splashing fish or ‘wailing’ whale?

newborns and bathtime for first time parents can really go either way.   some find this time of the day to be an enjoyable one, as their infants lay back and relax.  others find this time extremely stressful as their tiny new baby, flails around wet, shivering and flat out pissed! as a first time parent everything can be somewhat awkward as you are trying to get the hang of so many new things.  simply trying to organize when to bathe the baby can be trying enough, let alone the actual handling of the slippery baby both in the bath and getting them out.  with lots of practice and a very useful tip from a nurse when i delivered my first i have been able to get the wailing whale to stop and relax!  once i got the hang of everything, had a schedule/routine in place, bath time was something i, and my baby, looked forward to each evening.  it took me a little bit of time to master the art of newborn bathing with my first.  poor hudson was the guinea pig and had to struggle through my learning and therefore, little becks definitely got the good end of the stick with this one! as you can see from the photo just 1 1/2 weeks old and loving every minute of his bath.  so much that he actually fell asleep!  priceless!

there are some things you can do to try to help your little one to enjoy bathtime and become relaxed in the tub!  to start, i would suggest getting into a bath time routine very early on.  during the first few weeks, once you bring your newborn home, you will probably bathe them every other day or there about.  i advise bathing every evening from the time your newborn is around 2 weeks.  start an evening ritual and stick to it.  for example i had my second bathing each night around 5 pm and by doing this it helped create a signal for him that night time sleep (longer sleep) was approaching .  i noticed he would sleep a long stretch after his bath.  he would go anywhere from 6 pm to somewhere between 11-1.  here i would feed him and put him back down.  in order to help get your little one sleeping long strechtes and ultimately, through the night, there are lots of factors that need to be addressed.  i’m focusing on bath time in this post, but i will give you it in short.  be sure your baby is eating at least every 3 hours all day long (even if you have to wake them) and lay your baby down as much as possible when they are sleeping.  be consistent in your soothing methods and try letting them sleep without movement as much as possible.  i can chat more about this topic later and if you want more information regarding this issue before i post don’t hesitate to contact me via email or discussion board.

okay, back to bath time.  now that you are giving him/her their bath each evening around the same time here are some tips to help make bath time smooth and most importantly, quiet!!

  • make sure the water is warm enough.  not luke warm, no one wants to lay in luke warm water with 1/2 of their body out of the water exposed to cold air.  get the water nice and warm.  you may feel it is too hot, but chances are it’s not!  (be wise here, i’m not talking about a boiling hot tub!)
  • be sure you get them in the bath after they have eaten (trying to bathe a straving child won’t be good) but with enough time to digest a bit.  give them 15 minutes or so after they eat.
  • once in the bath lay a warm wash cloth on their tummy.  this helps make them feel secure and keeps them warm as well (keep re-warming the cloth throughout the bath)
  • if the tub isn’t super cozy, lay a receiving blanket under them to help cushion their tiny body 🙂
  • as they are bathing have their towel in the dryer (this helps ease the exit and relaxes them tons!)
  • have all their pajamas, diaper, swaddled blanket etc. ready to go to get them dressed as quickly as possible once they are done the bath. 
  • singing to my little ones while dressing was always helpful, soothing and relaxing!

now that they are fed, bathed, cozy warm, dressed, and all snuggled up it’s time for nighty night!

hopefully you find some of these tips useful when it comes to bathing your newborn!  good luck and happy bathing!

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