Bathing Baby 101
When there is a new baby in the home, one of the concerns may be about giving them a bath. Here are a few tips and tricks to keeping bathing simple and less scary.
Intro to Baby Bathing
Among the numerous concerns of many new moms and dads is the idea of having to bathe the new member of their family. At the outset, bathing can be an intimidating task, as a weak neck makes it impossible for the new baby to support his or her head without help and remnants of the umbilical cord are still hanging around. However, there are ways to make this task less daunting and more desirable.
Caring for the Cord
This may be the most intimidating part about bathing a baby. There is a bit of the umbilical cord left after birth that must dry and fall off. This process can take from a couple of days up to a week. So, for the first few baths, you will be better off to dry-wash the baby gently with a damp cloth or sponge, avoiding over-wetting the cord. When the bath is complete, a small piece of gauze or cotton can be used to dab the cord with rubbing alcohol, which will aid in the drying process.
Bath Seat Options
Though it may be a good idea to wait until the umbilical cord has dried and fallen off before submerging the baby into water, you will eventually need one of these tiny tubs that often come with a baby bath gift basket. There are several different versions, but essentially they all offer similar benefits including a seat small enough for little bodies in a reclined position. Some are self-enclosed, which means it is a tub all within itself. You can use these on counters, tables, or on the floor. Others are meant to be set in a sink or average-sized bath tub.
Filled with a little water, the seat can be submerged and then the baby is settled in. Less expensive and easier to keep clean, these can be a nice option, though they do have limitations as to where you can use them. The first version is often equipped with a small drain hole, multiple seat areas for different positions as the baby grows, and even offers room for the occasional toy.
Tub Toys and Protective Measures
As the baby grows, there will be other matters of concern when it comes to bath time. Toys that are meant to entertain your little love are something to consider when contemplating bath time. Baby bath toys can be found at many different stores, and in many different varieties. It is wise to keep them extra clean, especially in the first couple years, when baby will likely want to put them in his or her mouth. Cleaning can be accomplished with dish soap and water or a bleach and water mixture. The typical proportion used for this type of cleaning is one tablespoon bleach to one quart of water. For squirting toys, be sure to remove all the air and expel the mixture several times in order to ensure the cleanliness of the inside of the toy.
Another factor to consider is the graduation from baby tub to adult bathtub. There are many matters of concern when introducing an infant to the big tub. The biggest obstacles are bumps and burns. To prevent against these dangers, many companies have introduced playful objects to cover the spout and nozzles. There are also small toys that float in the water and give visual warning if the water is getting too hot. Keep them safe, keep them clean, and enjoy the years of watching them grow and learn.