wash and rinse your baby’s hair. Lay your baby down on the changing mat. Dry their head with the towel and lift the hood over their head to keep them warm.
Step 5: Bum
Once your little one is cleaned on the ‘top’, it’s time to focus on the ‘tail’. Keep them covered, especially their head, and remove their nappy. Clean using warm water and just wipe the area from FRONT TO BACK. Again, I preferred to use just cotton pads rather than wipes.
Step 6: Moisturise
I have always used Aveeno Moisturising Cream since birth and I still do. It keeps my children’s skin moisturised, it has no oily feel and it absorbs in to the skin really fast. My daughter suffers with mild eczema and this cream has been amazing for her skin. I also make sure that I used a mild barrier cream on the nappy area to protect both mine from nappy rash. See my blog post on my must-have healthcare products.
Step 7: Clothing
And last but not least, dress your clean baby and enjoy the cuddles.
Bath Time after 4 weeks old
This 3 piece baby bath set was given as a gift to me and I loved it. My mum had left by this time and hubby was back at work, so I was on my own. I was still recovering from giving birth and this bath tub meant that I could stand and wash my baby.
Well, there you have it- a few of my favourite must-haves. I hope this blog gives you the confidence to know what you need to do to bathe your baby.
Keep a look out for more ways you can get prepared for the arrival of your newborn, where I will focus on the following areas:
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