It ain’t rocket science, but bathing your newborn can be a tricky task, especially if you’re a first-time parent. There’s plenty to consider – the water temperature, the type of soap you use, how much water goes into the bath… But don’t worry. With ample preparation, you’ll find that this experience (like most parental duties) can be an enjoyable one. Just watch out for these common bathtime mistakes most new parents make.
#1 Bathing too much
While it’s important to upkeep bubba’s good hygiene, bathing a baby too much can be harmful because it dries out their sensitive skin, and may even cause irritation. And let’s face it, infants don’t really get dirty like toddlers and older children do, especially since they can’t crawl around. Instead of bathing baby everyday, stick to a bath schedule of three times a week and opt for warm cloth wipe downs in between.
#2 Overfilling the tub
Forget having baby splash around in the tub. Whether you’re using baby’s own tub or the adult-sized bathtub, keep water levels at one or two inches, or low enough to cover only baby’s bottom.
#3 Neglecting water temperature
Just like Goldilocks, babies’ bath should not be too hot or cold. Keep the temperature lukewarm – too hot and it will burn their sensitive skin, too cold and it may cause them to fall sick. And always check the water temperature before dipping baby in!
#4 Overstaying in the tub
Thanks to a lack of body fat, newborns are susceptible to heat loss – which means they can catch a cold simply from being left in the tub for too long. Cap off each bath session at 10 minutes and leave miscellaneous duties till bubba is out of the water.
#5 Not rinsing off properly
Don’t leave baby all sudsy in your rush to get him out of the tub! Leaving soap or shampoo on bubs can cause irritation even if you’re using a gentle, baby-safe formula. Not rinsing out baby’s hair properly can even lead to hair growth problems! To ensure baby is squeaky clean, use warm water to slowly rinse out left over residue – make sure to tilt his head back to avoid getting water into his eyes, ears or nose.
#6 Washing baby in a dirty tub
The tub you’re using may look clean, but take extra precaution by thoroughly disinfecting its surface before each use. Babies’ immune systems aren’t as strong as adults are, which makes it extra easy for germs from dirt and bacteria to infect ‘em. Even though the tub you’re using may look clean, take extra precaution by thoroughly disinfecting its surface before each use – also make sure that your cleaning chemicals won’t leave any residual effect on bubba’s sensitive skin.
#7 Bathing with bubba
Even though taking a bath with your baby can be a fun and bonding experience, there are a few reasons why it isn’t a good idea. A) Because the regular bath soaps you’re using might not be suitable for infants’ skin, b) the dirt on your skin may cause irritation to baby’s skin and c) getting in and out of a slippery tub while holding an infant is definitely a hazard you shouldn’t risk.
#8 Leaving baby unattended
This one might be a no brainer but you’d be surprised at how many interruptions there can be during baby’s bath. Remember, nothing is more important than giving bubs your undivided attention while they’re in the tub – not answering the phone, switching off the stove, or even quickly popping out to grab forgotten bath supplies. Even for experienced parents, know that babies can drown very quickly without even being submerged; too much water up their nostrils is enough to be harmful.
When it comes to bath time, preparation is key. Beyond making sure everything you need is easily within reach, ensure that your surroundings are as interruption-free as possible. And keep your phone nearby in case of any emergencies.
#9 Adding too many toys
Peppering the bathroom with fun toys to help baby enjoy bath time can pose serious hazards. Apart from being a distraction, it may cause your baby to suddenly reach for it, escaping your grip and slipping underwater. Even toys placed outside the tub may entice your little one to get out of the tub to grab it – wet children and slippery surfaces definitely spell disaster. So as tempting as it is, keep the toys away!
#10 Not sticking to flat surfaces
Keep a flat surface readily available where you can dry baby off. Not only does it help keep bubs comfortable, which makes the drying process easier, placing your infant on an even and secure surface helps to keep their head, neck and spine well supported.