Survival guide: How to bath a baby
It's a daunting task for a new mum, so here's a quick guide on how to bath a baby
FIND A RECEPTACLE LARGER THAN BABY
But not too big. Do not be tempted to try putting your newborn in an adult-sized bath – babies get very slippery when wet and you don’t want to accidentally drop them in the tub. Choose something smaller – maybe, say, a baby bath, or if you think that’s too fancy, you can use the kitchen sink – just make sure you remove the dishes first.
PREP, PREP, PREP
We cannot emphasise this enough: get everything you’re going to need before you begin. We’re talking soap (gentle baby soap, not yours), cotton wool or wash cloths, a cup for rinsing. Also think about post-bath kit – you’re going to need a soft fluffy towel and a nappy at the very least.
Being a new mum comes with all sorts of spills and messes, and this is another time when you can easily end up covered in anything from water (not too bad) to poo (grim but always a danger in a no-nappy situation), so wear something you won’t mind getting wet or dirty. That’s no to a ballgown then.
OK, HERE WE GO
Check the water temperature. You can use a special bath thermometer or your elbow – we’re aiming for warm but not hot. Carefully lower baby into the bath, making sure you support them at all times. Now gently wash them with a cloth or cotton wool. Tip: you might need an extra pair of hands the first time you do this so enlisting the help of a partner could be useful here.
Clean? Ok, time to get them out. You need to get them into that towel, dried and (if using) lotioned before they get cold. This is also a good time to try your hand at baby massage if the mood takes you. Right, nappy on – if you don’t do this swiftly you’ll be looking at another bath. Pop the baba in a sleepsuit, give them a cuddle and heave a sigh of relief. Well done!