How to Successfully Do Baby Bath Time

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Not all newborn babies like bath time… in fact, most hate it, kind of like diaper changes. We wreck their whole warm and cozy vibe they’ve got going on with a system shock. But I’ve got some amazing tips and tricks for how to successfully do bath time with a new baby and spare you many unnecessary tears.

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how to successfully bathe a newborn baby and keep them happy

What Measures Success When Doing Baby Bath Time?

When it comes to bath time, the most important part is making sure that your baby is safe in his or her bath. This article will walk you through a few tips on successfully giving your little one a warm and relaxing bath while keeping him or her safe.

Another thing that is not mandatory– but man does it make life a whole lot nicer– is keeping your baby happy in the bath. If you’ve ever had a baby that hates anything with a passion (think bath time, car rides, diaper changes, etc.) you know how tough that can be.

The squealing crying that seems relentless and only soothable if you cease and desist whatever that activity is that just blanks out your mind.

So I find learning how to SUCCESSFULLY do bath time involves not only safety but baby’s happiness as well. Because preserving your sanity when possible is important too! So this article will cover how to safely and happily bathe your newborn baby.

RELATED: How to Gently Help a Baby to Sleep

Steps on How to Successfully Do Newborn Baby Bath Time

Get the right temperature.

Babies are very sensitive to temperature changes, or really any changes. Imagine living your whole existence in a place that never really changed. It was dark, had a constant din, and was always warm.

Now you are suddenly in a new place where nothing is ever the same and you are overwhelmed with new sensations. Not so pleasant huh? I would probably cry at bath time too.

You’ll want to make sure that the water is not too hot or too cold. You can use a baby bath thermometer to check the temperature of the water. When I had my first baby, we had a little yellow duck that the base of changed colors when it was too hot for baby.

But now those bath thermometer rubber ducks (or any animal you want really) are all high-tech with an actual temperature reading on them! And thank goodness, because while the old school temperature duck surly kept any babies from getting burned, the water was always way too cold to keep my baby happy and I’d just hand test it eventually.

You will hear from different experts different recommendations for the correct temperature for a baby’s bath. But they all range from between 98.6 to 100.4 I’ve never had a baby who is happy in a body temp bath, that evokes fits of screams and crying. If your baby seems miserable in their bath, try heating up the water a bit.

Second, use a baby bathtub or a sink that is specifically designed for children.

While you can certainly give your baby a bath in the larger tub that you use yourself, it is much safer, simpler, and uses much less water if you use a smaller one that is designed specifically for babies. These types of tubs are often made with nonslip surfaces and rounded edges so that they are much safer to use. The baby baths with the infant seat inside (whether made from mesh or something else are the easiest and safest to use.

I actually did not invest in one of these until my third baby, but really loved having it because it is so quick to fill up and use and also saves a ton of water. Plus it’s easier to get baby a bit deeper into the water safely which helps keep them a bit warmer.

how to do a successfull baby bath with happy baby in bathtub sling

You also have the option of using a baby sling and/or just going into the big tub with baby, which can be great for bonding and comfort (like above).

Keep a Hand on Baby Always

Even if you are using a baby bath tub or some other type of device to bathe your baby in, it is important to keep a stabilizing hand on them at all times. Babies can be slippery and wobbly when they are wet which means that they could easily slide or flip out of your grasp and fall in the water.

Time it Right

New babies get tired FAST and often. The best time to bathe baby is when they are not tired and hungry. I know, easier said than done. Aren’t they always tired and hungry?

Try giving baby’s bath shortly after they wake from a good nap. If your baby likes to eat right after waking first feed them, and then bathe them.

Keep it Short

Bath time is not a wonderful relaxing way for baby to melt away the troubles of the world like it is for you and me. It’s a lot of new and foreign sensations and usually pretty overwhelming. So keep it short.

Plus this helps keep the water from cooling, which it does pretty quickly because you don’t use much water to bathe a baby. And cold water makes an angry baby. Best to keep it short and sweet.

It doesn’t take much rubbing to clean a baby. Without soap start with a gentle swipe from the inner eye outard and gently clean the face (think of the spit up). Clean baby’s ears, behind them, and in that chubby neck crack. Wipe down the body. Then get to washing the privates and in between the toes and fingers and hands. Those clamped hands and and crack or roll can collect a surprising amount of grime. That’s it. Wrap it up from there.

My Secret Trick: Use Ample Washcloths and a Cup

how to successfully bathe a new baby and keep them happy

This is my well kept holy grail secret to helping a brand new baby enjoy bathtime. It took me a while to get this one down but my third baby loved baths from day one because of it.

If you use washcloths like mini blankets and continually slowly pour warm water over them, your baby is 100x more likely to feel content.

Being covered in washcloths might sound constrictive and uncomfortable to us, but so does swaddling. Covering baby’s body in washcloths and keeping them warm with a trickle of water from a cup works wonders. It’s like a warm swaddle.

With this trick you absolutely can teach any baby to love bathtime!

Wrapping Up How to Successfully Do Baby Bath Time

Babies can be difficult to bathe, but with the right tips it can be a breeze. Follow these simple steps and your baby will be happy and clean in no time!

Don’t forget:

  1. Keep the water pretty warm (but not burning)
  2. Make it short and sweet.
  3. Use the washcloth and cup trick.
  4. And above all, keep baby safe!

You’ve got this!

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