Picture this, you just brought your newborn baby home from the hospital and now it’s time to give your baby a bath. What? My baby needs to take a bath? Sure you learned how to give the baby a bath in your prenatal birthing class and the nurses at the hospital gave you a refresher course, but you never actual had to do it yourself. You have all the supplies you need but are clueless as to what comes next. This actually happened to me! Thank god my mother was there to help me out, otherwise my poor stinky baby would never have had a bath.
Here is my advice to you – plan before you actually deliver. It may seem silly at first, but set up the bathtub and do a dry run before the baby comes. Use a doll or stuffed toy to practice.
1. Set up the tub. Where do you plan on giving the bath? In the bathroom? In the baby’s room? Will you be sitting on the floor? Do you have a bath stand?
2. Fill the tub with water to the right temperature. Make sure you use a bath thermometer to check that the water is not too hot.
3. Take out the soap and other things you might use. Open the packaging on the soap, sponges, shampoo. Try to organize all the things you need. One easy way is to put all the things you will use during the bath in a plastic basket with handles.
4. Once you have the bath all set up and know what to do during the bath, next think about how you will get the baby dressed after the bath. Where do you plan to put the baby after you are done?
5. Lay out a big towel/sheet on the bed. Have the baby towel ready. I like to use 2 towels – one with a hood as I take the baby out, and another one to dry the baby.
6. Organize out the cotton balls, alcohol swabs for the umbilical cord, diaper, wipes, clothes, swaddle, nose suction bulb, baby nail scissors, diaper cream, lotion, whatever else you plan to use. Again, having all the items in one place or in a “after bath” basket will be very helpful.
If you plan to give the baby a bath yourself then make sure you know what you are doing. Also, show your husband, mom, helper and/or whoever else the set-up and bath procedure. You might be too tired to get everything ready by yourself when you get home.
Also, FYI – your baby will more than likely be screaming at the top of their lungs the first few times you give a bath (so don’t freak out). Most of all don’t stress. You have the rest of your life to be a Super Mom. All of us are a little scared at the beginning. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
Extra “Super” Tip: Wash the bathtub before the baby uses it. Yes it sounds so simple, but you will be surprised at how many of us forget to do this.