Bathing a baby doesn’t look that hard, does it? Until you actually have a baby and suddenly you realise you might have been a bit underprepared. Don’t worry mamas, we’ve got your back – literally.
As with just about everything in life, most of the secrets to happy bath time with little babies are about being prepared. And also, it doesn’t hurt to know your own body – after all, you’re going to have to lean in. Here are seven tips to keep bath time comfortable for everyone.
1. Don’t wreck your back
This one applies especially if you’re bathing your baby in a regular bath, rather than a baby bath (on a bench) or in the kitchen sink. Chances are, you’ll be leaning over from an awkward position such as squatting or kneeling on the floor; and if you do that for too long, you’ll strain your back. Make sure you regularly stretch out, as soon as you feel any level of discomfort. And watch your knees too! A folded towel or bathmat on the floor will help.
If you are using a baby bath, when you go to empty it, remember that water is HEAVY! If you can, positioning the baby bath before filling it so the drainage plug is already slightly over the sink will mean you don’t have to lug it around when it’s time to empty it out.
2. Keep an eye on the temperature
Both the temperature of the bath and the temperature in the room are important. You can test the water temperature with a special thermometer if you want, but just as good is to stick your own elbow in there and make sure it feels comfortable.
In summer it won’t be as big a deal, but when the outside temperature drops, don’t undress your baby for the bath until you’re ready to pop him in. Keeping him comfy while you get everything ready is one of the best things you can do to keep him relaxed for the bath, which will keep you relaxed in turn.
3. Have what you need ready beforehand
There’s nothing worse than running the bath, popping your baby in, getting wet in the process and only then discovering that you’ve left half of what you need somewhere out of arm’s reach. So, face washers, towels (and plenty of them), shampoo and baby lotion – get it all out ahead of time and have it at your fingertips.
4. Be okay with getting wet
Your tiny baby (unlike a toddler) won’t splash you on purpose but you’ll still be amazed at how wet you and everything else can get. This is not the time to be modelling your collection of delicate shirts and dresses – an old t-shirt is the best garb for this job. And while you’re at it, have another two or three spare towels nearby.
5. It’s a two-handed job
Babies are slippery, especially when they’re wet, and even more so when they have soapy skin. So keep a firm grip! If your baby can’t sit independently, you’ll need one hand on them all the time. You can lower the slip-factor by lining the bath with a cloth nappy or a towel, and it may help to keep the water level low too.
Keep in mind that anything you want to use while your baby is in the bath, you’ll need to be able to operate with one hand. So take the lids off those shampoos and lotions ahead of time.
6. Use the right tools for the task
A well-designed baby bath really IS worth the money (even if just for the sake of your aching back) and so are some nice fluffy towels. Avoid bubble bath, especially if your baby has dry skin or eczema – it will only dry it out more. Instead, try hypoallergenic, tear-free products like Cetaphil Baby’s Gentle Wash & Shampoo or their Moisturising Bath & Wash which you can put straight into the bath. That stops you having to handle slippery soap as well as a slippery baby at the same time.
7. Don’t forget to enjoy it!
Your baby certainly will – and all the more so if you’re calm and having a good time too. In fact, bath time can be one of the best times of the day, washing away not just the messes of the day, but the stresses as well.
(This is a sponsored post for Cetaphil Baby)