Splash around with meParents are often unsure how to bathe their baby for the first time or look after her skin properly. Christina Hinderlich, our midwife, provides some answers to the most important questions about caring for babies’ skin
02 February 2018
Splash around with me
Bath time fun
Baths have a soothing effect on most babies. The water reminds them of their time in the womb. And while at first your baby needs the safety and limits of a baby bath, after a few months she can enjoy the buoyancy of the water.
Mindful bathingFrom about four months, the skin has got used to life outside mum’s tummy and developed. Your baby can now be bathed once to twice a week. Sometimes a bath can be necessary, for example for washing off the chlorine after a baby swimming session. Babies like to be bathed carefully, and of course need your full attention when in the tub. Gently dipping your baby’s feet or bottom into the water can help her get used to the feeling of being wet. Then it’s time to splash! It’s important for you and your baby to feel at ease, and that your baby never gets cold. So going in the “big” bath with mum or dad is not a problem.
Remember to check the water temperature with your elbow before bathing your baby - it should be around 37° C. That is roughly the same as the temperature in the mother’s body, which is best for bathing. Even if everyone is happy, 5 - 8 minutes is enough. Don’t let the water get cool, and only wet the hair at the end, as lots of heat is lost through the head. If your baby already has a lot of hair, this can be gently cleaned with Calendula Shampoo & Body Wash. Afterwards, your baby needs to be lovingly wrapped up and dried with a towel.
Safe and comfortableIt’s a good idea to prepare everything you need in advance, so that bath time goes smoothly . Keep it all close by, allowing you to fully concentrate on your baby in the bath. A towel can be warmed on a nearby radiator, for example, and all items like flannels and Calendula Bath are within reach.
It is helpful to ask your midwife to show you a special bath hold for your newborn: for this, you carefully slide your left arm under your baby’s neck and hold her little shoulder with your left hand. The back of your baby’s head lies safely on your forearm and her head is supported securely. You can then wash your baby with your other hand.
For bigger children, the bathwater should not reach higher than the waist. And most babies feel better when they can touch the end of the tub with their feet. A happy atmosphere is particularly nice at bath time, so you can enjoy the moment with your baby. Your baby will love your undivided attention and feeling of security you provide.
A little ritualIt is so wonderful when you can both enjoy the bathing experience! It is best to choose a moment when you can be fully devoted to your baby and won’t be disturbed. But when is better, mornings or evenings? Not all babies are made sleepy by a bath - some are positively chirpy after splashing around! The ideal time for a bath therefore depends on your family’s rhythm and your child’s preferences. If she finds a bath rather relaxing, it can be perfect as an evening ritual.
Bath time is also a great way to involve other family members in the daily routine. Many fathers, in particular, enjoy looking after their baby in the bath. A tip: babies like regularity. So if you have found a good time for baths, try to stick with it.
“Right after the bath is a great time to share some cuddles with your baby. Safe and sound in mum or dad’s arms!”
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