Babies are a joy to have around the house. They bring a smile to your face and warmth to your heart, but they can also be quite messy! Bath time is no exception, instead of just taking baby into the bathtub with you. Just like following self care practices for new moms, you should also follow caring tips for your newborn.
With your baby, you can bathe or shower. The water should be at the right temperature, and you should get all of your supplies ready first. Get in the bath without your baby first, then pick up your baby to wash them. Keep a good grip on them at all times while taking care of them, and enjoy bath time together.
If you’re like most parents, bathing your baby is a struggle. You’re scared you won’t be able to take a proper shower.
Why would you want to bathe your infant in the first place?
In the first place, why would you want to bathe your baby?
I was perplexed when I first heard about bathing and showering with a baby. I was perplexed as to why somebody would want to do such a thing.
I didn’t believe bonding with my baby would be easy. I thought it would be really awkward. But luckily, I have friends who taught me about co-bathing with a newborn.
Although bathing with your baby might be a fun idea, you should avoid doing this during winter. You have to make sure your baby is warm in winter to prevent it from catching cold.
Benefits of Bathing With Your Baby
Just like exposing your newborn to sunlight, showering or bathing with your baby can be really great and will bring you and your baby lots of benefits.
Here are some of my personal favorites that helped me decide to try it.
1. Taking a bath with your baby is an excellent method to form a bond between you.
To get the best benefits from skin-to-skin bonding, you should spend at least 60 minutes a day of direct contact with your baby. It is good to bathe with your infant to have all the benefits of skin-to-skin bonding. This will make you and your baby closer.
2. Co- Bathing with your baby can help you breastfeed more easily.
Breastfeeding is hard. Really hard. One way to help is to bathe with your baby.
I also liked to nurse while bathing my new baby. I didn’t have to worry about leaking breast milk or forceful letdown on the other breast because we could just clean up in the tub.
3. Bathing with your baby can help calm a crying infant.
A wise mom told me I needed to add water if my baby was crying. This always makes the problem go away. It even works at night when my baby is crying the most!
Babies sometimes get upset and need to be calmed down. They can feel warm and calm from a bath. Babies grow close to their parents in the bath.
4. It saves a lot of time to shower with your infant.
When you have a new baby, it is hard to shower. But when you take a shower with your baby, you can always find the time. You don’t need to worry about babies during naptime or about them crying while they are in bed.
Is It OK to Bathe Your Child?
OK, I know what you are thinking. Great news! If you read all of the information before and keep reading this post, you will be safe while bathing with your baby!
Common Fears When Showering With Your Baby
If you are like me, when you start to think about how to bathe your baby, then all of your worries will come up.
Here is a list of what people might worry about when they bathe with their baby. And here are ways to stop these worries from happening.
1. You’re concerned that bathing your infant may be uncomfortable.
If you are worried, I recommend that you try it. Put your anxieties aside and commit to giving your infant a few showers or baths. You can always stop if it feels awkward. But I believe you will enjoy it as well. However, you just have to be mindful of when you are bathing with your baby. Bathing with your baby in winter season could cause them to be uncomfortable.
2. You’re worried about dropping your baby.
Bathing and showering with your baby are difficult because they are slippery when wet. But don’t worry! When you understand the procedures to take, how to place your infant and some unique bathing advice for your baby, you’ll be ready to go. You’re scared you won’t be able to take a proper shower.
3. I didn’t believe bonding with my baby would be easy.
Parents worry about having enough time for themselves. They worry they won’t be able to have a shower because they’re always looking after their baby. But you can have showers with your baby, too! I’ll tell you how to do it in my step-by-step guide below.
When Can You Start Bathing or Showering With Your Baby?
Although this might sound like a fun thing to do with your baby, you should not start showering with your new baby on the first day.
Your baby’s umbilical cord stump will be visible for 7 to 21 days following birth. The stump will dry out and fall off in the meantime, but you want to avoid getting an infection in it.
You should not submerge your baby’s umbilical cord. This means you should wait to bathe with your newborn until after it falls off.
During the first few weeks, give your infant sponge baths every few days and clean them with a wet cloth once or twice a week.
How Frequently Can You Bathe Your Baby?
You should not bathe or shower with your baby until their umbilical cord falls off. You can help to give them a sponge bath with just water or water and soap for babies.
When your baby’s umbilical cord falls off, you can bathe together. But do it a few times a week and not every day. If the water is too hot or cold, this will dry out your baby’s skin easily. When your baby is six weeks old, you can probably bathe together more often if you want to, especially if your baby is getting uncomfortable in summer.
Some parents will bathe their baby every day, but some bathe it weekly. To avoid drying out the skin, some people take soapy showers one day and water baths the next.
You’re Ready to Bathe With Your Baby. What Do You Do Now?
What you should do before, during, and after you co-bathe or co-shower with your infant is outlined here.
Step 1: Double-check your baby’s umbilical cord.
A baby’s umbilical cord falls off. When it does, you can do sponge baths. If it is still there, be patient and wait a little longer for the cord to fall off before doing anything that might cause an infection.
Step 2: Check the water temperature.
Your baby is more sensitive to water temperature than you are. The water should be the same or slightly warmer than your body temperature. You may check this by putting your hand inside your wrist and contacting the water (your skin is more sensitive there). Or, if you don’t want to touch it, dip in a thermometer and check what temperature it is. Before you get into the bath with your baby, take a few minutes to test the water. If it is too cold or too hot, things will go more smoothly.
Step 3: Get everything ready beforehand.
You don’t want to reach for things once you get in the bathroom. It is hard, and it makes a mess. You might drop your baby, too.
Gather all of your supplies before you start. You will need to have all of your shower supplies ready, as well as anything for your baby. I’ll link some bath time favorites below so that you can see what we have ready for our baby when we start to take baths.
Step 4: Without your infant, enter the water cautiously.
When you enter and depart the water, you have the greatest potential of dropping your baby. Put down your baby and get in and out of the bathtub alone to avoid this.
With a Partner’s Help:
One way to do this is to have a partner help you when you transition. Your partner can hold the baby while you get into the water. If you are bathing with your baby, be careful not to hurt yourself. If you are showering with your baby, make sure that there is nothing for the baby to fall on.
Once you feel steady, ask your partner to pass your baby into the bath with you. Once you are in the tub with them, make sure they are comfortable and not fall over. At the end of the bath, ask your spouse for assistance once more, and then wash for a few minutes before exiting the shower. This is a good way to make sure that your baby stays safe and you can take a shower.
Bathing and showering alone with your baby:
If you don’t have any help, don’t worry. You can still safely bathe your baby. The critical point to remember is that holding your newborn while entering and exiting the tub increases the likelihood of falling. I recommend that you get one of these bath chairs for your baby. It is affordable, and it works for your baby at all ages. When our baby was born, he weighed only 6 pounds, and he could use this bath chair on his first day of sponge baths. As he got bigger, this same chair continued to work until he was old enough to take the sponge baths by himself without needing support from anything else.
Step 5: Make sure you keep a firm grip on your child at all times.
Never hold your baby with one hand. They could fall and hit their head or become submerged in water if you do. You should always have both hands on them when you’re bathing them.
First, think about getting bath gloves. It will be easier to hold your slippery baby. Next, you might want to get a waterproof baby carrier so that you can clean them more easily.
You can swaddle your infant tightly and not worry about them falling out of the shower with you. It’s also excellent for bonding. This baby bath chair is also one of the best investments you can make for your newborn, in my opinion. It makes bath time easier for you and your kid, both when you co-bathe and when he bathes alone.
If you don’t want to buy anything for your baby, you can still bathe and shower with them. This is essential if you want to raise your baby on a budget. But pay close attention when they are slippery. Make sure you keep a strong grip on them at all times, so they don’t fall.
Step 6: Make sure your baby is kept warm.
When you bathe your infant, they sit on your body and have less of their body in contact with the water. If you shower, you stand between the water and your baby. I recommend using a water cup to pour warm water over them, so they stay warm and relaxed while you cuddle and wash them.
Turn around when you’re taking a shower with your infant so they can be sprayed by the water. Smiling will make them feel safer. Don’t leave your baby under the showerhead for a long time, and don’t pour water on their head to keep them from getting cold.
Step 7: Keep your bath or shower brief and to the point.
Although it is great to cuddle, it can be tempting to stay in the bathtub for a long time. However, your baby’s skin is extremely sensitive, and if you spend too much time in the water, you risk drying it out.
Step 8: Get out of the water safely (again, without your baby).
Remember that the most dangerous time for your baby is when you are in and out of water. That is when it is most likely that you will fall down or that the baby will get dropped. When you put them down, make sure you can walk away safely without holding onto them or anyone else.
Step 9: Dry off your baby.
When you are done taking a shower, dry your baby off. So that they don’t become sick, keep them warm and dry. If your baby is unhappy after a bath, try these suggestions to help her relax. Brush your baby’s teeth after you’ve dried her off and dressed her, so she gets used to it.
What Are the Greatest Bathing Postures for Your Baby?
If you are bathing with an older baby, you can sit in the tub together. You can play in any position that feels right for the two of you. But when I bathe my younger baby, I have three main positions that I prefer.
1. Place your infant between your legs, facing up.
Sitting in the tub with your legs together is a good idea. Make sure your baby’s head is up and staring at you. Because this is such a secure position, your kid will be safe the entire time. It is also a good way for them to look up and make eye contact with you while you talk and bond during your bath together.
2. Place your infant on your chest, facing down.
Lean back against the bathtub wall and cuddle your baby against your chest. This is a magical position. You can feel all of those bonding hormones when you are there with them. When they are really young, just support their neck so they don’t fall off.
3. While taking a bath together, breastfeed your baby.
Breastfeeding is good in the tub. I only used to do it there because I felt too uncoordinated everywhere else. I liked to use the normal cradle and cross-cradle breastfeeding positions in the tub.
What Are the Greatest Showering Positions for You and Your Baby?
I also have three positions that I like to use while bathing my baby.
1. While showering with your infant, use a baby chair.
You probably guessed that a baby bath chair is important. You can put your baby in the chair and know that she will be safe. You do not have to worry about holding her while you shower off, which means you can focus on yourself instead of worrying about your baby.
2. Hold your infant so that their back is to you.
Hold your baby while they are facing you. Use one arm to support their bottom and the other across their back and shoulder. As your baby gets older, you can put them on your hip. But when they are small, it can be tricky to feel stable with this position.
I recommend choosing a waterproof baby carrier if you are concerned about your kid slipping. When you first start carrying your baby, it can be hard to hold them and feel stable. You can carry them on your hip when they get older for extra support.
3. Hold your infant so that their back is to you.
When you have a baby, and they can hold their head up and move their neck, you might want to change the way you hold them. Hold your baby by crossing your arm across your chest and between your legs. Use this position if you need more support or are hard to balance on one arm.
What Should You Know About Bathing With Your Older Baby?
As your baby gets older, some parts of co-bathing get easier. For example, you don’t have to worry about his neck as much. This means that you can use your hand for playing and helping to wash yourself and the baby. But other parts of co-bathing get a bit more difficult. Here are a few tips to help out when you are showering with an older baby:
1. Your baby will probably be more wiggly.
As my baby gets older, he becomes more interested in the things around him. Instead of wanting to snuggle and sleep, he wants to explore. This is fun for us, but it can make it more difficult to hold him safely while we shower.
If you pick up your baby in the shower, give her a toy to hold on to. This will keep her hands busy and distract her so that you can add soap and water without worrying about dropping your wiggly baby.
2. Your baby will be more distracting to you.
As your baby gets older, he will start to move more. But this can make it hard when you are trying to shower. My child has recently learned how to open the shower curtain. If I am washing, he sits on the ground and tries to open the curtain. I close it, and then he opens it again.
3. Older babies have new safety concerns to watch for.
Older babies often want to stand in the bathtub. It is easy for them to slip and fall there because it is slippery when wet. They can hit their head on the edge of the tub if they do not sit down. Keep your baby safe by always sitting them down when they try to stand up.
What Tools Will Make It Easier to Bathe and Shower With Your Baby?
Now that you know everything you need to bathe and shower with your baby, I want to share some great tools that make it easier. We have learned a few things along the way, including what is important when bathing with your newborn and older baby.
Here are some of my personal suggestions for a fun and safe bath at home:
This bath spout cover is a way to make the baby bath time fun and safe. It protects their head from bumps and bruises during bath time. This toy thermometer is what you need to see if the water in the tub is right for your baby.
These little squirts are a lot of fun to play with. When you have a bath, every time we squirt them at him, he laughs so hard that he has bubbles coming out of his nose. If you want more fun in the bath, use this bubble bath (which also doubles as shampoo and body wash). We got this blue baby chair for our baby, but one is grey too if you don’t like it. It is really stable and supportive for babies of all ages.
Frequently Asked Questions About How to Take a Bath or Shower With Your Baby
How Old Should a Baby Be to Take a Bath?
At first, your baby just needs a sponge bath with a very warm washcloth. Before giving them their first genuine bath, wait till the umbilical cord has fallen off.
How Do You Give a Baby a Bath?
You need some things like soap and cotton pads. Do not use hot water. Make the room warm. Fill the bathtub with some water that is not too hot, about 2-3 inches deep. Gently place your baby in the tub, then bathe them with water and soap to clean them up nicely. Then gently lift them out of the tub to dry them off with a towel or cloth. Make sure to clean their fingernails, neck, and hair to prevent dirt build-up
How Do You Bathe a 4-Month-Old Baby?
Bath time is the best time to have a bath. Install non-slip mats on the floor and in the bath, then fill your infant with cool water (like 38 degrees Celsius). Then run cold water through for just a second. Gently lower your baby into the water, but never let go of them.
How Do You Bathe a One-Year-Old Baby?
Fill the bath to your child’s belly button when sitting down. Turn off the hot water tap and use cold water quickly. Check the water temperature around 37°C and 38°C before putting your child in it.
What Happens If I Don’t Bathe My Baby?
Doctors don’t recommend daily baths for babies. The water can make their skin dry, making eczema worse. But if you don’t bathe your baby at all, they might get an infection, or eczema will worsen.
Why Is It Important to Bathe a Baby?
A newborn’s skin is soft and delicate. You can keep their skin healthy by bathing them with soap, but only every day if they need it. As most people think, babies don’t need to take a bath every day.
How Often Should You Give a Newborn a Bath?
How often does my newborn need a bath? It is not necessary to bathe your baby every day. You can bathe your baby three times a week until they start moving around more. Bathing your newborn too much will make their skin dry.
How Do You Give a One-Month-Old a Bath?
Bathe your baby once or twice every week. Keep them away from water until their umbilical cord has fallen off. Start with their head then gently wash their face, then work your way down with a warm washcloth and a gentle sponge bath.
Should You Give Newborns Water?
When your baby is under 6 months old, they need to drink both breast milk or formula and water. They can’t have just water until they are older. This is because their bodies are not ready for it yet.
At What Age Do Babies Say, Mama?
Most babies say “mama” and “dada” around 12 months. They may say it earlier, but they won’t know what they are saying.
Is Soap Necessary for a Baby?
A baby doesn’t need soap or a cleanser. They are to clean the baby’s bottom and the folds of skin around their arms and legs. Until your baby is about one year old, use products designed for babies or mild soap only on parts of their body that really need it.
Is It OK to Bathe a Newborn Once a Week?
Bathing your baby every one, two, or three days might make them get a rash. Bathe your baby once a week to be safe.
Can a 1-Year-Old Take a Shower?
Your baby can shower with you when the umbilical cord falls off. That means your baby should be good to go around 1-2 weeks old.
Does a 1-Year-Old Need a Bath Seat?
No, they are for babies who can sit on their own. Babies outgrow this at 4-6 months old to sit by themselves.