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Bath Baby Basics: Expert guide to help you sail through initial weeks of baby bathing

Baths maintain your baby's cleanliness, but they also provide an opportunity for bonding. By strategically planning and practising, bath time can become an enjoyable experience for you and your baby.

Written By : India TV Lifestyle Desk Edited By : Kristina Das
New Delhi
Published on: January 30, 2024 15:51 IST
Baby Bath
Image Source : FREEPIK Expert guide to help you sail through the initial weeks of baby bathing.

Not only does bathing your baby provide an excellent opportunity for bonding, but it's also vital for their health and well-being. Keeping your tiny one clean helps in warding off illnesses and safeguarding their fragile immune system during the initial weeks and months of their existence. So how do you become proficient at bathing your baby while making it a bonding moment for both of you? Here's an uncomplicated guide by Dr Prashant Moralwar, Consultant Pediatrician, Motherhood Hospital Kharghar, to help you sail through bath time.

Should I opt for a Sponge Bath or Tub Bath for my baby?

During the initial weeks, sponge baths are recommended for babies. Once the umbilical cord has dropped off, your baby can be bathed in a sink or a small plastic infant tub. Bathe your baby two or three times a week in their first year. Bathing them more often could potentially dry out their skin.

Bathing essentials for the baby:  Fresh washcloths (if you're giving a sponge bath), pure cotton balls for cleaning your baby's eyes and nose, fragrance-free baby soap and shampoo as suggested by the doctor, a towel, and a fresh diaper.

How to give a sponge bath?

First, gather all the necessary bathing supplies. Select a secure, level area like a floor or changing table in a room that's comfortably warm. If you are using a changing table, ensure to fasten the safety strap. Prepare two small bowls with warm water (ensure it's not too hot). Mix some gentle, unscented baby soap into one of these bowls. Undress your baby and swaddle them in a towel. Moisten a washcloth or fresh cotton ball with the non-soapy water and use it to clean your baby's eyes, starting from the inner corner to the outer one of each eye with different parts of the cloth or new cotton balls for each eye. Use this same damp washcloth to cleanse your baby's face, nose, and ears. 

Bathing the baby in the tub?

The initial few tub baths should be short and gentle. Speaking softly can help soothe your baby during this new experience. Keep both the room and water comfortably warm to prevent your baby from feeling cold. The tub should be filled with about 2-3 inches of warm water and not too hot.  Safely place your baby in the tub. Quickly place your undressed baby into the water so they stay warm. As you lower them into the water feet first, ensure you're supporting their neck with one hand and their bottom with another, keeping their head and face well clear of the water surface at all times. Use a fresh damp washcloth (soap-free) to gently clean their eyes from the inner corner outward before cleaning their face and ears similarly. Take a little bit of liquid baby soap or shampoo on either your fingertips or a washcloth, then gently massage it onto their scalp.

Safety measures while bathing: Avoid leaving your infant unattended or turning away even momentarily during bath time. If you must step out during the bath, wrap your infant in a towel and carry them along. Refrain from delegating the responsibility of bathing or supervising your baby in the bath to older children.

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