Bath time can be a wonderful experience for you and your baby. Keep in mind that a day without a bath is nothing to be embarrassed about. If you skip a day because you are too exhausted, you will not be persecuted or forced to remove your baby’s name from his birth certificate.
Bath time shouldn’t be shock treatment. Always use warm body-temperature water, tested by dipping your elbow or wrist into it (your hands are used to great temperature variances than your arm).
Make sure the hot water temperature on your hot-water heater is set at 120 degrees Fahrenheit or lower when you have small children in the house to prevent possible scalding during bath time. Again, always test baby’s bath water first with your elbow as a safety precaution.
Most babies hate having rough washcloths dragged across their faces. Make an envelope from the washcloth by folding it over your hand. With your hand wrapped in the washcloth, gently wipe baby’s face with S motions. Many mothers prefer to wipe each of baby’s eyes with a separate large cotton ball or at least one eye with each corner of the washcloth to prevent spreading bacteria from one eye to the other, if any might be present.
Bath time is a good time to massage baby; the touch of your hands is important to an infant’s emotional development. Besides, rubbing a soapy baby is fun; they smile and giggle and make you feel like you are one heck of a good parent.
To keep soap or shampoo out of an infant’s eyes, gently rub petroleum jelly on the eyelids and eyebrows. The jelly will make the shampoo run sideways rather than downward.
An inexpensive plastic infant seat, with metal legs and cushions removed, will fit nicely into a sink or portable tub, providing a secure seat for baby.
When bathing baby in the sink, make sure the faucet is completely out of the way. Babies have a way of grabbing and clutching things.
A soapy baby won’t be as slippery in the tub or sink if you line the tub with a towel or cloth diaper and if you wear a soft, cotton glove on one hand.
You’ll keep yourself dry even when baby splashes if you clip a towel around your neck like a bib. The bonus is that you have the towel ready to wrap around baby when the bath is finished.
When baby graduates to the bathtub, put the metal legs back on the plastic infant seat and you will have a non-slip bath seat until baby can safely sit alone in a bathtub of water.
Setting a clean plastic clothes basket in the tub will help you hold onto a small child during bath time. Put the basket into the tub, add water, and put the child into the basket.
Non-slip cutouts on the bottom of your tub will give your toddler better footing in the bath and will give you better footing when you shower in the tub.
If you let your toddler wear a small diving mask or eye goggles, bath time is fun, and you can rinse those shampoos suds off without tears.
When toddlers reach a stage when they want to wash themselves, stuff an inside-out terry sock with small chunks of soap and fasten the open end or put soap pieces in a slit sponge. The toddler can scrub away without losing a slippery bar of soap in the bathwater, where it can be stepped on. Or, use a clean nylon stocking or the bottom part of a pair of pantyhose and drop a small soap silver or two in, tie in knots, and give this so the baby to scrub with and to hold on to and play with.
If you baby powder into your hand before you apply it instead of just sprinkling it, it won’t get into the baby’s face, and if you are powdering a toddler who is standing up, you won’t get powder all over the bathroom.