Once your baby's umbilical cord has fallen off, you can officially give him his first real baby bath. There could be cooing or crying, but no matter the temperament, grab your camera if it's the first baby bath. It's a momentous occasion that you'll enjoy looking at later.
Gather everything you need. This is the most important step. You can not leave your baby if you have forgotten something, so grab it first. You'll need some or all the following items: a baby bath tub (I recommend the Prima EuroBath (compare prices), towels, washcloths, baby shampoo and baby wash, a baby brush, a diaper, lotion and your camera. (If you have an extra set of hands to take pictures, that's the safest option.)
Fill the bath tub with warm water. They do make bath tub thermometers meant to make this easier, but if you just make sure the water is lukewarm, you'll be fine. Fill the tub and put it on a flat area. I recommend your kitchen island or table so you are at a level where you can stand and not have to lean over.
Undress your baby and place him in the tub. Make sure to support his head. You may need to roll up a washcloth and place it behind his neck for support. This is the time where you'll see if your baby loves baths, or could pass on them all together. Don't worry if your baby cries. You're not doing anything wrong; he's just used to being wrapped up tight.
Wash your baby. Pour some baby wash onto a wet washcloth and lather up with soap. Gently wash your baby, making sure to pay special attention to places that may not get much air, such as under the neck and in the creases of the skin.
Gently wash your baby's hair. Even if your baby isn't showing signs of cradle cap, using a baby brush is a great tool to help keep baby's scalp healthy. Lather up his hair and then, using the baby brush you were given at the hospital, brush your baby's scalp back and forth stimulating circulation. Rinse out shampoo by gently pouring water over your baby's head.
Play, sing and have fun! If your baby isn't happy, go ahead and take him out now, but if he's enjoying his bath, stimulate him. Gently pour water over his belly, his chest or his arms and legs. Sing songs and bond with your beautiful baby until you're ready to take him out.
Dry off your baby. Gently dry off your baby, again paying careful attention to the creases of the skin that don't get a chance to get air. Dry off your baby's hair gently with the towel. You can use your own bath towels to dry your baby, or you can get a special soft baby towel with a hood.
Apply a light baby lotion. After you put on your baby's diaper, it's time to give him an after-bath moisturizing massage. If you're giving your baby a bath before bedtime, try a lavender scented baby lotion to help induce a calm sleep. By massaging the lotion into your baby's skin, you can be sure you've created the perfect environment to drift off to sleep.
- After you've finished bath-time, store all of the bath essentials in the baby bath tub so you'll always have what you need.
- In the beginning, having two people around the bath helps to make sure you always have extra hands.
- Cameras are great, but don't forget to video tape the first bath. You'll need to be reminded just how small and cute your teenager once was.
What You Need
- Baby Bath Tub
- Towels and washcloths
- Baby wash and shampoo
- Baby Brush
- Camera and Video Camera