My somewhat fondest memory after having given birth to my first born was asking the midwife in the NICU, “how do you exactly bath a newborn?”
I must’ve come across as being a slightly dim-witted person to this professional, who had no doubt bathed a million and one children in her time of being a midwife. However, I truly think it was the look of concern, fear and uncertainty on my face that made her take a second look at me and realise I really had no idea how to undertake this particular task of parent and motherhood. I soon learnt it was a different experience bathing a newborn as compared to a 6 month old who is able to hold their own head up and body weight as well.
While I experienced every new mama emotions, there was lovely moment experienced between myself and the midwife as she told me that I ‘would get it after the first go and all I had to do was support the baby’s head with my hand’. With the midwife explaining how to attend to bathing a newborn, I washed Blake’s hair for the first time and afterwards, stared at Mr. Darcy like I had found the cure to cancer.
After having my second child and rediscovering the steps of bathing a newborn, I wanted to write a post for any new parent’s struggling out there with the concept of bathing a baby (we’ve all been there, so don’t worry!). So, here’s 5 hacks for a stress -free baby bath time.
Think & plan ahead. Making it seamless as possible, it’ll be a parent’s first hack to prep and plan everything ahead of time. Not only do baths require your undivided attention and this means you’ll want to avoid having to leave your bathroom for anything! I learnt as a rookie that having all of your bath products, towels and a spare diaper or two ready is essential for the go ahead. Having a hooded towel is simply a must-have item for any little person/s because they tend to lose their warmth through their head and you can wrap them up quickly and keep their head and body warm.
Newborn tip: if you are having/have had a baby born in the winter months and you have a bathroom light with a heater or a heater in your bathroom, pop this on at least 5 minutes or so before moving on with the motions of bathing your little one/s.
Make bath time as comfortable as possible. In our household, we have a guest bathroom that also transitions into the laundry and while it seems practical, our bathtub is incredibly low to the ground. Think: you’re sitting on the floor and when it comes to getting up… you need to call for someone to help you up. I discovered bathing a newborn in the kitchen sink is as incredibly sufficient as a proper bathtub or buying a tub for newborns that be used from 0-12 months. If I’m using the tub, I set it up on my kitchen table as it’s perfect hip height for me so I am not struggling with lower back pain (you’ll thank me later!) and its easier to dry off your little one and get them ready for bed. Another hack is filling up the tub with warm water first and testing the temperature of the water with your elbow to make sure it’s neither too hot or cold before adding your baby and placing a warmed face cloth over their little chests to keep them warm.
Emergency wipes & back up nappy. Do not follow in my footsteps and think your baby will not have some sort of explosion before, during or after having a bath. Because trust me, I learnt the hard way with this! Instead, I have a draw in both of my bathrooms filled with a packet of emergency wipes and have a pile of nappies within easy reach. If I’m not in the bathroom and are in the kitchen with the baby bathtub, I have a basket that’s filled with back up nappies, wipes, a few onesies/stretch and grows and other miscellaneous things. Probably even have a sink in there or two.
As for wipes, I find using Water Wipes to be beneficial for newborns. As they don’t contain any nasty chemicals, are scent free, the water content within the wipe its self is truly amazing and you only have to use a few as compared to other brands I’ve tried in the past. Plus, the water wipes leave your baby’s skin rash free and no redness at all. My other favourite wipes include Curash Water wipes as they don’t contain aloe vera (something of which both of my children and myself are highly allergic to) and have never had skin sensitivities or reactions to these products. But then, all of us mama’s and parents have a particular preference for what products and wipes we use for our babies and what’s in them; which leads me to my next point.
Pay attention to any product/s being used. Following in my footsteps of having sensitive skin towards certain ingredients, aloe vera and products that leave me incredibly sore or dealing with a rather nasty looking reaction. Blake had a horrendous skin reaction to a brand of nappies when he was a newborn, so a very painful lesson learnt. Quickly realising any future children could be the same, I’ve become super picky about what certain type of baby products I use. Most, if not all, baby products are usually safer, have more natural ingredients in them and after discovering certain brands don’t have aloe in them, I stick to them like crazy. I have been religiously using Aveeno baby wash and shampoo or MooGoo 2-in-1 Bubbly Wash (formerly known as MooGoo Mini Bubbly Wash) and for a moisturising cream, I love using either Aveeno or a natural based moisturiser. Or if I think both Blake and our newest addition needs a little more moisture, I follow in my Italian ancestors steps and add a little olive oil to their bath and rub it into their skin as a moisturiser.
(Lastly) Stay put. This one hack is a given one and it cannot be stated or said enough times. Please do not leave your baby unattended under any circumstances at all. Nothing is worth the risk of getting distracted or leaving a room for a split second and coming back to finding something terrible has happened. Not wanting to frighten anyone but professionals do state a newborn or any child, in fact, can drown in 2.5 cms/half an inch of water. So please stay put with your baby and if you need something, call out to someone and ask.
I would love to know any other tips, tricks of hacks you have for newborns or baby bathing time. If you’ve got some, leave them down in the comment section below and I look forward to reading them.