An essential hygiene measure, baby bath is not just about that. It is above all a privileged moment of complicity. The goal ? May the child feel happy and confident. So what precautions should you take? What if he is afraid of water? What little tips can make our job easier?
The baby bath, how often?
It is best not to wash an infant more than once a day (except in the event of a minor accident of course). Over-washing a baby can irritate the skin over time. It is therefore advisable to bathe daily or even every other day, in the evening or in the morning according to your sleep rhythm. Set aside a long period of time in front of you, to make the time pleasant.
The baby bath then enroll in a comforting ritual, and help your child relax and sleep peacefully.
He’s scared of water, what do I do?
Some babies love water, others are more fearful. Normally, the feeling of water is familiar, because before birth, baby spent nine months bathed in amniotic fluid. However, it happens that some do blockages during the first weeks after birth. The bath can then become a real ordeal. It can take just one bad experience (water too hot or too cold, soap in your eyes…) for water to be associated with this unpleasant memory. Baby’s refusal can also stem from a feeling of insecurity, if it has been badly supported once.
This is why it is essential to have firm gestures and have confidence in yourself: baby will feel it and be reassured. We start with short swims (5 minutes) which will lengthen as he feels comfortable there.
Preparations for the bath
- Remember to preheat the room:
The ideal temperature is 22/23 ° C in your bathroom. We always run the water in the tub before immersing baby. This saves him from waiting in the cold or scaring him with the sound of the tap. The water should be around 36/37 ° C. Check it with a thermometer or with your elbow.
- Small practical tips:
If the changing table is outside the bathroom, place a thick towel or changing mat near the tub. We can undress and dry baby on the mattress to avoid the stress of transport and the risk of falls. To give it its bath, opt for a hard plastic tub, adapted to the size of the child, or a bathing lounger, if your baby is less than 8kg and 70cm. Also remember to remove your jewelry so as not to scratch the fragile skin of your little one when giving it a bath.
- The necessary equipment :
Everything must be available when baby is in the bathtub. We therefore prepare a small basket with each product necessary for his toilet: soap, shampoo, washcloth, towel or bath cape, spare linen, clean diapers, accessories and toys … Do not hesitate to put suitable toys. in the water to distract him, so as to make the bath a real moment of pleasure and play.
- The soap :
Prefer a hypoallergenic and soap-free product, or a surgras dermatological soap. And preferably without paraben (very common substance but suspected of being carcinogenic). Opt for a mild shampoo, and especially one that does not sting the eyes.
In the bath!
- First, let the baby know it’s bath time . As you move, do not hesitate to explain to him what you are going to do.
- To soap: baby can be soaped either on the changing table or directly in water. While undressing and soaping him, keep in touch with baby to reassure him: one hand on his stomach, on his forehead… You can also take the opportunity to name all the parts of his body, by inviting him to participate. A very soft washcloth is welcome (which you will change regularly), but especially not sponges, they are nests for germs. Wash from the cleanest to the dirtiest (usually the buttocks) to avoid contaminating the child with germs (especially feces). Remember to clean well under the folds of the skin, as well as the head with each bath, because up to 3 or 4 months, the child sweats a lot.
- We avoid wetting his face, so as not to stress him. To wash babies’ hair, you simply run your hand over your head, pushing the water back. Reserve the facial wash for after.
- Your gestures should be gentle, but firm. Your child will feel confident. Be careful to always support baby when he is in the bathtub. To hold it in place, place your left arm (if you are right-handed) under the child’s chest, squeezing their left forearm in your hand, as shown above. Your right hand will be free to soap the body.
Be careful, during the bath, pay attention to baby, and to him only, for his safety! No question of going back and forth to look for soap, change milk or toys in the room, or worse, answer the phone (unplug it or mute it before the bath so as not to be disturbed ). Know that babies can drown in 15 cm of water in just a few seconds …
- Be careful with drying : baby gently dab with the towel. The ideal: opt for a hooded bathrobe or a bath cape so that it does not catch cold in the head. As with baby’s clothes, it is best to wash your towels with a detergent specially designed for their sensitive skin, in order to protect them as well as possible.
- If the bathroom is well heated, a quick massage of the infant’s skin can be done with fragrance-free oil. You can also opt for a protective moisturizer to apply after each bath.
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