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Tips for Bathing a Baby

A clean baby is a happy baby.  Typically, even newborns enjoy the soothing feel of warm water, but only if they feel safe, actually liking the bathing process.  Sometimes, parents will place the baby or small child in the tub with them or when being rushed, will opt for a “spit bath”.  For small babies, the best option is to purchase a small tub designed specifically for a baby.  Then for toddlers, you can use the regular bathtub, but we recommend you choose a tub seat, which will protect them from falling in the water.  For older children, a standard bathtub will do the trick.

When bathing your baby or small child, you want to start the bath process by getting everything needed laid out before you start the bath.  This would include soap, shampoo, conditioner, towel, washcloth, clean clothes, hairbrush, and lotion/powder.  By having everything organized before you run the water, you will be able to provide your child with your 100% condition.  After all, you never want to walk out of the room when your child is in the bathtub, not even for one second.

Unfortunately, many children have drowned because the parent stepped out.  For instance, cases where the parent went to answer the phone, staying on just five minutes only to come back to find the child had drowned, are common.  Did you know that a small child could drown in just one inch of water?  It is true, which is why your undivided attention is crucial to your child’s safety.

From there, run the water for bathing, filling the tub only about six inches and keeping the temperature of the water warm, but not hot.  Remember, babies and small children have delicate skin so what feels warm to an adult may actually feel a little warmer to the child.  As far as when to bathe your child, typically every day but missing a day will certainly not cause any harm.  Most importantly, remember to wash all of the creases, especially behind the ears, a part of the body often missed where bacteria can grow.

With your baby or toddler in the water, use the washcloth and mild soap, starting with the head and face.  Then, move to the back, shoulders, legs, or tummy.  Always leave the child’s personal area to last, ensuring that bacteria is not transferred from the bottom to the face.  In fact, many parents will use one washcloth for all the body parts excluding the bottom and then a second washcloth for the private areas.

Once the bathing of your child is complete, you will need to rinse him or her down to get all the soap off.  As far as the child’s hair, you can just use the soap and water during bath time.  Then once or twice a week, actually use baby shampoo.  Typically, a baby or young child will not need his or her hair washed every day unless it is really, dirty or covered with food, which is a possibility.

During the bathing process, if your child is old enough to sit still, you might consider taking one of his or her favorite books in the room with you, making this a special time of bonding.  Otherwise, for older kids, purchase various types of bath toys, which will encourage him/her to stay in the water so the body can get clean.  When all the cleaning is done, make sure you dry your child off exceptionally well, and dress.

Now, when bathing a baby that has cradle’s cap, with the hair wet, you can use the comb to get rid of the dry skin.  Usually, the wet hair and scalp will make this process much easier.  Additionally, bathing a small baby would likely involve cleaning the eyes.  For this, you could use small, cotton balls, dipping them in plain water and then gentle wiping around the eyes to get rid of any dried mucous.

Of course, after bathing your child, you may want to apply both powder and lotion.  In addition to moisturizing your baby’s skin, this also makes him or her smell sweet.  As mentioned, the most important factor associated with bathing is to remain in the room at all times, and be nearby to steady your child if he/she starts to tip over.

The two most important things to remember when bathing a baby is one never leave the baby alone, not even for one second, and two, make this quality time of bonding.  Soon, your baby will love spending time with mom or dad, splashing, giggling, and having a great time.
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