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Home >  Information A-ZAll Kids Information ArticlesBathing Infants

Bathing Infants:

When bathing a newborn the first few times, it will only be a sponge bath. In fact, doctors say that you should not give your baby their first real bath until after they have already lost their umbilical cord. Then, when you give them their first bath, there are a few things you will need to have on hand:

• Baby body wash and shampoo—babies have very sensitive skin, which means that they need soap and shampoos that are made for them.

• Baby washrags and baby towels—these are also necessary due to the sensitivity of the baby's skin. The washrags and towels made for babies are not only smaller than those that are made for adults, they are also much softer. The towels also have a little hood built into the corner to cover baby's head with after the bath, to keep them a little warmer.

• The baby bathtub of your choice, and there are many to choose from, including the following:

• The baby bathtub—these are wonderful, the only bad thing being that, for infants, the tilt of the tub can be slightly too steep, causing their head to lean over uncomfortably. Other than that, they can be a wonderful way of bathing a small baby. They are lightweight and can easily be set in the bathtub or sink during bathing. Then, after the bath, they drain easily with a removable plug in the bottom, and they can be stored in a cabinet or on a shelf when not in use. These are also helpful for when a baby is not quite a newborn anymore, but isn't yet sitting up.

• The mesh brace—this is the little mesh seat that can be set in a bathtub or sink to use to hold the baby up out of the water while bathing them. These are good for newborns, but they quickly become too small for the little one. They are very small and take up very little storage space. There is no need to drain them, because they don't hold any water, which also means that they dry out more quickly that the big bathtub. The drawback to this is that the baby isn't actually submerged in much water, which means that the parts of their body that are wet and exposed to air might become quite cold. These don't have a lot of grip like the tub does, though, which means you will have to watch baby carefully to make sure that she isn't sliding off.

• The teddy bear sponge—this is the bright yellow sponge that is shaped like a teddy bear, and is indented in the middle, so that baby's body can fit. These can work very well in the bathtub or sink, or inside a baby bathtub. Much like the mesh method, baby's whole body can't be covered with water while they are on this, as well as the fact that they outgrow this one pretty quickly as well. Another drawback is that you have to squeeze all of the water out of it rather quickly, and it is a sponge, which means if you don’t get all the water out of it, it might be harboring bacteria that you aren’t even aware of. One of the good things about them though, is that they are very cheap, so after a few uses, there is no harm in buying a new one, which can prevent the worry of bacteria. Another benefit of this kind of baby tub is that it can be stored almost anywhere and it is extremely lightweight (when dry).

Other preparations for giving baby a bath will be setting their clothes out before the bath, as well as the diaper, and any lotions or powders. This will make sure that the baby's wet little body isn't exposed to air for any longer than necessary. Another thing to check is the room temperature when giving a baby a bath. Whatever room you are bathing the baby in (whether it is the bathroom, kitchen, or living room when you are giving them a sponge bath), you will want to make sure there are no fans on (even ceiling fans), and that the air conditioner isn't blowing. If it is winter time, you may want to put a space heater in the room where you will be bathing and dressing the baby. It will be a lot more enjoyable to your baby if they aren't freezing cold while bathing.

When giving your baby a bath, you will want to make sure and clean their entire body, especially those little crevices such as the rolls on their necks and back of the knees. No matter what, you should never leave the baby unattended in a bath, even if the bath is only one inch deep, even if you just need to turn away for a second. This is why it is so important to gather everything you need before the bath, so that there is no reason to step away at all. Preparing properly may not guarantee that your baby will love bath time, but it will certainly make it a better experience for both the parent and the baby. When you prepare the water for your baby's bath, you will want to make sure that it is neither too hot nor too cold. Just as with a bottle, you can test the water on the inside of your wrist, or the inside of your forearm. These are the most sensitive places, and will help you determine how your baby will perceive the water temperature. If it feels too warm at all, you will want to add some cold water, and vice versa. This is very important, because if your baby gets placed in freezing cold or burning hot water, they will not be happy any time you try to bathe them in the near future.

Copyright 2013. All educational materials are the sole property of Kid First Internet and are available for the benefit of our parents. Duplication or use of any material requires the express consent of Kids First Internet.

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