Bathing might be a fun activity for babies, but for new parents, bathing a newborn can be both stressful and challenging. Mostly during in-hospital birth, the newborn’s first bath happens at the hospital by expert nurses. Either it is a sponge bath or a water bath with caution, as you have to keep the umbilical cord dry for the first couple of weeks.
Bathing a few days old baby, at home with no help is a daunting task. For that, you really have to be extra cautious with all the bathing essentials within your reach. Especially, if you have a small bathroom space and no bathtub, baby’s bath time gets quite nerve-wracking for new parents.
If you have a small bathroom space and you are scheduled for a C-section, you may have concerns bending down on your knees to bathe your baby. Ideally, you should be more prepared and get in the know of more options to safely bathe your baby hassle-free.
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How to bathe your newborn when you have a small bathroom space
Getting the right bathing accessories is key to the stress-free bathing experience, especially when you have no help around.
Before you proceed you need to consider a few things
1. Where are you going to place the bathtub while bathing your baby?
Well, some parents prefer to have a safe spot around the house for bath time. Not everyone has a bigger bathroom space in the home, so they choose the kitchen for bathtime by safely placing baby bathtub in the sink.
Since every parent is different, some may choose a bathroom sink or bathroom tub as a safe spot in the bathroom instead of the kitchen sink depending on your comfort level.
My favorite bathtub is by Fischer Price. It is sturdy and reliable sling especially for newborns.
2. How stable is the bathtub that you like?
Not every bathtub is manufactured sturdy. Also, you should keep the drainage hole into consideration as well. You do not want the water to fall out every time you bath your baby.
For babies who start sitting up, this Munchkin sit and soak baby bath is a practical option.
3. How to bathe your newborn when you have a C-section?
Bathing essentials for baby’s bathtime depends on the configuration of your bathroom. in my case, I had to figure out something else as I had a fairly small bathroom and had a C-section delivery. Bending down and leaning was not an option.
During baby’s bathtime, place a bathtub on the bathroom sink, and instead of using sink faucet, you can use a pail filled with room temperature water.
Safety place baby on the sling and gradually, use rinser to wash off soap by taking water from the pail.
If you have a bathtub in your bathroom, you can use knee pads for leaning down and safely bathe your baby if you have no concerns leaning down.
Always keep the bathtub well-supported and never leave your newborn in the bath unattended. Once the baby starts sitting up or turning over, be extra cautious and do not lose support for the bathtub even for half a second.
Baby Bath Essentials – What you need for bathtime
Bathing essentials that you must have for bath-time.
Make sure the sling in the bathtub is clean and dry before you safely lay down the baby. The baby’s torso has to be elevated sufficiently.
I highly recommend using Fischer Price Bath Tubs as they are safe. Although, I have tried another brand for my daughter and I didn’t find it to be sturdy or safe. Fischer price products are durable. However, you still need to buy an extra sling for the next baby.
2. A Pail of water
If you have less space, figure out how you are going to have water ready at the right temperature. You don’t need a huge sized pail. Babies are small, and you don’t need too much water anyway.
Choose a rinser the one you feel comfortable with. My favorite rinser is by skip hop. It has soft edges so it won’t hurt your baby on her soft head. You can maneuver the rinser the way you want, and the functionality is amazing. I would highly recommend having it.
4. Non-fragrant Body wash
You need a no-tear and non-fragrant bath wash for the baby. I highly recommend Aquaphor for newborns at least for a couple of months. Once you rule out any signs of skin issues that may trigger by using fragrant products, you can start using your favorite baby bath wash.
For a few weeks use fragrance-free products only, soaps, lotions, detergents, and everything else and do not use baby powder as it may cause respiratory problems.
Baby’s skin may get dry due to excessive use of body wash. Babies are generally clean, so you do not have to use plenty of soap or bath baby every day.
Also, you can follow a bath-time routine at any time of the day you prefer. Some parents prefer to bath the baby at night so she could sleep better. While some prefer bathing in the morning because it helps the baby to get active and energized. There is no hard and fast rule. You decide what works best for you as a family.
Not to mention, using a lavender bath wash at bedtime bath improves baby’s sleep at night.
5. Hooded towel
You need a soft and absorbent hooded towel. Keep it handy during bath time. Once you take your baby out of the tub. Wrap her and dry thoroughly in the neck folds, arms, wrist, thighs, especially when she starts packing on pounds
6. Diapering essentials
Either you are cloth diapering or using disposable diapers. Whatever you choose for your child, the diaper essentials should be ready on the changing table before you even take your baby for a bath.
7. Moisturizer organic Coconut oil or any non-fragrant baby-safe lotion.
Using coconut oil or olive oil for a massage, before or after a baby bath, ensures healthy and moisturized skin. You can use a non-fragrant moisturizing lotion for the baby. Bathing or excessive use of soap may dry-up the baby’s skin more than it should. For that reason, keeping a proper pH balance is essential. Make sure the baby’s skin does not get dry or itchy even if you are not using baby lotion for the first several weeks after birth.
Not to mention, massage helps significantly for solving gas issues in babies.
8. Dressing up baby
Baby’s everyday clothing and accessories need to be ready before bath-time. Make sure to quickly dress up, so the baby does not lose body heat.
Cradle cap is a dry scalp condition that happens in infants. Make sure that you gently comb baby’s scalp after every bath. This may prevent forming crusty dry scalp.
Most importantly, do not forget a hat for the baby. Babies tend to lose body heat quickly through their head, as the head is relatively massive than the lower body. For that reason, put on the baby’s hat along with other clothing essentials immediately, to maintain body temperature.
Baby Bathing Tips you might find helpful
- Baby bathing gets essential when you have a huge diaper blowout. Learn how to prevent diaper blowout in babies.
2. For newborns, sponge bath is sufficient until your baby’s umbilical cord does not come off.
3. Never start pouring water directly on your baby’s head. Start from legs first and always make sure water is lukewarm.
4. Do not wet bath seat or sling before you lay down baby. Make sure, the bathtub is clean and dry before you have the baby sit inside.
5. Never ever leave the baby (unattended) in the bath-tub even the baby has started sitting up. Even if you have to leave the bathroom to get something or to answer a doorbell (whatever It could be) wrap him in a towel and take the baby with you.
6. Have everything ready from bathing essentials to clothing essentials before you even start bathing.
7. Be very sure about water temperature and keep assuring that it is not too hot or too cold for your baby.
8. Use no-tears and mild bath wash for baby’s soft skin.
9. Always use rinser instead of a shower head for bathing. The showerhead can be scary for many kids unless they are familiar with it.
10. Do not spend too much time bathing a newborn. Keep it short, quick and sweet.
11. Snuggle baby in a towel to keep her body temperature normal and quickly dress up, especially a hat.