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Bathing your baby can be daunting at first. We answer some common questions to help make bathtime safe & enjoyable for you both
Who doesn’t love a clean, fresh, sweet-smelling baby to snuggle in a towel? Bathing your baby is a wonderfully bonding experience and can become an important part of your bedtime routine. But to be sure it’s relaxing and soothing for you both, you need to get organised well before bathtime starts.
When to bath your baby
Babies don’t need a bath every day; two or three times a week is fine. On the other days, you may prefer to just gently clean their face, neck, hands and bottom – a technique often known as ‘topping and tailing’.
When's the best time to bath baby?
To make bathtime a relaxing, bonding experience, choose a time when you won’t be interrupted. It’s best if baby is contented and alert, not hungry, full or tired. Most babies find warm water soothing, so a bath in the evening can help settle them.
Prepare for baby's bath
• Gather everything you’ll need and put it near to the bath. Useful items for bathtime include a sponge and baby bath wash
• Make sure there’s a soft, fluffy towel on hand for afterwards: a hooded towel will help them get dry and warm as quickly as possible
• You’ll also need a nappy and baby clothes
What's the right temperature for my baby's bath?
• The bath only needs to be 12-15cm deep and the temperature should be around 36-37 ̊C. When running the bath, start with cold water and top up with hot water. Never put your baby in the bath while the tap is still running
• Water should feel warm when you dip an elbow or wrist into it – don’t use your fingers as they can tolerate much higher temperatures
• You could also consider a baby bath thermometer
How do I support my baby in the bath?
• Lower your baby gently into the water, supporting head and shoulders with one arm, and bottom and legs with the other
• Once your baby is in the water, continue to support the head, and use your other hand for washing
• Never leave your baby unattended, not even for a few seconds
How to wash baby
• Wash babies with plain water or a little mild baby bath wash using a baby wash cloth, sponge or your fingers
• Start with their head and finish with their bottom
• Extend arms to get at elbow creases and unfurl tiny fists where fluff can gather
Make bathtime fun
• Once you’re past the newborn stage, age-appropriate bath toys will help to entertain and educate your baby
• Choose colourful items that feature interesting shapes and sounds
• Bubbles are fun for older babies, but always use a bubble bath that's specially formulated for sensitive young skin and eyes
How to get baby out of the bath safely
• As you lift your baby out, keep a firm grip by supporting the neck and head with one hand, and bottom with the other (with thumb and forefinger around one thigh)
• Cuddle baby on your lap in the towel and pat dry