Bath time is that special time between you and your baby. However, when you have a newborn or little baby on hand, bath time with your baby can conjure up emotions of both tranquility and anxiety at the same time. Bath time can be soothing because it allows a moment for you and your baby to bond while also serving as a routine that can cleanse and prepare your baby for bedtime. Bath time can also be stressful because you are trying to figure out all of the ins and outs of bath time safety to make sure you do it the best that you can. Besides knowing the right bath temperature for baby, Dr. Amy and the Baby Pibu team share a few tips that can make bath time comfortable, safe and healthy for your baby. These bath time tips are provided in collaboration with Moms On Call™, respected parenting consultants.
Bath time Tip #1: The nightly bath time routine
A nighttime bath time routine can prepare you and your baby for bedtime. By having bath time at night, your baby will come to associate bath time with bedtime. This association comes in handy when you start traveling with your baby and crossing time zones. The nightly bath time routine can serve as a reset point when needed to remind your baby that bath time equals bedtime.
Bath time Tip #2: Know the Perfect Temperature for you Baby’s Bath
The bath temperature for baby will range between 90° and 100°F. Even though there are many devices that can help you check the bath water temperature for your baby, you can simply check the water temperature out yourself by using your wrist. The hand is less sensitive than the body so use your wrist or elbow. If you decide to use a device that checks the bath temperature for your baby, still remember to check yourself as the device may be faulty at times. To prevent accidental burns, setting your water heater to 120°F is helpful. We advise using warm water and keeping the bath to less than five minutes for babies ages newborn to six months old and less than ten minutes for babies older than 6 months old. Water actually dries out the skin so keeping water exposure time to a minimum is important.
Bath time Tip #3: Pick the right products and minimize the soap
You don’t have to use soap all over your baby’s skin since soap can further strip your baby of his or her normal oils. Areas that need soap include the hair, hands, feet, armpits, neckfolds, and groin. Fragrance-free two-in-one hair and body cleansers packaged in a bottle make the bath time process easier when you are doing it by yourself and need to perform it one-handed. When looking for a wash, look for the Seal of Acceptance by the National Eczema Association (NEA) as well.
The NEA recognizes products that have been clinically tested to be hypoallergenic and irritant-free. Remember- fragrance is there for us adult’s pleasure and not our baby’s.
Bath time Tip #4: Hydrate and protect
After the bath, it’s best to apply a moisturizer to lock in moisture and hydrate your baby’s skin. We advise using either a cream or an ointment since lotions are made up mostly of water and don’t seal in the moisture. We recommend using a fragrance-free cream or fragrance-free ointment for the drier times. For baby’s bottom, applying an ointment or a diaper rash cream will help prevent unwanted diaper rash from forming overnight.
We hope these bath time tips, including knowing the right bath temperature for baby, help make your bath time with your baby more soothing and less anxious!