Bath time with baby can be the best time of the day. Babies usually love baths and it gives you both time to have some special interaction with your baby, free of any distractions (after all, you can’t leave a baby alone in a bath!). It’s also a time when working dads can get to see their child for a while. Bath time usually coincides with the time dad gets home from work so it gives them a chance to have some quality time together, followed by a story and bed.
Incorporating daily baths into your childs routine helps them to recognise that bed time is approaching and there’s nothing nicer than a relaxing bath with plenty of mummy and daddy time to put them in the mood for a good night’s sleep. You can get toiletries that include flowers and herbs to help relax your baby and help him to sleep. Lavender is probably the most well known and popular of these, but look around and see what scents take your fancy.
If you fancy trying baby massage, after a bath is a good time for this as this will just add to the amount of relaxation your baby feels. Don’t be surprised if he goes to sleep before you’ve even put him to bed!
So, what do you need for your baby’s bath?
Bath or bath support: A young baby (under 1) will need either a bath support or a baby bath. A bath support is used in a full size bath and is a good choice if you are having a bath with baby. You fill up the bath as normal and sit your baby in the support. This is especially helpful when your baby is unable to sit. A baby bath is a small bath that is filled with water for your baby to sit in (sit the bath in your normal bath so it is easy to fill and empty).
IMPORTANT: Never leave a baby alone in a bath, whether using a support or not. It’s much too easy for them to slip under the water and drown.
Thermometer: It’s important that the water you use isn’t too hot. Babies aren’t able to regulate their body temperature adequately and a hot bath can cause them all sorts of problems. Make sure the temperature never goes above that recommended on the thermometer.
Toiletries: You will need an all in one body and hair wash (you can buy separate shampoo but I don’t think it’s necessary) and I would recommend getting something in a pump action bottle as this makes it much easier to use as one hand will always be holding baby, leaving just one hand free to squeeze or pump the body wash. Boots do a good one – it’s a pump action foaming bodywash so you can pump is straight onto baby without lathering it up first.
Towels, Flannels and Cotton Wool: Cotton wool and water should be used for the first few days after baby is born, and you should continue to use cotton wool balls to wash baby’s face. A flannel can be used to was the rest of baby’s body and you will, of course, need a towel to dry baby with. You can use ordinary towls or cuddle robes which have a hood and and are designed to keep baby snug (but basically do the same job as a towel). Make sure you dry baby’s head straight after the bath as he can lose body heat quickly .