A good bathtime ritual helps both you and your baby to maintain a regular routine and promotes hygiene in young children. Submerging your infant in water can be a little nerve-wracking the first few times, but if you follow our tips below you’ll find bathtime fun and safe for both you and your baby.
Have everything you need nearby - once you start you won’t be able to leave your baby alone, so be sure to have your soap, towels and lotions lined up for easy access. Remember to use products specially formulated for sensitive baby skin, such as our Baby Hair & Body Wash.
Use a tub, sink, or bath - the vessel can be anything which comfortably fits your baby, and you only need 3-4 inches of water. Babies can be quite wriggly, so try placing a towel at the bottom of the tub under your infant to stop slippage.
Test your water temperature - bath water should be lukewarm, around 32 degrees is ideal. Test the water the same way you would milk or formula, against the inner crook of your elbow.
Bathe in a warm room - cold air against wet skin can be distressing for young infants, and is counterproductive if you have already ensured a good water temperature.
Gently submerge your baby, feet first - keep a hand under your baby’s neck to support their head, which should stay above water level at all times.
Use your hands or a muslin cloth - gently wipe your infant with soapy water, getting into all the nooks and folds.
Start with the front of your baby’s body - then gently move to their back by propping them slightly forwards. Save their head for last to avoid them sitting out with a wet head.
Cover their eyes - use your hand to shield your baby’s eyes when rinsing their head to avoid water or soap in their eyes.
Rinse thoroughly - make sure all the soap is off your baby’s skin before drying to ensure that they’re completely clean.
Pat dry gently - a rough towelling can irritate sensitive skin and agitate your baby, but a gentle patting with a soft towel is soothing and relaxing.
Moisturise - Choose a lotion with a gentle formula to keep your baby’s skin soft and supple. Try out our Baby Body Lotion, formulated for sensitive baby skin, to lock in moisture and protect sensitive skin. If your baby has patches of irritated skin, you can also apply some of our SOS Baby Balm to gently relieve soreness and create a protective barrier against further irritation.
What if your baby doesn’t like bathing?
Some babies find submersion in water too intense, and can be wriggly and fussy. If your baby shows signs of distress, try the topping/tailing method - start by washing their top half only, gently dry, and then repeat on their bottom half.
Most importantly, bathtime is a moment for relaxation and communication between you and your baby, so enjoy the process!