Organisation, precaution and safety are the key words! Whether morning or evening, the time of the bath is not really important, but you must be fully available. Note that it’s better to bath baby before feeding, to avoid digestive upsets. Warning: a baby must never be left alone in the water or on the changing table.
Precautions to take
- Prepare the bath in advance: set out the products within easy reach as well as the towel and clean nappy.
- Check the temperature of the room: between 21 and 23°C, so that baby won’t be cold on coming out of the bath.
- Run the water between 35 and 37°C: take the temperature with a bath thermometer.
- Limit the bath to 2 or 3 minutes: too long a bath can lead to skin dryness.
- Install baby comfortably and in complete safety: place your arm under her neck and shouldersand hold her firmly by the arm at armpit level With an arm around baby, mother or father’s arm is reassuring and makes a comfortable head rest.
- Wash baby with your hand: avoid a facecloth or sponge which are real sources of infection.
- Dry baby carefully: use a padding action rather than rubbing, to avoid irritating the skin. Don’t forget the toes and little folds in the body which are sensitive to irritation.
The bath has many benefits, both emotional and physical :
- It gives baby pleasant sensations of weight, reminding him of when he was in your abdomen. Movements suddenly become much easier.
- This is a time when baby communicated with gurgles of pleasure and he likes you to respond.
- The bath is also a time for play and learning. Little toys such as small animals to spray baby will help familiarization with the water. As he grows, he will like to have a little corner with his toys close to the bath. Foam in the bath also stimulates play and learning for little ones.The bath soon becomes a great pleasure, a time for complicity and tenderness !
Good to know
Early in baby’s life, baths are short and then gradually lengthen as he becomes accustomed to it and on the basis of his reactions. From the age of 9 months, you can try to transfer him to the family bath. To avoid sliding and bumping, use a non-slip mat in your bath. Towards the age of 2 – 3, the family bath will finally be… more accessible!