Your Skin Care Special (part 3)
Bathtime and bath products
PREPARATION IS KEY. First prepare the changing space with a clean babygro and vest, a clean nappy and soft, warm towels.
Make sure you gather together everything else you need beforehand, such as the baby bath, non-slip mat, changing mat, face cloth, rinsing jug, towels, shampoo, soaps and creams.
Choose a room in the house for the bath where there are no draughts and ensure that the room is comfortably warm. The bath and changing mat should be close together.
Now you’re ready… 1 Fill the baby bath halfway with water. It should be warm – not lukewarm, but not hot either. Check with your wrist or elbow and swirl the water around so there are no hot patches. If you’re unsure, you could use a baby bath thermometer that indicates the correct temperature. Undress your baby, wrap him in a towel and clean his face gently with damp cotton wool. Wipe the eyes gently from the inside corner to the outside corner. Use a fresh cotton wool ball for each eye.
2 Wash your baby’s hair next. Keep him wrapped in the towel and hold his head over the bath. Wet his hair. Apply a bit of shampoo and gently lather. Keep his head tipped slightly downwards so no water runs into his eyes. Rinse his hair using your cupped hand or a small jug. Put him back on the changing mat and dry his hair.
Unwrap the towel and wipe his bottom with damp cotton wool. 3 Rub soap all over your baby’s body. Remember the neck, hands and feet. This will make your baby slippery, but it’s easier than lathering him in the bath. You can use a facecloth to get a better grip on him when you lift him into the water. 4 With your forearm supporting his neck and head, hold your baby’s outer arm firmly in one hand. With your free hand, hold his inner upper thigh. Lower him gently into the water, feet first, then the bum, then the rest. Keep his head above the water.
When your baby’s lower body is resting on the bottom of the baby bath, you can release the hand that was holding the leg. Use this hand to wash him and to swirl water around his body to rinse. Your other hand should stay in the same hold, behind his neck. Let him enjoy his time in the water. Talk to him or make cooing sounds to reassure him. Bath time can be a wonderful time for bonding too.
5 Once your baby is rinsed, he should be a little less slippery. Use the same hold to lift him out: one hand behind the neck holding the far arm, and the other hand holding the opposite thigh. It can be easier to lift your baby onto your lap first before you move him to the changing mat. A clever tip is to have a towel tucked into your belt before you start with the bath. Pat his skin dry, don’t rub. Remember the folds of skin under his arms, at the top of the legs and around his neck. Once he is dry, you could massage him before you dress him for bed. Massage helps him relax. YB