Having a baby is everything the clichés say it will be. You can’t believe how much love you instantly have for this little person and you know that life will never be the same. Those first few moments after you give birth are so special, magical, unforgettable. But, it doesn’t take long for reality to set in – ‘I’m responsible for everything this beautiful creature needs’. Wait, what???
Time for baby’s first bath. Since feeding was pretty much a mom only job, this was really the first thing we could do together as ‘Mom and Dad’. Get the bath ready, make sure we have a towel, soap and diaper ready to go. Take this tiny, amazing person and gently put her in the water and…wait, she’s happy! No crying, no screaming! A quick wash and she’s done, wrapped up in a towel, all clean. We did it! Looking back, it seems a little silly to think that because we managed to give our not even a week old daughter a bath without tears or major mistakes that we knew what we were doing as parents. But, it was definitely felt like our first parenting ‘win’ and a helpful confidence boost.
Here are some tips to help make bath time a success:
1. Make sure you have everything you need within arm’s reach before you put the baby in the bath
2, Use a warm wash cloth to lay over baby’s belly – it helps keep them warm during the bath
3. Use one arm to support the baby, one arm to wash them
4. Start from the top and work your way down. Wash face and head first, then neck, arms, belly and diaper area. Make sure to really clean under the chin and under arms – these are ideal places for milk to hide.
5. If baby is teething, add an extra washcloth for them to chew on so they aren’t always grabbing at the one you are using to wash them.
6. Test the temperature with your elbow – it is a more sensitive area than your fingertips.
7. Babies don’t need a bath every day, 3-4 times a week is usually enough (in fact, bathing too often could dry out their sensitive skin).
8. Once baby is out of the bath, adding moisturizer to their skin can help keep it from drying out and is a great chance to do a little baby massage (great for calming fussy babies and also great for bonding!)
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Walmart.ca offers lots of great products for bath time – some of our favourites include:
Johnson's Head to Toe Baby Wash (#1 choice of hospitals!)
Johnson's Baby Lotion (for that baby fresh scent)
Garanimals Inflatable Tub (great for travel)
Precious Planet Whale of a Tub (has a 'baby stopper' – great safety feature!)