Welcome to my Weblog!
Welcome to 1 Mother 2 Another! To read my most recent weblog entries, scroll down. To read entries from one category, click the links at right. To read my journey from the beginning, click here. To find out more about me, click here.
Top 5s
Short on time? Click here to go to my Top 5s Page - links to my top five recommendations in every category from Breastfeeding Sites to Urban Living Solutions.

Bathing An Infant

A couple days ago I posted about how our
whole family gives Cora a bath. Since then, I’ve gotten a ton
of Google hits from new parents looking for help bathing a newborn.
So I thought I’d write a few tips here that you may not find

I’m assuming you’ve got a baby book that’s told
you the basics – don’t ever leave baby alone, always
have a hand on him, don’t submerge baby until the
cord’s fallen off, that sort of stuff. If not, go out and
pick up a book like href="http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/redirect?link_code=ur2&tag=1mother2anoth-20&camp=1789&creative=9325&path=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.amazon.com%2Fgp%2Fproduct%2F1889392200%2Fqid%3D1139195724%2Fsr%3D2-1%2Fref%3Dpd_bbs_b_2_1%3Fs%3Dbooks%26v%3Dglance%26n%3D283155">
Baby 411
or href="http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/redirect?link_code=ur2&tag=1mother2anoth-20&camp=1789&creative=9325&path=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.amazon.com%2Fgp%2Fproduct%2F0316778001%2Fqid%3D1139195980%2Fsr%3D2-1%2Fref%3Dpd_bbs_b_2_1%3Fs%3Dbooks%26v%3Dglance%26n%3D283155">
The Baby Book
; you’re going to need it for
lots of stuff.

So here’s what I have to say
that’s not in the books. First thing – don’t
bathe your infant every day. Seriously, how dirty can they get???
You clean the hiney multiple times a day, they don’t sweat,
they don’t crawl around and get dirty, they don’t use
hair products, so leave ‘em alone. You’ll save a lot of
time. We’re from the once-or-twice-a-week school of thought.
As they get older, fine, increase bath time, but for now,
don’t worry.

There’s lots of gear out there designed to make it
“easier” to bathe the baby. Baby tubs, baby seat
inserts for baby tubs, baby nets to help hold baby, and more. Yes,
this stuff works to some degree, and by the time your kid is five
you won’t even be able to remember using it. That’s how
short of a time you’ll need it. So buy it if you really want,
or feel petrified of breaking your baby, but you can get by with
astonishingly little.

I know some people bathe babies in the kitchen sink, and if
that’s all you have it’ll work. I didn’t feel
comfortable bathing Maddie in a sink until she was several months
old; there’s no non-skid stuff in it, and it’s hard to
hold a newborn upright in that thing and bathe her at the same
time. We bought a baby bathtub with a little nonskid seat on it,
and used it a few times just fine, but . . .

Here’s my biggest tip . . .

Take the infant in the big bathtub with you. A friend of mine
recommended this when I commented that Maddie screamed every time,
because then you can nurse in the water to calm them down and get
used to it. This worked so well we never looked back.

Getting in the bath with an infant has several advantages. First,
you get off your own feet and get to sit in a warm bath! Never turn
down rest time. Second, you can more accurately judge the water
temperature while you’re in it. Third, the nursing thing:
I’d get in, Maddie would cry, I’d nurse her, and by the
time she finished eating she was calm and ready to sit in the
water. Often I’d have finished bathing her by then so
we’d be out! I tried to time it with an upcoming regular
nursing so we weren’t adding in feedings, and it worked very
well for us. She still takes a bath with me and has a ball.

Taking a bath with the infant has one disadvantage – getting
out. I was too scared to try to stand up in the tub while holding a
slippery infant, so I’d holler for Brian to come take her
while I got out. I don’t recommend trying to do it by
yourself – too much opportunity for slippage.

Speaking of slippage, here’s another great tip: wear gloves.
Buy a pair of soft thin cotton gloves – like polishing
gloves, but make sure there’s no cleaning stuff on them
– to wear while bathing baby. This helps two ways: first,
baby won’t slip as much in your grasp; and second, you can
use the gloves as a washcloth. Simply put a little baby soap on
your gloved hand and rub away!

Speaking of soap, there’s a ton of products geared towards
newborns out there. As my pediatrician said, “Be wary of
anything that smells good.” At the newborn stage, any yummy
smells (like Johnson and Johnson, the extra lavender stuff, and so
on) may be too hard on infant skin and cause allergies. So if your
child’s breaking out, that may be why. We started with
California Baby's href="http://www.californiababy.com/super-sensitive-shampoo-bodywash-8-5-oz.html">
Super Sensitive Shampoo and Bodywash
and switched
to their href="http://www.californiababy.com/calming-shampoo-bodywash-17-5-oz.html">
Calming shampoo/bodywash
which we now buy by the gallon.

Finally, one more word about getting baby out of the bath. Whether
you’re bathing the baby in her own tub or in the big bath
with you, check out the href="http://www.tubbybundle.com/">Tubby bundle towels.
You wear it around your neck and waist like an apron, which keeps
you from getting wet from all the splashing. This is great, but my
favorite part is that you can then pick baby up in it just like a
blanket or cocoon. Cora felt much more secure to me wrapped up in
that like a hammock than in a regular towel. Trust me, I was
skeptical, got one as a gift, and ordered a second. And we still
use it with Maddie because she loves them so much.

So those are my tips on bathing a newborn. Good luck, and happy


Post a Comment

House Rules

Here are the rules for posting comments on 1mother2another.com. Posting a comment that violates these rules will result in the comment’s deletion, and you’ll probably be banned from commenting in the future.

1) Register first. If you would like to post a comment, you must create an account with us. Check out the home page to do so.

2) Constructive comments only. If you cannot maintain a respectful tone in your posting, even in disagreement, your comment will be deleted. We’re all trying to find our way in this thing and are struggling to be the best moms we can. If you disagree with something I say, feel free to politely email me. If you disagree with another reader’s posting, you’re welcome to kindly post in reply. Vitriolic diatribes will be deleted. This site is about encouraging and supporting, not tearing down and chastising.

3) Questions welcomed. If an entry raises a question, you’re welcome to email me directly or post it. Keep in mind that postings will result in public replies by strangers and not just me.

4) Don’t steal. All original writings contained within this website are under copyright protection. If you link to us, please credit us as your source and provide a link back to our website. If you're interested in using an excerpt in published material, please contact us.

5) Share your photos! We'd love to have photos from our registered readers to show on our home page under "Maddie's friends". Email us a jpeg of your little one's best photo to photos@1mother2another.com. Please, no photos from professional photographers which fall under copyright protection.