These baby bath time hacks will help you bathe your baby like a pro. Say goodbye to bath time struggles and prepare for easy baby baths.
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When my first baby was born, the first bath was something we were both excited and nervous about.
We had the bathtub, washcloths, and soap, but beyond that we had no idea what to do.
Once her umbilical cord fell off we were ready to give her first real bath. But, we blew it.
We hardly used any water, abruptly threw her in the tub, and had one screaming baby and two stressed out parents.
Luckily, bath time doesn’t have to be like that!
Learn how to master baby bath time with these baby bath hacks.
Baby Bath Safety
When you’re preparing to bathe your new baby, there are some important baby bath safety rules to keep in mind.
Drowning is one of the leading causes of deaths in babies and children.
Even a few inches of water is enough for a baby to drown, so it’s important to take bath time very seriously (Source: CDC).
Make sure to follow these safety tips prior to each bath.
Never Leave Baby Unattended
Babies cannot support themselves and can slip down very easily. Never leave your baby alone in the bath or near the bath filled with water.
Try your best to prepare ahead of time and gather all of the supplies you may need. If you do need to leave the room, bring your baby along with you.
Check Temperature of Water
Newborns are very sensitive to temperatures and are at higher risk of burning. Always make sure bath water isn’t too hot or too cold before putting your baby in the tub.
Aim for temperature of about 100F.
My favorite way to keep an eye on the bath temperature is with this rubber duck toy. The toy has a built-in thermometer and it alerts you if the water is too hot or too cold.
Put your rubber duck in the tub before your baby while you get used to the normal temperature for baby’s bath.
Use Baby Safe Shampoo
All soaps and shampoos are not created equally. Your precious newborn’s skin is highly sensitive and vulnerable to harsh chemicals.
A high-quality baby shampoo is absolutely worth the investment. Always check the ingredients and avoid any perfumes or unnatural scents as well as harsh chemicals including alcohols.
My favorite resource for checking the safety of products (this includes all products for myself and baby) is the EWG.
The EWG is a site that evaluates the safety of all ingredients in a product and the potential harm or impact it can have on your health.
According to the EWG, the safest shampoos and washes for babies include:
When Should Baby’s First Bath Occur?
Until baby’s umbilical cord detaches, your baby’s first bath should be a sponge bath. You don’t want to fully immerse baby in water until they umbilical cord falls off.
Use a sponge with warm water to gently bathe your new baby every 3-4 days.
For the first sponge baths, you can set your baby up on the changing table on top of a towel and a changing pad.
Gently wash inside your baby’s neck fold, arms, legs, and genitals. Make sure to dry your baby and dress them right away to keep them nice and warm.
How To Bathe Baby Step By Step
Once your baby’s umbilical cord falls off, it’s time for the first real bath.
You can bathe your baby in the sink or in a baby bath tub.
We love this bathtub that grows with your baby during the first year of life.
We start with the sling insert which keeps your baby immersed in water, but in a comfortable position.
Before you put your baby in, gather all of your bath supplies. Make sure to keep them within reach.
Fill your baby bath tube with lukewarm water and then place baby into the tub.
Gently wash baby with mild soap and water. Make sure to wash in all of your baby’s adorable skin folds and rolls.
Once your baby has been cleaned, gently pat dry with a soft towel.
Apply your favorite baby lotion and dress your baby.
Baby Bath Time Hacks
Gather all of your supplies before you start the bath.
Since you can’t leave your baby unattended, make sure to gather all of your bath supplies prior to turning the water on.
Wait To Remove Your Baby’s Diaper
Keep your baby’s diaper on as until you put your baby into the bath.
There’s nothing cuter than a naked baby, except when they poop everywhere.
Use This Duck to Check Bath Temperature
Instead of constantly second-guessing if the water is too hot for your baby, buy this cute duck.
The bottom of the rubber duck will indicate of the water is too hot for your baby. If it lights up, add some extra cold water before putting your baby in.
Baby Bucket with Visor
Keep water out of your baby’s eyes with these buckets to rinse. This will help keep water flowing back and away from their face.
What Do You Need for Bathing a Baby
Save money and buy a tub that will last throughout your baby’s first year.
This one grows with your baby and can be used from your baby’s first bath until they’re ready for the big tub.
Soft Wash Cloths
I recommend muslin washcloths for babies. Baby’s is so sensitive and muslin is very gentle for new babies.
Shampoo and Body Soap
Most baby shampoo and body soaps are a 2-in-1 meaning you can use one product for both. As I mentioned above, the quality of ingredients certainly matters, especially for babies.
Look for the EWG certified seal on products to know you’re choosing the safest option for your baby.
Similarly to washcloths, try to find a towel that’s soft and gentle for that sweet sensitive baby skin.
Although bath toys aren’t a must for newborns, once your baby gets a little older, they’ll love a few bath toys.
How Do I Keep My Newborn Calm in the Bath?
A lot of newborns are shocked by their first baths and the result can be less than pleasant.
In order to keep your newborn calm in the bath, try to ease them into it.
Make sure the water is lukewarm and not too cold.
Also, keep their body as warm as possible during the bathing experience.
During the first few sponge baths, keep your baby wrapped in a towel other than the body part you’re washing. This will help them stay warm and cozy while getting clean.
Once your baby is ready for a real bath, make sure their body is submerged in water so they stay nice and warm.
How Do You Make Bath Time Fun?
As your baby ages and is more interactive with their environment, they’ll be ready to spend more time in the bath.
Some babies naturally love spending time in the bath, while for others it can be more of a struggle.
Make bath time fun with these bath toys and activities.
Even from 2-3 months old, bath toys are fun for all. These squishy toys are easy for small hands to grab onto. Your baby will love to see the toys float with them in the tub.
Also, you can use the toys to sing songs, act out a puppet show, or dance around.
Music is always our go-to whenever my little one’s fussy. It helps calm your baby down and can be so much fun.
Play some of your baby’s favorites or your own favorites. Use bath toys to dance around and keep your baby smiling and giggling.
Use your baby’s arm or foot to show them how to splash in the tub. They’ll squeal with delight once they realize how to do this on their own.
Warning though, baths may never be the same once they learn how to splash.
Now you’re ready to conquer your first bath and beyond with these baby bath time hacks. If it doesn’t go smoothly the first time, that’s ok.
Don’t give up and try again in a few days. Your baby will eventually enjoy spending time in the bath which is a perfect start to a bedtime routine.
If you want more tips for new moms, join my Facebook Group: The Mom Hub: Eat, Sleep Play.
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