Giving your baby a bath seems to be one of those stressful times during new motherhood. How much water do I need? How do I get my baby safely into the bath? What if I get water into the baby’s eyes/ears/mouth? Has the water got the right temperature? and how long should a bath be? Lots of questions.
Particularly in the early weeks, baths are not essential for your baby. If you think about it, your baby does not really get all that dirty. Babies do have poos that end up in places you thought poo could never reach – but it does! In these circumstances a more robust clean in a bath will be needed
Small babies also have incredibly sensitive skins and frequent bathing may cause irritation and dryness if you have found this look at Lansinoh Earth Friendly Baby skin care range.
However, you may feel that your baby may benefit from a bath, why don’t you take the baby into the tub with you? Baby baths are awkward to fill; to use or bend over the bath. Lifting them onto a safe surface is better avoided, especially if you have had a caesarean section or simply want to look after your back and sharing a bath together sounds so much more fun – and it can help both of you relax and helps with breastfeeding
Sharing bath time together has lots of benefits:
●It is relaxing for both you and your baby, you get to soak in the tub while enjoying some skin to skin with your little one
●It can be a lovely winding down period for both of you, especially after a busy or unsettled day and may even help with bedtimes
●It is a great way for you and your nursling to touch base and have a peaceful breastfeed, skin to skin, boosting all those milk making hormones
You may wonder if bathing with your baby is more effort than it is worth, considering you will both be wet by the end of it, but be assured, it can be a lovely, relaxing, feel good hormone boosting experience for both of you. Here’s how:
●Be prepared. Get the bathroom lovely and warm, heat some big towels over the radiators, have your clothes ready for both you and your baby. You might even want to light a candle and dim the lights a little. ‘Top and Tail’ your baby before co-bathing
●Make sure you have a helper at the ready. It is definitely easier to have someone around to pass your baby when you have got into the bath as well as receive him when you want to get out.
●If you are on your own and want to bathe with your baby then it is important you take the following steps – put baby in a bouncy chair or car seat, get into the bath, then lift baby from their seat. Sitting down ensures you have a safe stance before picking your baby up, put baby back into his seat before you get out of the bath
●Whether you have a helper or not you could put a small towel on the bottom of the bath to prevent you from slipping
●Make sure the water is close to body temperature and both of you are comfortable. Fill your bath so that the water reaches around half way up your bent legs as you lay back.
●Lay the baby on your legs, facing you. That way you can make eye contact and easily pour water over your baby’s body, perhaps from a little jug or by squeezing water from a washcloth.
●If you would like to nurse your baby in the bath, you may have to sit up a little to keep your breast above the water level…...you can then either lay your baby tummy to tummy with you and latch him on or use a cradle hold, whatever seems most comfortable. Watch the water level to make sure your baby’s face stays clear.
●When you are both ready to come out, wrap up warm in your towels. Your helper can wrap the little one while you dry yourself. Enjoy your post bath bliss
To enjoy these chilled moments…...preparation is key to making bathing together an enjoyable experience. For mum you feel chilled and refreshed at well as creating some lovely memories of the close bond you have with your baby. For baby it can help him to feel safe and secure. Co-bathing also helps your let-down and this can help your little breastfeed.