Stressed About Your Baby's First Baths? Don't Be.
A stress free baby bath.
Baby baths aren't as easy as they may look. Babies can be soapy, slippery little guys, and they can get chilled quickly, too. Parents like you said they wanted to take the stress out of first newborn baths and infant baths. Don't be stressed. Here's everything you need to know about a stress free bath. You've got this.
Tips for your first bath experiences at home
Get your bearings. Gather all necessary supplies. Here’s a running list to start.
- baby and/or hair wash
- at least 2 appropriately placed towels
- at least 2 – 3 washcloths
- a rinse cup
- fresh diaper
- change of clothes
- a water basin or infant tub
- Warm Hug™ Bath Swaddle
Prefill. Fill the bath or basin with a few inches of warm water. Do this in advance, never while baby is in the tub, as water temperatures from the faucet can be inconsistent. In the end, you want comfortably warm to the inside of your arm or elbow, and not hot or cool. For those with temperature gauges, that is between 99.9 and 103.9 degrees Fahrenheit.
Keep it snuggly warm. Undress your baby on a warm surface like a towel. Babies lose body heat 25 times faster in water. Very quickly. Keep it stress-free by keeping them gently swaddled. Trust us. Warmer is calmer.
What about the umbilical cord?
- Babies are born with vernix on their skin, which hospitals don’t want to wash off, as it serves as both a barrier to infections, and helps retain heat. So, they may wait 24 hours
- New studies show there is no increase of infection when the umbilical cord stump has not fully healed. So, after 24 hours, hospitals agree there is no increased risk of infection to having a bath and now tend to bathe fully submerged, umbilical cord.
- As always, check with your Doctor if you have any concerns.
- Young babies are especially sensitive to cold
- Swaddle bathing is proven to reduce stress for the newborn and the parent.
Best Practice: Swaddle immersion bathing.
Why the protocol?
Easy 1-2-3 How to
Support. Holding your baby in the loose swaddle that opens in the front, support the head and underarm with one hand and use your other hand to support the baby’s bottom.
Slow dip. Gently dip your swaddled baby in the water feet first, using your other hand to support the baby’s bottom.
Let them warm up to the idea. Talk to them. Sing. Know that this by nature unplugged time together is building their connection with you. Focus on the eyes, then the face. Both with washing, and with your gaze.
A great gift for a new or soon to be parent. New colors!
Sarah is a birth mom, adoptive mom, wife, working mom and optimist. She is the founder of Hummingbird Infant and shares this so parents understand the latest in newborn bathing. Sign up for our free confidence-boosting monthly Baby Buzz email for insights to help you in your parenting journey.