Bath time with your baby is another precious moment in your parenting journey, and even though it may take a little time for your newborn to get used to the idea of a bath, once they feel safe, they’ll soon start to love the warmth of the water and the freedom to wriggle, kick and splash around.
How often should baby bath time be?
Even though a bath 2-3 times a week is more than enough to keep your baby clean, bath time is also an excellent opportunity for you and bub to bond. So if it’s something you and your little one really enjoys, feel free to splash out on bath time once a day.
But keep in mind that bathing more than this can dry out your baby’s skin. You should also limit bath time to 5-10 minutes, especially if your bub has dry or sensitive skin.
Is there an ideal bath time?
No, it’s really up to you (and baby!) You can bathe your baby any time of the day but try to avoid times when they’re hungry or straight after a feed. To help you enjoy the experience that much more, see if you can choose a time when you’re relaxed and relatively free from interruptions. Remember, this is a lovely bonding time, and you’ll want to be fully present in moments like these.
If you find baby sleeps longer after an evening bath, you’re in luck, as it may mean a few extra zzzz’s for you! Use bath time as an opportunity to relax and settle your baby in the evening.
Where should I bathe my baby?
When they’re a newborn, a baby bath is ideal, but some parents find it easier to bathe their new baby in the kitchen sink for the first few weeks as it’s the perfect height. Don’t feel you have to be confined to the bathroom, especially if it’s cold in there. Your baby will love any room that is warm, safe and clean.
Once they have grown out of the baby bath, it’s time to graduate to the big bath. As a new parent, you’ve probably become very accustomed to multi-tasking, so feel free to join baby in the tub (it helps if you have an extra person around to keep you both safe).
Wet ‘n wild: 5 helpful tips to make bath time fun time
Like most things to do with your little bub, getting into the rhythm of doing new things may take a little time, so we’ve put together a step-by-step guide to help you and your baby enjoy some good clean fun together.
Step 1: Safety first
You never want to take your eyes off your baby, even for a second while they are in the bath, so it’s essential to be prepared. Before you put your bub in the tub, make sure everything you need is ready and within reach.
Before you start, you’ll need:
- Towel on the change mat to keep baby warm when undressing and after bathing
- Baby’s towel & washcloth
- Lotions and shampoos
- Bath toys
- Clean clothes, clean nappy and nappy cream
Step 2: Check the water temperature
Scalding is one of the main risks with bath time. The ideal water temperature for a baby is 37-38°, so check before putting your little one in.
Step 3: Let’s get washing baby!
Once bub is safely immersed into the water, support them firmly under the arms and around the shoulders/back. If they’re a little restless, talking to them in a calm, soothing voice should help them settle.
- Use a soft washcloth or dampened cotton wool to clean your baby’s face gently. If you’re cleaning around the eyes, be sure to use a fresh piece of dampened cotton wool for each eye.
- Wash baby’s face first, followed by the neck and body. Leave genitals and bottom until last.
- Be sure to wash under your baby’s chin where the milk dribbles down as this can cause a rash.
- You only need to wash your baby’s hair once or twice a week, which should be done last. Do this by lying your bub on their back and gently rinsing their hair with a little baby shampoo. Or, if you prefer, wrap your baby in a towel, tuck them under your arm and scoop up the water onto their head. Rinse and pat your bub’s hair dry.
Step 4: Bottom’s up
You should always wash your baby’s bottom and genitals last. Take off your baby’s nappy and wash these sensitive areas with fresh cotton wool and warm water. Dry very carefully, especially between the skin folds.
- After washing, lift your baby out and dry with a soft towel, paying particular attention to the leg and neck creases.
- Dress them quickly so they feel warm and snug again.
Step 5: The ‘top and tail’ bath
A daily bath is not essential with new babies, and you can perform what’s known as the ‘top and tail’ wash. This method means you can concentrate on areas that need a more regular wash, such as your baby’s bottom and face. Use cotton wool wettened with warm water to wash their baby’s eyes and face.
Now you’re ready for bath time; it’s time to grab some fun baby bath toys and enjoy this special time with your little one.