Diposting oleh gorace doit on Senin, Juli 13, 2009

Splish splash

It's a question of building your confidence and being prepared:

It's not safe to leave a baby or toddler alone in water, even for a second

Have everything you need in advance - towel, toiletries, clean nappy, clothes. It's not safe to leave a baby or toddler alone in water, even for a second. If you've forgotten something, or if the phone rings, you must take your baby out of the water and wrap her in a towel to keep warm, then take her with you.

Put cold water in the tub first, and then hot. This reduces the chance of scalds. Test the water with your elbow (as hands can bear very high temperatures) before you put your baby in. It should feel comfortably warm.
Step-by-step bathing

* Undress your baby
* Lower your baby feet first into the water, supporting her head and neck at all times
* With your free hand, gently splash water over your baby's body
* Keep talking to your baby for reassurance and to let her know she's safe
* When you've finished, take your baby out, wrap her in a towel and then dress her

If your baby's upset, or clearly not enjoying the bath, stop and try again a few days later
What? No soap?

You can use a mild soap or a baby bath liquid. No soap is necessary for newborns.
Baby bath or big tub?

Baby baths are useful, as they can be moved to a warm part of your house, and need much less water than the 'adult' bath. You could use a clean washing-up bowl for a very young baby.

You can take your baby into the 'adult' bath with you, as long as the water isn't too hot, and there's someone around to hand her to you and take her out again.
Washing hair

If your baby has lots of hair, it helps to use a jug to rinse the water through. You can use a mild baby shampoo as it's good for the scalp, but soap will probably be enough until she's older. Be careful not to get the soap/shampoo in your baby's eyes - stinging eyes can put babies off bathtime.
When to bath?

Your baby doesn't need to bath in the first weeks

It's up to you. Your baby doesn't need to bath in the first weeks (see top and tail below), but it can be fun for both of you to do it every couple of days and can be the beginning of setting your baby's routine.

Later on, it can become part of your evening routine - it will help mark the change from daytime to bedtime.
Top and tail cleaning

Top and tailing is an alternative to bathing for your very young baby.

You need:

* Cotton wool swabs or two cloths
* Bowl of warm water
* Fresh nappy and clean clothes if necessary
* Bin or bucket for waste

Step-by-step top and tailing

* Undress your baby but leave the nappy on
* Wipe your baby's face, neck and ears with a damp cloth or damp cotton wool you've wet in the bowl and dry with cotton wool or the other cloth
* Wipe your baby's hands and under her arms in the same way
* Remove the nappy
* With a newborn, wash any discharge from the cord stump
* Wash her bottom and genitals well (wipe girls from front to back to avoid spreading germs from the bottom to the vagina) and dry
* Put on a clean nappy, and replace your baby's clothes

Remember, when you enjoy bathtime with your baby you are starting a tradition of closeness and fun at the end of the day which will last for many years.

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