I believe that a baby should be exposed to water early and often: showers, bath tubs, and eventually swimming pools. All good.
My first baby got a bath every other night and he pretty much still does. Meanwhile, my third child has been in the tub about 5 times in as many months. FIVE. That is not a typo. Rather than get all the supplies out for him, we prefer to bring him in the shower as needed.
A wise person told me that baby’s skin chemistry is pretty much perfect the way it is, so I try not to mess with it too much. I like to use a very small amount of extremely gentle baby soap. Or no soap at all. Keep in mind, I make bald babies so I don’t know how that changes things.
I like to delegate the role of infant-bathing to Daddy whenever possible. Handling a wet infant is slippery business and no boobs are required. While your partner is busy washing the baby, you can relax with a well-earned glass of wine and a stack of magazines.
Easy steps to bathing a baby:
- Grab the goods: wash cloth, snugly towel, baby soap, plastic cup, and of course, a tub. Optional: something to protect your knees.
- Lay out diaper and clean clothes.
- Fill tub first with partially with warm (not hot) water and second with naked baby.
- Start by washing the face, then dirty bits, and finally hair. Keep one hand on your baby at all times. Use cup to pour warm water on hair.
- Clench the baby towel in your teeth then scoop her into a warm hug.
(Overachievers with laundry in the bathroom like me will run bath towel through the dryer.)
Showering a baby (way different than a baby shower!)
Our infant shower method requires two interchangeable adults. For simplicity sake, let’s say Mommy is in the shower.
Mom does this:
- Step into the shower and make sure water is not too hot.
- Receive the naked baby and one wash cloth.
- Using hand and wash cloth, rinse baby from top to bottom. Hold on tight. Wet babies are especially squirmy.
- Pass the baby back to Daddy when you are satisfied.
In the meantime, Dad does this:
- Strip baby down to diaper.
- Walk over to shower, un-diaper the baby and pass to Mommy.
- Lay out pajamas.
- Receive the baby in a cozy towel from Mommy and pajama-fy. (Yes, that’s a word.)