Bathtime can be a fun, relaxing ritual for both you and your baby. While some little ones are natural water babies, others can be little landlubbers who want nothing more than to stay cosy and dry! So, they might need a bit of encouragement, but bathtime doesn’t have to feel impossible! Read on for our top tips on how to enjoy this precious time with your little one.
Be sure to bathe your little one in lukewarm water. BabyCentre recommends keeping the water temperature between 37 and 38 degrees Celsius, around body temperature. Katie Hilton, LGS Midwife and Health Visitor suggests using the tried and tested technique of dipping your elbow into the water to ensure it’s a safe temperature for your baby. Be sure to use soft sponges to gently wipe down their chin and hands, as well as their nappy area.
When it comes to soap, you shouldn’t need much, but try and make sure that what you do use is tear-free. Depending on the time of your little one’s bath, consider using soaps and shampoos featuring lavender or chamomile.
Not only are these kind on sensitive skin, but they can have a soothing effect on your little one, making them feel sleepy just in time for bed!
Whilst some babies absolutely love having a bath, others can be heard screaming a mile away the moment their feet touch the water. To help your baby to feel more safe and secure at bathtime, why not try a swaddle bath?
A new and innovative technique, swaddle bathing involves loosely wrapping your baby in a blanket and immersing them in the bath up to shoulder level. Each limb is then individually unwrapped and washed, and then placed back in the swaddle. Your baby can also be gently massaged through the blanket.
When you’re ready to lift your baby out of the bath get a warm, dry towel ready to go and switch them over. Swaddle bathing has been shown to create a less stressful bathing experience, with less hassle and fewer tears all around.
Make bathtime fun and educational by offering your baby a variety of toys in the tub so they can explore and discover different textures and sensations with their hands. Introduce plastic containers, sieves and squeaky toys to stimulate your baby’s imagination, and teach them about pouring and filling.
Get creative with bathtub stickers, or whip out the bubbles for a pop of fun. Having a sing-song while you play can also be a good way to keep things light and silly, helping put your little one at ease. Make sure you have everything you need nearby so that when you go to introduce any toys you won’t have to leave your little one unattended.
If they’re especially wary of the water, why not move bathtime to a bigger tub and get in with them? Being close to your little one will make them feel safe and secure, as skin-to-skin contact is great for bonding with your baby.
As with most things with your little one, it’s important to keep an element of routine. Generally, do you bathe your babe before bedtime, or in the morning? Every baby and every routine is different, so figure out what works best for you and your little one and try and make it stick.
Katie Hilton tells us “There is no need to bathe your baby daily, in fact, bathing this often can lead to dry, sensitive skin. Instead, aim for a bath 2-3 times each week, and in-between use something such as topping and tailing to keep your baby fresh and clean.”.
Baby massage can be a therapeutic, relaxing addition to your little one’s bath or bedtime routine. Dry your baby off post-bathtime, but make it cute with our adorable hooded bunny and bear baby towels!
Bundle them up, pat them down lightly. Then, use a natural oil to apply to your baby’s skin such as the Sleep Time Bath & Massage Oil from Little Aurelia, which is suitable for baby sensitive skin and helps induce a good night’s sleep.
Katie Hilton says “Baby massage is a great addition to your bathtime routine, it also has lots of other benefits including reducing the risk of colic and calming your baby before bedtime, therefore contributing to a better quality of sleep for the whole family.”
The National Childbirth Trust (NCT) also lists some of the benefits of baby massage as a great way to bond and interact with your baby, as well as a way to give parents more confidence handling their little one.
There are countless benefits to baby bathtime, and as you’ve probably gathered, there’s a lot more to it than just getting clean.
Bathtime is a chance for you to play with, soothe, and bond with your little one. Banish your baby bathtime woes with this guide, and above all, be patient. With a bit of love, support and persistence, bathtime should soon become a fun and relaxing time for both you and your baby.