Monday, August 30, 2010

Bathing your Baby

After that now-nasty soon-to-be-adorable belly button stump falls off, you can give baby her first bath. It really is a sweet experience, but here are a few lessons from the front lines.

1. Baby cannot sit up by herself until around 6 months so you need a tub that will allow baby to lay back or sit up with your assistance. And then you have to somehow use your other arm to wash baby while she slips all over the place. If possible have a helper (like Daddy) tag team the first bath in case you need some extra hands. Wanna make it easier? Try these items:

A Bath Sponge (just lay it in your sink to keep baby from bumping his or her head on the edge and giving her a soft place to sit. You can also add one to your standard baby bath tub. These are CHEAP, like $6ish, and are really all you need in the beginning. Every now and then baby might poo on it (VERY rare) but for a $6 replacement, not that big of a deal. Find it HERE

A Bath Bucket (since baby cannot hit up these are VERY helpful for the newborn stage, but not cheap at $45ish a pop. Baby will outgrow it eventually, but at least you have a bucket you can re-purpose for other things. Fine one HERE. The regular baby tubs are PERFECT. Fine one HERE for about $10. You can use either a bucket or tub until baby can sit up properly. Just beware that once baby starts moving around, she will splash splash splash in these little tubs. Solution? Take it off your counter and start laying it in the real tub. That makes it easy to fill up, store, and saves your bathroom from a super wet mess. We are not big fans of the expensive baby tubs. For something you will only use for maybe 6 months, not worth it. But to each his own...

A sit up seat (once baby hits around 5-6 months you can try one of these seats if you like. Find one HERE for about $38. They slide over the edge of your tub and allow baby to take a bath in your regular bathtub. The plus? Your back gets a little break and you have some free hands. These are helpful for that transition time when baby is too big for a baby tub but cannot sit up well enough yet to take a big bath without your help. This is not a must have item, but it is a helpful little fellow.
they come in pink too!

Spout Cover (when baby starts sitting up in the big tub these are a good idea. Babies LOVE splashing and wiggling around in the tub, so cover the spout to make sure they don't head butt it. These little covers also give baby something to play with when old enough, too. We like 2fers around here! Find one HERE for about $15 on average. There are animal ones like these and more modern, sleek designs, too.

Extra Bonus Tip: Just like changing a diaper, the difference in air temperature can cause baby to pee (or more!). So unless you want to end up like my husband--- t-shirt soaked in baby urine--- yum!!!!, do not take off baby's diaper until you are ready to put her in the tub. If you realized that you left the baby wash in the closet, do not get baby naked and have daddy hold her until you get back unless you want a good laugh. On daddy. Literally. Keep the diaper on until the last possible moment...just in case.

If you are nervous, or just curious, how to give a newborn a bath, check out this YouTube video. Okay, it is a little cheesy. But it IS helpful. If nothing else it at least gives you an idea of how to give baby that first bath. And take pictures of the first bath if possible or video it. There is nothing cuter than a sweet little baby, all clean and fresh, wrapped up in a towel after a bath. Love it!

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